Metaverse, What Is It and How Is It Different from VR & AR

Metaverse is an online 3D platform that uses AR and VR technology to create a reality where people can engage in different activities. The differences between the Metaverse, AR, and VR can be subtle. To distinguish between these three types of technology, one must first understand their purpose and application

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It can be challenging for most people to keep up with all the constant changes in the fast-paced world of technology. Although technology can be confusing at times, it offers creative solutions to many of our everyday problems. The most recent trend in technology and communication is the Metaverse. This new concept has provoked heated discussions over its exact nature and application.

So, what is the Metaverse? Is it the authoritarian society Matrix movies warned us about, or is it just a fancy virtual game? There are differing views and opinions about the Metaverse since it does not exist in its true sense yet. Here you can get a sense of what Metaverse is by examining its characteristics, application, and the existing related technologies like VR and AR that play a role in its development.

Metaverse

Metaverse can be very hard to define, just like how hard it was to describe the internet decades ago. Simply put, the Metaverse is an online platform where our physical form is simulated in a parallel world using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Generally, the goal is to socialize, but you can do almost all that you do in real life. Metaverse is here to provide a life-like simulation for us so we would not be looking at a 2D screen anymore. For instance, more people are reading PDFs now, but everyone misses the touch of paper. In the Metaverse, you can read a book or browse the newspaper online while feeling like you are turning the pages with your own hands.

One way to shed light on the vague nature of the Metaverse is to analyze its defining characteristics. Mathew Ball summarizes the Metaverse’s core attributes as follows:

 

  • Continues autonomously and cannot be shut off or restarted
  • Has a functioning economy (people can buy and sell merchandise using cryptocurrency.)
  • Interoperability
  • Decentralized (with only individuals creating content or interacting)

Metaverse’s Applications

There are many benefits to using a shared online space like the Metaverse. Many people find self-expression easier through social media. They can interact with anyone across the world without feeling shy or embarrassed. If you are not too fond of socializing with strangers, think about spending time with your loved ones regardless of your physical distance.

There are more practical uses for the Metaverse as well. Metaverse has the potential to revolutionize education. Accessibility and efficacy will no longer be an issue. Furthermore, it will present endless opportunities for businesses worldwide and would create new jobs.

Besides, the more adventurous souls will have the luxury to travel the world without stepping outside their houses. Obstacles or disabilities will no longer keep us from enjoying a rewarding experience. It is also an incredibly inclusive activity, and isolated members of society like seniors and people with disabilities will no longer have to feel marginalized.

Metaverse’s Applications

There are many benefits to using a shared online space like the Metaverse. Many people find self-expression easier through social media. They can interact with anyone across the world without feeling shy or embarrassed. If you are not too fond of socializing with strangers, think about spending time with your loved ones regardless of your physical distance.

There are more practical uses for the Metaverse as well. Metaverse has the potential to revolutionize education. Accessibility and efficacy will no longer be an issue. Furthermore, it will present endless opportunities for businesses worldwide and would create new jobs.

Besides, the more adventurous souls will have the luxury to travel the world without stepping outside their houses. Obstacles or disabilities will no longer keep us from enjoying a rewarding experience. It is also an incredibly inclusive activity, and isolated members of society like seniors and people with disabilities will no longer have to feel marginalized.

VR and AR

Although the Metaverse in its true sense does not exist yet, its components have been developed within the context of online games and social media platforms. In theory, accessing the Metaverse requires a couple of advanced technologies. You will need a pair of VR goggles, high-speed internet, haptics, blockchains, etc. That being said, it might still get confusing when we try to distinguish between VR, AR, and the Metaverse itself. What do VR and AR exactly mean, and how do we use them?

Virtual reality or VR is a computer-generated reality where users enter a different environment using a pair of special headsets or a helmet. On the other hand, AR, or augmented reality, offers a combination of reality and virtual components. In fact, it adds sensory elements to the users’ immediate surroundings. Whereas VR creates an entirely artificial world, AR uses a real-world setting. Lastly, AR does not require giant headsets, and you can access it simply with a smartphone.

Having compared VR and AR and the technology behind them, it is time to delve into the matter of how they differ from the Metaverse. VR is the technology of creating 3D environments with specific goals in mind. For instance, to develop hyper-realistic online games. The Metaverse, however, is an online persistent virtual world like the internet that employs VR technology to enrich the user’s online experience.

VR Applications

Much like the Metaverse, VR technology comes with several benefits for its users. VR has various applications in education, business, entertainment, etc.

In education, it helps learners add to their knowledge through active experience instead of passive learning. Furthermore, it boosts creativity and reduces distractions while studying.

In business, VR helps you create a unique customer experience. Many companies are using this technology to help customers test products before purchasing them.

Additionally, it is a great entertainment tool. Whether you are a passionate gamer, curious about technology, or just interested in seeing the world, VR will surely take you on an unforgettable journey. All in all, VR has opened our eyes to new possibilities, but it still has a long way to go.

AR Applications

AR is a fascinating technology that has made our lives easier. Its applications are vast and mainly practical as opposed to the more entertaining usages of VR.

Have you ever wondered if a new piece of furniture will fit in well with the rest of your apartment? Then you have felt a need for AR. In this case, Ikea has designed an app for its users to see how an item would look in a certain room before they buy it. This technology was a game-changer for companies that wanted to enhance their customer experience. However, AR’s applications are not limited to business. It also can be used in education, tourism, product design, science, maintenance, repair, etc.

An example of AR services in education can be seen in teaching mathematics and geometry. The abstract concepts of these subjects can be overwhelming to learn, but AR can help students visualize everything and have fun in the classroom.

In engineering and product design, AR minimizes expenditure by allowing the designers to see the end product and make changes before production.

Metaverse Can Be the Answer

Technology’s rapid improvement over the years might seem scary or threatening to some people. That is because the endless possibilities technology brings with itself can blur the lines of reality and what is known. Although it is natural to fear the unknown and the potential risks of technology, it is best to keep in mind that technology’s primary purpose is to make our lives more comfortable. AR, VR, and the Metaverse have the potential to change many aspects of our lives for the better. The two aspects that are likely to be affected the most are our method of communication and socializing with other people. Considering the important role these concepts play in our lives, it is essential to educate ourselves about the technologies that can become the governing method of their deliverance and introduce them to our lives so that we can be prepared for the future.

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