Well, it’s that time of year again. Predictions season. As soon as the Thanksgiving turkey gets cold and the Christmas lights go up, people start counting down the days on the current calendar and begin looking ahead to the new year.
Luca Rossi, president of the Intelligent Devices Group at Lenovo, is no different. He put pen to paper recently to come up with seven predictions about how technology will shape all of our lives in 2022 and beyond.
“We see a bright future ahead,” he said in a press release, “one with more solutions for hybrid work models and a focus on technology as a force for good.”
So, without further ado, here are Rossi’s top tech predictions for 2022.
1. Work-from-home becomes work-from-anywhere
Last year, Lenovo’s IDG predicted the work-from-home phenomenon would accelerate. They were correct. “We see remote work becoming hybrid and work-from-home becoming work-from anywhere as people and companies continue to think beyond the office,” Rossi said.
According to internal Lenovo research, 83% of IT leaders expect up to 50% of future work to happen outside of the office. Technology will, of course, play a pivotal role in creating efficiencies and opportunities in the new hybrid work world including:
- More products, solutions and services will be designed to enhance the remote employee experience
- AI will be used to remove background noises such as barking dogs from video calls.
- Augmented reality will help create more immersive workplaces.
- VR, natural language processing, spatial audio, sensors and world-facing cameras will change how employees interact with technology.
- Companies will spend more on IT infrastructure including managed services and device-as-a-service vendors.
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2. Monitors get an upgrade
Monitors will finally get the attention they deserve, Rossi said. Cutting-edge hardware and intuitive software embedded into a display means users will be able to multitask using multi-display window controls. Add in 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity as well as foldable displays, and monitors will get faster, go wireless, reduce desktop clutter and become thinner and more compact.
3. Keyboards begin to fade
Alternative methods of input are catching up to the keyboard. Expect to see touch-intuitive interfaces such as pens with haptic feedback and voice-to-text features becoming defining characteristics of the new keyboard, Rossi said.
4. Telehealth continues to grow
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adoption of telehealth has moved forward at warp speed. Rossi expects healthcare to continue its embrace of digital, especially as wearables, voice assistants and improved broadband connectivity in underserved areas become the norm.
The coming year may be when health insurance starts to get more affordable as predictive AI models allow for preventive medicine and wearable devices lead to better health outcomes, Rossi said.
AI will drive more personalized healthcare experiences by advancing precision medicine and helping the pharmaceutical industry develop and better target drugs to specific conditions.
5. 5G transforms personal computing
Last year IDG predicted 5G would transform personal computing. Rossi and his group are doubling down on that prediction as 5G and the new Wi-Fi 6 standard enable even faster connection speeds. Rossi said device manufacturers will continue to pack more antennas into new connected products leading to better performance in smaller form factors.
“5G and Wi-Fi 6 is about much more than faster speeds,” said Jerry Paradise, vice president of Global Commercial Portfolio & Product Management at Lenovo. “The immediate short-term benefits are practical. The longer-term difference will be more profound, including new applications like smart cities, IoT and vehicle-to-vehicle communications hopefully to improve traffic flow and safety.”
6. Immersive moviegoing expands
As real-time rendering gets closer to photorealism, which is already happening, Rossi said new forms of interactive movies will begin to appear where the user can choose to be part of the story, experiencing it from a first-person perspective. Some PC games already offer this feature. Expect more in the passive-to-interactive entertainment arena soon.
7. Affordable wearable screens gain traction
As immersive content moves to the small screen, Rossi expects to see more affordable wearable displays that extend the PC and mobile phone experience. These displays will deliver a larger screen experience compared to a mobile phone so users can enjoy private viewing in public.
“New business challenges across the world driven by digital transformation and corporate sustainability goals, as well as the move to remote work have created unprecedented innovation opportunities,” Paradise said. “In the next 10 years, I … expect to see a completely new way of viewing the workspace — more of a concept and less of a physical place — that will impact the way we leverage technology to be more mobile and productive.”