It’s hard to disagree that we live in an age where real and virtual lives overlap, creating a fascinating combination. The metaverse is the post-reality universe, which combines 2 worlds: virtual and real. As we know, the metaverse is closely dependent on innovations. Immersive technologies are one of the crucial ones that will profoundly influence the nature of the metaverse in the future.
1. The quality or degree of being immersive.
the immersiveness of virtual reality
Today, digital users have access to "immersive experiences." The term “immersiveness” is more frequently used as a distinct form of the metaverse concept. This high interest "to immerse" is a result of Web3’s transition to a 3D virtual environment. Web2 and Web3’s transitional phase permit users to perceive the virtual world via flat screens. Users will be able to immerse themselves in virtuality, interact with it, and become a part of it in the fully developed Web3 era. Moreover, the perceived information will not be limited only to visuals sound but also tactile sensations, smell, and even taste.
Extended Reality (XR) is a new and incredibly fascinating technology that everyone is talking about. XR is an umbrella term for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). XR is a rapidly expanding field with numerous applications, including entertainment, marketing, real estate, education, and remote work.
VR allows users to interact with computer models in an artificial three-dimensional environment using electronic devices such as headsets, controllers, and gloves. Oculus Quest 2, for instance, is one of the most well-known solutions on the virtual reality market. What makes VR special is the ability to create a different climate for a user.
AR allows to combine objects and environments of the real world with computer graphics on the screens of mobile devices or PCs. It is different from VR by its methods and the way of implementing virtual inputs into our reality to augment and improve it.
MR is a hybrid between VR and AR. It is designed to show how virtual and augmented worlds can flow one into the other. Also, mixed reality combines digital and tangible environments into one area where you can interact with non-existent objects in real-time. MR can be experienced with special headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens. MR is more complex than the ones above.
The concept of the metaverse, even though the metaverse doesn’t exist at its full potential today, already comes across several challenges. XR devices are one of the valuable fields that may provide triggers for user inconveniences. The main problems of XR devices can be divided into 4 categories:
1. Actual prosperity, wellbeing, and security;
2. Brain research;
3. Profound quality and morals;
4. Information protection.
Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
XR devices may seriously affect the users’ well-being. While using XR devices, users can come across movement ailment, queasiness and unsteadiness. The main reason is the micro-delay in changing the image in response to our actions. Moreover, using glasses involves the vestibular apparatus as well, so that microstops affect our brain much more than when playing on a computer. Also, head and neck weakness is very common due to the long usage of VR headsets. Using VR headsets very often may prompt habit, social seclusion, and forbearance from real life frequently joined with body disregard. On top of that, Users may experience loneliness, griefing, digital tormenting, and badgering.
Scientists are still researching the influences of VR/AR on the human brain. Nevertheless, so far, there is no scientific evidence that XR can provoke constant brain damage in adults or children. It is important to remember, that XR is relatively new and requires investigation and research.
The moral aspect of the XR remains one of the crucial ones. It includes unapproved increase and truth control as any other device that provides media. Another issue is the accumulation of user biometric psychography that can be used for unethical purposes.
In fact, XR technologies require personal data to work. There is always a risk that the data will fall into the hands of cybercriminals. For this reason, developers of XR technologies must comply with data protection requirements.
In the future, XR devices will become more personal and elaborate. The fast development of this technology will speed up the process of transition from Web2 to Web3 and adopt the early metaverse. Apart from the metaverse, XR will be integrated into the different aspects of our life: video games, phygital events, VR parks, healthcare, real estate, education, and the military. In the coming years, XR projects will become more complex, dynamic, and useful. As technology advances, XR devices will become more powerful and be able to broadcast better visuals.
Speaking about advertising and retail industries, XR will increasingly help to control the quality of processes and finished products in retail to attract customers with new functionality. XR will allow you to create personalized mobile and native advertising. Out-of-home advertising will be sent via sophisticated digital devices when visiting certain places and objects.
XR technologies are truly incredible and open new horizons for us, users. As time goes on, we will witness how XR technologies will become smaller, faster, and more user-friendly. XR devices will sooner or later reach their end point of development, so then we, users, will finally reach a full immersion.
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