Also in our weeklong series:

Health Reports On Our Wrists, The Return of Destination Sites, and Bleisure 2.0

Slow Movements, Intrinsic Grays, Commercial Real Estate, and Down With QR Codes

Dollyfication, Apple’s Silicon Transition, and Ego Checks in Hollywood

The Physical World is Fractionalized

NFTs will fractionalize everything from car ownership to commercial real estate. More important than the social media revolution. NFTs are to Web 3.0 what web pages are to Web 1.0.

The Return of Mobile-First

China has suffered through several pandemics prior to C-19. The isolation caused them to adopt mobile eCommerce earlier than the U.S. Now that we are all in a semi-permanent mask and booster world, mobile purchases will continue to spike and become the norm across the country in 2022.

Additionally, it seems evident that our cultural comfort with managing our lives from our phones will affect other domains such as medical, financial, insurance, and food services.  Mobile nicely aligns with our post-pandemic era.

Design Softens Fear

We now want safety, more than beauty. Design will take fear porn and commercialize it by repositioning its impact using basic design principles, like typography.

Recently, Dr. John Maeda (current SVP Enterprise Resilience, formerly of Publicis Sapient and Automattic) examined the impact of type on the word “fear” to illustrate this point. 

The one on the left has more emotion because of its stripped-down appearance. The middle one feels like a pirate rock band. And the one on the right might be a Goth make-up line found at Sephora.

Pop-up Companies

In 2022, we will see more companies being formed for a single purpose, and once that purpose is served, quickly disassembled. This is how Hollywood works today. 2022 will be the year that decentralized organizations (DAO) become better understood and tested. They will be born and die in the course of mere months. This may be a direct reaction to the impermanence of the digital world and the overhead costs of traditional business structures. 

For example, the ConstitutionDAO was formed expressly to purchase a private copy of the U.S. Constitution. It lost the auction (to the CEO of hedge fund Citadel) and now the DAO has moved from establishing a process of returning funds to its member investors, to its token gaining in value. The end story has yet to be written!

Increasing concern with Privacy

The Facebook whistleblower confirmed what we already suspected — social media can cause mental illness. Previous years have desensitized the public to the prevalence of database breaches which distributed our personal data points to all corners of the globe. 

2022 will mark a year of new record highs for privacy violations. The prediction is that it will also be the year when true public activism over the issue begins. The press will finally understand that their journalistic freedom is being threatened by spyware, malware, and the intentional manipulation of context towards desired behavior that serves larger commercial agendas.

Return of VR

In the last quarter of 2021, over 10M Oculos units were sold. Another 10M had been sold in the first three quarters. In 2019, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented alongside the launch of the original Quest headset that 10 million users was a key threshold before the “ecosystem will just explode.” 

One could mistakenly believe that NFTs are the hottest market, but only about ½ a million people are actually buying them. VR is quietly about to come out of the shadows now that the retail price is more affordable for tech-savvy households. 

Subscribe to Observatory

Small Planet Links, News, and Observations