12 July 2022 12:08:40 IST

Technologies behind metaverse that will shape our future

A virtual reality simulator headset | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The metaverse will be an important movement in the future of technology. The post-pandemic world is rapidly changing and technology is being utilised to mould this new reality. For the next few decades, the metaverse will be and already is the most significant development.

Here, we discuss five technologies that are linked in some way or another to the creation of this interactive and immersive virtual platform and how they will be employed in the future. 

Headsets for Virtual Reality (VR) 

Future communication will be heavily reliant on VR technology. Metaverse will be accessed and interacted via VR headsets. We will always utilise VR headsets whether we want to work or play. Companies will be forced to have a presence in 3D virtual space just like every business had a website two decades ago to have their presence on the internet.  

By the end of this decade, VR will probably disrupt the game consoles. It implies that established firms will eventually work with game creators such as Fortnite and Roblox to provide captivating VR experiences. In the mere future, the world of traditional business and internet gaming will converge. 

Glasses for Augmented Reality (AR) 

AR too will inevitably become a part of our daily life. Instead of complete headsets, AR will be integrated into the glasses we wear. The Google Glass idea, which was initially offered ten years ago, will reappear and this time it will stay with us. AR will improve how we interact with everyday items in the real world.  

In a brick-and-mortar business, for instance, we may deal with a hologram of the salesman rather than the real thing. This hologram will only appear when we want to ask for help. 

AR will most likely be used to scan real-world environments in real-time. The users will automatically transfer environments such as city districts to the virtual area. It will also be utilised to investigate new architectural things prior to their construction.  

VR headsets and AR glasses will alter our interactions with technological devices. Interactions via voice will be a natural element of AR and VR gadgets. With so many distinct possibilities provided by AR gadgets, users will find it easier to say “do” than searching for a suitable option in the navigation menu. 

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Decentralised Finance (DeFi)  

Decentralised finance will be at the heart of the metaverse’s digital economy. Digital currency (coins) will be fully at home in the virtual world. Users can sell and purchase items using digital currency as long as they remain in a virtual environment. It’s unlikely that we will have only one metaverse, probably we will have numerous metaverses established by different firms.  

Making a global currency that works across all metaverses is doubtful. Every firm that creates a metaverse will also build its own currency and one of the problems for product designers will be providing a system that allows them to easily swap one currency for another. 

Today, most people identify NFT with collecting and trading digital stuff. However, this technology has far greater potential. In the future, NFT will be utilised as a sign of ownership of any digital asset in the metaverse. It will be used for all digital goods in virtual space, from digital land property to a virtual outfit that your avatar wears. 

Digital identification 

Many people believe that the metaverse will be a place where anything may happen. A virtual world should have certain core regulations that individuals must observe like a real-world scenario. Hopefully, digital identification will aid in the management of these regulations. 

Digital identification will function the same way as physical identity. It will be linked to your digital avatar which is your virtual image. When a person joins the metaverse, their avatar serves as a digital identity via which they may access numerous services. Creating digital identities will almost certainly necessitate the collection and analysis of biometric data. Users will very certainly be subjected to facial scans and identification. 

It’s unclear if the firms that built the metaverse would confirm digital identities or encourage service providers to do so. To preserve the privacy of personal data, metaverse designers will also need to handle the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  

Given how much information firms may get about their consumers in the metaverse, this can be a significant concern for service providers. 

Wearable gadgets  

The pandemic revealed that our most valuable asset is health. Technology will be utilised to promote a healthier lifestyle. Wearable gadgets of the future will enable more precise health monitoring. It will track your health by sensing the gases that escape from your skin and monitor biomarkers associated with metabolic problems including heart disease and diabetes. Such sensors will very certainly be integrated into all of the products we use on a daily basis including smartwatches, AR glasses and VR headsets. 

We are in an age where massive businesses compete to reveal their own futuristic metaverse creations. Apple, Google, Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Niantic, and Valve are already building technologies that will influence the future of the metaverse. Fundamentally, we are still in the early stages of developing the metaverse. We can’t even agree on the definition of the phrase.  

However, the sheer amount and calibre of talent and investment entering the area ensure that it is here to remain forever. Start-ups will undoubtedly play a critical part in implementing the idea of a decentralised, free, future internet. Now, not later, is the moment. 

(The writer is Assistant Professor, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.)