2021 – A lookback at Technology

23 December, 2021 | by Staff

2021 was not an easy year. It was by far the most meandering year with providing hopes of revival after the first Covid wave, then with the scares of the second wave, later followed by the much-needed relaxations (though few!) and before we could end the year on a relieved note, now comes the Omicron variant. If 2020 was clearly gloomy, 2021 bungled us up and down with its confusions. The good news however was Technology was unstoppable even in 2021. With all that was going on in the World, Technology gave us an escape, it gave us reasons to wonder in awe. Through their integration, 2021 also helped us to make sense of the existence and relevance of several Technologies in real-world use cases. To several members of general public, the puzzle is now solved, the greater canvas is now visible.

2021 also gave its due recognition to Technology. Time Magazine that annually features a person, a group, or an idea that "for better or for worse... has done the most to influence the events of the year", has named Elon Musk, the famous Tech celebrity as Person of the Year 2021. Well, it is also during this year Facebook brought the idea of virtual world into the mainstream landscape when it rebranded itself as “Meta”, an ode to their vision of building an immersive internet universe or what they call it ‘metaverse’. Sources say that an estimated 2.62 million searches for the term ‘metaverse’ were made in October, when the change was announced. What was once a niche concept within the tech-enthusiasts community has now found its way to mainstream discussions, thanks to Facebook. Well, while Facebook is on its way to bet on metaverse as the future, Google maintained in 2021 that User Search will still be the future, of course aided by multimodal experiences, powered through Artificial Intelligence.

The discussions regarding the future are on, as ever. As you read this, right now, there are several discussions across the globe as to what will define Technology and the industry in 2022. At Opalina we do have those discussions regarding future trends; as a Tech company we ought to be prepared. But then, we do believe that looking back makes more sense when you prepare yourself for the future. As we end this twisty year, we bring to you Technology trends that we think got a lot of traction in the Year 2021.

Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. Though Al had already received a lot of buzz the last few years, it still was the most important technology trend of 2021. In 2021, Artificial Intelligence and its associated studies took newer heights in image and speech recognition, navigation, personal assistants etc. The Al market is growing faster than ever, and 2021 played an important role in speeding the process. This continuing trend of Al will lead to an employment boom in Al, machine learning, and automation industries for robot monitor professionals, automation specialists, data scientists, content curators etc, in the coming years.

Quantum Computing has gained a lot of acceleration in 2021. This form of computing with advanced quantum phenomena such as superposition, quantum entanglement, Quantum computing was extensively used in 2021 to combat the spread of the coronavirus and to develop potential vaccines. The ability of Quantum computing to easily query, monitor, analyze and act on data, regardless of the source has helped not only the field of medicine, but found great application usage in banking and finance. With several Organizations involved in creating and innovating in this field of computing, Quantum computing has already begun to make its mark.

Virtual Reality (VR) / Extended Reality (XR) / Augmented Reality (AR) – If required to name a year in which all these Realities became real (at least to the mainstream public) it must be 2021. Not in all these years while VR & AR were present in Gaming or Simulation Training industries, it had gained such popularity. The year 2021 initiated numerous discussions about creating parallel universes with various such realities in almost all walks of life. 2021 is just the beginning; it seems that there will be no stopping to these Technologies.

Blockchain Technology, though outlined thirty years ago, gained a lot of trust among professionals particularly in Finance industry in 2021. Organizations worldwide have begun discussing and deliberating on the potential advantages of Blockchain Technology, because it offers financial services firms a more effective way to handle a whole range of transactions. It is not without a reason why experts are estimating enormous growth for the blockchain industry in the forthcoming years.

The above Technologies have been around for quite some time, but 2021 marked a sharp rise of their presence, either through investments by Tech giants or through their new research findings or even through just initiating dialogue among the masses. With so many integrations happening, what were considered as standalone Technologies have started to make sense when put together alongside each other. The giant piece of puzzle has just begun to fit together well in this ever-changing and interconnected world. It is through these integrations ‘Web3’ gets stronger, making better sense to the real world and its urgent needs.

In a way, this year did teach us to look at Technology more as a friend and lesser as foe because, after all Technology was the only constant that delivered during this ever-oscillating year. On that account, as we approach a New Year, here’s wishing you a great and exciting 2022; let there be more magic from Technology that would make lives better!