Will Combined Actuality Change Your Life In 2022?

Some will take a leap in 2022 and adopt the burgeoning applications for VR, MR and AR.

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As I was contemplating what big tech stories we could expect in 2022, I received a question from a reporter working on a similar story idea. This person asked whether I thought VR, MR, or AR would have a significant impact on people’s lives in the new year. I pointed out that in 2021 we did see more interest in VR headsets. Analysts estimate that Oculus sold about 10 million headsets in 2021.

We also saw a lot of interest in VR-like headsets being adopted in field service, customer service, and even sales in 2021. Vertical markets tend to lead the way with integrating new technologies like VR and AR since they are more focused on solving a specific problem and enterprises are willing to pay the higher prices of first-generation products.

While VR, MR, and AR have been on a lot of people’s radar it got a rocket ship boost when Mark Zuckerberg launched his version of the Metaverse during a video session that included renaming Facebook’s corporate name to Meta.

That video was viewed millions of times even by people who had no clue what VR, MR, or AR was about but now understand that the Metaverse is going to be a “thing” in the future.

However, 2022 will not be the year where a large population of tech-loving people will be able to integrate VR-MR and AR into their lifestyles. It is true that for gamers, and as I mentioned in a column recently, VR exercise has become the two most used apps in the Oculus 2 headset. However, these applications skew to a millennial and younger audience.

The simple answer to this question is that VR-MR and AR will not have a lot of impact on most people’s lives in 2022. The Metaverse as envisioned by Mark Zuckerberg is years away. Although for gamers and those who want to use VR for exercise, their lives have changed in some ways by using VR. But most people in 2022 will sit back and watch others explore VR-MR and AR apps that come to market in 2022 and keep a closer eye on any developments in the Metaverse that may be of interest to them.

Since we are talking about 2022, there is a caveat I need to bring up related to VR-MR and AR in the new year.

There have been a lot of rumors and chatter about Apple releasing its first MR-AR headset by the end of 2022. I am very skeptical that Apple can have any MR-AR headset ready in 2022, however, given the increased chatter I cannot discount it either.

Should that happen, especially if it can be purchased during the holiday season, it would be a hot-selling product for die-hard Apple followers. These Apple users adopt new technology faster than the mainstream market and for those people, given the kind of AR apps already on the iPhone and iPad, and given new fine-tuned AR apps for any new Apple headset, it would be a huge hit and indeed could impact their lives still in calendar 2022.

We are in the very early stages of developing the type of technology that exploits VR-MR and AR apps. It will take a lot of technology breakthroughs to develop the kind of devices that would get the mainstream market to adopt not only these new headsets but the kind of MR-AR apps that would even be of interest to them. While VR-MR and AR will not change 99% of people’s lives in 2022, it is a technology that has garnered a lot of attention in the western world.

An Apple headset could give this market a huge boost. But I believe that it will be 2024-2025 before we see any real adoption of the Metaverse by millions of people around the world.

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