As you can probably see by just reading the intro, the current experience in the Metaverse is quite different from the future vision of it. Gigantic innovations and technical developments take us closer than ever before to connected digital worlds and blur the boundaries between physical and digital spaces.
The current experience in the metaverse is still in its early stages and can vary depending on the platform or virtual world being used. While some virtual environments offer immersive experiences with impressive graphics and interactivity, others are more limited and feel more like the first video games. The current metaverses also lack some of the key features that are part of the future vision, such as the seamless integration with the physical world and advanced artificial intelligence.
Additionally, the current metaverses are still a niche experience that is primarily accessed by early adopters and enthusiasts. It has yet to achieve the mainstream adoption necessary to exploit its full potential and become a true digital counterpart to the physical world. To get a picture of the current experience, take a look at our video on YouTube showcasing our lounge on Decentraland.
The future of the metaverse is an exciting space. With tools like Oculus Rift, Valve’s Steam VR, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and Google AR Core all vying for supremacy in this new market, the competition is fierce and not one company can come out on top unilaterally.
Most people know Oculus as the company that originally popularized its Oculus Rift VR headset. However, Oculus has been taking steps to branch out into other metaverse related technologies with the purchase of Surreal Vision, an AI company focused on building a virtual human. The input from this development allows Oculus to move from a single player experience to an interactive multiplayer one. In addition, Facebook’s acquisition of the company has allowed for the expansion of Oculus’ reach and resources which will be crucial for their future success. Meta itself offers the Quest 2, the second version of their VR glasses, focused on gaming.
Beginning with their Steam Digital Video (SDV) store, Valve has built a native platform for gaming content to be downloaded and viewed. However, the future is only just beginning with Valve introducing VR technology into their new ‘SteamOS’ which is their newest Linux based operating system. It enables users to turn on a PC and immediately access content from across all of its available devices such as TVs, game consoles, desktops, and mobile devices. With this acquisition of VXS, Valve is also looking to create virtual reality scenarios for home entertainment.
The HoloLens is Microsoft’s vision for the next generation of computing and with it, is looking to create a holographic computer that allows users to interact with it and manipulate its environment. The technology Microsoft has created will also allow users a seamless transition from the real world to the digital. Allowing them to seamlessly transition from their current surroundings into virtual environments, going from one to another as if they were two sides of a door. HoloLens will be primarily focused on the business sector and as such will be marketed at companies that wish to use this technology in their own business operations. It is also being advertised as a great solution for medical, architectural and industrial design fields as well as for entertainment purposes.
Google AR Core
At first glance, Google’s Project AR Core technology appears to be far more limited in its scope than Microsoft’s HoloLens. However, Google has been making strides into the Metaverse space with the launch of the program, which allows the creation of AR mobile apps to project computer-generated environments onto their real-world surroundings. Using different APIs, ARCore enables your phone to sense its environment, understand the world and interact with information. Some APIs are available across Android and iOS to enable shared AR experiences.
AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) are a continuum of immersive technologies housed under the umbrella term extended reality (XR), which can merge the physical and virtual worlds. Collaborative VR environments enable people to come together and interact, especially in remote environments. XR technology can benefit virtually all industries by creating more efficient processes, enhancing training and offering ways for people to collaborate and interact.
Automating trust and increasing trustworthiness of digital spaces is a critical challenge for the future of the metaverse. Especially blockchain, IoT and AI can work together to ensure the authenticity of data, verify identities and enable secure multiparty transactions. Converged technologies can provide ways to automate trust in physical, digital and human assets.
As we already highlighted the element of immersivity, the interfaces of the future will leverage this part of the metaverse user experience. Immersive interfaces are defined as interfaces that heavily involve users by bringing them into the world of the interface both conceptually and perceptually. Virtual Reality technologies accomplish this by surrounding the users with their visual senses (as with VR glasses), giving them stereo sound, and providing an as natural input technique and automatic as possible. Immersive interfaces will be able to offer insights and augment workflows, allowing users to intuitively interact with the physical-digital world. A great example for immersive interfaces are haptic gloves. They could be used to manipulate and control objects for medical training that is experienced through a virtual reality headset.
