The idea of a metaverse is not new; in fact, virtual reality platforms such as Second Life offer this integration between virtual and physical spaces (as well as virtual economies). The 2011 film Ready Player One offers a look at a potential metaverse as well.
By definition, a metaverse is “a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection.” Users will participate by utilizing augmented reality headgear or virtual reality headsets. The internet will connect users; in fact, tech CEOs are predicting that the metaverse is the internet of the future.
As it stands now, the metaverse is more know for 3D virtual reality gaming, and is an amazing interactive experience. In the near future it will be so much more and corporations are placing large bets on the platforms and interactive experiences.
The Most Popular Virtual Reality Platforms
The Oculus Quest 2 is an all-in-one virtual reality headset that offers 128 GB of storage. The Quest 2 includes the virtual reality headset, a charging cable and power adaptor, two touch controllers, and a glasses spacer (Oculus throws in two AA batteries as well). Oculus describes the Quest 2 as its most advanced virtual reality set. The virtual world adapts to the user’s movements, and there is no need for a computer or a console. However, one can use the Oculus Link cable to connect with a gaming-compatible personal computer The Quest 2 offers fifty percent more pixels than the original Quest set-up, and users will be able to attend virtual concerts on this platform. The Quest 2 will also allow users to pair with other Oculus users to expand one’s Metaverse experience.
One can purchase the HTC Vive Pro 2 system or the headset only. The Vive Pro 2 offers “category-leading immersion.” The resolution of the HTC Vive Pro 2 is a combined 4896 x 2448, and users can enjoy 5K clarity. Users will see more naturally due to the wide field of view, and this machine utilizes the Steam VR tracking technology. The Pro 2 can be upgraded as needed, and it is compatible with a number of VIVE products. The Pro 2 can fit in both at home and in the business world.
3. HP Reverb G2
The HP Reverb G2 offers exceptional sound and visuals; the immersive audio brings sound to life, and the high-quality resolution makes immersion seamless. The headset offers a fit that adjusts to users; the lenses can be adjusted for different eye distances. Users may wear the headset for longer times due to the flexible material from which the HP Reverb G2 is made. The HP Reverb is compatible across the industry, including SteamVR and Windows Mixed Reality. The set up includes the headset, a headset cable as well as a power adapter and two motion controllers.
How to Start Experiencing the Virtual Worlds
Anyone wishing to navigate the Metaverse will initially need to obtain the necessary virtual reality platforms such as the ones discussed earlier. There ARE also apps on one’s smart phone that will allow individuals to experience the Metaverse. As a word of caution, however, without the virtual reality equipment such as googles or headsets, users won’t experience the total immersion the Metaverse is intended to provide.
The top necessities in hardware are the Virtual Reality headsets or the Augmented Reality smart goggles. There are several brands to choose from depending upon one’s needs or desires.
Some experts believe one will obtain the most immersive experience when choosing a virtual reality headset; however, some users will prefer the augmented reality smart glasses.
If an individual simply wishes to dip one’s proverbial toe in the pool of the Metaverse, then there are a number of video games which allow for this. Roblox is already offering the chance to host or participate in Meta events, and the first meta store is also a part of the video game. Fortnite has been mentioned, and it is already providing gamers with the ability to attend virtual concerts. The platform has already hosted Ariana Grande as well as Marshemello for Fortnite audiences.
Facebook is already offering Horizon Workrooms due to the fact that so many are working remotely as a result of the pandemic. Decentraland is offering “virtual real estate for sale; the platform has sold $2.4 million in virtual land and homes, setting a record for the Metaverse.
Even Zuckerburg has stated that his vision of the Metaverse may be a decade – or more – away; however, individuals can get an idea of what the Metaverse is and how to begin navigating it simply by utilizing virtual reality (or augmented reality) and the gaming platforms that provide a “meta” experience.
What is the Metaverse currently?
The term “metaverse” was actually coined in a 1992 science fiction novel, Snow Crash. It is the marriage of the adjective “meta” and the word “universe.”
According to a recent article in Wired, the metaverse is not so much new technology, but how we humans interact with technology and each other. One could relate the metaverse to the game Fortnite – a virtual world in which the worlds exist even when gamers aren’t actively plugged in; add to that idea an augmented reality in which certain aspects of both the real world and the digital world are combined. That’s the metaverse we should expect, but users will also be able to buy and sell goods as well as create them.
Multiple companies are developing technology that will be utilized in the metaverse: Epic Games, Facebook, and Microsoft are all building various tech that will be a part of the coming metaverse. These companies have stated that once a person enters the Metaverse, one can shop, meet one’s friends or family members, attend a virtual concert, or even complete official paperwork.
Unfortunately, since so much is in development at this time, it is a little difficult to get a more concrete description of what the metaverse of the future will be. However, as technology develops, the public will get a better understanding of how this idea will change the internet.
The Growing Popularity
Virtual reality is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been a possibility for some years now. However, by 2028, the Metaverse market is expected to reach $828.95 billion. In 2020, the market was $76.69 billion. The development of cryptocurrency is only expected to further propel the popularity and growth of the market. This industry is expected to expand at a rapid Compound Annual Growth Rate of 43 percent between the present and 2028. Individuals will even be able to purchase “virtual land” in order to construct their personal virtual world.
Companies are making large investments in the Metaverse
In late 2021, Mark Zuckerburg announced that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta, and the world began to wonder why he chose such a name and how it would change the social media platform. A quick Google search reveals the new Facebook name as well as Zuckerburg’s intention moving forward. It’s slogan is “Connection is evolving and so are we.” A quick scroll down the page reveals that the metaverse “is the next evolution of social connection,” but there isn’t a detailed breakdown of what to expect. The metaverse is not the creation of Zuckerburg, but his announcement regarding Facebook did garner great attention to the idea.
Microsoft produces the HP Reverb headset and bundle. Microsoft is also developing technology that will integrate the work world with the Metaverse. Microsoft Teams is one area in which the company is putting a lot of development into this area of the Metaverse.
Epic Games, Unity, Roblox, and Snap are all developing new technologies that will allow for further immersion in the Metaverse. Nvidia appears to be working to using Metaverse in order to collaborate and explore new technologies.
Companies are investing because they see the future, and that future is one that allows for interaction via the virtual world. The Metaverse will no longer simply be for gamers, but it will allow for remote workers to be productive. In the age of COVID-19, the Metaverse may allow us once more to interact and socialize – as well as be productive – in a safe way.
Where is the future of the Metaverse heading?
The metaverse is going to be a method by which users may share the virtual universe together – including school and work. Zuckerburg is working to rebrand the purchase of Oculus by Facebook (now Meta) the Meta Quest. Some Oculus products will be called Meta Horizon. Webcams that once captured user images will now be replaced with avatars for each user. AI (artificial intelligence) will be utilized to listen to the human’s voice and then animate the avatar as needed. Meetings can be in 3D with the introduction of the Metaverse.
Nvidia is planning a Nvidia Omniverse which will “connect 3D worlds into a shared virtual universe.” This will be cloud-native and the shared platform will remain the same between user sessions. This will be streamed into any device remotely.
Users may be able to work remotely and interact via the Metaverse. Gamers can interact with one another as they play games. Individuals may exercise via their VR headsets. Eventually, people may shop via the Metaverse, and dating in the Meta may be an option too.