In its new whitepaper, 70 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2022, ABI Research analysts identify 35 trends that will shape the technology market and 35 others that, although attracting huge amounts of speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle over the next twelve months.
“The fallout from COVID-19 prevention measures, the process of transitioning from pandemic to endemic disease, and global political tensions weigh heavily on the coming year’s fortunes. This whitepaper is a tool for our readers to help shape their understanding of the key critical trends that look set to materialize in 2022 as the world begins to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19. It also highlights those much-vaunted trends that are less likely to have meaningful impact in 2022,” says Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer at ABI Research.
What will happen in 2022:
Increasing AI presence and usage in augmented and virtual reality
Over 20 million active users will leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) for augmented reality usage in 2022. Enterprises have been leaning into AI to extract the maximum value from hardware, platforms, and services. Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR)-specific usage has missed some of this momentum due to its more nascent state, but that is changing rapidly. AI for machine vision is in place, but it will grow in capability, increasing captured data and enabling greater analytics and insight potential for platforms. Prediction and automation are a significant value add for any organization, and the increased data flowing from and through AR/VR devices, combined with AI/ML, create a hotbed for both prediction and automation of worker-facing and backend systems.
What won’t happen in 2022:
Apple AR/VR hardware
The year 2022 was slotted as the likely release of the company’s first foray into Head-Mounted Devices (HMDs), but that looks increasingly less likely with supply chain slowdowns and general market readiness signs for the company. Even if a product ships in 2022, it will be late in the year and will not have time to prove impactful in the market. The first product slated from the company is likely to be a prosumer and/or enterprise-grade VR headset targeting content creation and will be a testbed for Apple’s services that have not yet ventured into AR/VR proper. While competition is ramping up on paper—most notably from Facebook (Meta)—supply chain and market readiness are universal barriers, so Apple will not feel substantial competitive pressure in 2022.