Automation involves transitioning manual processes into digital ones by integrating robotics and intelligent systems, so they operate in unison. Intelligent automation gives systems the ability to learn from prior decisions and data patterns to make intelligent decisions on their own, freeing people to focus on important work or free-time activities.
Digital reflection is a virtual representation of complex, interdependent physical processes and interactions. The ability to digitize the world around us has increased dramatically recently thanks to advances in IoT, simulation modeling and analytical tools. Developing digital replicas is essential because it enables organizations to create safe testing spaces. In a digital reflection, you can model different scenarios and explore different outcomes.
The metaverse presents new marketing opportunities for businesses. As a hot topic, the metaverse attracts attention from both consumers and businesses, providing a unique opportunity for companies to showcase their innovative and modern approaches by creating solutions in this niche.
The metaverse, together with VR, offers an evolution in remote work, providing a virtual space where people can meet, work, brainstorm ideas, and carry out most professional activities. VR in the metaverse creates a more natural way of interacting compared to just sitting in front of a screen communicating through video calls. This establishes an opportunity for businesses to create digital assets in a more natural and visual way without being constrained by limitations of video calls.
One of the most significant advantages of the metaverse is the potential for cost reduction. With metaverse simulation capabilities, many business costs such as rent, staff, building, and equipment maintenance can be eliminated or reduced.
Another considerable benefit of the metaverse is the intense visualization improvements it offers. VR used in metaverse solutions enables users to experience things up close and with an unprecedented level of immersion and realism. This feature is a game-changer for brainstorming, presentations, and learning programs. Ultimately offering new ways of testing products, or creating new chances for learning and development of skills.
What are the near-term actions you can take to get ready for the metaverse? What do you need to consider? And how can you take the first steps towards moving your company into the metaverse?
Get up to speed
Most companies and individuals lack the technical skills, but also the knowledge about the metaverse ecosystem, including blockchain, smart contracts, VR & AR, and AI. The first steps to take to move your company forward to the future of the metaverse is education. Assign at least some part of your company to understand key concepts such as cryptocurrencies, current virtual worlds, and decentralized autonomous organizations and their relevance to your company, and to follow the metaverse as it evolves.
Develop a strategy
The first questions you may ask yourself to create a strategy are quite basic at first: Why should the company enter the metaverse? What do you actually want to do in the metaverse? Are there existing use cases highlighting the feasibility of your idea? Your main task will be to identify gaps to close and long-term opportunities. As the first metaverse hype is over, now it is about creating real customer value. It is critical to develop and understand technical measures such as making services extensible, developing plans for security and identity, and publishing application programming interfaces (APIs) to core systems, so others can connect to your future metaverse.
If your team does not have a lot of technical knowledge about the important core technical concepts, you will likely benefit from recruiting employees with a gaming background.
Test the waters
As we have already highlighted, testing in the metaverse is easier compared to the way to the metaverse. Lower-risk use cases of testing include selling digital versions of physical goods, offering virtual tours of virtual products or facilities, and launching NFTs to enhance brand awareness and connections to customers. As getting to the metaverse is still the most complex step on the way, neosfer offers a new service for companies and start-ups wanting to be active in the metaverse. With our help, your company can enter the metaverse in an uncomplicated, fast and cost-effective way.
As we have now introduced you to the future of the metaverse and the essential metaverse user experience created partially through advancements in AR and VR technology, we are not stopping here! You just got a first idea of what the metaverse can be in the future and what first three near-term actions are you can take to get your company metaverse-ready.
Our next article will provide a step-by-step guide and strategy of how to get to the metaverse. Filled with actionable information and hacks from our journey to the metaverse, we are not only talking about the roadmap but also what we are doing in the metaverse.
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