“BIG things have small beginnings.”
That line from Lawrence of Arabia may be a good way of characterising the coming year in tech. Tech that will be very important to the future will begin graduating from R&D labs and enter the marketplace.
More self-driving automobiles will traverse the roadways. Augmented reality glasses may even start showing up in public. The US government is likely to begin regulating Big Tech in such areas as antitrust and privacy. The industry will continue talking about, and in some cases even building for, the metaverse. And some of the foundational technologies underpinning Web3 may begin to take hold.
Fast Company asked start-up founders, Big Tech execs, VCs, scholars, and other experts to speculate on the coming year within their field of interest. Here’s what they had to say:
Joanna Lambert, president and GM, Yahoo
We see many businesses — particularly in the banking, payments, and technology space — making large investments in cryptocurrencies, while other companies create crypto opportunities for consumers with the marriage of credit and debit cards and expanded use cases of NFTs for both digital and physical items. Virtual real estate will become more commonplace in the NFT ecosystem next year as well given the sales happening in the metaverse as industries continue to intersect in 2022 and break new ground.
Vijay Pande, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz
Industrialised biotech will be the next industrial revolution in human history. Covid-19 has shown the world the promise of engineering in healthcare. Just look at how we developed the mRNA vaccine —and how fast. But we are just at the beginning of a revolution where AI drives industrialisation across biopharma and healthcare, turning what was formerly manual into something that is repeatable, predictable, and scalable. Expect to see the rise of full stack companies with complete, end-to-end products or services that take biotech into huge markets beyond pharma and health and into manufacturing, construction, and durable goods—and in ways that combat, rather than exacerbate, climate change.
Shawn Carolan, partner, Menlo Ventures
2022 will officially end the debate over whether blockchain and Web3 is a meaningful pillar for the future of technology. We’ll see mainstream adoption and acceptance of blockchain for P2P payments, international remittances … and other common and useful applications that will start to cross the chasm from currency speculators to people who are just trying to live their lives better.