360° IT Check #29 — The Metaverse Movement, CES 2022, And More!
Table of Contents

360° IT Check #29 — The Metaverse Movement, CES 2022, And More!

The Metaverse Movement

Metaverses are accelerating at a rapid rate. We have not fully realized it’s 2022, while we received electrifying news about H&M’s store in a metaverse.

Or did we? As it turns out, the whole video was just a concept, and the spokesperson for the Swedish clothing giant denied everything saying:

We’d like to confirm that H&M is not opening a store in metaverse at this time. We are also not collaborating with CEEK.

Whilst such a collaboration would have been a big step forward for the world of fashion, and for virtual worlds, it all turned out to be just a smart marketing move (and perhaps a copyright infringement).

That was not the only news regarding metaverses. As it turns out, Qualcomm, and Microsoft work together to design chips for the XR (Extended Reality). Little is known about the details of the collaboration, besides the fact that companies will be focusing on powering the devices mixing the real and the virtual, rather than just showing people a world rendered by their headsets.

The Bottom Line

As we have written in our predictions for this year, metaverses are definitely taking over, even faster than one could have realized. For excellent reasons, as well.

Metaverse is an opportunity for brands to reach more clients, break through to the mainstream, and everything in between. Furthermore, what may pass as a virtual world does not have to be a futuristic experience in the style of “Ready Player One.” Until we have a full-on virtual worlds, we can take a step back, and design different virtual experiences that are not as immersive, yet still viable. Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” seem to be a great way of engaging people. There are two great examples of that.

One would be the talk show “Animal Talking”, where some well-known public figures, such as Mike Shinoda, Phil Spencer from Microsoft, or Danny Trejo appeared on this massively popular show.

Another one is Lush’s store. Visitors can explore the brand’s island, where the cosmetics producer promotes their product line, reaching their intended audience.

A screenshot from the video game “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” showcasing Lush's piece of the virtual land.

Of course, this game for the younger population might not appeal to the older community: we only showed this to let you know that the race to the Metaverse is already under way. There is a virtual world for everybody, luckily. There are a few tips that the Harvard Business Review gives, should you want to join in on the race. If you want to find out what are the pointers, here is the relevant article.

As illustrated in this Twitter thread, however, it is important not to force anything just to be a part of the hype – if it does not make sense for you to create such an experience, don’t do it. 

CES 2022

The CES, or “Consumer Electronics Show” is the first major tech trade show to happen in a year. Of course, because of COVID-19, each time we are talking about a shake-up or two. This time, Microsoft decided not to physically attend the event, joining Google, and Amazon. 

This year, there were few themes present: remote work, with products dedicated to making our lives in home offices easier, and more comfortable (such as this screen), Augmented and Virtual Reality, IoT, and, apparently… mobility, with a surprise car announcement from Sony.

The one thing that is perhaps lacking, is more products made from recycled products, and friendlier towards the environment. A light of hope appeared after Lenovo's presentation, though.

The Bottom Line

CES is a big event early in the year, where some of the biggest companies in the world showcase what do they have for the rest of the year. If you want to see what is likely to happen from the side of hardware producers, this event is the one to follow.

React Functional Components Types

The way that React apps in Typescript are written, the usual type annotation for the React’s Functional Components was React.FC. As it turns out, this is not an optimal choice, as it allows for the component to have children, even if you have not explicitly declared you want that. Your editor will not complain about it, leaving you to do something you wanted to avoid doing.

Perhaps not a big deal, though the decision to implicitly allow for this does matter. 

The Bottom Line

The type that was often in use until now, allows for some possibly undesired outcomes. Instead of React.FC use React.VoidFunctionComponent on React 17, and React.FunctionComponent starting from React 18.

It might be worth checking, in the codebase, whether you are using the correct type annotation.

Microsoft Office Add-In For The Disadvantaged

While screen readers are getting better each year, they still can’t reliably recognize what is on images. That’s why your co-workers need to come in, and leave comments or set the alt-text attribute. The problem is… they don’t always do that. 

The new Office add-in from Microsoft lets people leave “Accessibility Reminders” to ask for, e.g., a clarification. 

The Bottom line

People with disabilities are among us, and at times it can be difficult to remember that if you don’t regularly communicate with one yourself. By designing an app for this disadvantaged community, they no longer have to be at the mercy of their co-workers, improving their lives a little. 

The next important step is to develop an app letting people ask it what’s under their cursors, or a similar AI-powered image recognition software.

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