The pandemic's restrictions on daily living during the past few years have sparked significant technological innovation that we'll use every day. Thanks to advancements in battery technology and artificial intelligence, the time when electric vehicles replace internal combustion engines is drawing closer (AI). Another area where AI is gaining ground is image creation and speech imitation.
Fitness trackers can now fit into finger rings thanks to electronics and sensor miniaturization and optimization. The next 20 years of monitoring the universe from space will be put up by NASA. Since we spend so much more time at home, other businesses have begun developing ways to enhance our day-to-day activities. New display technology is becoming available to consumers. There are now fewer single-use batteries on the market thanks to various methods for capturing, storing, and harnessing energy. Let's look at some of the best technological advancements it generated.
What technological breakthroughs are the best for 2022?
Most inventions make the world a better place by bridging the gap between our expectations and what is currently on the market. Since the beginning of time, humans have been driven by curiosity to create countless things that have benefited humanity at the time they were created as well as spurred the creation of countless further creations. Every year, millions of new inventions are made in the modern world. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of the United Nations reports that 3.3 million patents were issued in 2019. Since quantity is impossible to fathom, we have chosen a few awesome and cool inventions that you might find interesting.
DALL-E and more AI picture makers
The most recent buzz surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) is related to video producers that use AI. These modern applications take a written prompt and transform it into pictures or artwork. All the user has to do to obtain a work of art that may be used in contests and possibly win is that (via the NYT). That is a very brief summary because AI image-generating technologies rely on the user to carefully select the prompt phrases to get the desired results.
The DALL-E 2, Mid journey, and Stable Diffusion tools are the most well-known. Anyone can sign up to create art for those; they are public. Because of its proclivity to "reinforce gender stereotypes and bias toward generating photos of persons with lighter skin," Google's own AI image generator Imagen will not be made available to the general public. The image set employed in the training data included unsuitable content, such as racist insults, which contributed to the reinforced biases. Other AI picture creators harvested data from art websites, creating difficult questions about copyright, derivative works, and ethics. Regardless of how you feel about generative art, it is a reality.
Modern silicon batteries
Researchers refer to graphite as the "ideal anode" because of its "cheap cost, abundance, high energy density, power density, and extremely long cycle life" in the majority of lithium-ion batteries. The specific capacity of graphite anodes is 350 mAh/g, which is more than double that of nickel-metal hydride batteries (via PSSL). Researchers have known for more than ten years that silicon anodes can boost that particular capacity even more. According to PSSL, silicon's theoretical limit is "more than 10 times that of graphite," or at least twice as large in real-world terms.
The issue was that silicon anodes quickly degrade due to the same characteristics that make them ideal for energy storage in lithium-ion batteries. With "five times the capacity" and "up to 50% greater energy density than traditional graphite for lithium battery anodes," a silicon-carbon powder from Group 14 may hold the key. With lithium-ion and solid-state batteries that charge more quickly, this could resolve the energy issue for long-range electric vehicles (EVs).
Automobiles that change color
With the BMW iX Flow, BMW brought the color-changing technology from spy movies into the real world. The all-electric SUV has flexible display technology from E Ink, allowing individual control over parts of the body panels. The display technology behind your Kindle is the same. Since white surfaces reflect more light than dark ones, according to BMW, the color shift between light and dark can optimize energy use. That implies that when the E-ink is set to white, the interior will be comfier. Notably, this improves range by using less power from the electric vehicle's battery. In contrast, on chilly days, the car might become dark to take in more heat from the sun.
BMW can use this technology to display information on the surface of the car, such as "the battery status on a car-sharing car, or we could make the car blink if you've lost your car," among other things. To match the driver's mood, the technology can also create patterns, stripes, or other motifs on the vehicle. The only time energy is required by E Ink is when changing color states.
Smart water bottle HidrateSpark Pro
For optimum health, it's important to stay hydrated. Everyone is aware of this, yet it can be challenging to determine how much liquid you need to consume. The Pro smart water bottle from HidrateSpark seeks to simplify the process of staying hydrated. The shatter- and odor-resistant vacuum-insulated stainless steel water bottle comes with a flip-straw and a chug lid, so you can use whichever one you prefer. Both are BPA-free, which is excellent, but the LED-covered puck at the base is the best feature.
