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

The tech that will invade our lives in 2022 – The Denver Post
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Written by Brian X-ChenAnd The New York Times Company

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

Many of the same “trends” appear over and over again simply because technology takes a long time to mature before most of us actually want to buy it. This applies this year as well. Some of the trends for 2022 that tech companies are pushing are things you’ve probably heard about before.

A prime example of this is virtual reality, technology that involves wearing clumsy-looking headgear and swinging around consoles to play 3D games. It’s expected to be front and center again this year, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other technologists re-market it as a “metaverse.”

Another noisy category is the so-called smart home, which is a technology for controlling home appliances by shouting voice commands into a speaker or clicking a button on a smartphone. The truth is, the tech industry has been trying to push this type of technology into our homes for more than a decade. This year, these products may finally start to feel practically owning.

Another frequent technology on this list is digital health equipment that tracks our fitness and helps us diagnose potential illnesses. And automakers, who have long talked about electric cars, have begun to accelerate plans to achieve a national goal of phasing out 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 been dreaming of an era in which our virtual lives play as important a role as our physical realities. In theory, we’d spend a lot of time interacting with our friends and colleagues in the virtual space, and as a result, we’d be spending money there as well, on clothes and stuff for our digital avatar.

“We are in a world where many times a day people send an image that reflects themselves,” said Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist who has written extensively on metaphysics. “The next stage takes that visual representation and takes it away. You go into an environment and express yourself through an avatar.”

This sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. Over the course of the second year of the pandemic, Ball said, a critical mass of factors came together to make metaviruses more realistic.

First, technology has improved. Last year, Facebook announced that it had rebranded itself as Meta after shipping 10 million units of its virtual reality headset, Quest 2, which was a milestone.

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