As technology evolves, so does our collective vocabulary.
Even if you’re a Luddite who’d rather not bother with every new technology trend, you probably still need to educate yourself. Because of that, I’m here. As in previous years, 2023 will also highlight many technical buzzwords that you haven’t heard before. That or existing terms will take on entirely new meanings.
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In any case, you need to know about it. You are curious, I can feel that. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive into the jargon you really need to learn before the calendar changes.
Reality is about to be expanded. Perhaps.
Credit: Weiquan Lin/Getty Images
First up is augmented reality, commonly abbreviated as XR. This is by no means a new term, but you’ll likely hear it in the future as companies like Meta advance their visions metaverse into our life.
Luckily, XR is pretty easy to understand. It’s an umbrella term for virtual reality, augmented reality, and everything in between. As I’m sure you know, VR is like putting on a headset like a Meta Quest 2 and have fun in fully virtual worlds. AR involves digitally placing virtual objects in the real world, such as snap filter. When the two come together, we call that mixed reality, which also fits under the XR umbrella.
With Meta pushing it Search Pro Mixed reality headset and Apple plans to launch one of its ownXR is primed to have a moment in 2023.
I’ve always wondered what Daft Punk would look like with cat ears and angel wings.
Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
No, that’s not related to them proud Na’vi people by Pandora, or bald children with arrows on their heads. Unfortunately, the tech definition of “avatar” is a lot less cool.
But at least it’s easy. An avatar is just a digital representation of yourself, whether in a video game, the metaverse, or wherever applicable. It can look like you or Spongebob Squarepants holding a bong or something. That’s the beauty of digital worlds like VRChat.
Get creative or don’t. I do not really care. But just be aware that you’ll probably need to create an avatar at some point if you haven’t already.
Close enough I think.
Credit: Stable Diffusion Web
The technical details behind Stable Diffusion are way too high for me and probably for you too. There is a Medium post That explains it if you’re interested, but it’s more important to understand what stable diffusion is does more like how it works.
Simply put, stable diffusion is a specific type of AI text-to-image generation that hit the market in 2022. In contrast to competitors such as DALL-EStable Diffusion can work right off your computer’s GPU (DALL-E, by contrast, is cloud only) and the code behind it is open source, so people can do whatever they want with it.
But at the end of the day, it’s just a different path generate images by Peter Griffin dipping a basketball via Sonic the Hedgehog. Just remember that it can be you accidentally steal work by actual, human artists in the process.
AI is no longer just for robots.
Photo credit: Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images
Artificial intelligence (or AI) is obviously a decades-old term. You probably also have an idea of what it means: the ability of machines to perceive and work with information. However, AI will be popping up a lot in 2023, so it’s worth going through at least a few of the popular uses for it that you’ll see.
We’ve already covered AI imaging courtesy of Stable Diffusion and DALL-E. Another example is that AI is also a catch-all term for how phones like that Google Pixel 7 can automatically fix photos you’ve taken or give you a GUI for automated phone call menus. There’s even a new chatbot called ChatGPT that takes every 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 Matter compatible.
Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Smart home lovers should probably pay special attention to this one. You know that Google, Amazon, and Apple all have their own smart home product lines? And you know how, in order to maximize their potential, you should buy products from the same brand so that they can interact with each other? if matter take off, that’s a thing of the past.
Matter is a new standard for smart home products from Apple HomePod which aims to make products from different brands work together within the same home ecosystem. The edge has a great explanation of how this will work once Matter devices are on the market, but in short you need a device in your home that acts as a “controller”. This can be anything from an Amazon Echo to an Apple TV 4K.
With a Matter controller, you can connect to and use other nearby Matter-enabled devices. Matter devices won’t be generally available until 2023, but once they are, you can literally use Siri to issue commands to a Google Nest device if you want. That’s pretty awesome.
Roku currently offers one of the most famous FAST services.
Photo credit: Roku
What’s happening with streaming services right now is less cool than Matter HBO Max. Shows how western world will be pulled from service, leaving fans wondering where to watch in the future. Meet free ad-supported television, or FAST.
FAST is a new streaming trend that offers exactly what the name suggests: a free choice of streaming content with the caveat that ads will be everywhere. FAST services include Roku TV and Amazon’s Freevee for example. You won’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 sit through ads.
with Rumors are floating around the western world could soon end up in the FAST realm, you might want to familiarize yourself with the concept.
Imagine that, but 4K.
Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
The year 2023 will certainly bring many new gaming buzzwords, but an existing one to keep an eye on is Deep Learning Supersampling, or DLSS. It’s something Nvidia developed for its high-end PC graphics cards, but it’s been around before persistent rumours For the past few years, Nintendo has been planning to use it for whatever the next Switch console will be. So what is it?
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In something close to layman’s terms, DLSS uses AI (there’s that term again) to upscale images beyond their native resolution to something higher. Something running at 720p or 1080p could theoretically use DLSS to give the illusion that it’s running at 1440p or even 4K resolution. The AI simply creates a higher quality image than what is actually there and can even make games run better.
Since the switch is pathetically underpowered and the steam deck DLSS stealing people’s hearts could (again, in theory) be a way for Nintendo to catch up a bit in the hardware arms race.