The Bluetooth-enabled puck prompts you to drink more water to maintain optimal hydration. The puck also syncs with Apple Health, where it monitors your fluid intake and modifies the intervals between reminders based on the amount of exercise indicated by your fitness measurements. The rechargeable battery provides 10 to 14 days of tracking, and the app supports monitoring and notifications on the Apple Watch. Apple Health gets information about how much water you use, so you can see all of your key indicators in one place.
Head shower from Hai
Every area of our house will soon have smart technology, with the bathroom serving as valuable real estate for environmental initiatives. With its simple installation and removal, the Hai Shower showerhead might be the only one you ever need to purchase. It also has a spray that can be changed between a spa-like mist and strong jets. It also improves water pressure while using less water and meets the strictest US water standards.
All of it is wonderful, but the true brains are in the showerhead's hardware and accompanying app. Hai developed a low-power Bluetooth sensor that measures flow and temperature and is powered by a tiny water pressure-powered turbine. When the water temperature is at your preferred level, the RGB LED on the shower changes color, signaling that you have reached your pre-set water consumption target. The system operates automatically, and once you're finished using the shower, the app connects to it to receive your data. The ecosystem makes it more fun to save water, which is good for the environment and the water bill.
Kits for EcoFlow Power
Keeping energy on hand for later usage has never been simpler. Technology advancements in solar panels, batteries, and charging have all worked together to lessen our reliance on the power grid. Although EcoFlow already has a huge ecosystem of portable power stations, the product it unveils in 2022 will make it much simpler to live completely off the grid. A plug-and-play power option for mobile living, tiny dwellings, or even larger homes is the EcoFlow Power Kits. The kit's central component is EcoFlow's intelligent lithium iron phosphate batteries, which self-regulate temperature, charging, and discharging and are available in 2 kWh or 5 kWh capacities.
The Power Hub, which contains all the parts you need to incorporate solar power storage into your project, is the brain if the batteries are the heart of the body. This consists of two MPPT solar charge controllers (maximum power point tracking), a DC-DC battery charger, an inverter charger, and a DC-DC step-down converter. Everything uses unique, non-transferable connectors, which makes setup and management simple. The best aspect is that you may include an AC/DC Smart Distribution Panel, which divides the AC and DC inputs from the Power Hub into circuits similar to your home's breaker box. Due to its WiFi connectivity, it also provides full app control and monitoring capabilities, both when in Bluetooth range and when disconnected from the system.
Unfolding TV C seed
TV manufacturers have experimented with a variety of methods to conceal your screen when not in use, including rolling it away into a base unit and making it look like a picture frame. There is now another choice, and that is to conceal your TV under your floorboards. With a folding design that must be seen, the C-Seed M1 unfolding TV is fit for a Bond villain. A 4K TV is made using six MicroLED panels that unfurl with sub-millimeter accuracy. Because Seed's TV employs distinct panels with Adaptive Gap Calibration Technology to make the boundaries practically undetectable, you won't notice any creases like you would with a foldable OLED.
With the 165-inch model costing $400,000, ingenuity comes at a steep price. That doesn't include the cost of hiring an architect and a contractor to subfloor the unit under your living room floor. When not being utilized to binge-watch "Billions," the company also makes a version that doesn't require installation and folds into a sizable aluminum sculpture. The N1 has a 103-inch screen size and starts at $190,000. Additionally, it has five HDMI ports, a 9.2-channel A/V receiver, and 100-watt speakers.
Movano smart ring
Fitness wearables have become a staple of modern life, and according to Straits Research, the industry is growing by 17.5% annually (via GlobeNewswire). This growth is being driven by customers who desire to live better lives. Although the majority of these wearables are worn on the wrist, some have been scaled down to fit inside smart rings. The smart ring being developed by Movano will enable the tracking of chronic ailments. When used outside, it will monitor temperature, steps, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), respiration, and calories burned.
