As technology evolves, so does our collective vocabulary.
Even if you’re a Luddite who’d rather not engage with every new tech trend, chances are you need to learn more about them anyway. That’s why I’m here. Just like years past, 2023 is sure to highlight many tech buzzwords you haven’t heard yet. That, or existing terms will take on whole new meanings.
Either way, you need to know. You are hungry for knowledge, I can sense it. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive deeper into the technical terms you really should learn before the calendar changes.
Reality is about to expand. Maybe.
First, Extended Reality, commonly abbreviated as XR. It’s not a new term by any means, but it’s one you’ll likely hear in the future as companies like Meta push their visions of the metaverse In our lifes.
Fortunately, XR is quite easy to understand. It’s an umbrella term for virtual reality, augmented reality, and everything in between. As you probably know, virtual reality is when you put on a headset like a Meta Quest 2 and blunder in entirely virtual worlds. AR is about digitally placing virtual objects in the real world, such as a Instant filter. When the two come together, we call this mixed reality, which also falls under the XR umbrella.
With Meta pushing his Pro Quest mixed reality headset and Apple is about to launch one of its ownXR is ready to have a moment in 2023.
I always wondered what Daft Punk would look like with cat ears and angel wings.
No, it does not refer to the proud Na’vi people of Pandora, or bald children with arrows on their heads. The technical definition of “avatar” is unfortunately much less cool.
At least it’s simple. An avatar is just a digital representation of yourself, whether in a video game, the metaverse, or wherever that might be applicable. It may look like you or it may look like Spongebob Squarepants holding a bong or something. That’s the beauty of digital worlds like VRChat.
Be creative, or not. It doesn’t really matter to me. But be aware that you’ll probably need to create an avatar at some point if you haven’t already.
Pretty close, I guess.
The technical details behind stable streaming are way too complex for me and probably for you too. There is a Average position that explains it if you’re interested, but it’s more important to understand what stable broadcasting is Is rather than how it works.
Simply put, Stable Broadcast is a specific type of AI-powered text-to-image generation that was released in 2022. Unlike competitors such as SLABstable streaming can run directly from your computer’s GPU (DALL-E is cloud-only, on the other hand) and the underlying code is open-source, so people can do whatever they want with it.
In the end, however, it’s just another way of generate images of Peter Griffin dunking a basketball on Sonic the Hedgehog. Just… keep in mind that you might accidentally be steal work real human artists in the process.
AI is no longer just for robots.
Artificial intelligence (or AI) is, of course, a decades-old term. You probably also have an idea of what that means: the ability of machines to perceive and work with information. That said, AI is going to show up a lot in 2023, so it’s worth reviewing at least a few of the popular apps you’ll see.
We have already covered AI image generation through stable streaming and DALL-E. Another example is that AI is also a generic term to describe how phones like the Google Pixel 7 can automatically fix photos you’ve taken or give you a graphical user interface for automated phone call menus. There’s even a new chatbot called ChatGPT which takes any prompt you give it and spits out, well, something. It’s often absurdly wrong, but hey, at least it tries.
Apple’s HomePod will be compatible with Matter.
Smart home enthusiasts should probably pay special attention to this one. You know how Google, Amazon, and Apple all have their own smart home product lines? And you know how, to maximize their potential, you’re supposed to buy all products from the same brand so they can interact with each other? Whether Question takes off, it will be a thing of the past.
Matter is a new standard for Apple’s smart home products HomePod which aims to make products from different brands work together within the same home ecosystem. The edge has a great explainer on how it will work once Matter devices hit the market, but in short, you need a device in your home to act as a “controller”. It can range from an Amazon Echo to an Apple TV 4K.
With a Matter controller, you can connect and use other Matter-enabled devices nearby. Although Matter devices won’t be widely available until 2023, once they are you’ll literally be able to send commands to a Google Nest device using Siri if you want. It’s pretty cool.
Roku currently offers one of the largest FAST services.
What’s less cool than Matter is what’s currently happening to streaming services like HBO Max. Shows like Westworld are being pulled from the service, leaving fans wondering where they can watch in the future. Meet ad-supported free TV, or QUICKLY.
FAST is a new trend in streaming that offers exactly what its name implies: a free selection of streaming content with the caveat that there will be ads everywhere. FAST services include Roku TV and Amazon’s Freevee, for example. You don’t pay a dime to watch anything on a FAST service, but the content available probably won’t match a premium service, and again you’ll have to watch ads.
With swirling rumors this Westworld may soon find its way into the FAST realm, you may want to familiarize yourself with the concept.
Imagine that, but 4K.
2023 is sure to bring plenty of new gaming buzzwords, but there’s one you need to keep an eye out for: deep learning oversampling, or DLSS. It’s something that Nvidia developed for its high-end PC graphics cards, but there’s also been persistent rumors for the past two years, Nintendo plans to use it for whatever the next Switch console will end up being. So what is it?
In something akin to layman’s terms, DLSS uses AI (there’s that term again) to upscale images beyond their native resolution to something higher. Something that runs at 720p or 1080p could, in theory, use DLSS to create the illusion that it’s running at 1440p or even 4K resolution. AI simply creates a higher quality image than the one that actually exists, and it can even make games run better.
With the Switch being terribly underpowered and the steam bridge Stealing people’s hearts, DLSS could (again, purely theoretically) be a way for Nintendo to catch up a bit in the hardware arms race.