From metaverse to virtual reality, you guessed which technology will shape our lives


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“We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters,” PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel joked, referring to Twitter’s character limit, which has since increased.

Technology has advanced, but not quite the way many of us thought.

We recently asked readers of our Thomas Industry Update newsletter what technology they think will be popular over the next five years and how it will shape the industry. Readers responded by explaining how it also shapes our home lives, our indoor lives, and our virtual lives.

Virtual reality

Perhaps the most popular use of virtual reality (VR) has been with video games such as Half-Life: Alyx, beat the saberand super hot VR, but technology isn’t just for entertainment these days. We’ve already entered an era where the military is using VR for immersive training for after-service manufacturing jobs, museums are using VR to transport visitors through history, and public schools are implementing virtual reality to gain experience in emerging technology.

David, who works in engineering, doesn’t think virtual reality is just a fad, but will be popular in five years. He urges manufacturers to “try to make helmets in the United States”.

He’s certainly not alone in this call for made-in-the-USA technology – and it’s not just finances that are driving a push to relocate VR headsets. It is also a matter of national security. The US Air Force wants to use VR technology for its Pilot Training Next program.

The Metaverse

Lynne, a Thomas Industry Update subscriber, says the metaverse will be popular in five years.

The metaverse is an immersive 3D space in which individuals can interact with each other through augmented reality and virtual reality. It does not quite exist yet, so its characteristics and uses are still being defined, but it is considered an evolution of the Internet.

Vic, who works in engineering and technical services, echoed that prediction saying, “This is going to change the way we interact. It will revolutionize sales and collaboration efforts.

Imagine if instead of a Zoom meeting that looks like the opening sequence of The Brady Group, you were able to take a factory tour with your colleagues, then you can begin to understand how the metaverse can improve remote work and save on office expenses and business travel. The metaverse can also be used to improve manufacturing operations through digital twins. It can even be used to enhance online shopping so that it’s a fun and interactive experience.

smart homes

Some of us may remember the days before remote controls where you had to get off the couch to change the TV channel and get out of the car to open the garage door. Today, we can control devices in all of our homes through apps on our smartphones.

Jennifer, who works in government, predicts that “AI, IoT and smart homes” will continue to grow over the next five years.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being integrated into homes around the world to increase comfort and safety while reducing costs. They can learn owners’ routines and preferences to automatically turn off lights or adjust the temperature, for example.

Mental health detection apps

As mental health has suffered during the pandemic, more and more employers are working to better support staff wellbeing. Companies are pledging for employee mental health in different ways: Microsoft is reimbursing up to $1,200 for employee wellness expenses, Nike mandated a week off last year to allow staff to relax. relax, and PwC allows its staff to be fully remote in the United States

Mental health apps have also become increasingly popular. They are used to manage depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD and PTSD.

“Mental health screening apps for trauma survivors” will grow in popularity in five years, says Mike, a Thomas Industry Update subscriber who works in healthcare. He says these apps can connect individuals to trauma coaches and are “cheap, effective, and available today,” but the mental health industry has yet to make them fully available.

Thomas has put together a guide on how to talk to your employer if you have mental health issues. If you are having suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free, confidential assistance anytime at 800-273-8255.

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Reader submissions have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Image Credit: Andrey_Popov /

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