The information will be displayed in a manner that is simple to understand, such as by displaying patterns in HRV or how exercise impacts sleep. Although Movano's technology is already very small, the company's emphasis on women in design is what makes it truly revolutionary. Additionally, the business needs FDA Class II certification to market its products with medical features. Once the clinical testing is over, anticipate the device to offer cuffless blood pressure measurements in addition to non-invasive glucose monitoring.
Eco Remote from Samsung
In 2021, Samsung eliminated replacement batteries from their Eco Remote by incorporating a solar panel that could power the remote even in the absence of natural light. That creative modification decreased landfill waste and eventual user frustration when the batteries' charge ran out. The Eco Remote will be able to collect energy from radio waves in 2022, just like the WiFi signals that are everywhere around your house. You shouldn't ever have to be concerned about your remote losing power because of this.
You're not the only one who thinks that sounds like science fiction or magic. According to the author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke, wireless energy harvesting entirely satisfies the adage that "any sufficiently sophisticated technology is indistinguishable from magic." It generates an electric charge that is then stored in capacitors using radio frequency (RF) harvesting antennas to power the remote. With its ability to capture RF and solar energy, the new Eco Remote never requires fresh batteries (or any batteries, for that matter), yet it can still be charged quickly via USB-C.
Augmented reality glasses that are compact
Despite all the discussion of living in the metaverse, the necessary technology to enter a genuinely immersive virtual environment is still not available. To realize this goal, augmented reality (AR) could be used to integrate virtual tools, experiences, and goods into the everyday environment. Bulky headsets from companies like Magic Leap and Microsoft, as well as geeky gadgets like Google Glass, were also associated with augmented reality. The day will soon come when we can replace our phones with thin, sunglasses-like AR glasses that we may wear every day.
Companies such as Virtue and Nreal have provided effective virtual screens measuring more than 120 inches for their slimline glasses. Small, full-HD OLED displays placed in your field of view make that possible. Private video streaming, which allows you to watch what you want, where you want, without requiring an external screen, is now the main selling feature. The smaller form factor will probably attract more users to augmented reality, but these glasses still require an additional device to play content. With the speed at which technology is developing, it won't be long before AR glasses are both thin and independent of a secondary device. The item may be the eagerly anticipated Apple Glass.
NASA Space Telescope James Webb
In 2022, NASA will put into operation the most powerful space telescope ever. The James Web Space Telescope (JWST) is currently orbiting the second sun-Earth Lagrange point, also known as L2, at a distance of one million miles. It will focus on celestial objects that were generated up to 13.6 billion years ago over the next 20 years (according to the Space Telescope Science Institute), just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang that scattered matter throughout the cosmos.
The JWST has already captured some breathtaking photographs of the universe in just a few short months of operation. In the future, 100 galaxies will be observed simultaneously, along with six of the most distant and brilliant quasars, as well as targets like the Pillars of Creation and the atmospheres of known exoplanets and so-called super-Earths. Along with farther-off objects, it will also concentrate on near-Earth objects, asteroids, and Jupiter and its moons. The JWST will advance our knowledge of the cosmos and how we fit into it, much like the Hubble Space Telescope did before it.
Sono Motors Sion
The move to electric vehicles is being accelerated by changes in government regulations, consumer behavior, and technological advancements. One of these improvements is solar panel technology, which makes it easier to use solar panels on a wider range of surfaces and more effective at converting sunlight into useful electricity. Sono Motors, a German automaker, has over 30 patents on solar panels alone, which are used to cover every exterior surface of its first electric vehicle, the Sion. (CNBC)
Over 42,000 people have already preordered the solar-powered electric vehicle (SEV), with production beginning in the second half of 2023. While the price in Europe is €29,900—and that includes a 21% EU-wide tax—the estimated price in the United States is $25,000, plus relevant taxes and fees.
