Meta, Mesh for Microsoft, The Matrix, are but a few of the original pioneers of a fanciful world where humans are no longer bound by the laws of physics and biology. Where a user can escape their physical constructs and shed them for a cooler, more idealistic version of themselves (or perhaps their truer selves). And within this land, they are free to roam and explore other users from across the globe. This is called “Meta”.
Meta is shorthand for “Metaverse” a term coined in 1992 by author Neal Stephenson, where he explored a futuristic type of land in his hit classic, “Snow Crash”. Little did Neal know that his imaginary land of tomorrow would arrive in the form of a social media and software giant (Facebook) only to be realized far sooner than the year 3000. In fact, Facebook along with a litany of other Silicon Valley giants are planning on releasing their plans for their metaverse in 2022. And they’re big… very big.
However, not all technologies and in this case, metaverses are created equal. In fact, the difference between a world run by augmented reality versus one run by virtual reality looks and feels strikingly different. Let us dive deep into the possibilities and distinguish one from the other. You’ll thank us in approximately four to seven years for this.
Diving Deep into Augmented Reality
Let’s start off with some basics and definitions—augmented reality or as the crypto sphere likes to call it, “AR” is an augmented three dimensional experience where the real world is overlaid with digital elements. Think back to the wildly popular Pokemon Go or the Google Glass, where a camera is used to view the physical world and then computer graphics are overlaid on top of that image. This is the essence of AR or augmented reality.
The real-world applications for this technology go much farther than any video game or photo-capturing glasses. In fact, at this very moment, the medical field, universities and entertainment companies are all jumping on the bandwagon before it completely takes off.
You can see these types of development in the NFT space or non-fungible tokens where studio films like Disney are planning on incorporating NFTs into their amusement parks and stores across the world. The vision for companies like Disney is to one day offer special codes or items to guests seen only by AR or devices that support augmented reality.
Virtual Reality: Closer Than You Think
VR or virtual reality on the other hand is already here and is actively playing a role in both the business and social sectors. VR, unlike AR, requires nothing more than a headset or device that allows you to enter a completely digitally designed world. One can easily make the comparison to Stephen Spielberg’s blockbuster hit, “Ready Player One,”—however this film was specifically geared towards gamers.
The virtual world of tomorrow that billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg envision is one that is not wholly tied to gaming. Rather, this virtual reality can be accessed by anyone from around the world. And its application will range from the doctors viewing a patient from ten thousand miles away or the Mexican student taking German classes from a professor in Munich.
Founder of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg ended with this,
“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet… We’ll be able to feel present—like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are.”
The Future of the Metaverse
The future is here and proof of this could not be more evident than in 2022, the year that will usher in the next phase of both augmented reality and virtual reality. Getting humanity one step closer to a world that is no longer tied to physical constructs. Rather it is built on the backs of our wildest dreams.
And it is in this spirit, that we leave you with a bit of hope for this next year. Be on the lookout for a more robust Oculus, or Facebook’s virtual reality headset. As well as Apple’s glasses that are set to be the next big thing in augmented reality.
Gone will be the days of missing a meeting because you’re stuck in traffic or being unable to attend your best friend’s wedding in Lago di Como because of a broken foot. Possibility is the theme of this year, and you better believe that the metaverse will represent exactly that—possibility of anything and everything. Because anything will be possible in the metaverse.