Do you know what 2022 will bring? With these 17 trends, you can stay up to date on what people around the world are talking about 

What technological breakthroughs can we expect in 2022?  Will AI be writing our emails for us in the future? Will your colleague be a robot? How will the metaverse change the world? What is bit rot?

Here is our overview of the technology trends of 2022. We’ve highlighted several trends based on discussions with experts in different fields and a wide-ranging analysis of topics raised in the media and virtual events both in Finland and abroad.

The trends reflect the post-pandemic period of upheaval and change – and its impact on technological development. Download the free Technology Trends 2022 report and learn about the newest goings-on in technology!

1. Goodbye boring reality – hello metaverse!

What if you could see the Internet all around you and be virtually present there? The metaverse combines physical and augmented reality with virtual reality. It’s a social 3D internet where you can move around, create things and trade – in fact, you can do anything you want.

Large technology companies like Facebook, NVIDIA, Epic Games and Unity Technologies have invested in their own metaverse projects. Facebook has announced that it’s transitioning its business from social media to the metaverse.

Glimpses of the more interactive internet can already been seen in videogames. For instance, Epic Games has brought real-life concerts to Fortnite – superstars perform live inside the game. In other words, the concerts aren’t prerecorded – they’re interactive experiences. The performers are really there in virtual reality and the users can interact with them.

2. AI replies to your emails

Are you frustrated with endless emails? The Finnish company Flowrite has harnessed brand-new AI technology to save time and answer your emails for you.

Flowrite’s technology is based on OpenAI’s GPT-3 neural network technology. GPT-3 is a massive neural network with as many as 175 billion parameters. Drawing on examples, it can generate natural-sounding text – poems, novels or corporate websites, for instance. Flowrite’s own app enables the user to automate the writing of emails based on short snippets of input text.

3. Trust is good – zero trust is best

These days, work is no longer tied to a specific time and place – work is done where the worker is. In order to smoothly process cloud documents on your company’s network, you need a fast and agile solution. However, remote working and the cloud are causing growing concerns about the information security of critical data. How can a company ensure that only the right people have secure access to data?

Until recently, the answer was VPN – but now this is being replaced by Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA). The philosophy behind ZTNA is: never trust, always verify. Gartner estimates that as many as 60% of companies intend to replace VPNs with ZTNA by 2023.

ZTNA minimises systems’ attack surface and ensures that each employee only has access rights to the specific documents or software they need.

4. One super app to take care of everything

What if you didn’t need three different apps to do your weekly grocery shopping? In Asia, this is already a reality! Players like PayPal and WeChat have launched super apps with the aim of meeting all the needs of users with a single service.

Super apps are also coming to Europe. The Tallinn-based company Bolt is a startup established in 2013. At first, it offered only mobility services. The company later expanded its operations to the home delivery of food – and it has now set its sights on logistics services, too.

In Finland, a company with a rhyming name, Wolt, is seeking the same position as it expands its service range from the home delivery of restaurant food to becoming a digital shopping centre. Maybe someday we will be using an app like Wolt to run our lives.

5. A tiny sensor detects hidden faults

Tiny smart sensors can serve as artificial eyes around the world. TinyML – sensor-based tiny machine learning – is inexpensive and requires very little power to operate.

The technology has been around for some time, but cheap sensors and recent advances in algorithms have made it even more popular. For example, Google is developing an open source deep learning framework, TensorFlow Lite, which enables users to harness tiny sensors in edge computing, game consoles and cameras.

The technology has many benefits in our daily lives. For instance, a tiny sensor can let a grocery manager know when a shelf is running out of a certain product. This way, customers would never have to wonder if the shop has run out of a product or if there’s more hidden away in the storeroom.

6. Cyberthreats are pushing industries to the brink

To many industrial companies and mines, transferring and storing business-critical data poses a challenge. Data should be kept close and secure – at least until it has been analysed. Edge computing is the solution to this challenge.

When computing power is transferred to the edge of the network, the company can better control which of its data is transferred to the cloud and which is kept at the edge of the network. During analysis close to the edge, all sensitive materials can be removed from the data and it can be ensured that the data that ends up in the public cloud has been carefully selected. At the same time, this frees up network capacity for other purposes.

According to a study by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, as many as 90% of industrial companies will adopt edge computing in 2022. The study notes that annual growth in the edge computing market is over 150%.

7. The technology of the future reaches for the stars

Space technology has had a significant effect on society for some time. We want an answer to the question: are we alone in the universe?

Technological advances and increasingly affordable space technology open the doors to entirely new kinds of applications and services. This is the New Space phenomenon – and it has given rise to the New Space Economy. Finland has also set itself the goal of becoming the best environment for space business by 2025.

However, if you’re imagining something that looks like 1970s Star Wars, forget it – today, in addition to technological development, companies are competing to have the most environmentally friendly rocket that minimises strain on the Earth’s atmosphere and ecosystems.

8. Your colleague is actually a cobot!

What if you could outsource repetitive tasks to your robot buddy? For instance, ABB has deployed state-of-the-art cobots – collaborative robots. Cobots assist with high-precision tasks in industry.

According to a global survey commissioned by ABB, eight out of ten companies intend to step up their use of robotics and automation over the next decade. The pandemic is also expected to lead to growth in automation investments.

It’s too soon to go shopping for a cobot to empty the dishwasher for you – but don’t be surprised if, in the future, you meet a cobot at work on the production line or loading cargo.

