Top tech innovations we may see in 2022

Decentralised finance eliminates the central governing authority as the middle man for transactions, along with digital wallets.

Data science, artificial intelligence and analytics are disrupting the technological landscape as we know it. The pandemic has only accelerated this growth, which is just the start. One of the obvious paths ahead is the convergence of these various technologies to create more advanced solutions and applications. 

The Ark Big Ideas 2022 report has suggested some possible convergences and their specific applications. For instance, a mixture of robotics, battery technologies, and artificial intelligence can be leveraged to decrease the cost of transportation activities. Similarly, next-generation DNA sequencing, artificial intelligence, and gene therapies can together lead to better healthcare. At the same time, the convergence of application programming interfaces, social platforms, and blockchain technology could help cut out the middleman and allow for direct business collaboration between firms and markets. In a recent interview, NFT artist Sneha Chakraborty spoke about this exact phenomenon, stating that NFTs and blockchain allow the artist to deal directly with the buyer, saving the cost and complications of having a middle man. These are not ambitious ideas for the future; the market is already witnessing this change.

Expected convergence of technologies by 2030, Ark Research
Expected convergence of technologies by 2030, Ark Research

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The report, along with having a bullish prediction of the total enterprise value of “disruptive innovation technologies” rising from $14 trillion in 2020 to $210 trillion in 2030, also identified several technologies we may see in the future. Let’s look at the top innovations currently in the build-up, accompanying new technologies like Web 3.0, Blockchain and the Metaverse.

Public blockchains: Blockchain technology has been gaining momentum in the past few years, but most people are unaware of public and private blockchains, hugely based on centralisation. While blockchain is already popular, it is public blockchain that will particularly be the dominant source for the technology. The future technologies, Web 3.0, Metaverse, are all decentralised, making blockchain’s decentralisation an obvious future. This makes it more trustworthy, accessible and secure. Additionally, given the importance of ownership in Web 3.0 and the increasing trend of holding collectables through NFTs, decentralised and public blockchain allows individuals to hold their assets in a secondary market realistically.

Digital wallets & DeFi: Digital wallets are becoming a chosen technology because it allows individuals the ease and speed of transactions at the tap of their device, without needing to take even one step to an actual bank. Ark report claims that “trillions in annual cash transactions will be digitised, presenting a data monetisation opportunity roughly equivalent to that of Google Search.” Further, they also believe digital wallets threaten the presence of traditional financial service institutions. This is because decentralised finance eliminates the central governing authority as the middle man for transactions, along with digital wallets. Ark found ether (ETH) to be the preferred collateral in DeFi with a future potential of making $123 trillion of the global money supply.

Gene editing: With the collaboration of AI with DNA sequencing and gene-editing, the technologies could disrupt and improve the health care facilities we have today. The healthcare sector still struggles with conducting advanced research to cure diseases instead of just controlling the symptoms. This convergence could allow this to happen. Ark expects the equity market capitalisation of gene editing to grow from $130 billion today to $1.1 trillion by 2026.

Multi-Omics: Interactive omics include biological analysis of different ‘omnes’, including genome, proteome, transcriptome, epigenome and more. Researchers can translate their findings into real clinical solutions by leveraging AI, analytics and software tools to unlock the codes to healthcare. Expecting it to scale at a 22% annual rate, Ark foresees their applications in population health efforts, pQTLs-DNA mutations, protein sequencing and molecular diagnostics, among others. 

Autonomous logistics: Companies like Waymo are already providing autonomous ride-hailing services in some world routes. While not completely developed yet, the service is followed by autonomous logistics. These include trucks, drones, rolling robots, cars and many other vehicles working autonomously to ensure easy logistics and delivery of goods. Autonomous vehicle technology is still in its basic stages, and the market for autonomous logistics is close to nil today. But Ark expects this market to grow to $900 billion by 2030, with robot grocery deliveries to reduce logistic costs by 6x. 

3D printing and robotics: The supply and manufacturing chain will also need to be strengthened with logistics becoming autonomous. Ark supports 3D printing and adaptable robots to shorten the supply chain footprint with features like digital inventory, reduced waste and reduced time to production. Adaptive robots have, in the past, been tagged as the next big thing, given their ability to sense the environment and make relative decisions. Ark foresees this technology to scale at a 56% annual rate.

Orbital aerospace: The convergence of deep learning, sensors, 3D printing, mobile connectivity, and robotics are helping the aerospace industry to reduce its research and development costs, especially while launching satellites and rockets. Satellite launches used to cost heavily, given their location in the geostationary orbit (GEO) with little latency and thus low broadband internet. But recent developments in companies like SpaceX, OneWeb and Amazon and their plans to launch low-cost satellites into low earth orbit may enable continuous global coverage with low latency.

Additionally, they also save human time in initial mission design with design engineering assistants like Daphne. Ark predicts this to affect two broad markets; the satellite broadband that could reach $40 billion global revenue in the next 5-10 years, and the hypersonic flight market that could develop to $240 billion annual revenue. 

The technology and innovations market is bursting with new projects and initiatives. While 2022 hopes to find the solutions to long-term complex projects, it also comes with initiatives that may start from scratch and gain momentum. While we can only predict which of these may be successful, with the onset of Web 3.0, the year only brings more and more potential for emerging technologies.

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Avi Gopani
Avi Gopani is a technology journalist that seeks to analyse industry trends and developments from an interdisciplinary perspective at Analytics India Magazine. Her articles chronicle cultural, political and social stories that are curated with a focus on the evolving technologies of artificial intelligence and data analytics.

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