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The tech that will invade our lives in 2022 – The Denver Post


By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times Company

Each year, I look ahead at what’s new in consumer technology to guide you through what you might expect to buy — and what will most likely be a fad.

Many of the same “trends” appear again and again because, to put it simply, technology takes a long time to mature before most of us actually want to buy it. That applies this year as well. Some trends for 2022 that tech companies are pushing are things you will have heard of before.

A chief example is virtual reality, the technology that involves wearing goofy-looking headgear and swinging around controllers to play 3D games. That is expected to be front and center again this year, remarketed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other techies as “the metaverse.”

Another buzzy category will be the so-called smart home, the technology to control home appliances by shouting voice commands at a speaker or tapping a button on a smartphone. The truth is, the tech industry has tried to push this kind of technology into our homes for more than a decade. This year, these products may finally begin to feel practical to own.

Another recurring technology on this list is digital health gear that tracks our fitness and helps us diagnose possible ailments. And automakers, which have long talked about electric cars, are beginning to accelerate their plans to meet a nationwide goal to phase out production of gas-powered cars by 2030.

Here are four tech trends that will invade our lives this year.

1. Welcome to the metaverse.

For more than a decade, technologists have dreamed of an era where our virtual lives play as important a role as our physical realities. In theory, we would spend lots of time interacting with our friends and colleagues in virtual space, and as a result, we would spend money there, too, on outfits and objects for our digital avatars.

“We’re in a world where people several times per day send out an image reflecting themselves,” said Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist who has written extensively about the metaverse. “The next phase takes that visual representation and dimensionalizes it. You go into an environment and express yourself through an avatar.”

That sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. But throughout Year 2 of the pandemic, a critical mass of factors came together to make the metaverse more realistic, Ball said.

For one, the technology got better. Last year, Facebook announced that it had renamed itself Meta after shipping 10 million units of its virtual-reality headset, the Quest 2, which was a milestone.



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