The metaverse became commonplace especially when Facebook announced its rebranding on Meta. Over the next few years, the metaverse is expected to translate primarily into virtual reality, an alternate digital world that can be used for a variety of personal and business purposes. The key that will lead users to build loyalty will be the digital sense of presence. A truly immersive experience that, according to Zuckenberg, would already be present in the most popular video games. This vision maintains a separation between digital and physical identity. But the real question is: virtual reality will only ever replace some aspects of the human experience?
A “physical” metaverse
The most revolutionary vision of the metaverse involves brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). While some devices have also worked with touch and smell, all XR models today rely on traditional screens and control systems. BCIs aim to completely replace screens and physical hardware instead. Such as Neuralink, which involves the use of neurosurgery to implant devices in the brain, an idea that polarizes public opinion. However, this system can also be used to improve the life of people with serious neurological damage in the first place. Neural interfaces have been used to restore the ability to speak and write in people who have experienced language loss. Many experts therefore remain convinced that the metaverse should enhance, rather than replace, human experiences.
A growing chronological line
Here’s how it all started. Facebook has renamed its name to Meta and has invested millions of dollars in building mega Metaverse projects and associated content. Then it was Microsoft’s turn to announce its metaverse-based alternative, Microsoft Mesh, which allows users to explore immersive 3D spaces. Finally, a team of developers, Estaban, Ordano and Ari Meilich, has launched the first decentralized metaverse based on cryptocurrencies. Now the blockchain is transforming the centralized concept of metaverse projects and involving digital spaces of different nature, from gaming, to real estate and commercial. Among the various technologies that power the metaverse, the blockchain plays a crucial role since this has the potential to make metaverse projects compatible with Web 3, which is the next phase of the Internet. However, investigations are underway to ascertain all the problems relating to decentralization including those of security, trust and data storage.
AR / VR: what role will they play?
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are basic to make the metaverse more and more “real”. Both of these technologies can truly facilitate immersive experiences and help create a more immersive three-dimensional digital world. Over time, VR technology is using other great technologies to evolve and improve Metaverse’s ability to deliver immersive 3D experiences. Among these it is possible to mention Unit which is a development platform rich in features for creating events in real time that supports multiple operating systems. ARToolKit on the other hand is an open source and free library that offers features such as multilingual support. Apple ARkit – Toolkit that allows developers, for example, to activate image filters and facial expressions of 3D characters. Or like, for example, at Google ARcore – A Google-owned toolkit with features like ambient understanding, light estimation and motion tracking that pair well with new era tools.
Artificial intelligence, IoT and 3D reconstruction.
These could be the real allies in the construction of a complete metaverse. Artificial intelligence may prove to be an important engine that will fuel the development of the metaverse reality. The AI in the metaverse would support the creation of 2D and 3D based avatars according to the specific characteristics of the users. Artificial intelligence can inspire metaverse to build the ability to learn human body language and conversation style, for example to build automated assistance to answer user questions via chat in VR spaces. Applying AI would make language processing on the metaverse easy, allowing users of different languages to explore its benefits.
IoT is a technology that acts as a medium that connects the real world with the Internet via sensors and devices. Once connected to the metaverse, these devices can share and receive information in order to build a more efficient replica of the physical world.
The IoT also provides the metaverse with real-time data collected from the real world. By using this data, the metaverse can improve the accuracy of the activities that take place within it.
The implementation of the IoT can seamlessly connect the 3D world to many real devices, allowing the creation of real-time simulations in the metaverse. Finally, the 3D reconstruction would support the creation of photorealistic objects such as the building, a high definition 3D environment and physical locations within the metaverse. Sectors such as real estate and e-commerce create natural virtual spaces that integrated into the metaverse, would allow users to enjoy experiences close to the real world. For example, companies could help their potential customers examine a property through virtual tours of the metaverse or shop in virtual stores.
One thing is certain about the metaverse: it will change the way to do, think, use digital. What risks and consequences will be, this will only be possible to discover over time. But all current creators agree in reiterating the concept that Metaverse is not yet fully mature in terms of development as reality. Tech experts are researching strategies and testing various tools to develop ideas that provide the world with metaversal designs that truly deliver real-life functionality.
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