2021 was the inflection point of many technological progresses that would shape our understanding and interaction of the world to come.
Let’s look back into some of the most important tech development of the year we just left behind.
The launch of the James Webb Telescope
Probably the most important development in tech in 2021, the long-awaited James Webb telescope launch was carried out by NASA on December 29th.
This telescope will replace the ever-popular Hubble telescope and be able to detect light that can be traced all the way back to the Big Bang itself, helping us to understand more about the universe we live in.
It took NASA 30 years and 10 billion dollars to make this enormous project happen, and the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency were also vital parts of this project.
Dawn of the Metaverse
The announcement of Metaverse on November 24th marked an important event in the ever-changing tech world. This was followed by Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement in October that Facebook is going to change its name into ‘Meta’ as a part of the company’s process of transitioning into a virtual reality platform from a social media platform.
Metaverse is a concept of a centralised virtual world where people and enterprises interact with each other through VR headsets and this platform doesn’t have the usual physical boundaries that today’s social media have.
Metaverse will potentially shape how people are going to interact with each other in the ever-growing virtual world.
Crypto-Boom and the global chip shortage
2021 was the year of cryptocurrency, the industry saw itself growing from USD 24 billion to USD 63 billion in a span of 1 year and the trend is likely to continue.
But this boom, along with the massive surge in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, created the worst supply-chain issue in the computer industry to date and affected worldwide computer buyers and every tech industry from chip manufacturers to car companies.
Non-fungible Token or NFT
NFT is a function of Ethereum Blockchain, where a person can trade ownership of anything that is digital such as images, drawings, music etc. with another person, but each NFT is unique, unlike currencies which are fungible or identical.
NFTs, in a very short period, has become a massive trend in digital art trading, although the NFT market is still primarily a place where rich people, mostly for bragging rights, are throwing away their money to own something rather than NFT’s being anything substantial.
The big techs around the world finally took the trajectory to design their own custom SOCs for their own product.
Apple was the most successful in this venture; the second iteration of their custom silicon called ‘M1 Pro’ and ‘M1 Max’ set the benchmark in consumer-level computer’s efficiency and computational prowess, leaving other manufacturers in the dust.
Google, on the other hand, designed their own mobile chip called ‘Tensor,’ which they used in their flagship mobile line-up and delivered impressive performance.
2022 may see all the other major phone manufacturers also join the custom silicon game, even Tesla has hinted something similar in their upcoming phone release.
LG’s departure from smartphone business
The popular electronics company LG announced their retirement from the phone business in 2021, reportedly saying that they would focus more on their home appliances and other electronic products.
The company’s recent performance in the smartphone industry was poor, to say the least, beset with bad branding, questionable hardware and software choices and a lack of reliability saw the company substantially fall behind their competitors.
But LG will always have a special place in the industry for their constant strive for innovation, and they were the first to have set trends for many of the smartphone features that are ‘mainstream’ across the smartphone industry now.
Let’s see some of such features that LG first brought into the market – capacitive touchscreen, dual-core processor, 1080p video recording, dual-rear camera, quad-core processor, double-tap to wake, mass-produced quad HD screen, dual-screen display, ultrawide camera, 18*9 display, triple rear camera and so on. LG will be missed.