2020 has dramatically changed the world and increased the role of technology in all areas. It will not be possible to return to the old way of life: in 2021, everything depends on how quickly we introduce new tools and adapt. Here are the 12 promising trends that should be monitored in  2021.


12 Important Techno-trends that will affect us in 2021

1. Stability

Climate change, cyber weapons, and other threats can change the world again at any time. Companies affected by the pandemic will begin to prioritize sustainable development and use technology to prepare for the next crisis. Here are just a few examples of such solutions.

  • Revision of logistics schemes: production is moved closer or, conversely, expand the geography.
  • Use artificial intelligence to better understand operations, predict demand fluctuations and respond quickly to circumstances.
  • The use of alternative proteins in the food industry. During the pandemic, the livestock production chain was affected, and producers want to ensure the stability of production.
  • Transition to local renewable energy sources, which reduces dependence on central networks and vulnerability to large-scale natural disasters or accidents.

2. Quantum computers

Advanced computing systems can change areas such as healthcare, finance, and logistics. The development of quantum computers is forcing businesses to strengthen data protection so that they cannot be accessed. The existing IT infrastructure is difficult to upgrade, which means that new encryption protocols will need to be developed in the near future.

The number of startups engaged in quantum computing is growing, and in 2020 the number of deals with their shares increased by 42% compared to last year.

3. Simulation of empathy

The emotional programming market is now valued at $ 87 billion, and interest in it continues to grow.

  • Businesses will strive to get closer to the consumer and will prioritize artificial intelligence technologies that can understand and respond to human emotions.
  • Medicine also benefits from the use of deep learning algorithms. They will capture facial expressions in pain and recognize the discomfort of patients who cannot communicate. Smart trackers can analyze the emotional state of users.
  • In the automotive industry, emotional artificial intelligence recognizes driver fatigue and helps make driving safe.

4. Psychedelics in medicine

Technology will help make psychoactive drugs more common. Despite the ambiguous attitude to such substances, technology and pharmaceutical companies are already exploring the possibility of bringing them to market. In 2020, the amount of venture investment in the industry increased by almost 400% to $ 448 million.

Some US states have already decriminalized psychedelic substances, and in a pandemic, US regulators have relaxed the rules of their circulation.

5. Exclusivity

The future of social media - exclusive networks. This is what led to the success of Facebook, which was originally intended for students of certain elite colleges. Apparently, now this trend has returned and contributed to the popularity of services such as Discord and Clubhouse.

Starting in 2021, exclusive social networks will pay close attention to privacy. Most likely, they will introduce a paid subscription.

Dating services are no exception. Staying out of the attention of the mass consumer and protecting the privacy of their users, they will be able to win their audience and build a reputation.

6. Community as a service

Silicon Valley and the corresponding way of life are a thing of the past. Now some of its ideologues are going to techno-hubs like Austin and Denver, while others dream of creating a perfect technological paradise from scratch.

At the same time, such projects are expensive and unrealistic. If potential residents would like to live in a "better" society, the founders of the cities of the future are unlikely to be guided solely by humanistic considerations.

  • Saudi Arabia is developing the Neom project - a region of flying taxis, holographic teachers, and beaches that glow in the dark. There will also be The Line, a megalopolis with a length of 170 km.
  • Toyota and Facebook are building urban spaces for employees and testing new products.
  • A few years ago, Bill Gates purchased about 25,000 acres of land in Arizona to build the city of the future. Elon Musk is going to create a new city in Texas, as well as a colony on Mars.

7. Multifunctional metaspaces

Thanks to virtual spaces, which are designed for many users, we will make new purchases and interact with people and businesses. Shopping malls are no longer a form of entertainment, these functions are moving online.

It is still unclear what the metaspaces will look like, whether they will be numerous and interchangeable, how users will be identified, whether they will be decentralized or monopolistic.

For a long time, online games most resembled such metaspaces. Fortnite has already hosted concerts, shown films, short films, and other programs. Travis Scott's performance was recently held there, which was broadcast on 250,000 virtual platforms simultaneously.

The virtual goods market has reached $ 190 billion. It is now represented not only in the gaming industry but also in fashion, real estate, art, and even animal care. NFT is becoming increasingly popular, the value of individual lots at auctions reaches tens of thousands of dollars.

Meta spaces provide significant benefits to brands and sellers:

  • they can operate in a less fragmented market,
  • they do not risk losing their presence on the sites due to external reasons,
  • they have more opportunities to create cross-franchises or collaborations with fans.

8. Cashback based on cryptocurrency

Digital currencies are becoming more widely used, and retailers are beginning to launch blockchain-based loyalty programs with payment companies. So they attract consumers who want to earn bitcoins and own digital currencies. These bonuses are attractive for several reasons:

  • the value of bitcoin fluctuates, and you can make money on it,
  • cryptocurrency can be converted into fiats, such as US dollars, and made purchases from other sellers,
  • blockchain-based loyalty programs will help retailers attract an ever-growing audience of crypto-investors.

9. Reshaping of physical spaces

The concept of flexible spaces is not the first year, but the pandemic has accelerated its spread.

Offices will become hubs for decentralized work and will be moved to mixed-use buildings or non-traditional spaces.

Parking spaces will be turned into shopping areas or entertainment areas. Some are already used for medical testing or outdoor cinemas.

Vertical gardens or indoor gardening will get a new impetus because we often think about food safety and availability.

Restaurants are transformed into dark kitchens and expand delivery options. Similarly, retailers are redeveloping retail space into fulfillment centers.

10. Office as a hotel

Campus aesthetics are outdated and spaces are becoming less crowded.

In the short term, employers' attention will be focused on cleaning, disinfection, and improving air quality. Projects that offer technological solutions to these problems will be extremely popular.

In the long run, offices will increasingly resemble hotels. Jobs will lose personalization. Employees will visit the office a couple of times a week, booking a table in advance.

The interior design will also change. Whereas Google and Microsoft campuses used to be the focus of the office, creating an atmosphere of friendship and collaboration, now the main task is to reduce interaction and make the space safe.

11. Healthy living environment

Increased attention to health and care for their own well-being will affect living spaces. The following technologies will be popular:

  • ventilation and air filtration systems that help create an immersive customer experience and relax at home,
  • smart personalized lighting systems that increase productivity and employee satisfaction,
  • white noise isolation systems that will preserve privacy and reduce stress in doctors' offices.
  • Perfume technologies are actively developing. For consumers, aromatherapy is becoming a way to take care of themselves and relieve stress, and businesses use scents to create an immersive experience. We can expect that this trend will continue after the pandemic.

Light also has a significant effect on our well-being. In 2021, smart lighting will gain popularity, which can adapt to the daily rhythms of office workers or residents of the house, as well as create a mood for visitors to retail space. Accent lighting helps to highlight certain items on the shelf.

Another important category is sleep. Startups create products that allow you to control sleep disorders and adapt the environment to cope with them. SleepTech solutions will be distributed in both homes and hotels.

12. Medical care at home

Remote consultations can reduce the time in queues, the risk of infection, and the cost of treatment. In 2020, investment in private telemedicine grew by almost 70% and exceeded $ 10 billion. However, the opportunities in this area are not enough.

Home care programs include regular visits to health care providers and tools for remote examinations. Startups in partnership with clinics and health authorities manage logistics, provide technology, and coordinate home care.

Some offer to collect tests and conduct tests at home, which is especially true for the most vulnerable elderly people.