These Are the Tech Trends LA Companies Will Be Watching in 2022

Five local tech leaders make their picks for the most impactful technology trends of 2022.

Written by Michael Hines
Published on Dec. 01, 2021
These Are the Tech Trends LA Companies Will Be Watching in 2022
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It’s not that hard to predict what will be the biggest tech trend in a given year. All you need to do is read a Gartner forecast and pick out whatever sounds the most complex and exciting. What’s harder is explaining why this specific technology is worth watching and how it could reshape an entire industry.

For example, Yev Spektor, CTO at livestreaming music app Encore, named the metaverse as the tech trend he’ll be watching in 2022 because of how the concept could impact the music industry.

“For example, Encore artists can show fans their corner of the metaverse, while fans can participate in the content they watch in real time through chat, video or other feedback mechanisms,” Spektor said. “This is a paradigm shift from being a passive audience member to an interactive one.”

Spektor is one of five local tech leaders Built In recently polled about the top tech trends of 2022. Continue reading to learn not just the tech local engineering and product leaders are most interested in this coming year but why specifically these technologies are worth watching.

 

Brett Close

The conversation around blockchain in 2021 centered on two things: NFTs and alternate cryptocurrencies. That said, in 2022, Mythical Games CTO Brett Close said he will be paying close attention to the impact of the blockchain on gaming. Close has good reason to: Mythical is one of the drivers of this new evolution of gaming, with its technology enabling game developers and publishers to integrate the blockchain into their titles so that players can buy, sell and trade in-game items.

 

What’s one tech trend you’ll be watching closely in 2022?

Obviously, NFTs are catching a lot of buzz these days, and we love talking about that because it’s a core piece of the Mythical value chain! But I like to think beyond that about the larger arc of Web 3.0 and how that technology evolution is impacting society and industries overall, including video games. Because these systems are open and permissionless, anyone can interact with them, integrate, combine and build on top of them.

The result is distributed ownership, competition and ultimately more and better choices for consumers across many sectors. For video games, smart contracts are already enabling players to experience a more sophisticated and expansive marketplace and community dynamic, and we’re only just getting started.
 

For video games, smart contracts are already enabling players to experience a more sophisticated and expansive marketplace and community dynamic.
 

What impact do you think this trend will have on your industry in particular?

The impact is profound in that we are already bringing players and creators into the value chain of games, and we believe that it will be ultimately net accretive instead of coming at the expense of developers, publishers and first parties. Play-to-earn and smart contracts will enable players to experience a more sophisticated and expansive marketplace community, unlock unique experiences, gain early access to future products and events both virtual and real, and enjoy fractional ownership, to name a few benefits.

We at Mythical are delighted to be at the forefront of this. We believe 2022 will be a pivotal year with many new learnings and successes and continued experimentation and validation as we evolve the industry. It’s an exciting time for sure!

 

Norma Kwée
Lead Product Manager • Flowspace

The continued rise of e-commerce has changed consumer expectations, with most shoppers expecting to be able to both purchase anything online and have it delivered in just a few days. It is easy to think that meeting this demand for speedy deliveries simply requires companies to build more warehouses and hire more truckers. However, it also requires an investment in technology that enables companies to more intelligently measure their inventory and fulfillment. According to Norma Kwée, a lead product manager at fulfillment software company Flowspace, this technology will have a moment in 2022.

 

What’s one tech trend you’ll be watching closely in 2022?

We’re following — and building for — the continued rise of connected e-commerce technologies that enable brands to meet their customers wherever and however they shop. Consumer e-commerce spend is expected to reach $933 billion in 2021, an 18 percent increase year over year. By 2025, e-commerce penetration will be nearly 25 percent.

As the traditionally physical act of shopping goes digital, so too must all of the interwoven functions that support it, like payments, customer service and storage and fulfillment. DTC-native brands have been operating in this realm for years, but in 2022, we’ll see more brands of all sizes, including legacy brands with long-standing reputations as brick-and-mortar retailers, shifting investment to flexible, cloud-based tech that supports the optimization of e-commerce, along with platforms that support the needed interconnectivity.
 

We’ll see more and more brands applying insights gleaned from tech platforms to better optimize the e-commerce experience for consumers.


What impact do you think this trend will have on your industry in particular?

As more spending shifts to online channels, customer expectations for a seamless shopping experience and speedy delivery are also changing, and more consumers than ever expect orders in-hand within a day of pressing the purchase button. Next year, we’ll see more and more brands applying insights gleaned from tech platforms to better optimize the e-commerce experience for consumers. This means better understanding customers through data, and strategically allocating inventory closest to those consumers to drive down shipping costs while finding innovative ways to meet expectations for fast delivery.

