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Legendary columnist Walt Mossberg changed the tech industry — here are some of his final predictions

  • Famous technology writer Walt Mossberg is about to retire
  • His tips on future tech to watch: artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, transmitting power through the air and biotech

The personal computer, the internet and the iPhone all changed the world during Walt Mossberg's illustrious career in journalism as a columnist and reporter.

But as he readies to retire, companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are better than ever at figuring out what products consumers want, Mossberg told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Wednesday.

"We have these big five tech companies — the oligopoly," Mossberg said. "We have companies whose names we don't even know. And all these people are working on a wide variety of things that I think will come together to once again upend everything. And I'm talking about artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, transmitting power through the air. All kinds of bio[tech] and health things."

Walter Mossberg
Source: PBS | YouTube
Walter Mossberg

A longtime advocate for more consumer-friendly technology products, Mossberg developed a reputation for raising the curtain on technological trends during his reporting and management at outlets like The Wall Street Journal, AllThingsD and Recode.

For instance, Mossberg interviewed Apple co-founder Steve Jobs about mobile devices several years before the launch of the iPhone.

"Well, I could not have predicted the multitouch interface, but I certainly thought Apple was going to do it, and presumably other people as well," Mossberg said Wednesday. "Interestingly, he would not admit they were doing a phone."

Mossberg said it's the right time for him to retire, but "tech doesn't stop." He noted products like Facebook's Oculus virtual reality technology, which is still "rough around the edges" but could eventually become mainstream.

"There's going to be a tremendous wave coming," Mossberg said.