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The Washington Independent

Never Be Left Behind: Know What Are The Next Big Things In The Future

Never Be Left Behind: Know What Are The Next Big Things In The Future

Back in the late fifties, the next big things included solar-powered batteries and video phones. In 2021, companies are already in advanced stages of manufacturing human-like robots and driverless cars. In 2022 and beyond, mankind will be aspiring for more technological advancements.

Ceri Sinclair
Last updated: Dec 21, 2021 | Dec 17, 2021

Table of Contents

In the 15-minute documentary “The Future Is Now,” it provided some answers as to what are the next big things in the future: automated kitchens, solar batteries, and video telephones.

Before you smirk, the documentary was shown in 1955.

A year later, the world witnessed the first computer hard disk drive – bigger than a kitchen refrigerator – courtesy of IBM, according to Wired.

Today’s desktop computers use 3.5-inch hard drives.

Read on to know more about what are the next big things in the future, particularly in the field of technology.

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What Might Be The Next Big Thing?

data center

This might be the same question scientists and futurists such as Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), Jacque Fresco (1916- 2017), and Alvin Toffler (1928-2016) frequently asked themselves back in their time.

Of course, such questions – as well as the chance to provide probable answers – are not exclusive among members of the scientific community and futurologists.

Like how one netizen asked, “What are the next big things in the future?”

This anonymous netizen came up with his/her own list of the next big things and even shared it in an online forum.

In November 2020 at BlackHatWorld forum, a certain “Trenton420” named the following – based from his/her “personal research” – as some of the next big things in the future:

(1) artificial intelligence (AI)

(2) augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR)

(3) brain-machine interface (BMI)

(4) decentralized finance (DeFi)

(5) digital currency such as blockchain

(6) electric vehicles (EVs) and self-driving cars

(7) quantum computers

(8) renewable energy

(9) virtual influencers

VR headset

What if we ask industry professionals about what are the next big things in the future for them?

San Francisco-based Princeton alumnus Nikhil Basu Trivedi did that at the end of 2020.

Trivedi, co-founder and general partner at venture capital firm Footwork, asked “fifty of the best thinkers in technology.”

He posted in December 2020 the responses he got on his online newsletter, which coincidentally is called “next big thing,” at Substack.

So, before further proceeding to the future – 2022 and beyond, that is – take a quick look first at the next big things in 2021, according to some people in tech:

(1) decentralized finance (DeFi) and financial technology (FinTech)

(2) digital economy and electronic commerce (e-commerce)

(3) online groceries and virtual YouTubers (VTubers) going mainstream

When it comes to work:

(1) remote work

(2) “hybrid office/work-from-home models”

(3) “asynchronous collaboration”

(4) EQ-focused (emotional quotient) future of work

(5) a “more digital-first” work process

(6) “software that increases” employee productivity

Indeed, when COVID-19 struck the world in 2020, the pandemic made remote work or telecommuting commonplace and pushed people towards e-commerce.

By 2021, even with the availability of vaccines and fewer government-imposed lockdowns, several companies across the globe still stick to work-from-home setups. The surge in online business transactions has also continued.

Which Technology Will Boom In The Future?

AI robot

The speed of recent technological changes was astoundingly fast.

How incredibly fast?

Well, whatever innovation e-commerce experienced in a full decade, e-commerce experienced it again but in a span of only three months. This astonishing pace of technological growth happened in 2019.

That’s what the World Economic Forum (WEF) learned from the American management consulting firm McKinsey & Company (est. 1926).

That’s also what Greek-American entrepreneur and futurist Peter Diamandis told The Guardian in 2020.

According to Diamandis, the kind of technological advancements mankind may come across in the next 10 years will be greater than what it experienced in the last 100 years.

If people will ask McKinsey what are the next big things in the future, WFE said that in the next 10 years, for McKinsey, the top 10 in terms of technology will be the following:

Process Automation and Virtualization

We’re talking about 3D-printing, automation, and robots here.

McKinsey projected that over “50 billion devices will be connected to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)” by 2050.

Future of Connectivity

Economic activities will further prosper through 5G (5th generation wireless technology/mobile network) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

By 2030, McKinsey estimated that the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) will reach $1.2 trillion – even up to $2 trillion – as “healthcare, manufacturing, and retail” depend on Internet connection for their day-to-day operations.

Distributed Infrastructure

Cloud computing services will attract companies.

As high as 70% will use multi-cloud or hybrid cloud by 2022.

Next-Generation Computing

McKinsey regarded it as the key for science to solve long-standing problems and for businesses to unlock “unprecedented capabilities.”

Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI has already been used to manufacture autonomous vehicles (AV) or self-driving cars and robots, such as collaborative robots or cobots.

McKinsey said that by 2024, “more than 50%” of the way people interact with computers will have AI working behind using text-to-speech (TTS) technology.

robot kid

Future of Programming

A tech trend called Software 2.0 will create “more powerful” software.

Trust Architecture

This cybersecurity model aims to heighten defense against security breaches and cybercrime.

Bio Revolution

Biological science will wage a revolution through “AI, automation, and DNA sequencing.”

Next-generation Materials

Materials science will introduce innovative materials that will benefit various sectors, from manufacturing to pharma.

Future of Clean Tech Trends

Think of renewable energy as well as terms related to this concept where you can attach the words “green” and “sustainable.”

Clean technology (cleantech) could be very expensive; so, finding ways to lower the costs will make cleantech more achievable.

These ten areas in science and technology show indications of broader progress for the next 10 years, according to McKinsey, which moneyed individuals will likely invest with.

Now for the next 50 years, digital life and the internet will “change for the better,” according to a 2019 article published by the Pew Research Center.

In a canvassing organized by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining The Internet Center, most of the technology pioneers and experts who participated – “some 72%” – believe so.

The article also mentioned that in the next 50 years, the internet will be like oxygen as “seamless connectivity will be the norm.” People then may find it “impossible to unplug.”

people busy with their smartphone

Next Big Thing In Technology 2022

As 2021 comes to a close, information about what are the next big things in the future will become handy, particularly for technologists as well as investors.

Below are lists of the next big things in the future, particularly in the coming 2022.

For Investment Monitor, online resource of business intelligence for foreign direct investments:

(1) Artificial Intelligence

AI market’s worth in 2021: $67 billion, according to GlobalData.

Data analytics and consulting company GlobalData said that by 2025, the AI market will attain a value of $190 billion.

(2) Metaverse

Bloomberg Intelligence estimated that by 2024, investments in metaverse will total to $800 billion.

(3) Quantum computing (more to expect in 2022, according to Investment Monitor)

(4) Cloud computing

GlobalData’s forecast: the cloud computing market, towards the end of 2022, will be worth $616 billion.

(5) Financial technology

GlobalData said that the combined value of the current 116 FinTech unicorns is $529 billion. It predicted that ten FinTech start-ups will become unicorns from 2022 through 2023.

Investment Monitor’s Chief Economist Glenn Barklie described a unicorn as “a privately owned start-up company with a valuation of more than $1 billion.”

(6) Cryptocurrency

Three trillion dollars: worth of the present cryptocurrency market, which might even go up in 2022, according to GlobalData.

FinTech start-up

For strategic business and technology advisor and futurist Bernard Marr, his personal list of what are the next big things in the future, as published by Forbes, include the following:

(1) AI

(2) the “democratization of data and technology”

(3) “digitization, datafication, and virtualization”

(4) “transparency, governance, and accountability”

(5) “sustainable energy solutions”

By 2025, according to cult by Honeypot, a Berlin-based online community site for developers and other tech professionals, the following will be the next big things:

(1) CRISPR (under genetic engineering)

Researchers can use CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) to “alter DNA sequences and modify gene function,” according to Live Science. CRISPR can be used to raise healthy crops and to fight off diseases.

(2) “human augmentations/enhancements” (e.g., chargeable bionic arms)

By 2030, cult by Honeypot said people can look forward to the following:

(1) lab-made meatless meat

(2) nano-machines like nano-robots (can be used to destroy tumors/cancer cells)

(3) wearable smart tattoos (temporary), which “can send signals via touch”


Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Knowing what are the next big things in the future will guide people on what to expect and how to adjust to such innovations.

For example, an Insider Intelligence report, according to online magazine Inc., mentioned broadband expansion as one of the next big things in 2022, which then leads to the next big thing: privacy.

The report emphasized how legislators will craft more legal ways to safeguard privacy in 2022.

In September 2021, the New York Times reported that Irish authorities slapped Facebook with an almost $270-million-fine for violating the European Union’s (EU) data privacy law.

A month after, Bloomberg reported that the EU fined Amazon for $865 million for violating its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

To know about what are the next big things in the future involves a good mix of inspiration, enthusiasm, anxiety, and fear as technology can be used both in the right and wrong way.

Ceri Sinclair | I promote contact between clients, consumers, and companies in order to complete projects. I have over 10 years of experience in management consulting, team building, professional development, strategic execution, and business engagement in both the public and private sectors. I've worked on projects for TechPoint International, Cyberry, and Induster.


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