Premiere Digital Bowing Rom-Com Satire ‘Love Virtually’ on Digital and On Demand Nov. 7

Premiere Digital will release Love Virtually — described as a retro future satirical rom-com for the Metaverse era — on digital and via on demand Nov. 7.

In the film, the Metaverse has become widely adopted, and four couples go to ridiculous lengths to find true love in a virtual world. Blending live action and 3D animation as it explores and exposes the absurd reality of the virtual world and where we are heading, the film probes questions such as: How does a celebrity find someone who loves them for their true selves? Is it cheating if it’s in VR? And, Is it cheating if it’s with an AI?

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Love Virtually stars Cheri Oteri, Paul F. Tompkins, Peter Gilroy, Ryan O’Flanagan, Adam Ray, Nikki Howard, Tom Virtue, Paige Mobley, Vincent Washington, Ksenia Valenti, Harper Frawley, L.E. Staiman and Stephen Tobolowsky.

 

CTA at CES 2022: Consumers Are Leveling Up Their Tech

The pandemic has accelerated technology adoption, especially in the home, said Steve Koenig, VP of research at the Consumer Technology Association.

“Consumers have been leveling up their tech,” he said during the CES 2022 Tech Trends to Watch presentation Jan. 3.

4K Ultra HD TV penetration has grown from 36% of U.S. households in 2020 to 52% in 2021, according to CTA data. Smart TVs have expanded to 71% of U.S. households from 65%.

Services are also in the spotlight, he said. Spending on video streaming services is expected to reach $47 billion in 2022, up 7% over 2021, according to CTA research.

“Services have become really important to the industry, but I would say important in all caps to the consumer,” Koenig said.

Citing the millions of subscribers who have flocked to Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+, he said, “Consumers’ zeal and enthusiasm for these services is illustrated by some of these global numbers.”

He cited research that found the average consumer is subscribed to eight services.

As for the overall technology market, demand remains strong around the world, he said.

In the United States, the CTA forecasts that the tech industry will grow to $505 billion, up 2.8% from $491 billion in 2021. U.S. software/services spending grew 11.4% in 2021 and is projected to grow 6% in 2022. Hardware spending grew 9% in 2021 and is projected to grow 1.8% in 2022.

Some of the key trends being showcased as CES 2022 include artificial intelligence and 5G, which is “gonna provide the connective tissue for a lot of innovation in this decade,” he said.

As for the buzzword in tech at the moment, “the metaverse,” he said, “The metaverse is closer than you think.”

He said all the components are available.

“It’s really just assembling them,” he said. This next-generation, immersive version of the internet will become “inextricably linked with our physical reality,” he said.

Attendees will see the “first steps of the metaverse” at CES 2022, he said.

“It’s one of these trends that we’ll be talking about for the next 20 years,” he said.

A.I. and Machine Learning to Boom in Media and Entertainment Industry in 2022

Artificial intelligence and machine learning in the media and entertainment industry will boom in 2022, according to ABI Research’s new white paper 70 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2022.

In the white paper, ABI Research analysts identified 35 trends that will shape the technology market and 35 others that, although attracting huge amounts of speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle over the next 12 months.

The role of A.I. and machine learning will increase significantly in 2022, with revenue forecasted to surpass $9.5 billion in 2022 when video ad tech is included, according to the white paper. Due to competitive pressures from direct-to-consumer services, incumbents (i.e., pay-TV operators, broadcasters) will have to reduce costs, limit churn and extract as much value as possible from existing customers. A.I./M.L.’s role here will increase to better target households with promotions, automate more workflows, and better secure the operators’ content and services, according to ABI.

A.I./M.L. will also play a growing role in the ad tech space to improve personalization and contextually aware advertisements and serve as grounds for differentiation. This is especially critical following changes to third-party tracking devices (i.e., Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and third-party cookies) and increasing focus on privacy, according ABI. The corollary of these trends is that the ad market will not suffer as severely as some had feared due to the changing privacy landscape.

“The fallout from COVID-19 prevention measures, the process of transitioning from pandemic to endemic disease, and global political tensions weigh heavily on the coming year’s fortunes,” Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI Research, said in a statement. “This white paper is a tool for our readers to help shape their understanding of the key critical trends that look set to materialize in 2022 as the world begins to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19. It also highlights those much-vaunted trends that are less likely to have meaningful impact in 2022.”

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On the other hand, the metaverse won’t arrive anytime soon, ABI predicts. The metaverse, despite all the headlines and investments, will not arrive in 2022 or within the typical five-year forecast window. “The metaverse is still more of a buzzword and vision than a fully-fledged end goal with a defined date of arrival,” according to ABI. “What we have today is a number of tech companies building their version of a ‘metaverse,’ but this multiverse is not fully interconnected, does not yet widely employ open standards, and certainly has not fully embraced Extended Reality (XR) — all tenets of the metaverse vision (some would also add the crypto economy to the list, which is also not in place).”

It may take the better part of a decade before that “completed” form of the metaverse begins to take shape, ABI predicts. When the metaverse does arrive, it will truly transform the way we live our lives and, in the process, generate tremendous opportunities for a host of technologies, including 5G/6G, edge and cloud compute, XR, and A.I./M.L., according to ABI.