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Metaverse, Extended Reality, and the Future of our Physical World

August 1, 2022
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Read Time:
7
min

Our concept of reality is undergoing a historical transformation. The modern world is at the epicenter of a technological revolution that is reshaping the 'real world', far beyond the limitations of time and physics. The physical world is experiencing tremendous disruptions affecting how humans interact, socialize, work and live.

Some of these disruptions can be attributed to extended reality (XR) technologies shaping the future Metaverse. XR is fueling an array of unimaginable possibilities, through the emerging Metaverse of the 21st century. By projection, individuals in 2030 may spend more time in the Metaverse than the real world. People will meet with friends and colleagues, shop, and work in virtual workspaces, using the advanced virtual reality components of the Metaverse.

The Metaverse

The term Metaverse originated from Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk novel Snow Crash in 1992. The Metaverse is a vast network that utilizes 3D protocol for social connection in an immersive and universal way, enhanced by augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. Users can access the virtual reality world through VR headsets, which stimulate the physical senses. The Metaverse frontier is projected through its advanced avatars to allow individuals to oversee operations, beyond limitations in the modern world. 

Since the Metaverse is now part of mainstream discourse, there are ongoing debates regarding the domain and potential of the Metaverse. Adopting Metaverse has been primarily influenced by the need for social and gamified experiences in future iterations. Exploring a middle ground for a virtual workplace can increase productivity and facilitate creativity and innovation. With adept advancements, saying goodbye to the traditional workspace cubicle will become a reality. Leadership and employees will communicate via new interfaces, providing an instant virtual network. Modern devices will enable you to manipulate 3D objects and interact intuitively within the virtual spaces you occupy.

Extended reality (XR)

Extended reality is a general term that involves Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies. These immersive technologies expand the virtual experience by creating an extensive immersive experience or reshaping the real and virtual worlds. For example, the XR capabilities will allow users to experience memories and moments of the life of another individual.

Synthetic data from simulated worlds will guide robots in solving and performing sophisticated tasks. Governments and businesses will utilize the power of Metaverse to provide services, share information and collaborate. Let's examine these existing technologies:

  1. Virtual Reality

The virtual reality experience is fully immersive within an advanced simulated environment. Individuals can use head-mounted displays or VR headsets to provide a 360- degree view of a virtual world. The VR components will deceive the brain into believing they may be swimming underneath the ocean or walking in space. 

The entertainment and gaming industries were at the frontier of this technology, followed by construction, military, and healthcare industries. VR is used in real estate to showcase properties, so that potential clients can explore and appreciate a space. VR-enabled workstations enable employees to use avatars in virtual offices, unlike collaborating over voice calls or Zoom.

A panoramic camera is set to create a 360- degree view of a property, boosting the agency’s rate of conversion. Virtual staging enables you to add or replace décor and furniture, making the property appeal to a prospective buyer.

  1. Augmented reality

In augmented reality, virtual objects and information enhance the real world with digital experiences such as texts, animation, and images. Individuals can access the experience via smartphones, tablets, and AR glasses. Users are not alienated from the real world since they can interact and observe what is happening. AR can be used to edit photos to be engaging and interactive, so that users are more likely to embrace the product. Reality apps can allow you to customize the design of any space.

  1. Mixed Reality

Mixed reality technology involves real and virtual world objects, co-existing and interacting in real-time. Unlike VR and AR, immersive technology requires MR headsets with more processing power. An example of this is the Microsoft HoloLens, which allows an individual to place objects in a room and then spin around the digital object evenly, at every angle. 

As a result, companies embrace MR to support initiatives, improve businesses, and solve work problems. HoloLens magnifies real estate with an amazing experience for the buyer or tenant. The real-time information about properties enables buyers to locate and visualize properties for sale with MR technology. 

With the specs, visual décor, and photorealistic architectural views, buyers can experience the entire space through a 3D protocol. The MR technology is ideal for customizing original décor such as accessories, furniture, and interior finishes.

Is reality moving horizontally in a more inclusive way?

VR, AR, and AI, among other frontier technologies, are being designed to complement each other in shaping ecosystems of advanced technologies developed for virtual environments. The integrated technologies will rule the virtual ecosystems of XR with more enhancements in Metaverse capability. 

Since access to Metaverse is becoming universal, companies recognize a need to develop inclusive and customized solutions for a wide array of users. The broad network of capabilities will help in overcoming economic, gender and social inequalities and obstacles. Employees, third parties, and client interactions in Metaverse will proliferate business transactions. Business leaders agree that early adopters of Metaverse will gain a significant advantage.

The benefits of extended reality 

Many industries can tap into opportunities from XR technology to enhance their processes, collaborate with virtual settings and maximize their productivity. 

VR is used in simulated environments to allow users to practice job skills, to safeguard its use on Internet of Things headsets. XR can be impactful to businesses in the following scenarios:

  • Helping design teams to explore and evaluate new concepts instead of having physical prototypes for collaboration.
  • Allowing numerous users to use unique content through customization.
  • Raising the enterprise's ability to deliver high-quality products and services to the marketplace.
  • Helping users of components to visualize problems, with a deeper understanding of maintenance processes.

The use cases of extended reality (XR) in industrial and manufacturing brands include:

  • Expedited repairs and maintenance
  • Improved collaboration
  • Accelerated product development
  • Meaningful guidance and training

Changing world- with new adept opportunities and challenges

The outlook of Metaverse is evolving rapidly, even though its access currently remains a challenge. Creating immersive content using the present XR software and hardware can pose resistance, since some of the early adopters are not well versed with the recent technologies. However, entry barriers are expected to slowly fade because of new upgrades and advancements.

As the emergence of virtual technologies and applications accelerates, the rise of NFTs and blockchain-centered platforms such as Sandbox, Decentraland, Somnium, and Cryptovoxels are at the forefront of progress. These platforms encourage people to initiate forays into amazing virtual ecosystems. Deploying the technology will need testing to ensure it has appropriate security for the privacy of people's data. 

Conclusion

Metaverse is extolled by its proponents because of the decentralization and interoperability it provides. Exploring the opportunities of XR and Metaverse is a great way of boosting and expanding the reach of possibilities from these frontiers. The intersection of virtual lands and digital twins presents an exceptional opportunity for real estate investors. Regulators, governments, and businesses must plan, design, and implement their operations for a defining road map into the future.