Exploring the Real-Life Metaverse vs the Virtual Metaverse
What if you lived in a world where your weekend walks through the park included sightings of imaginary species and extinct dinosaurs? Or historical figures casually strolled alongside you during your lunch break? The concept may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but in reality, the technology already exists and is being utilized all around us.
Take Pokémon Go, for example. The popular game displays digital simulations of its animated characters on top of the real world for players to hunt down and capture. This technology, known as augmented reality (AR), is designed to enrich reality through virtual renderings of images, animation and text. And while the majority of people are familiar with terms like AR and virtual reality (VR), there’s a new concept now gaining a lot of buzz in the media: the metaverse.
What Is the Metaverse?
Mark Zuckerberg recently revealed that Facebook has changed its corporate name to Meta in an effort to usher in the next chapter of the company’s vision: to bring the metaverse to life. The announcement sparked a frenzy of questions and speculation about the metaverse and its prospective future.
So, what exactly is it? As Interesting Engineering explains, “A metaverse is a group of persistent, shared 3D virtual environments where you (in the form of your digital avatar) can visit places, shop for products, subscribe to services, work with your colleagues, play games, and even customize the scenes around you to meet your personal tastes and requirements, and the digital assets you own. So essentially, a metaverse is a virtual world or worlds, that would allow you to go inside the digital world — to be in rather than on the digital space.”
The Difference Between the Virtual Metaverse & the Real-Life Metaverse
The virtual metaverse that Meta is building is a fully immersive experience. It’s virtual reality-based, placing users into a computer-simulated reality via wearable headsets. These 360-degree digital environments can be used to create simulated experiences – like scuba diving along the great barrier reef, exploring space or vacationing on your own private beach.
There are also business-related applications for the technology, such as enhancing employee training initiatives, creating virtual showrooms for customers, building collaborative meeting spaces (especially for distributed teams) and product design/prototyping. Today, companies spanning the healthcare, automotive, engineering and construction industries, as well as the military and professional athletes, have already begun to integrate VR technology into how they educate, conduct business, interact with clients and more.
The real-life metaverse, on the other hand, is AR-based. Unlike the virtual metaverse, the real-life metaverse doesn’t isolate users from their surroundings. Instead, the technology is used to enhance reality by allowing users to interact with data and images displayed on top of the real world.
Popular social platform Snapchat, for example, leverages AR via interactive photo filters that add anything from a pair of sunglasses to tattoos onto your face before snapping a selfie. AR technology has also been making huge strides for businesses in industries like automotive, healthcare, aerospace, tourism, construction, architecture and beyond – providing cost-savings benefits in areas like onboarding, training and technical support.
The Bottom Line
Technology for both virtual reality and augmented reality devices is evolving every day, creating new opportunities for efficiency and upward mobility for businesses. As new developments are made, Concannon’s metaverse consultants are here to help bridge knowledge gaps and discuss implementation tactics designed to help your company reach new heights.
To learn more about how AR and VR devices can benefit your organization and help increase your bottom line, contact us today.