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Mason 2022 Predictions: Mixed reality, smart cities and IoT innovation

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Mixed reality, smart cities and IoT innovation

By Nancy Xiao, CEO, Mason

In the battle for IoT talent, companies will rely on AR, VR and mixed reality for training and upskilling its employees. 

Amidst the "Great Resignation," businesses are struggling to hire skilled IoT professionals, leading organizations to try building their own IoT teams to combat the labor shortage. Because of the limited talent pool, businesses will need to address the IoT skills gap in its workforce through upskilling and retraining programs. In 2022, companies will introduce better training through augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, where employees can have near hands-on experience before jumping into IoT projects. By investing in growing that knowledge base internally through training versus trying to hire the talent out, this will maximize the most potential for teams and increase overall productivity.

Automation will empower workers to innovate and develop more creative solutions using the technology they have.

According to the Labor Department's latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, a record-high 4.4 million people quit their job in September. Across industries including technology, healthcare and manufacturing, talent shortages have forced companies to accelerate investments in automation. More companies are assessing where automation technology can reduce redundant and manual tasks. By augmenting humans with automation technologies, companies fill the gaps in the labor force. In 2022, I anticipate that automation will continue to enable employees to work on higher-value and creative projects, driving enterprise-wide benefits in the process.

Smart cities and connected buildings will come to fruition.

Because of its digitized infrastructure and its ability to be connected locally, remotely, and to the cloud, smart building technology and smart cities are on the rise. In fact, by 2028, the global smart cities market is set to grow 29% annually and reach $1.03 trillion USD. As a result of the pandemic, people are beginning to see more of their needs brought to life more quickly and efficiently. As a result, there will be a continued and accelerated adoption of IoT innovations, which smart cities and connected buildings will rely on to increase urbanization and fulfill the growing demand for higher-quality living.

2022 will bring the next iteration of the "connected fitness" ecosystem.

The phenomenon of "connected fitness" has been significantly overhyped. Today, there is a plethora of classes, products, and apps on the market to track your nutrition, physical activity, sleep patterns, heart rate, metabolic flexibility, calorie burn, and more. Add in the numerous pieces of "smart" home-gym equipment and in-person and virtual classes and consumers are presented with a highly scattered map for tracking their health and wellness. As consumers now have more access to reliable sensors and hardware devices, companies will need to innovate more aggressively and bridge the gap between their fitness services and the data that individual consumers want access to. In 2022, we'll see consolidation within the connected fitness industry, as companies seek to own more of the ecosystem to better serve customers.

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Jim Xiao, Founder and President, Mason

To address climate change, sustainable manufacturing practices like reusability and the micro-factory model will take hold.

Businesses across various industries including the IoT device market are seeking a resolution for the ongoing and hastening threat of climate change. Traditionally, when it comes to producing IoT devices, millions upon millions of hardware need to be produced and used only to be changed out and replaced by new, updated versions every few years. However, this model is not conducive to sustainable manufacturing and only contributes to waste, especially when smart devices are made up of metal components that are experiencing a shortage such as lithium. To help slow the effects of climate change, companies must prioritize the reusability of hardware devices to extend the life cycle of these devices and maximize business investment.

Similarly, one of the biggest culprits when you look at the environmental impact, is the transportation logistics side of the supply chain. Transporting all of those different hardware parts has a negative effect on the climate when it comes to logistics and fuel and energy costs of moving those components. Instead of relying on a supply chain all around the world, businesses are building micro-factories near the regions where they are launching products and bringing in all the parts instead of having it shipped. I anticipate that we'll be seeing more organizations move towards the micro-factory model.

Globalization trends will slope downwards as industries and individuals begin to more gradually adopt decentralization. 

As various countries begin to wall themselves off to the rest of the world, global supply chains are increasingly being forced to run different paths. Industries will begin to adopt decentralization in favor of mass production in an effort to save operational costs and preserve the environment-This theme is already prominent in the fintech and healthcare industries, with remote patient monitoring as a primary example of decentralization. 

Similarly, corporate entity structures like LLCs will become more decentralized, ultimately placing more power into the hands of the individual and allowing them to become their own LLCs, where they can take on the tasks, jobs, and functions needed for a company themselves.

2022 will serve as a wake up call for businesses turning a blind eye to cyber attacks.

With more attack surfaces than ever before, businesses and institutions will witness and be victims of cyber and ransomware attacks in 2022. Bad actors will use more sophisticated attack methods such as data exfiltration and extortion attacks to target companies that will pay high ransoms through cryptocurrencies. As a result, the amount of payouts to ward off cyber threats will only continue to increase.

Accelerated IoT innovation adoption will lead to greater IoT capabilities and solutions across industries and the country. 

There will be an accelerated adoption of IoT innovation across industries in 2022. Having secured billions of dollars of investment in 2021, 5G and IoT innovation are now converging with commercial industries, with carriers and cloud companies putting up large amounts of capital and making big investments to deploy more 5G IoT solutions. The government's latest infrastructure bill will contribute to wider broadband connectivity and access, which will in turn equate to more IoT capabilities across the country. These capabilities will automate and offload mundane work to further the growth of more efficient services such as telehealth and remote patient monitoring.

The IoT industry will see increased government oversight into private sector supply chain management.

With the proliferation of connected IoT devices and the mass amounts of potentially sensitive and valuable information the devices are collecting, there will be increased government oversight in the industry in 2022. In order to protect intellectual property and personally identifiable information (PII) the devices are collecting, the federal government will introduce new policies to closely monitor and control the supply chain and materials sourcing for IoT devices.

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Published Friday, January 21, 2022 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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