Every automobile panel on the Sion, including the roof, fenders, doors, bonnet, and hatchback, includes 465 integrated solar half-cells. The 190-mile lithium iron phosphate battery is trickle-charged using those, providing 69 miles (112 kilometers) of range per week without the need for a plug. In the summer, that extra charge doubles, providing up to 152 miles (245 kilometers) of additional range each week. The company's goal is to install solar on every EV, claiming there is "no reason not to integrate it" given how affordable it is.
The 15 Innovative Gadgets of 2022
The worldwide pandemic served as an effective reminder of how crucial technology has become to daily living. People were able to stay in touch with friends, family, and coworkers through technology, and it also kept us amused during times of lockdown. Even though the shortage of semiconductors caused by the pandemic lasted into the first half of 2022, it didn't stop several great new consumer technologies from coming out during the year.
The best smartphone of 2022 will continue to be a hotly contested topic. The upcoming release of the iPhone 14 series has been delayed, but there have been some outstanding phone debuts in China, like the Vivo X80 and the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, which both have ground-breaking 1-inch sensors that were jointly created with Sony. Even the superb Sony Xperia IV is only offered in a few regions. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the just-released Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4 are now competing for supremacy. The combination of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1's exceptional performance and efficiency and the Galaxy Z Fold's cutting-edge 2-in-1 display technology is a winning combination. It skillfully bridges the gap between mobile and PC platforms by fusing the features of a flagship smartphone with a form factor.
These days, there are several high-quality TWS earbuds on the market from renowned audio companies like Sennheiser, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, and Bang & Olufsen, among others. Of course, Apple will be the go-to option for its supporters, as the company was responsible for starting the TWS earbud revolution when it removed the headphone jack from its iPhones and introduced the AirPods line.
Although many iPhone owners are anticipating the release of the rumored AirPods Pro 2, which is expected next week, the brand is undeniably excellent in its respective price ranges. While the Galaxy Buds2 Pro is the best Samsung has yet to produce, they still fall short of the amazing Sony WF-1000XM4 that was released in early January. Although expensive, they provide excellent sound and much-enhanced call quality. Their general fit and comfort have been improved for extended listening sessions with a completely redesigned design.
Similar to the earbud industry, there are an almost overwhelming number of headphones available for purchase. When it comes to choosing the finest Bluetooth headphones with ANC, the selection process becomes slightly more specialized. With the recent launches of the Momentum 4 and PX7 S2 models by companies like Sennheiser and Bowers & Wilkins, respectively, all the major players have an appealing offering once again.
Some manufacturers also provide consumers with a choice between on-ear headphones and over-the-ear headphones, with the latter surrendering some audio performance for a smaller, less bulky fit. Even though they are on the pricey side, many iPhone owners nevertheless choose the superb AirPods Max despite their high price. But Sony has done it again with the new WH-1000XM5 headphones, which offer a great balance of fashion, comfort, and sound despite not folding up quite as neatly as the previous generations.
There have been several good laptop debuts in 2022 from the usual suspects, including Apple, Asus, Acer, Dell, Samsung, LG, and others, in a variety of categories. All of them have shown off a variety of silicon, including Apple's home-baked M1 and M2 goodness, Intel's greatly improved 12th-generation chips, and AMD's most recent Zen3+ CPUs.
Apple's most recent M2-powered MacBook Air has kept pushing the limits of high-performance while being efficient, but like its Pro brothers, it is thicker than its predecessor and also features a notch that interrupts its display and adds questionable utility. Also, there have been some interesting new shapes, like the Asus ZenBook 17-Fold and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 2nd Generation.
But the new Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED is our favorite. It is a fantastic option all-around because of its lightweight magnesium alloy body, 2.8K OLED display, and compatibility with PC games like "No Man's Sky."
Upgraded computer monitors
This year has seen the arrival of some excellent monitors, and IFA Berlin 2022 will also include some intriguing new products from LG and Samsung. The LG 27.6-inch DualUp Monitor (28MQ780) was one of the most unusual designs to come out this year. It stacked two 21.5-inch 16:9 panels on top of each other to make a great platform for content creators and other people.
