Virtual and augmented reality metavers

There is a lot of talk about the meaning and purpose of the Metavers since Mark Zuckemberg with a messianic attitude announced that his Facebook company name would become Meta. But what is it really? A new way to make money, a virtual world that will make us even more enslaved to technology or a system capable of offering a thousand opportunities in all cultural, economic and social spheres?

He Metavers it’s a bit of all of that together, like in fact the Internet, of which he sets out to be a worthy successor. In fact, no one has a very clear idea of ​​what this new cyberspace can be and become, which already uses technologies, devices and concepts present today in applications and video games based on virtual and augmented reality. Starting with the avatars that will virtually replace us, let’s try to understand what it is.

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What is Metavers?

There Word metavers It was first used in Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash and is a 3D virtual world you can browse through your avatar. For the uninitiated, an avatar is the graphical representation of an online user. The internet already allows you to write in real time, talk, discuss, see us and share content, but the idea is that there can be an almost real place where you can find yourself to do all these things and many more along with others, regardless of the physical location where you are.

Per interact in a metavers in real time, a free and independent infrastructure shared by all users would be needed. Actually today, not only is Facebook working on this technology, but also Microsoft, Google and other web giants are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to develop autonomous mini metaverses that will probably not give access to a single digital universe, but will have limits defined. due to limitations.which we will use to log in.

Since there are many social networks in which to register to participate by interacting with various abilities and for various purposes, at first the same will happen with metaverses. Within limits, the Metaverse will be a virtual place where our avatar can move and travel to meet friends, work, study, have fun, go shopping, go to concerts, but also access the services of institutions.

Virtual and augmented reality

Metaverse is based on virtual and augmented reality. In the case of virtual reality (RV) it is a matter of immersing oneself visually in a completely virtual world, while in the case of augmented reality (RA) reality is increased in some way with the superposition of digital content. . Both systems make use of smartphones or new market viewers. As the book Future Possible (Giunti editore) by Lorenzo Capannari, which has been working in the sector in a professional and popular way for many years, explains very well, for many centuries man has experimented with immersion to give more strength to his. narratives.

If emotions are the basis of human behavior, the interfaces between content and people are of great importance in conveying narratives of a political, religious or cultural nature. One only has to think about the architecture of temples and churches to understand how immersion plays a key role in giving meaning to ideas, to the point of imposing them and turning them into an instrument of power. After artists, painters and musicians, in the age of information technology, programmers and inventors of portable devices have an eye on the future.

Since the 1980s, some pioneers have been working on immersive devices whose evolution follows that of the computing power of computers and graphics cards. From the first virtual reality video games to an augmented reality tool mounted on NASA’s spacecraft to show the superimposed data to the pilot, two decades pass. The true democratic revolution of virtual reality and augmented reality comes with the Internet as multiplayer games approach.

For Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, the time has come to invest millions of dollars in the challenge of Metaverse, a virtual world that will reduce distances through platforms that will use wearable technology. Oculos, Samsung, Lenovo are the names of the new wearable interfaces that are trying to conquer the video game and entertainment market with innovative features and affordable prices.

Applications of Metavers

He Metavers as a virtual area shared and open that combines digital and real lends itself to a variety of fully virtual or hybrid applications that, in addition to being used in entertainment, social media or video games, can enhance interaction with the real world. For example, immersive technology can be used in many different sectors, such as medicine, education, the military, and shopping.

In the medical health sector Real-virtual mixed telemedicine tools are already being used to monitor patients or diagnose from seeing inside the body. In the neuropsychiatric field, virtual situations can be created to overcome fears or anxieties or for rehabilitation purposes. In the military, the Metaverse can be used both in the field and in training for a hyperrealistic experience.

In fashion virtual shopping you will be able to take advantage of augmented reality to try on clothes, make-up products, while in the real estate sector it will allow you to explore the surroundings in a realistic way for those looking for a home. In school education, Metaverse will allow you to explore environments, geographical locations but also museums and exhibitions, rather than giving schools and universities the opportunity to develop shared projects and lessons in large common classrooms.

There immersive technology it is useful for the corporate training industry to allow all employees to participate in meetings and conferences anywhere in the world without limit of people. Immersive learning is already being used to the benefit of managers and students who, in addition to taking online classes, can participate in an engaging way by putting themselves to the test in real-life situations.

Increase your content

He Metavers it lends itself to being an amplifier of emotional content that, in addition to video games, is also the soul of all forms of entertainment and art. Taking advantage of augmented reality with 3d viewers, you can watch movies from the protagonist’s point of view, organize performances by artists in virtual spaces, improve the use of books and magazines through videos or direct experiences of readers.

In art Immersive technology is already used in interactive museums and archaeological sites that can be visited virtually or by framing an image with a smartphone you can receive information about the work and the artist. In tourism, travel agencies can make guests try holiday experiences so they can choose all the information on where to go.

In music there are already apps to bring artists directly to the audience’s home, while with augmented reality those attending a concert can experience the live experience in a new and engaging way in direct contact with their favorite artist. Apps like Melody vr or Waves allow you to retrieve and be broadcast live anywhere, projected as if you were playing live in any apartment.

With Amplify-vr, fans can interact with musicians in real time, request a song, or watch live backstage at a concert. Peex is an application that allows you to even mix the different instruments that play live on stage at will, controlling five different channels of voice, guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. The witness of the system is Elton John.

For lovers of classical music Sibelius 360 is an application to live the experiences of a classical orchestra, as is the case with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. For lovers of vinyl and the vintage world, Vinyl Reality promises to become real DJs with two dishes available to remix songs at will. But with viewfinder you can also play virtual instruments as in the case of Playthingvr designed for children.

Living in Metavers

In Metaverse it will be possible to share experiences using virtual reality viewers, glasses and other portable technology interfaces. You will be able to buy virtual goods and houses and everything will probably be paid for in virtual currency. The idea of ​​a world in which to live almost real experiences all together is fascinating, but who will ensure that this cyberspace parallel to real life is truly free and secure?

He Metavers poses problems of computer security and a computer ethics vastly superior to those of the Internet. To get an idea of ​​what awaits us, we multiply by a thousand misinformation on social media, fake news, cyberbullying, theft of personal data, respect for privacy and all issues related to the influence of internet technologies in the human brain in marketing or political propaganda.

There life in the metaverses it is not just about technology but raises serious political, economic, social and philosophical issues. Simulating reality can mean exploring its deep nature or staying on the surface, creating people who are more aware of the truth, or modifying their consciousnesses to the point of confusing it with like-minded people. What life will be considered real if we already believe that the friends we met on the Internet and on social media are real when instead they could be computer robots?

The rules of the Metavers

There are no rules and controlling what people or children will be able to do or it will not be impossible when virtual worlds are so likely that real worlds are even superfluous. The rules of happiness, personal satisfaction, and the meaning of life are not written in stone and are immutable, but depend on the context in which men and communities live and relate. When we all have an avatar to replace us, what will happen?

Metaverse is certainly an exciting but at the same time very complex Internet idea of ​​the future. If in terms of security and personal respect the World Wide Web has shown many limitations and the Internet is already developing addiction, a fully virtual reality will be even more seductive and dangerous from many points of view. In addition to the infrastructure and compliance with the rules to be built, new devices capable of going beyond mice, keyboards and viewfinders will also have to be developed.

The technology available to access the virtual reality we have today is not yet valid enough, as even the most sophisticated viewers are large and bulky. Having 3D holograms of avatars floating in the air would probably be much more appealing and useful. As in the case of artificial intelligence we are only at the beginning of a science fiction dream that we do not know where it will take us.

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