9. The operating system matters – even in your car

In the phone market, competition between operating systems has eliminated all but a few competitors. In practice, only Android and iOS are still standing. This same trend can now be seen in cars, too.

The next step in the development of self-driving cars is the standardisation of operating systems. Development work demands plenty of resources – not only must you write code, you have to test the performance of the cars in many different ways.

Finnish software companies Unikie and Basemark have responded to this challenge and are launching their own solutions. The objective is to standardise the code required for car operation and to ensure that it is compatible with every manufacturer’s cars.

10. Web3.0 – the new era of the Internet

The Internet is moving towards its third incarnation: a fully decentralised and user-managed computer-like network.

Web1.0 was a static network on which users maintained simple web pages. Web2.0 was a social and mobile network dominated by social media platforms, data and search engines. Web3.0 will be fully decentralised and open.

Ownership of your own data is another characteristic of the new internet. Users can manage their own digital identity and ensure that their personal data is not used or resold without their consent.

11. A component more expensive than gold

The aftereffects of the pandemic are hitting consumer electronics. There’s a shortage of raw materials and components, and logistics aren’t running as smoothly as usual, either.

Due to globalisation, components are produced all around the world. Due to the blockage of the Suez Canal last year, none of us will forget the word “Evergreen” anytime soon. The incident showed that the production system that we’ve built is very vulnerable.

Now the world is looking for new ways to recycle raw materials and create components closer to home. Recycling phones is one good means of reusing resources while also protecting the climate.

12. The book of the future: 50 Shades of Green

According to an IPCC report, over the course of the past century, we have caused the atmosphere to warm by approximately one degree. To stop global warming, we need to change consumption and energy production as well as introduce new technologies that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or efficiently recycle existing materials.

This challenge has now also been taken up on a regulatory level. The NextGenerationEU recovery plan promotes Europe-wide sustainability, and Finland has launched the Green Transition programme. These are intended to achieve sustainable growth and carbon neutrality after the pandemic. In Finland, ETLA Economic Research has started assessing the value chains and greenhouse gas emissions of the ICT sector.

In the future, we’ll see systemic changes that will affect all aspects of our lives. We look forward to seeing what kinds of green tech innovations the next few years produce.

13. Covid tech arms us against new pandemics

Smart masks, body temperature sensors and quick tests. The global pandemic has given birth to a new wave of technology that will help us to prevent future pandemics. With the aid of technology, we might be able to nip the next pandemic in the bud even before most people notice.

Technologies such as the Omaolo symptom checker have helped local governments save money by reducing the number of people who need to be served over the phone or in person. DigiFinland estimates that more than 400,000 symptom assessments were filled in each month in 2021.

These solutions are like “virtual front doors” to healthcare services and can yield huge savings for healthcare providers. For instance, Omaolo symptom checker has several ongoing pilot projects that could provide practical benefits in the treatment of long-term illnesses such as diabetes.

14. Is there social media after death?

Our many accounts on cloud services and social media are often left to live their own digital lives after we die. Storing your usernames and passwords for your loved ones can be challenging and poses an information security risk.

A few social media channels are already offering the opportunity to plan ahead to what will happen to your own social media profile after your death. This is not always possible. On cloud services, the service admin user must be informed of the passing of the customer so that their account can be deleted.

Companies specialising in planning how to erase or continue your digital footprint after death have been founded. Your digital afterlife could involve sending messages you have left for your loved ones or saving your pearls of wisdom in an AI that your nearest and dearest can chat with.

15. Mass resignations loom on the horizon

During the pandemic, people have had plenty of time to think about what they really want to do with their lives. For many, this has been a great time to retrain themselves or switch careers.

According to a study by the World Economic Forum, these exceptional times have inspired as much as 41% of the world’s workforce to plan changing jobs. This will pose even greater challenges to the technology industry, which is already suffering from labour shortages.

Accordingly, companies should turn their gaze from the recruitment market and look inward to find the answer to the question: how do we retain our employees?

16. Turning back the biological clock

People are living longer lives than ever before. Due to this, our bodies are facing new challenges. Cells should be able to regenerate rapidly even when the body has become old. The challenges of ageing have given rise to a dedicated field of research, which has recently gained well-known supporters.

Cell manipulation and reprogramming can prevent ageing-related changes to the human body and ensure that people remain healthy and functional for longer. The founders of large technology companies – Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos among them – are interested in this technology. Google has also established its own laboratory with the goal of understanding ageing and the biology of longevity.

17. Are your archives afflicted by bit rot?

If you’ve recently browsed your digital archives for your company’s old financial statements, but found a mess instead, you might be suffering from bit rot. Bit rot occurs during long-term storage when data is corrupted during transfer or exposed to cosmic background radiation.

Archives face a new kind of challenge, as large amounts of data are now starting to be older than the people who produced it. However, digital data is not eternal – its long-term storage requires maintenance work. The greatest challenge facing digital data preservation is the ever-faster evolution of technology: many applications and systems start becoming obsolete after only a few years.

The objective of tomorrow’s archivists will be to keep data usable and intact for as long as possible – even centuries.

Download the 2022 trend review and find out about the newest development directions in technology and digitalisation.

The Technology Trends 2022 report comes with four topical expert interviews. Read what the Finnish Government’s development company DigiFinland’s CEO Mirva Anttila, Professor of Computer Science and AI researcher Teemu Roos, construction-sector circular economy company Destaclean’s CEO Tanja Rytkönen, and DNA’s CEO Jussi Tolvanen think about current trends and technologies in Finland.


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