A Glimpse into the VR Metaverse and Web3

The world has never been larger or smaller. Despite the great jump in the number of people inhabiting our planet, the world has become smaller than ever thanks to advances and technological leaps and breakthroughs. Heck! You don’t even need physical presence but can still “be there” and interact in almost any capacity. If being connected was the power of internet at work, being there is the potential power of the combination of futuristic tech developments of the Metaverse and Web3.

With the great investment and media attention, the Metaverse is the golden child of mainstream technology while Web3 is well positioned to be its underlying workhorse. Naturally businesses want to tap into the futuristic developments of the two spheres of activity. COVID-19 worked both to provide a setback to businesses as well as a much-needed push in a new direction and new way of working.

Technology is changing work and how we work at a hectic pace which makes it hard to keep up with it, let alone predict things one decade in the future. But difficulty has never prevented humans from trying. In our attempt we will try to find the common threads that tie together the Web3, the metaverse and businesses- VR/AR/Mixed Reality

Before we dive into the technological possibilities of the VR/AR let’s have a brief glimpse of the present market position of the technologies we are discussing here.

Globally in 2021 the VR market amounted to USD 21.83 billion. The expected CAGR or compound annual growth rate of the market is 15.0% as things roll on from 2022 to 2030.

Now, let’s discuss what is VR/AR and how does the technology align with the recent technologies like the Metaverse and Web3. Well, to put it simply, experts expect VR/AR to be the way we interact with the Metaverse which itself is powered by Web3 and associated technologies. The Metaverse is very much virtual and is expected to become THE way people interact with technology and that happens through using VR/AR devices.

There are a host of devices that use VR and related technologies. While you may already be familiar to AR smartphones and VR headsets, those are in no way the sole types of VR/AR devices out there. Indeed, they also include things like gloves, bodysuits and even glasses.One interesting development that might take place is a

breakthrough in Elon Musk’s Neuronlike project which will let us create devices that simulate reality even better.

VR has already made a significant impact in fields like instruction and training. However, as things stand today not all VR/AR devices out there don’t provide the same level of immersive Ness in a digital world.

Using smartphones on VR headsets is only the proverbial tip of what the VR iceberg can potentially provide. They give us a foretaste but are still too large and clunky to make immersive and continued virtual interactions possible.

Experts hold that the AR/VR devices will primarily come in the form of standalone and tethered units soon. Tethered units refer to VR/AR systems consisting of an actual interacting unit which is connected to and processed by a separated dedicated processing unit. On the other hand, we will have wearable units that combine all aspects of the VR/AR experience. Many manufacturers are also building devices that combine the best of both the tethered and standalone units. Creating standalone/wearable VR/AR units are far more challenging to implement we must add.

We must admit that none of the existing VR/AR systems in place provide a full, boundless, and immersive experience which is sort of the holy grail of the VR/AR world. Many if not most existing VR/AR systems are plagued by lack of field of view, natural perception, limited visual resolution, and 3D sensing capabilities. “True VR” is still five to ten years off into the future.

The landmark Pokémon Go game gave people an attractive foretaste of the capabilities of mobile AR. Experts predict that future VR/AR devices will make digital interactions accessible, personalized, and smooth.

Now let’s take a deeper look at the technologies that VR will help to connect, viz. Web3 and Metaverse:

What is the metaverse and Web3

Though there’s tremendous hype surrounding the Metaverse but that doesn’t negate the fact that there is definite lack of clarity on what it is. Let’s look at it from our interpretation and perspective:

The metaverse as interaction of people with technology

Let’s try to give you an idea on how the term “Metaverse” is severely lacking in clarity. Let’s just consider the following case- substitute the word “metaverse” in our metaverse related reading to “cyberworld”. If you then do your reading, then you will find that little has changed in the meaning of the metaverse related reading you just completed. The point is that when we talk about the Metaverse as things stand today, we are referring to, specific technologies and how people will engage with the connected web in the future.

Today, when business firms and technologists refer to the Metaverse what they are really talking about is a VR world that is at work even when you are not engaged with it, which is not something unlike the real world. Not only VR, the Metaverse also includes AR aspects of digital experiences which create a new kind of reality through its combination of the real physical world and the digital world we have created for ourselves. However, that doesn’t mean that the Metaverse can only be accessed through VR/AR. Parts of the existing Metaverse like Fortnite can also be accessed through Web2 read/write technologies including traditional computers and game consoles and of course smartphones.

One critical component of our future world and one that

both the Metaverse and Web3 share is a digital economy. The Metaverse will support and facilitate such digital transactions letting users buy and sell assets that they have created or own. The Metaverse needs the technological trigger that will let users port digital assets from one Metaverse platform to another or in other words the current metaverse lacks interoperability which is going to be needed if it is indeed going to be the way people interact with technology in the future.