With a tight 1000R curve and support for both landscape and portrait orientations, Samsung's gigantic 55-inch Odyssey ARK display offers a distinctively immersive experience. Of course, Apple finally made the long-awaited Studio Monitor available.
However, it came down to a tie between the curved Samsung 4K Odyssey Neo G8 and the curved Dell Alienware 34-inch QD-OLED display, with the latter's combination of mini-LED illumination, quantum dot technology, and fast refresh rates winning out.
For gamers eager to get their hands on the Sony PS5 or Microsoft Xbox Series X consoles, the previous couple of years have proven to be incredibly frustrating. Obtaining one of these consoles was difficult (at least at retail prices) due to the pandemic-induced shortage of semiconductors and high demand. Even if you could get your hands on one, there haven't been many next-generation game titles to fully test these consoles' limits, which has been more frustrating.
The Valve Steam Deck is another system that has proven to be extremely difficult to obtain for comparable reasons but has nonetheless been a revelation. It is a very competent gadget that enables you to play some of the most recent AAA PC games while on the go at playable frame rates. The PlayStation Portable of our dreams, the Steam Deck, is now a reality thanks to a handful of PlayStation-exclusive games coming to PC, such as Marvel's "Spider-Man," "God of War," and "Horizon Zero Dawn."
A larger selection of tablets
There have been some notable tablet launches this year, despite the tablet market not being nearly as competitive as the smartphone market. According to estimates, Apple has roughly 30% of the tablet market, making it the market leader (via Statista). Samsung, on the other hand, has been the market-leading alternative, and buyers seem to like its Galaxy Tab line. As part of the launch of its Galaxy Tab S8 series earlier this year, the company added an Ultra version to its line-up.
With its magnificent 120Hz Super AMOLED display, Samsung's new 14.6-inch behemoth is the perfect canvas for creative professionals or office employees who want the greatest tablet multitasking experience possible. The winner is the fifth-generation iPad Air, which has a Liquid Retina display, a thin and light design, and Apple's powerful M1 CPU.
The market for smartwatches finally seems to be growing. The Apple Watch has been the industry standard for smartwatches ever since it debuted back in 2015, and the watchOS it runs is seen as being miles ahead of the competition. As is customary for Apple, especially when it controls a niche market, additional features and sensors have been gradually added to its winning formula over the years.
Over the years, Samsung has been the main alternative, with brands like Sony and LG fading into obscurity. However, momentum is growing as brands like Tag Heuer, Fossil, Mobvoi, Tik Watch, and others see an increase in popularity. With its Tizen OS, Samsung has been operating independently until recently. With the release of WearOS 3 this year, Google and Samsung have combined their efforts to provide a vastly enhanced platform. Our choice for 2022 is the new Samsung Watch5 Pro because of its exceptional multi-day battery life, even while using the always-on display option.
Headsets for VR and AR
Although the initial excitement surrounding the release of early VR headsets from manufacturers like Oculus (now acquired by Meta) and HTC has subsided, gamers continue to enjoy VR headsets for the extraordinary levels of immersion they provide. To get the most out of many high-end headphones, though, a strong gaming PC (and a lot of space) are also necessary.
Many people experience varying degrees of motion sickness when using VR headsets, which can be a barrier to adoption even though the cost of entry for a decent VR experience can be high. The XR series CPUs from Qualcomm, which were developed for smartphones, are used in standalone headsets, which deliver an excellent VR experience at a lower cost. Despite a recent $100 price increase, the Meta Quest 2 continues to be the greatest of these. At its price point, it still provides a fantastic balance of performance and a robust title library.
Although futurists predict wearable technology will eventually replace smartphones, as the Google Glass debacle showed, we aren't quite there yet. That isn't preventing Meta from trying, though, as it has continued to invest a sizable sum of money in its augmented reality and virtual reality projects since purchasing Oculus back in 2015. Its Project Nazare, which is expected to launch in 2024, attempts to succeed where Google failed.
