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The post-pandemic world is changing rapidly and technology is being used to shape the new reality. The metaverse will be (and already is) the most significant trend in the technological landscape over the next few decades.
These five technologies are directly or indirectly linked to the creation of this interactive and immersive virtual platform, and this is how they will be used in the future.
1. Virtual reality headphones
Virtual reality devices will be an integral part of communication in the future. VR headsets will be used to access and interact with the metaverse. No matter what we do, whether we want to work or play, we will use virtual reality headphones. Just as every company created a website two decades ago to have an online presence, companies will need to create a 3D virtual presence.
VR is also likely to replace game consoles by the end of this decade. This means that the world of online gaming and traditional business will merge at some point – traditional companies will partner with game developers such as Fortnite and Roblox to create an engaging VR experience.
However, there are some complex challenges that product developers need to address. For example, it is important to increase the resolution of VR devices (ideally have 8k resolution, because this will help create a more realistic virtual space) and to design VR headphones with a refresh rate of 120 hz, because this speed will help prevent motion sickness that many VR users suffer right now. It is also important to pair VR headphones with other body sensors to create a better illusion of reality. Meta is already working on a haptic glove that will pair with headphones to create a more immersive experience.
Related: 5 reasons why AR and VR strategy is a must for your business
2. Augmented reality glasses
Like VR, augmented reality will naturally be a part of our daily lives. But instead of full headphones, AR will be integrated into the glasses we use. The concept of Google Glass, which was first introduced a decade ago, will return and this time it will stay with us. The augmented reality will be our new reality. AR will enrich our daily interactions with real world objects. For example, when we visit a regular store, we will interact with the seller’s hologram instead of the actual seller. This hologram will only appear if we need to see it (ie we want to ask for help).
AR is likely to be used to scan the real world environment. Environments such as urban neighborhoods will be naturally transferred to cyberspace by AR users. AR will also be used to study new architectural sites, even before they are actually built. Imagine being able to design a new building and then use AR goggles to navigate that space before it is built to understand the potential problems.
VR and AR headphones will also change the way we interact with technical devices. Voice interactions will be a natural part of AR and VR devices. With so many different options that AR devices offer, it will be easier for users to say “Do (action)” instead of finding the right option in the navigation menu.
Related: Why augmented reality and virtual reality will be important to your business
3. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Irreplaceable Tokens (NFT)
Decentralized finance will be at the heart of the digital universe of the metaverse. The digital currency (coins) will fit perfectly in the virtual environment. As long as consumers remain in a virtual environment, they can sell and buy things with digital currencies. It is unlikely that there is only one metaverse; we are more likely to have multiple metauniverses created by different companies, so it is unlikely that we will see a universal currency that works for all metauniverses. Each company that will create a metaverse will also release its own currency, and one of the challenges that product designers will face is creating a mechanism that allows them to easily exchange one currency with another.
NFT is a technology that most people associate with collecting and selling digital items today. But this technology has much greater potential than that. In the future, NFT will be used as an indicator of ownership of every digital asset in the metaverse – it will be used for all digital elements in cyberspace, from digital land ownership to a virtual suit worn by your avatar.
Related: Make your brand a household name using the power of NFT
4. Digital identity
Many believe that the metaverse will be a space where anything is possible. This is not true. Just as the real world has some rules and policies that people need to follow, the virtual world also needs to have a set of fundamental policies that people need to follow. And digital identity is something that will help control these policies.
Digital identity will work in the same way as real world identity. It will be connected to your digital avatar, a virtual presentation of the user. When the user joins the metaverse, his avatar will provide a digital identity to access various services. Creating digital identities is likely to require the collection and analysis of some biometric data. Most likely, users will go through facial scans and recognition.
The question is whether the companies that created the metaverse will verify the digital identity or ask service providers to do so. The creators of Metaverse will also have to turn to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to protect the privacy of personal data. Given how much information companies can gather about their customers in the metaverse, this can be a huge challenge for service providers.
Related: 4 things you need (and one you don’t) to form your brand’s digital identity
5. Advanced sensors for health monitoring in wearables
The pandemic has proven that health is our most valuable asset. Technology will be used to create a healthier lifestyle. Next-generation wearables will allow more accurate monitoring of our health. Not only will the list of devices that can monitor be expanded, but the way devices will track our health will also change. Wearable devices will monitor your health by measuring the gases coming out of your skin. They will monitor biomarkers associated with metabolic disorders such as heart disease and diabetes. Most likely, such sensors will be integrated into all the devices we use every day – smart watches, AR glasses and VR headphones.