emerging technologies

14 Emerging Technologies To Watch In 2022

There is no doubt that technology has taken on a special role since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its role, in conjunction with science when it comes to the rapid development of a vaccine and on the other hand, ensured the continuity of businesses, favoring remote work, as well as responding to the needs of customers through e-commerce, are some examples that confirm its growing relevance. And this has lead us to witness the promotion of a series of 14 emerging technologies in 2022.

Vertical farming

Vertical farming is the practice of growing plants under fully controlled conditions within modules divided into vertical strata, without the need for sunlight. Its origin is due to the ability to produce throughout the year without the use of pesticides and less use of water. Compared to known production methods, vertical cultivation mainly produces leafy vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, spinach, aromatic plants) although other fruit and vegetable varieties and even floriculture are already being implemented.

Unlike production under greenhouses, which are highly dependent on sunlight, in this type of production LED lighting is used, offering the possibility of using different light wavelengths, depending on the crop and the phenological stage. Its main advantage lies in obtaining fresh products, which are produced, collected and consumed in the same place without having to depend on large markets, transport and warehouses, wasting time and money on the way, in addition to the intrinsic quality of the product.

In 2022, Jones Food Company in Great Britain is expected to be the first to open the first largest vertical farm in the world (13,750 square meters), but the American company AeroFarms will also open its own in Virginia, among other companies although more efficient ways are still being studied with the idea of further reducing energy consumption.

VR workouts

With the arrival of the pandemic and the confinement, people have looked for new ways to entertain themselves and exercise since going out for a run or going to the gym was prohibited. With this, technology companies have also innovated to help those who seek to exercise in a more fun way and from home using virtual reality (VR) as was the case with the Oculus Quest 2, a low-cost headset launched in America to take physical training to another level. It is a perfect option to stay active, as they are an attempt to make it easier for us to move more as an entertainment alternative. In 2022 we are going to see more fitness features related to VR.

Flying electric taxis

There were many fiction movies where they showed us that the future included flying cars. Now, that idea is about to come true. There are several companies that by 2022 will begin with tests in flying taxis, or electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in order to obtain a certification where their commercial use is allowed as soon as possible.

One of the promoters is the American company Joby Aviation, which is preparing to build vehicles with a range of up to 150 miles and capable of transporting up to 5 people. Who joins this idea is the German company Volocopter whose goal is to reach the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 with air taxis as a service. Similarly, many other European and even Chinese companies are already getting down to work.

Space tourism

Space tourism has become one of the trends in recent months beginning with the journey of billionaire Sir Richard Branson who in July of this year launched his Virgin Galactic on a suborbital journey. His next trip will be, apparently in the middle of 2022 since it will take these months to make some security changes. On the other hand, SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company made his first trip in September sending 4 tourists to “sail” around the earth. And another billionaire who cannot be absent is Jeff Bezos who also plans to fly into space with his Blue Origin in 2022 although it is not yet known when.

Delivery drones

In September 2020, Amazon has obtained authorization from the US Government to use unmanned gifts in deliveries, as long as they are shipments of less than two kilos and in areas with low population density. There are many European companies that are in the same process, such is the case of the Irish startup, Manna who has already delivered small packages at home after others such as Wing (owned by Google) received authorization to carry out pilot projects in Specific states of the United States, Australia, waiting to reach more countries. However, the corresponding authorizations and more tests are still being sought to avoid endangering critical infrastructures such as airports.

3D-printed houses

3D printers, or the additive manufacturing process, employ machines that peel off thin layers of plastic, metal, cement, and other materials, and lay them on top of one another, producing three-dimensional objects from the bottom up. In recent years, 3D printers have been used mostly to produce small quantities of specialized objects, such as auto parts and prosthetics, which allow the consumer or business to produce only the necessary quantity using machines at home or at work.

The American company Mighty Buildings, plans to apply 3D printers in the construction of 15 homes in 2022, stating that it is a faster, cheaper and more sustainable process than traditional methods. Another American company is ICON, which already has projects for the construction of up to 100 houses. The company claimed that the 3D printer system can do the work of 10-20 workers in five or six different trades. Unlike humans, machines can work 24 hours a day, saving companies time and money.

Sleep tech

From monitors and special lights to tempered pillows, they appear on the market as solutions to sleep better since it is known that lack of sleep causes health problems such as heart disease and also prevents us from performing at work.