There are several clearly lower-tech yet nonetheless attractive alternatives available in the interim. These include the social media photography-focused Snapchat Spectacles and the audio-based sunglasses from Bose called the Frame. The Ray-Ban Stories sunglasses, the result of a partnership with Meta, are the best of the bunch. It combines traditional styling with a camera and audio features. Despite having many flaws, they nonetheless appear reasonably normal, making individuals more inclined to want to wear them and promoting their wider adoption.
Desktop computers with performance comparable to laptops
Even though many people now choose laptops over desktop computers due to their increased portability and capabilities, many users still require or desire a more powerful option. With a desktop computer, you may be able to get more power in exchange for giving up portability. However, as with most things, how much power you can get depends on how much money you have.
Along with amazing gaming computers from the usual suspects like Alienware, Asus, Acer, and MSI, there have also been several fantastic all-in-one desktop solutions (which combine a monitor and computer into a single device). However, Apple's new Mac Studio has arrived and offers possibly the highest performance per square inch of hardware that we have ever seen, despite its relatively drab outside design. It is the most powerful tool for making things, with processors ranging from the Apple M1 Max with all of its different RAM configurations to the M1 Ultra chip, which is made up of two M1 Max chips.
Only a small number of the many reputable drone manufacturers on the market cater to regular consumers. Parrot, Ryze, Zero-X, Skydio, and, of course, DJI is a few of these. Even though each manufacturer has a product that will interest a particular kind of drone consumer, DJI is by far the most well-known and provides the broadest selection. The DJI Mini 3 Pro, which may offer the finest price-performance ratio we have yet to see in a drone, was introduced in 2022.
Its 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor still captures high-quality HDR stills and 4K video footage, and it is still reasonably priced for someone looking to get into aerial photography and cinematography for the first time. Even better, you can make the most of its 7.4-mile (12 km) range with a flight duration rating of up to 34 minutes. It is also so small that you can conceal it in a backpack for quick setup and transportation while on the go.
Another market with a large number of competitors is the one for smart speakers. The model you choose will almost always depend on your budget, but your preferred smart device ecosystem will likely be just as important. Customers of Apple currently have only one option: the HomePod mini. Despite this, there are reports that Apple may bring back the larger HomePod model that it discontinued in 2021.
However, because they enable Apple AirPlay 2 wireless communication, Sonos smart speakers are also a well-liked option among Apple customers. Additionally, Sonos works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Of course, Amazon and Google also produce their smart speakers, namely the Google Nest speakers and hubs and the Amazon Echo line. However, the Sonos One (Gen 2) continues to be the best choice due to its combination of sound quality, multiroom support, and multi-ecosystem support.S
TVs are becoming increasingly intelligent, much like practically everything else in modern houses. In general, this has been beneficial as TVs become more multipurpose entertainment hubs and smart home hubs. Many have sophisticated chipsets and computer-like software that enable them to control a home, play video games, stream videos, and, of course, watch traditional TV.
The top manufacturers are Samsung, Sony, LG, Hisense, TCL, and Vizio, and they all provide models ranging from entry-level to high-end options. The self-lit pixels of OLED TVs, QLED TVs, regular LCD panels with a quantum dot layer, and the recently developed QD-OLED TVs, which combine OLED and a quantum dot layer for even brighter colors, will all appeal to different people. The LG OLED 65 G2, which is its finest and brightest OLED screen ever for a stunning cinematic experience, has to be the leading competitor this year.
Smart lighting is a different market that is growing in prominence. Young content makers and viewers have been eager to reproduce similar lighting effects in their homes since tech YouTubers and other influencers have used smart lighting to great effect in their videos. This is especially true if they want to utilize color to decorate and set a specific atmosphere.
Even if they are merely utilizing normal white or off-white colors, consumers who want to automate the many operations of their homes are also drawn to smart lighting. Leading manufacturers on the market include Wyze, Ring, LIFX, Nanoleaf, Lenovo, and the Philips Hue line. The recently released Philips Hue Lightguide lights, which come in three shapes—a huge globe, an ellipse, and a triangle—are difficult to beat, though. These combine modern home design with the flexibility to modify a space by selecting from a variety of colors for normal illumination.