It’s a new year, and the perfect time to take stock of current and developing technologies, to consider how they might affect our everyday lives and wider society for the year ahead and beyond.
Office of Communications (Ofcom) asked their Chief Technology Officer, Sachin Jogia, to outline the big tech developments that he thinks will be making an impact in 2023 – here’s what he told them.
- At home – cutting costs and keeping us entertained
With households looking for ways to save on bills, we anticipate growth in the use of energy-saving apps integrated with smart home technology. Smart thermostats are already in use, but apps that use Machine Learning could determine, for example, the optimum way of heating your home while saving you money. Added to this, high-capacity batteries will become more common, storing energy generated around the home (such as by solar panels or a wind turbine) and redistributing it when needed to reduce energy costs.
And on the entertainment front, more TV is set to move online. The adoption of opportunistic multicast for internet protocol (IP) television could make watching online more environmentally friendly and lead us further away from traditional television. Further innovation in content delivery apps like ITVX increases the number of ways we can access content and bring greater variety to how on-demand content is delivered.
Meanwhile, sports fans could see object-based media crossing over with on-board sensors for major sporting events. Some long-distance athletes are already tracked constantly during races and this data can be fed back to audiences through on-screen overlays. Football players have trackers which could support broadcasters looking for the ideal camera angles and provide personalised shots for an enhanced user experience, including the ability to focus on one player.
- Synthetic media will continue to develop
Last year we saw an explosion in the production of synthetic media tools such as: ChatGPT, a text generator; Dall-E, an image generator; Lensa, an AI portrait generator; MidJourney, a text-to-image generator, and Meta’s make-a-video; a text-to-video generator. In 2023 we anticipate synthetic media will continue to grab headlines – we might even see a book or film entirely generated by AI. No-code AI, which allows users with little technical ability to simply drag and drop their AI creations will help to drive uptake and make the technology more accessible to a wider user base.
However – a word of warning regarding synthetic media. Its continued development means it is increasingly easy for anyone – even without technical skills – to create synthetic content that is becoming difficult to identify as different from ‘real’ content. This calls for additional research and awareness of what has, and hasn’t, been created using these synthetic means.
- New wireless networks keeping us connected
There’ll be further developments in wireless connectivity, with Wi-Fi 6 and 6e continuing to gain traction in 2023. These will provide consumers with high-speed networks as well as catering for agile businesses. This year we’ll also start to see the first Wi-Fi 7 products unveiled to the public. Wi-Fi 7 boasts super-wide bandwidths that could aid in the development of some exciting in-home health monitoring applications.
Improved fibre and wireless networks could also lead to advances in self-driving vehicles. And this year Apple’s satellite SOS function will also go live for European iPhone 14 users. This function allows users to make emergency phone calls in remote regions – we anticipate many more device manufacturers will pursue this technology in the next year. Great news for adventure seekers.
- All eyes on virtual online worlds
There’ll be lots more focus on the Metaverse this year, it will be interesting to see what Meta has to offer in this space, as we wait to see whether the hype matches aspiration and the amounts of research funds being invested. Will the investment continue in 2023? And will this technology bring benefits for businesses – as well as consumers?
Also look out for growth in digital personas and digital twins, which act as a bridge between the physical and virtual worlds, while in the ‘real’ world, we could see more robotic interaction and the development of robotic aids and humanoid assistants.
2023 will also be a big year for extended reality (virtual, mixed, and augmented) hardware with major companies like Sony, Meta, and Apple all likely releasing their latest headsets this year.
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