Tech Digest daily roundup: Sales of AR and VR headsets drop 12%, data claims


Worldwide shipments of virtual and augmented reality headsets dropped 12% to 9.6 million this year according to data from CCS Insight – a problem for Meta and other tech companies that are invested in the digital worlds’ potential. VR headset sales in the U.S. also slumped 2% from a year earlier to $1.1 billion as of early December, data shared with CNBC by research firm NPD Group reveals.  More than a year after Mark Zuckerberg’s company rebranded itself and almost two months after it laid off 11,000 employees, Meta’s long-term bet on consumers’ embrace of the metaverse has yet to pay dividends. Daily Mail 

Elon Musk‘s net worth has plummeted by more than $200bn over the past 13 months, one of the biggest losses of wealth in recent history. The tech tycoon lost more than half of his fortune between November 2021 and December this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, largely due to the collapse of Tesla stock during that time. The $208bn wiped from Mr Musk’s net worth is roughly equivalent to the GDP of Greece. The amount lost is also more than the net worth of the world’s richest person, Bernard Arnault. Independent 

The US House of Representatives has ordered its staff to delete TikTok from any House-issued mobile devices and forbidden them to download it in the future, according to an internal memo obtained by NBC News. The email, which was sent by the House’s chief administrative officer Catherine L Szpindor on Tuesday, said the office’s cybersecurity unit had found TikTok to be a “high risk to users due to a number of security risks”. “House staff are NOT allowed to download the TikTok app on any House mobile devices,” the memo said. Sky News 

Just a year ago, Washington DC’s Hirshhorn art museum – the capital’s preeminent contemporary art museum – was asking whether non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were “fad or the future of art”. Twelve months on, it looks like “tax write-off” might have been the right answer. This year was not just the year that cryptocurrency values were burned by investor fears, rising interest rates, inflation and scandals, it was the year that crypto’s cartoonish art cousin the NFT – an electronic identifier confirming a digital collectible is real – collided with reality. Guardian

A watchdog is to investigate Twitter after a hacker claimed to have private details linked to more than 400 million accounts. The hacker, “Ryushi”, is demanding $200,000 (£166,000) to hand over the data – reported to include that of some celebrities – and delete it. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) says it “will examine Twitter’s compliance with data-protection law in relation to that security issue”. Twitter has not commented on the claim. The data is said to include phone numbers and emails, including those belonging to celebrities and politicians, but the purported size of the haul is not confirmed. BBC 

The first cracks have appeared. Two weeks ago, the president of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, committed a stunning heresy. He gave voice to the thoughts of the “silent majority” in the auto industry. “That silent majority is wondering whether electric vehicles are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend so they can’t speak out loudly,” he said. Bravely, Mr Toyoda made his remarks beside a new range of concept electric cars that Toyota unveiled. By uttering such words, however, he may have opened a fissure much greater than he imagined. Telegraph 


Chris Price
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