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Thursday, 20 January 2022 12:44

Lenovo predicts tech in 2022 will be hybrid, sustainable and personal

By Hassan Baickdeli, Head of Emerging Technology & Solutions A/NZ at Lenovo

GUEST OPINION: The past year was not only a time for transformation but a time for transition – but which of the many new approaches will take hold in our local market? For 2022 and beyond, there are many tech predications that incorporate what has been learned in the past year and yet we also need to keep our eyes closely on the horizon to ensure we improve not only future technologies but the importance of products and services solutions also.

Some of the core focus areas are: Intensely hybrid working models, a focus on capability, carbon neutrality, impact on the environment, and a need for more comfortable, intuitive ways to operate our technology all set the tone for the following emerging trends.

1. Work-from-anywhere technology, now broadly available, will expose a growing divide.

Just as the use of video conference software accelerated during the past year’s work-from-home, successful companies will accelerate the adoption of improved infrastructure and services that enable smarter, more flexible work. This includes hybrid: the robust child of office and remote working systems, which (intriguingly) resembles neither of its parents.

Important innovations that will make this happen include upgrades in artificial intelligence, which is getting better in removing background noise, improving privacy, and connecting seamlessly. Augmented reality will also have a role to play, by concentrating information intelligently and conveniently for the user. Remote desktop solutions, especially those that unite employees under cloud-like services with enterprise-level security, enable employees’ work while providing them necessary IT support wherever they are.

There will continue to be businesses who are held back by legacy systems, they may resist these changes in the hope of going back to “the way it was” – and will find it more and more difficult to foster an engaged employee workplace – especially given our younger, more diverse workforce.

 

2. Sustainability will become THE leading factor in tech innovation and design.

2021 was the year Australia got serious about sustainability. This year, a combination of regulations in across ASEAN, South Asia and Australia, customer demand, pursuit of carbon neutrality and a growing awareness of environmental and social impact will continue to factor significantly into decisions on product design. In the past, sustainability was a second-tier consideration in design and innovation for technology products, if it was considered at all; now, it will play a leading role.

Sustainable materials will experience a jump in popularity in manufacturing locations around the region and become more available for product development. The products that find success in the future will incorporate recycled plastics, fibers, and metals; self-decomposing materials like bioplastics; and renewable sources like bamboo.

At the same time, societal considerations will grow in importance, including the accessibility and suitability of technology for a broad range of users.

3. Security will finally start to move away from over-reliance on passwords.

AI and improved sensor technology will move to the forefront, as passwords take a backseat. Near-term, public key infrastructure (PKI) – what we use today to access our mobile banking applications – and multifactor authentication (MFA) will alleviate our reliance on passwords.

The sensors that power biometrics – fingerprint, facial, iris and voice authentication – will start to take on greater responsibility for our security online and with our devices during the coming year. This will play an additional role in making technology more accessible for remote populations speaking diverse languages and with multiple levels of literacy.

4. Computational devices will quietly, and steadily, become more human.

Humans are not designed for long hours sitting in front of screens and typing on keyboards – but today, many spend the majority of their waking hours interacting with technology. New designs will help slowly transition that relationship towards designs that work with – not against – human physiology.

In 2022 and beyond, instead of a focus on keyboards and touchpads, expect to see more flexible display options, ergonomic mice, haptic feedback, voice-to-text (and vice versa), and more intuitive forms of input involving artificial intelligence, this will drive the journey to passive as well as ambient computing.

The past year has signaled a major shift in the way that we use technology in our daily lives. While we can look forward to these changes in the coming year, we can also see them as the beginning of a more gradual shift that will take place beyond 2022. Where will the following year take us?

By Hassan Baickdeli, Head of Emerging Technology & Solutions A/NZ at Lenovo

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