Recently, Metaverse has been a hotcake, with Facebook and Microsoft both stalking claims. Most people think of virtual reality when they hear about the Metaverse.
They believe Metaverse is maybe a captivating digital environment accessed by headsets that transport users to a non-existing fantasy world. Well, I can’t disagree with this. But Metaverse is more than they can ever imagine right now.
And VR is a technology that allows an access point to the Metaverse. Knowing these a little bit, that’s when the question pop’s up in my mind.
Can we experience the Metaverse without VR?
If you are enthusiastic and want to learn more than this, I suggest you read till the end. I believe the article is enough to open the door to your knowledge and imagination.
How Can We Experience in the Metaverse Without VR?
Hey, have you ever seen any episodes of the TV series called Black Mirror?
If you do, you already know the concepts and technological advancements of AR and VR.
I’m a big fan of the anthology television series Black Mirror premiered on Netflix on 21 October 2016. It literally blew my mind every time I watched an episode of the series.
Tip: Watch the second and fifth episodes of season three of Black Mirror to understand a glimpse of Augmented and Virtual Reality.
I often believe that Black Mirror is a realistic depiction of the future. The series contains episodes based on cultural changes, specific technological advances, and future events with the help of technological enhancements.
Imagine you are roaming around the streets of Weimer, Germany, while suddenly you see a fantastic bronze monument. You stand in front of it and enjoy the beauty. So you want to know the history and everything about it.
Your phone has an AR app from Weimer, Germany. So, hold your phone up and point it at the monument. Your phone uses satellite navigation or GPS to work out where you are.
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You see the monuments and lots of little icons with text on your screen. One says “Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal” when another elaborates the meaning stating Gothe and Schiller are paired in the statue as they had a friendship “like no other known to literature or art”.
You also learn that Schiller is known as “the poet of freedom,” and Gothe is famous for being the “Supreme genius of modern German literature”. The app gives you information about the things in your field of vision, which in this case is the Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal.
This is a fine little example of Augmented Reality (AR). Before we go any further, let’s know more about AR and VR, their differences, and their relation with Metaverse.
Knowing more about these altogether, you can understand the total mechanisms and find your answer.
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What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality comes from the words “Virtual” and “Reality” and definitions do so. The “Virtual” represents “Near”. So, ultimately the term Virtual Reality stands for “Near Reality”.
Virtual Reality is a non-existing or artificial environment created with computer-generated simulation and presented in a way that the user accepts as a real environment. It provides us with a virtual environment where we can interact with a computer just as we do in the real world.
So, how does Virtual Reality work?
Virtual Reality works like this — if you can represent your senses with made-up information, your perception of reality would be changed in response to it. Your brain will present a version of reality that isn’t real, but you would perceive it as real from your perspective.
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What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality is a more incredible version of the actual physical world that is achieved through VR headsets, smartphones, or tablet screens. TechTarget considers Augmented Reality as the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real-time.
Being the biggest technology trend on the earth right now, augmented reality is going to get better and bigger when AR-ready smartphones and other devices become more accessible to us.
So, how does Augmented Reality work?
Augmented Reality works through the combination of a depth-sensing camera, registration tools, computer vision, an output device. It overlays digital information through a camera and registration tool, then it goes through an ML algorithm, and the users can view the resulting output through an output device.
The camera figures out the subject’s distance and angle, registration tools, like motion sensors and accelerometers, allow your device to define the space in that it would superimpose or place the sensory information.
Then the information goes through a computer vision, i.e., a machine learning algorithm, and results through an output device, i.e., a computer monitor or phone.
Using AR, you can see information about what you are looking at, which is not the case with VR. There are some core differences between them.
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What is the difference between AR and VR?
Both AR and VR technologies are opening new possibilities in the technological field. But there are a few differences, specifically, four fundamental differences between AR and VR.
|Augmented Reality (AR)||Virtual Reality (VR)|
|The AR uses a real-world setting.||The virtual world uses a completely virtual setting.|
|AR doesn’t require a head-mounted display to be accessed. You can access it with a smartphone, or tablet.||VR requires a headset device to be accessed.|
|You can control your presence in the real world while using AR.||You can not control your presence in the real world while using VR as the system controls it.|
|AR enhances both the real and virtual worlds.||VR enhances only the virtual world, which is considered as a fictional reality.|
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What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a mixture of different technology elements such as VR, AR, and video, where you live within a digital universe. It is vast, bordering on infinite amounts of information, and increasingly interacts with the physical world.
I consider Metaverse a never-ending digital parallel universe that connects to our physical world. When computer hardware progressed, they created stand-alone cyberspace.
When we networked computers to create the internet, this cyberspace got a new meaning. If you consider the internet an infinite collection of information, you can think of the computer as the original Metaverse access point.
Each new connected computing device is basically a new network node. As the internet is an accumulated collection of cyberspace merged into one, you can add whatever you wish and whenever you want. So, the new nodes add information and create infinite depth of the Metaverse.
But smartphones and mobile networks have opened a new era of Metaverse. Smartphone users can add pictures and videos to the Metaverse. Besides, players worldwide now play online games using VR headsets.
Though mobile phone adoption accelerated VR companies’ work for the Metaverse industry, augmented reality just bashed it. Users don’t have to put their headset on with augmented reality like VR, and they can use their phone and do their stuff with it.
For example, the LiDAR scanner on the new iPhone can scan your surroundings and bring new content into them through your camera.
AR uses your computer’s or phone’s vision, simultaneous localization, and depth tracking to show the relevant content to you. AR enables cameras to collect, send and process data to display digital content relevant to what you are looking at.
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, said, “I’m excited about Augmented Reality because, unlike Virtual Reality, which closes the world out, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what’s happening presently. That has resonance.”
In the field of technology, we are living through an exciting time. At the apex of hype and promotion, one technology can be demolished when another technology comes in.
The same goes for virtual and augmented reality. Virtual reality is rising day by day, but when augmented reality is available, it will grab the market, and we can experience the Metaverse without virtual reality.