After a year that made the terms WFH (work from home) and metaverse instantly recognizable to many people, a new set of tech trends are heading towards 2022.
Here is a selection of how technology can change lives over the coming year:
– Meat without meat –
Meat substitutes have become mainstream in a growing number of American households, in part thanks to the plant-based products Beyond Meat and Impossible Food which are much closer to the texture and flavor of beef or pork.
While products have improved and prices have fallen slightly, demand has been stimulated by concern for the environment: animal husbandry for food is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions. human-related greenhouse effect, according to UN data.
The global plant-based meats market is expected to reach $ 35 billion in 2027, up from $ 13.5 billion in 2020, in part due to expansion beyond the United States, according to a report by Research and Markets .
“2022 will be the crowning year for foods made from plant proteins,” said David Bchiri, chairman of the American consultancy firm Fabernovel. “The products are mature and good. They will become mainstream.”
– ‘Web 3.0’ and cryptography –
The first phase of the Internet was the creation of websites and blogs, which allowed the emergence of companies like Yahoo, eBay or Amazon.
The next iteration was Web 2.0, defined by social media and user-generated content on sites like Facebook and YouTube.
These platforms “collect the money and control it, they leave it to you on their platform”, summarized Benedict Evans, independent analyst specializing in Silicon Valley.
So, is Web 3.0 coming?
In this iteration, “users, creators, and developers would have stakes and votes” in a co-op-style platform, Evans said on his “Another Podcast.”
Such a revolutionary step could be made possible by blockchain technology, where computer programs run on networks of thousands or millions of computers.
Until now, the blockchain has enabled the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and more recently, unique digital objects such as drawings or animations called NFTs.
“There is a lot of talk about decentralized finance, but I think that in 2022 we will see more localized use cases, which will come into everyday life,” said Bchiri of consultancy firm Fabernovel.
As highly volatile digital currencies like bitcoin hit record highs in 2021, a wide range of gamers have entered the game, including versions launched by the cities of Miami and New York.
– Ransomware, everywhere –
The peak of ransomware attacks and record data breaches in 2021 is expected to spill over into the coming year.
Cyber extortion burglaries enter a victim’s network to encrypt data and then demand a ransom, usually paid via cryptocurrency in exchange to unlock it.
A confluence of factors fueled the trend, including the burgeoning value of cryptocurrencies, the willingness to pay victims, and the authorities’ difficulty in catching attackers.
Cyber security firm SonicWall wrote in late October: “With 495 million ransomware attacks recorded by the company this year to date, 2021 will be the costliest and most dangerous year on record.”
“When I think about 2022, the thing that worries me the most for myself and my colleagues is ransomware. It’s just too lucrative,” wrote Sandra Joyce, executive vice president and head of global intelligence at the company. Cyber Security Mandiant.
– Big Tech regulations? –
It’s hard to say whether 2022 is the year Big Tech will finally hit some important new rules, but a series of regulatory and legal threats launched in 2021 will spark major battles.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission antitrust lawsuit against Facebook poses a real threat to the social media giant, although a court has already dismissed the case once.
Further lawsuits and a federal investigation – and maybe even finally new laws – are possible following damning whistleblower leaks showing Facebook executives knew its sites could cause damage.
Some critics say the company’s major effort to make the metaverse – a virtual reality version of the internet – is an effort to change the subject after years of criticism.
Apple dodged a bullet in 2021 when a U.S. federal court said Fornite maker Epic Games failed to show the iPhone giant had an illegal monopoly, but the company still received the order. to loosen control of its App Store. Both parties appealed.
New regulations could arrive sooner in the EU as it enacts new laws, such as the Digital Services Act, which would create much stricter monitoring of harmful and illegal content on platforms like Facebook.
juj-jm / bgs