Three technologies that will shape the future of the metaverse – and human experience

Three technologies that will shape the future of the metaverse – and human experience

Metaverse News
April 21, 2022 by Diana Ambolis
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In 2021, the term ‘metaverse’ began to be widely used, igniting a passionate global debate about what it means, whether it exists now, and who will possess it. However, there is still no agreement on what it will be in 2022. The tech website The Verge quipped, “Perhaps you’ve read that the metaverse will replace
Three technologies that will shape the future of the metaverse – and human experience

In 2021, the term ‘metaverse’ began to be widely used, igniting a passionate global debate about what it means, whether it exists now, and who will possess it. However, there is still no agreement on what it will be in 2022. The tech website The Verge quipped, “Perhaps you’ve read that the metaverse will replace the internet.” Maybe we’re all supposed to live there. Maybe Facebook (or Epic, or Roblox, or a plethora of other smaller companies) is trying to take control. Is it feasible that it has something to do with non-ferrous transitions?”

We must first understand what the metaverse is to study its potential repercussions. When it comes to attempting to define something, there are three schools of thought.

1. The metaverse is a product or service.

In January 2020, author and investor Matthew Ball coined the term “metaverse,” describing it as “an expansive network of persistent, real-time rendered 3D worlds and simulations that […] can be experienced synchronously by an effectively unlimited number of users, each with their sense of presence.”

The metaverse is a product or service that possesses seven fundamental properties, including persistence, synchronization, and interoperability. This description, however, is not different from what the internet already is and accomplishes, according to technology analyst Ben Thompson, albeit “with a 3D overlay on top of it.”

2. As a physical location, the metaverse

Users can interact, chat, and transport themselves and their belongings across the metaverse’s many digital locales. Roblox, Epic Games’ Fortnite, and Manticore Games’ Core are examples of gaming and creative platforms where gamers and their avatars can seamlessly transition from one virtual environment to another.

3. As a point of view, the metaverse

Shaan Puri, a startup entrepreneur, recently coined a new term for the metaverse, defining it as a place in time. The metaverse, in particular, is the point at which our online identities, experiences, relationships, and possessions outweigh our physical life. This perspective stresses the human experience, resulting in a sociological rather than a technological metaverse transformation.

In practice, the term “metaverse” refers to concepts.

The third explanation is appealing because it emphasizes the makers and users of the metaverse: individuals. Answering worries about how the metaverse might appear and feel, rather than examining its features, could be a beneficial approach for predicting the tsunami of socioeconomic upheaval that the metaverse is anticipated to unleash. After all, it is ruthless pragmatists who “meander the jungle of their thoughts,” not armchair theorizers who shape the future.

Suppose technologists are correct, and 2022 is the year when thinkers and builders are separated. In that case, last year’s technological accomplishments will prepare the way for this year’s first steps toward making the metaverse a reality. Progress will be aided by ever-improving graphics processing units (GPUs), photorealistic 3D engines, faster content development through volumetric video and artificial intelligence, the growing use of cloud computing and 5G, and a more sophisticated and better-understood blockchain infrastructure.

However, in terms of the human experience, one breakthrough stands out above all others: extended reality (XR) technologies. They include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and brain-computer interfaces (BCI), all of which are positioned as the next generation of computing platforms.

  • Extended reality (VR, AR, and BCI) technologies are gaining traction as metaverse computing platforms.
  • Extended reality (VR, AR, and BCI) technologies are gaining traction as metaverse computing platforms.
  • XR has made remarkable progress toward mainstream adoption, with predictions that VR and AR headset shipments would eclipse global gaming console shipments in 2024. 

And, like with the introduction of the personal computer and smartphones before them, widespread consumer acceptance of XR headsets is expected to alter human digital experiences and serve as preferred entry points to the metaverse.

Also, read – Why Facebook is delving into Metaverse?

The dispute over which XR technology would ultimately win has spurred intense boardroom debates, corporate chessboard maneuvers, and increasing investment activity.

Virtual reality serves as a “digital retreat in today’s metaverse.”

In the future, virtual reality — an alternate, digital world that can be used for a variety of personal and corporate purposes — is expected to be the most prominent manifestation of the metaverse. Consumer alternatives for exploring interactive and social 3D places will be headsets like Meta Quest or Sony PSVR, according to recent high-profile announcements by Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), Microsoft, and Sony.

Virtual reality focuses on creating a digital sense of presence, which many experts say will be vital to creating an engaging experience and keeping customers engaged. According to Mark Zuckerberg, the metaverse is already here in the form of popular video games. The Oculus program (soon to be dubbed Meta Quest) was the most popular in the app store during the holiday season, with Meta potentially selling two million virtual reality headsets. Many industry experts believe that Meta will purchase a significant gaming franchise in 2022, following Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard and Sony’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie.

In this perspective, our digital and physical selves are kept apart. Virtual reality will only replace certain aspects of the human experience. Critics claim that relying on a few VR devices and content providers to create the metaverse will resemble, if not strengthen, the internet’s current ‘walled gardens,’ which are unique, isolated ecosystems controlled by the operator.

This is in sharp contrast to Web 3 proponents’ vision of the future, in which the metaverse will serve as a check on the dominance of comprehensive technology corporations. Decentralizing the internet’s experience, management, and monetization, should be an opportunity to empower users (or citizens) and content providers.

Augmented reality will be utilized to enhance the human experience shortly.

“Many people these days are talking about ‘the metaverse.’ After eighteen months of Zoom, Netflix, and Doordash, you can count me out – at least in the form that most people imagine -” wrote John Hanke, the CEO of software startup Niantic, in a recent blog post. Hanke believes that the metaverse should complement rather than replace human experiences. He believes that digital technology should not compete with reality and that most people do not want to spend long periods in virtual worlds.

He isn’t the only one who has made this point: Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, an online social platform that began in 2003, says the metaverse is “not for everyone.” In contrast to virtual reality (VR), Niantic’s vision is based on augmented reality (AR), which does not cover entirely and replaces a user’s field of vision. According to AR proponents, the future metaverse will be constructed on the merger of the physical and digital worlds. In its most recent funding round, Niantic was valued at $9 billion, indicating that at least some investors agree.

AR products from companies like North (Google), Snap, Nreal, and Tilt Five have just launched or are about to launch, demonstrating the technology’s potential and the limitations that must be overcome before it can truly take off. With enterprises vying for IT skills and rumors of new gear from companies such as Apple, AR’s ‘iPhone moment’ may not be far away.

Brain-computer interfaces are the ‘ultimate platform’ for the long-term metaverse.

Perhaps the metaverse’s most far-reaching vision is brain-computer interfacing (BCIs). BCIs are intended to take the place of screens and physical hardware entirely. Although some gadgets operate through the senses of touch and smell, all XR versions today use screens and standard control methods. Technology like Neuralink requires surgery to implant electronics in the brain intrigues and discourages many potential users. Researchers have also used neural interfaces to help those who have lost their ability to speak and write.

Last year, valve, a gaming and software company, said that it would collaborate with OpenBCI, the manufacturers of the non-invasive Galea headgear, to research BCIs in the metaverse. After expanding their relationship to include MIT Media Lab and Tobii, OpenBCI has secured funds to build a “mind operating system.” Achieving success would be a significant step toward realizing a vision in which technology is entirely integrated into the human experience. Among the uses will be gaming and healthcare.

The risks of anticipating technological advances

The metaverse could expand in many ways, all of which are reliant on research, innovation, investment, and regulation ecosystem. Any attempt to predict the outcome has a track record of being unreliable. If the metaverse develops, it will grow into experiences that we cannot expect.