Consumer technology is constantly evolving, and 2022 looks to be no different. Indeed, this year will see many new top dogs in the commercial consumer technology sphere rise to popularity, while other products or trends will fall by the wayside.
While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can take a look at current market trajectories and make some educated guesses. Today, let’s break down the top 10 consumer technology trends we think will dominate in 2022 and potentially beyond.
Multipurpose or “Blended” Devices
Thanks to innovations such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, we’re seeing a resurgence in blended laptops and tablets. Tablets purporting to be laptops are nothing new, but they haven’t reached their full potential quite yet.
The Surface Pro 8 could change that, paving the way for a new era of devices that toe the line between full laptops suitable for work and enjoyable tablets for entertainment and videoconferencing. More devices like this that stretch their usefulness and purpose across consumer needs will cement the tech-filled future that’s rapidly approaching.
We also expect to see a massive push for tech sustainability. Due to the increasing awareness of climate change and the potential perils of global warming, tech sustainability is likely to be at the forefront of consumer tech development going forward.
We can already see this in some legislative pushes. For example, California recently passed a bill stating that all plastic containers sold in California that are subject to the California Redemption Value (CRV) must be made with post-consumer recycled or reprocessed plastic at a rate of at least 50% by 2030.
Therefore, we can expect much more consumer tech to probably be made with higher quantities of reusable and recycled materials going forward. For example, HP’s Elite Dragonfly laptop is the first computer to be made with plastic speakers and bezels. The plastic, in this case, was originally going to a landfill or the ocean.
This trend will also be popular among buyers. Modern consumers are more seriously concerned about the environment, and we’ve seen a rise in their prioritization of brands or manufacturers who take steps toward eco-friendly and green product offerings.
Fintech Adoption Increases
The financial technology industry, also known as “fintech”, is booming and evolving quickly. Consumer technology products such as fintech applications that allow consumers to text to pay bills or connect with their banks on the go are anticipated to become more popular over the next year.
Additionally, fintech apps revolving around stock investing and cryptocurrency trading are likely going to become more popular. Consumer tech devices such as smartphones and tablets can use these apps and let consumers interact with their banks and exchanges more readily.
These apps are also a great option for the many underbanked individuals around the world. Fintech apps and software can make it easier for these individuals to open new bank accounts and save money. Banks will have to compete for their business by offering bonuses. According to recent statistics, 81% say bank bonuses for opening a new account are worth it.
Conspiracy theories aside, the rollout of 5G is likely to finally begin in full force in 2022. 5G spectrum technologies should allow for more consistent connectivity for smartphones, laptops, and other devices. There’s no telling what this will change in the way we interact with and consume media, but we anticipate it could lead to more streaming and geo-tracking tech as well.
Of course, 5G technology will almost certainly improve download speeds across the board. This comes at a great time for those affected most from the work from home shift. The incoming accessibility and acceleration of 5G tech and connectivity, could help working from home become the new standard for a variety of industries, like app development or finance.
While well received when first introduced, foldable flip cell phones gradually became less popular in the favor of touchscreen phones. But now affordable foldable smartphones are making a comeback. We’ve seen this already with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, which sold massively throughout 2021.
Foldable flip phones are fun, great for privacy, and are oftentimes more durable than their single touchscreen counterparts. It remains to be seen which smartphone manufacturers will take up the foldable smartphone challenge and come out on top, but we’re excited to see what happens this year.
Versatile Screen Adoption
Many workers use multiple monitors or screens at the office or at home. As effective as it is to have one monitor for video conferencing, with another to display a spreadsheet or other vital work data, multiple monitors take up a lot of desk real estate and power.
But more versatile screens that allow for simultaneous viewing, like the Samsung M7 Smart market monitor, are changing that. This versatile device allows workers to multitask and do several things on the same screen and is an excellent option for individuals who work from home, as it frees up desk space for a complete workstation.
Such multi-purpose screens may also find life in the entertainment sphere, allowing TVs to use this tech for greater viewing comfort and accessibility.
Facebook’s Metaverse is likely going to become a more important part of everyday lives throughout 2022. We anticipate its AR and VR developments and innovations may lead to people spending more time in virtual worlds for entertainment, digital commerce, and more.
AR and VR
Speaking of AR in VR, these technologies will impact consumer technology in a big way. Augmented reality and virtual reality tech may allow consumers to:
- Shop at brands or view products without having to leave their homes
- See what houses look like before visiting them in person
- Connect with people from afar using 3-D avatars
It remains to be seen just how much AR and VR technology will impact broader society, but no matter which consumer tech products they influence, the impact is certain to be massive and wide-ranging.
Immersive Gaming and Entertainment
For instance, consumer gaming and entertainment devices could leverage VR and AR tech more frequently. Game developers are already leaping at the chance to develop new immersive gaming opportunities for the broader public. Once seen as a gimmick, we see VR headsets, like the Oculus from Sony, becoming staple gaming tools for gaming fans over the next year and beyond.
Increased Smart Home Integration
In 2022 and later, smart home integration is becoming more standard. Nothing demonstrates this need more than Matter, a smart home OS in development by Google, Amazon, and Apple that aims to unify the use of smart devices from all manufacturers and help consumers create a smart ecosystem with all their owned devices. Through Matter, smart home devices should be unified and more integrated than ever before. Smart home technology will overtake security, music playing, and even light controls in more homes in 2022 than in previous years.
Ultimately, we’ll have to see if these tech trends truly dominate throughout the remainder of 2022 and into the next year as new inventions and discoveries are introduced. In either case, consumer technology is sure to surprise and delight us going forward!
About the Author
Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed — among other intriguing things — to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.
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