2021 in tech: space breakthrough, semiconductor crisis, and metaverse

As we look back on 2021, we see a breakthrough in space exploration that will also change our lives on Earth. The year was also notable for the focus on the metaverse. The crisis in semiconductors has shown that the car industry is obsolete and that those who change technology will win.

2021 in tech: space breakthrough, semiconductor crisis, and metaverse
Top technologies for 2021: space breakthrough, semiconductor crisis and metaverse. Photo by Maxence Pira / Unsplash

The year 2021 is marked by a breakthrough in space exploration that will also change our lives on Earth. And the semiconductor or microchip crisis showed that the car industry is outdated and those who change technology quickly will win. The past year has also been notable for the focus on the metaverse or virtual world.

The year has been a year of disruption in all areas, but if one has to choose, it is in space that breakthroughs have been fantastic. What has been done this year to make space exploration possible will certainly change life on Earth. It is a step for the future in the field of transport as such. Any solution that can transport people or cargo somewhere in space makes a very big contribution to aviation and other logistics solutions. At some point, we will be able to fly a rocket to America in half an hour.

A dry look at the facts shows that the technology sector has done what was predicted before, except car manufacturing. The only exception is that there was no progress on the cheap end. There was huge progress at the high end. The microchip problem has had the effect that the low-cost car segment is simply not being supplied with chips, that car manufacturers are concentrating on the high priced cars, which are more profitable. This means automatically that luxury and electric cars are being produced.

This is a transitory problem that pointed to outdated technology in the car industry. The game console manufacturers were not affected by this crisis for a long time yet. The average person who bought an Xbox, for example, did not even know that cars lack the same chips that are inside these games consoles. What emerged was that you have to change quickly, and those who changed their technology quickly won. One example is Tesla, which switched from semiconductors to microswitches. In terms of car manufacturing, we are facing a major change.

The development of the virtual world also gained a lot of attention in 2021. The metaverse is a virtual, fake, parallel world in which people will also own things, have responsibilities, and have some technical ability to do things or processes. This year, we talked about it because of Facebook, because Facebook simply changed its corporate or legal name to Meta, underlining its ambition to stay the course. Metaverse will not only develop entertainment and various services but will also create new jobs.

People will have jobs, responsibilities, directly in a virtual environment. For example, virtual estate agents. There are already virtual land transactions in the metaverse, both for real money as we understand it in everyday life, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are very much represented. Eventually, the metaverse, like any other technology, will enter people's lives and seem very commonplace.  This kind of technology will allow people to experience events that would not otherwise have this opportunity. People with disabilities would be able to go for a walk, in theory, it could even simulate the emotions we feel in reality. This may have consequences, but it also opens up possibilities.