This is how Silicon Valley plans to optimize people’s hours of rest thanks to technology that includes lamps and special pads that monitor sleep, movement or heart rate, sleep monitor rings, breathing sensors, smart pillows, smart eye masks, and Smart and thermoregulated mattress covers have appeared and demonstrate the interest of users to improve their sleep. Also, nightstand tablet that tracks sleep can already be found in the market, which has been launched by Google and in 2022 Amazon will follow.

Personalized nutrition

Obtaining a personalized nutrition is already possible thanks to the applications that schedule your daily meals by establishing the times of your intake. The menus are “armed” thanks to automatic algorithms after having entered our data such as the lifestyle we lead. These apps are capable of tracking your movements in real time and some even have a device that allows you to adhere it to the skin to measure your sugar levels. In America, this innovative application has been a success and it is considering expanding its functions by 2022 to include treatment and control of diabetes, among other health conditions.

Wearable health trackers

With the impossibility of going to a health center due to confinement, online medical consultations have increased. Due to this demand, portable health trackers are already on the market that allow obtaining values such as the number of steps taken, heart rate, blood oxygen level, etc., using smart watches such as Apple Watch or Fitbit.

In 2022, Apple plans to launch a new version of its smart watch that allows knowing glucose levels, measuring blood pressure, temperature and even knowing blood alcohol values.

The metaverse

In 1992, the word Metaverse had already appeared from the hand of the writer Neal Stephenson. In his novel Snow Crash, the writer mentioned a virtual fantasy world as an alternative to escape from real life. Today, with the advancement of technology and more companies willing to bet on the potential of the virtual world, Metaverse has emerged knocking on the doors of Microsoft and the creator of the video game Fortnite.

And Facebook has not been left behind, it has even launched the virtual reality glasses known as Oculus and it is expected that by 2022, it will be possible to go to concerts, make purchases and play video games in a more advanced virtual world.

Quantum computing

We live in the age of technology, but we haven’t seen it all yet: quantum computing, which in recent years has taken small – but important – steps with the help of large companies, promises to revolutionize almost everything we know.

In a binary world of ones and zeros, quantum computers would be like the Albert Einsteins of computing, extraordinary electronic brains capable of performing almost impossible tasks in a few seconds for a classical computer. IBM will be the first to commercialize one of these technological prodigies, the Q System One, a glass cube of about 3 x 3 meters and 20 qubits that was presented in 2019 and will be available for business and research which, expects to reach 433 qubits in 2022 and 1,000 by 2023.

Virtual influencers

Virtual influencers are not real people, they are profiles on social media that have a human image and even tell a personal story, but in reality they are brands. It is a brand that other companies use to promote their products on social media.

They are a new form of fiction, a story invented and told through a post on social media. It is very important that there is a story telling behind these characters. That they have their own personality, opinions on current issues or that support certain causes, this is how they get to connect with users and followers and this is the case of Lil Miquela, a virtual influencer with 3 million followers on Instagram and with only 19 years old. In 2022, virtual influencers will generate a lot of income thanks to marketing and will even have their own YouTube channels.

Brain interfaces

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s company that focuses on integrating artificial intelligence technology into the human brain, shared in April 2021 its latest advance: a macaque playing Pong with a brain implant.

This project aims to develop technology and make advances that help in cases of serious brain damage, as a result of a thrombus, cancer or some congenital injury. By 2022, Neuralink will try to pass this test in humans to help those with motor problems. But it is not the only company that has focused on this project; there is also the Synchron Company, which already has the approval of the American regulation for the test to be developed in humans. The implant is also expected to help carry out diagnoses and treatments involving problems in the nervous system.

Artificial meat and fish

There are many companies that are cultivating meat in their laboratories. The creation process involves taking muscle stem cells, which are extracted from a cow by biopsy. They are isolated and begin to multiply, with the help of fetal bovine serum (a component to which researchers are looking for alternatives). The result is cells that are genetically identical to those of the animal. This is already on sale and can be found in Singapore under the American company Eat Just who launched their artificial meat in 2020. In 2022, many other companies will join and others are already waiting to receive the approval certificate for the sale of hamburgers, such as the American company Finless Foods that works with bluefin tuna, among others.

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