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:
Ultra-Wideband’s acceleration will propel precise location technologies to the mainstream
Thanks to its unique precision, robustness, and reliability, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) has re-emerged as a secure, fine-ranging technology capable of enabling a wide range of innovative location-based user experiences and services that previous wireless technologies have been unable to effectively support. This includes a combination of device-to-device and device-to-infrastructure applications, including hands-free secure vehicle and building access, indoor localization, asset tracking, hands-free payments, seamless smart home interaction and automation, AR, gaming, and a whole range of emerging smart building, smart city, industrial, and other IoT applications. While there are numerous hurdles for the technology to overcome, including standardization and interoperability, widespread chipset and device availability, greater education, and awareness, among others, it is clear that UWB technology will increasingly become a ubiquitous technology embedded within smartphones and vehicles, which will act as a catalyst for large-scale UWB adoption across a whole range of new IoT applications.
In Real-Time Location System (RTLS) environments, UWB will continue to grow. Vendors like Ubisense, Kinexon, Siemens, Eliko, Sewio, Quarion, Zebra, Tracktio, and Pozyx, among many others, are helping the technology grow across a number of precision RTLS applications within industrial, warehouse and logistics, and sports tracking applications. Combined, UWB is expected to reach 500 million annual shipments in 2022, growing to 1.5 billion by 2026, according to ABI Research.
What won’t happen in 2022:
5G positioning will not replace alternative RTLS technologies
The ability of 5G to combine connectivity with high-precision positioning has the potential to significantly enhance the value proposition of 5G rollouts and enable new Location-Based Services (LBS) within a variety of enterprises. Within end-market verticals, such as manufacturing, healthcare, warehousing and supply chain, transportation, and oil, gas, and mining, it is clear there is growing sentiment that 5G positioning is beneficial thanks to its ability to combine telco and positioning use cases into a single infrastructure, and that it can address use cases that other technologies have struggled to address to date, for a variety of reasons. There is a growing acknowledgement that 5G positioning is emerging to make LBS more accurate, precise, reliable, and seamless across both indoor and outdoor environments. However, 5G positioning is very much in the early days of maturity, and there are several obstacles that need to be overcome.