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

By | January 15, 2022

by Brian X. Chen, New York Times Company

Each year, I look to what’s new in consumer technology for guidance on what you can expect to buy – and what will most likely be a trend.

Many of the same “trends” pop up over and over because, simply put, the technology takes a long time to mature before most of us really want to buy it. This also applies to this year. Some trends for 2022 that tech companies are pushing are things you’ll have heard before.

A prime example is virtual reality, the technology that involves wearing a silly looking headset and swinging around controllers to play 3D games. Rebranded as the “metaverse” by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other tech experts, it is expected to be front and center again this year.

Another bustling category will be technology called smart home, where you can control home appliances by issuing voice commands on a speaker or tapping a button on a smartphone. The truth is, the tech industry has been trying to get this type of technology into our homes for over a decade. This year, these products may finally start to feel practical to own.

Another recurring technology on this list is digital health equipment that monitors our fitness and helps us diagnose potential ailments. With long talk of electric cars, automakers are starting to step up their plans to reach the goal of phasing out gas-powered car production nationwide by 2030.

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

1. Welcome to the metastore.

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

“We are in a world where people send a self-reflective image multiple times a day,” said Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist who has written extensively on the Metaverse. “The next step is to take this visual representation and size it. You enter a setting and express yourself through an avatar.”

Sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Ball said that during Year 2 of the pandemic, a critical mass of factors came together to make the metaverse more realistic.

First, the technology has gotten better. Last year, Facebook announced it was renaming it Meta after it sold 10 million units of its landmark virtual reality headset Quest 2.

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