There are few who will doubt that one of the buzzwords that is going to be redefined and understood better is “Metaverse”. There are already many promises and intense apprehensions around this, none of which seems to cool down in near future.
The word might have come out of a science fiction work but there are many definitions floating around. Gartner defines metaverse as “a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality.” It is definite that the use-cases of this is going to be very compelling for these adaptations. It will have a very enhanced immersive experience to the level of having a fine layer of addiction and usefulness.
The more we ponder on the use-cases the more we feel that it will also be the next revolution and is also quite aligned to other revolutionary technology like 5G. Just like sugar in your tea, it seamlessly blends into the future. We can hope to see completely independent devices connected to the internet ready to blend the real and the virtual world together.
We live in the real world but also have some share of our life in the virtual world. Metaverse wants to address the gap of the potentiality that the virtual world can bring to the user experience and merge that with the real world. The Potential of the virtual world seems infinite to us as we see the immense possibility that can happen in future. Data points and sources are getting added every day, such as technology like 5G which will provide 20 times increase in bandwidth and 10 times more density which will ensure an exponential growth of data and its source. All the data will have the possibility to provide a lot of information and a fair share visualisation. Such information and visualisation is going to feed into the requirement to use metaverse and further enhance it.
Hardware will be another pivot point to drive the Metaverse use-cases. We have definitely come ages away from a time when we were making our VR sets from cardboard boxes and placing our mobile phones into them. Today most of the FANG Companies are betting heavily into it. While companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are all working on hardware and other use-case ecosystems, Facebook has put a lot at stake on Metaverse. They even went ahead and changed the company name to ‘Meta’. Today Facebook is very dependent on the App Store and Play Store from Apple and Google, which regulate these application platforms. After Facebook acquired Oculus VR they will attempt at a different application store which can be independent to the other large companies and they can run by their own privacy policies.
One concern that everyone has over my discussion is on the health side of using such devices. It will be unfortunate for the natural vision as eyes are going to get affected. I am sure the VR device makers are also looking into these concerns and trying to address them as best they can. It appears that these simple looking VR devices are going to be one of the finest technology innovations in time to come. In a recent video from Meta circulating on social media, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is mentioning some of these devices. “Holocake 2” is promised to be the thinnest and lightest VR prototype, with a holographic display. They also promise several hardware and software upgrades to address enhanced focus, distortion correction capability to minimize warping effects, higher resolutions, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology for VR. I guess a lot more will need to be addressed but this is still a journey and not yet the destination.
While gaming is an early adopter of Metaverse, there is a promising line of use-cases there already and they will become more attractive with the new development in the entire ecosystem.
With work from home becoming widespread, a mixed reality virtual office will become an attractive use-case as well. People might have a virtual office space and they will have a virtual laptop and other accessories just like in a real-life office scenario. Similarly online education can be a big use-case to provide a real-life learning experience virtually. Today developers and other monitoring companies have requirements to see multiple monitors and to work on them. Metaverse will provide this seamlessly with portability to do it anywhere in no time. Metaverse can bring a completely different experience for online retailing to provide a fairly comprehensive look and feel of the product to be bought, virtually. Healthcare applications will see big use coupled with other IOT devices to monitor and check the health parameters of the patients. The list of such use-cases is already turning unending.
Some of the use-cases might be a little far away but some are quite near in the pipeline or already ready for adoption. What is definitely clear is that Metaverse has several compelling use-cases and the ones that are not yet as compelling, might become so sooner rather than later.