 

Ara Abrahamian
Director, Software Engineering • DISQO

Ara Abrahamian plans to watch cryptocurrencies very closely in the coming year, but not for the reason you might think. Abrahamian, the director of software engineering at consumer insights platform DISQO, isn’t hoping to get rich quick and retire early. Instead, he’s interested in seeing if the technologies underpinning Bitcoin and other cryptos have advanced to a point where the digital currencies can be used for everyday transactions at scale, a development that would have a real impact on DISQO’s business.

 

What’s one tech trend you’ll be watching closely in 2022?

I’d like to see if 2022 will be the year of cryptocurrencies. Today they’re mostly investment options to, theoretically, hedge against inflation, but I’ll be watching to see if they can scale and move in the direction of becoming real-world currencies. Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, should be reliable currencies that people use for day-to-day transactions, but in reality, they are volatile and people aren’t using them that way. The underlying systems that empower these cryptocurrencies are not capable of handling the latency and throughput requirements of real-world economies just yet. 

The tech community has an opportunity to close these gaps, improve their stability and actually turn these cryptocurrencies into currencies that are capable of handling day-to-day transactions and thus changing the way people consume — a major change to economies everywhere.
 

As blockchain and other underlying technologies mature, the potential for empowering currencies and incentivizing consumers will vastly increase.


How do you plan to apply this technology to your work in 2022 (or beyond)?

A primary driver in our consumer insights platform is the DISQO audience. Our members sign up to take surveys and share behavioral data to collect points, which they eventually redeem. While we do not yet have plans to support cryptocurrencies as a redemption option, we’re keeping an eye on the space. As blockchain and other underlying technologies mature, the potential for empowering currencies and incentivizing consumers will vastly increase.

 

Yev Spektor
CTO • Encore

Facebook has so far been driving the conversation around the metaverse, but it’s not the only company with big plans for the concept. Encore is a live music app that enables artists to host augmented reality livestreams, and its CTO, Yev Spektor, said the metaverse will enable fans to interact with their favorite acts in exciting new ways.

 

What’s one tech trend you’ll be watching closely in 2022?

The development of the metaverse, and the proliferation of augmented reality technology,  specifically as it relates to the music industry. Creating and streaming immersive, 3D worlds no longer has to be exclusive. Phone manufacturers like Apple have invested heavily into AR, and their phones and tablets ship with LiDAR. With Encore’s technology, anyone can make and livestream live AR videos with just their smartphone or iPad. 

I believe that by elevating the quality and accessibility of interactive content between artists and fans, we can bridge the gap that exists in music between the top 1 percent artists who can afford high-end, professional production and everyone else.
 

The metaverse will enable completely new interaction modes between fans and artists.


How do you plan to apply this technology to your work in 2022 (or beyond)?

The metaverse will enable completely new interaction modes between fans and artists. For example, Encore artists can show fans their corner of the metaverse, while fans can participate in the content they watch in real-time through chat, video or other feedback mechanisms. The infrastructure we’ve built enables us to pipe real-time data into the metaverse and then broadcast it back out with almost zero latency. 

This is a paradigm shift from being a passive audience member to an interactive one. This is all a part of the ecosystem Encore is building. We’re excited to see what kind of worlds and experiences will be created as we roll Encore out to more and more creators.

 

Christopher Hazlett
CTO • MasonHub

The fulfillment industry isn’t exactly known for being on the forefront of technology, but that has started to change in recent years thanks to companies like MasonHub. Christopher Hazlett, CTO of the fulfillment technology and services company, said that given the fact that many in the industry are playing catchup when it comes to tech, he expects to see an increased demand for low-code and no-code platforms in 2022.

 

What’s one tech trend you’ll be watching closely in 2022?

The fulfillment industry is seeing an increased demand for low-code or no-code platforms that can enable retailers to grow into new sales channels or run their businesses with low to no technical staff and overhead. Retailers, both omni-channel and direct-to-consumer, are looking for solutions that can connect their systems and sales channels with little to no effort, provide actionable intelligence and scale on a moment’s notice. This will continue to push fulfillment providers who have historically relied on their clients to do the heavy lifting of connecting their software ecosystem together to build better, more reliable turn-key solutions.
 

Gone are the days when a fulfillment partner could minimally staff their technical function.


What impact do you think this trend will have on your industry in particular?

Gone are the days when a fulfillment partner could minimally staff their technical function. As MasonHub has done from the beginning, fulfillment partners must continue to put technology first and be on the cutting-edge to serve clients who have grown their businesses on platforms like Shopify or Commerce Cloud. Their needs are far greater than they’ve ever been and the product expectations for back-office operations have only multiplied.

It’s why we have been and are continuing to invest heavily in real-time, accurate data analysis, no-maintenance integrations and a true technical partnership. Without a significant investment and a talented team, it will be difficult for fulfillment partners to stay competitive.

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