Games like Fortnite help to bring some amount of clarity to the term “Metaverse”. World of Warcraft lets you buy and sell things online, in-game, and it is a gaming world that lives in its own persistently. Similarly, Fortnite too has a slew of virtual events that you can attend using your VR headset. Such digital experiences include not only concerts but also an exhibit through which the player character (in this case Rick Sanchez) can learn about the great historical figure Martin Luther King Jr.  It will help you better understand the Metaverse if we say that Fortnite is to the Metaverse what Google is to the internet. Not in the sense that Fortnite helps you find things but in the sense that Google is one of part of the internet and not the whole of it. Sure, Google lets you find things in the internet but it is not the internet, i.e. it is a part of something bigger.

If the interaction between people and technology is the Metaverse then we come to the next piece of the puzzle- Web3. Web3 is what is going to power those interactions. In other words, people will be interacting with the Metaverse through Web3.

The web3 as people as owners of the internet

The basic idea behind Web3 owes a lot to the thoughts and developmental activities of Gavin Wood who is also the co-founder of the cryptocurrency Ethereum. Though Gavin was only echoing a sentiment that all early adopters of cryptocurrency felt- the net is based on too much trust and trust is not the most obvious practice of businesses and corporates. In other words, you can’t expect businesses to act according to precepts like the greatest good of the greatest number.

What is Web3?

Web3 is a trending term that people use generally while referring to a better, even more functional internet that is expected to evolve in the coming decade. Web3 uses state-of-the-art web technologies like cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFTs. Remember the things you bought and sold on World of Warcraft? With Web3 you are likely to buy and sell them in blockchain-powered cryptocurrencies.

Experts envision the most important feature of Web3 to be a read-write-own internet in contrast to its read-write predecessor of Web 2.0 and the read only original web. The following discussion will make it clear how you can “own” the internet in the Web3 era.

Let’s look at the core ideas that are powering Web3 development:

Decentralized architecture- In contrast to the present scenario where corporates and businesses control most of the internet out there, Web3 is going to be decentralized which in turn will let individuals own the internet. The builders and users of the internet will finally be its owners.

No need for permissions- Web3 assures everyone of equality when it comes to participation in the broader Web3 internet. Not only equality, but inclusivity is also another key characteristic of the technology as by design it excludes no one.

It supports native payment mechanisms- Web3 works in sync with cryptocurrencies, and both share many similar precepts and characteristics. Web3 uses crypto money with which users can buy and sell digital assets and physical goods without having to rely on outdated and stiff financial institutions like payment processors and banks.

Trust becomes of secondary importance- You don’t need to trust corporate third parties to use the Web3 internet. It instead adopts a user centric incentive based economic model.

A morning in 2033, what it might look like…

So, what would a day in 2033 resemble. Just maybe a (aaaaaa) little like this:

I am 43-year-old stay-at-home writer dad with a 12-year-old girl. My wife wakes up and immediately orders the necessary food items for dinner according to the special Chinese recipe the Alexa skill on her Echo device suggested. She simply had to provide her consent and scan her retinas to confirm the order. Don’t worry, she owns her biometric information and its digital storage.

I wake up and the neural ink device on my dear “tom” (our dog) informs me he really wants to go out. I agree and go out with him to a nearby park. The day is calm and peaceful, and the world is full of the green earth and the blue sky. A great day to write.

When i return from the park, I find my wife in our Tesla, sitting at the back while the ai-powered voice driver shares kids jokes with my daughter and she giggles uncontrollably. Once they see me, my wife takes her neck out of the car window and kisses me and wishes me a great day. I return the greetings and head towards my room on the first floor of our two-storied home as my wife and daughter bustle away to office and school respectively.

I log in to my voice-controlled room on the first floor. I step into the recliner and rest easily on it and put on my VR/MR/AR goggles as Stacy, my AI friend and writing assistant kicks into action. She gives me a summary of the 16 scenes of the 34-scene novella I have already completed writing. She suggests three potential event sets for the next chapter. I consider them and order her “elaborate option 1”. She does that and then reads out the entire scene. I ask her to create a visual, the neural ink sensor protrudes from the top of the recliner as the goggles create a 3d visualisation of the scene. I think its all good and finally request Stacy for a test. I see the scene with me as the protagonist, thinking the thoughts i helped Stacy create. Yup, the narratives’ is intense. Great! Just then there is a buzzer sound with a bright light blinking on the horizon. It’s a call, i need to attend it and I ask Stacy to pause as I head downstairs, climbing stairs is great for the body, WebMD has it!

Well, we are all set for a great afternoon!🙂

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