Here is a selection of how technology could change lives in the coming year:
Meat substitutes are growing in popularity, thanks in part to Beyond Meat and Impossible Food’s plant-based products that are much closer in texture and flavor to beef or pork.
While products have improved and prices have fallen slightly, demand has been driven by environmental concerns: raising animals for food is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions of human origin, according to UN data.
The global plant-based meat market is expected to reach $35 billion in 2027, from $13.5 billion in 2020, driven in part by expansion beyond the United States, according to a report by Research and Markets. .
“2022 will be the crowning year for plant-based protein foods,” said David Bchiri, president of US consulting firm Fabernovel. “The products are mature and good. They will become mainstream.”
The first phase of the Internet was the creation of websites and blogs, which gave rise to companies like Yahoo, eBay and Amazon.
The next iteration was Web 2.0, defined by social media and user-generated content on sites like Facebook and YouTube.
So, is Web 3.0 coming?
In this iteration, “users, creators, and developers would have stakes and votes” in a platform much like a co-op operates, Evans said on his “Another Podcast.”
Such a revolutionary step could be made possible by blockchain technology, where computer programs run on networks of thousands or millions of computers.
Until now, blockchain has enabled the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and, more recently, unique digital objects such as drawings or animations called NFTs.
“There is a lot of talk about decentralized finance, but I think in 2022 we will see more localized use cases, which will come into everyday life,” said Bchiri of consultancy Fabernovel.
As highly volatile digital currencies like bitcoin hit record highs in 2021, a wide range of gamers have taken to the game, including versions launched by the cities of Miami and New York.
The record spike in ransomware attacks and data breaches in 2021 looks likely to carry over into the year ahead.
Cyber extortion heists break into a victim’s network to encrypt data and then demand a ransom, usually paid via cryptocurrency in exchange to unlock it.
A confluence of factors fueled the trend, including the booming value of cryptocurrencies, victims’ willingness to pay, and authorities’ difficulty in catching attackers.
Cybersecurity firm SonicWall wrote in late October: “With 495 million ransomware attacks recorded by the company this year so far, 2021 will be the costliest and most dangerous year on record.”
“Looking ahead to 2022, the thing that concerns me most for myself and for my colleagues remains ransomware. It’s just too lucrative,” wrote Sandra Joyce, the company’s executive vice president and head of global intelligence. of Mandiant cybersecurity.
It’s hard to say whether 2022 is the year Big Tech will finally be hit with significant new rules, but a series of regulatory and legal threats launched in 2021 will cause some major battles.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission’s anti-trust lawsuit against Facebook poses a real threat to the social media giant, although a court has already dismissed the case once.
Further lawsuits and a federal investigation — and maybe even finally new laws — are possible following damning leaks from whistleblowers showing that Facebook executives knew its sites could cause harm.
Some critics say the company’s major effort to make the Metaverse – a virtual reality version of the internet – is an effort to change the subject after years of criticism.
Apple dodged a bullet in 2021 when a US federal court ruled that Fornite maker Epic Games failed to show the iPhone giant held an illegal monopoly, but the company still received the order to loosen control of its App Store. Both parties appealed.
New regulations could come sooner in the EU as they push through new laws, such as the Digital Services Act, which would create much tighter oversight of harmful and illegal content on platforms like Facebook.