“The Metaverse Is Coming! The Metaverse Is Coming!”

Think of an alternate, digital, reality where you could do anything to your hearts desire whether it involved with your work, your social interactions, even your own personal interests. Like, for example, buying something on the go without ever needing to use another device to view and pay. This new reality could do so much more that's beyond even our wildest of dreams, and its called the Metaverse. Sadly, it doesn’t completely exist yet, but the Metaverse is coming, and its coming fast. In the meantime, there is some technology we currently have today that could possibly help bring the Metaverse to exist, maybe sooner than later.

AR Cloud

Used on apps and devices, the AR Cloud, with billions of data, is a 3D map of the world that overlays the physical world in real time. What I think is important about this technology is it’s requirements of use depend on certain aspects. Like whether the AR Cloud will be used indoors or outdoors, and if the user will be using the cloud for work/business or as a consumer. While reading about the AR cloud, I discovered something interesting. This technology needs fast localization for an AR app to be able to position its virtual content in the physical world in real-time like it was created to do so. There are currently some solutions today that help localize a device for people to enjoy the full AR experience, but these solutions like the ARKit and the Google Tango can only localize to one local point cloud. I never realized how much limitations that the AR cloud had, and it made me question if there was some way to create multiple devices that could localize against a multitude of local point clouds? Could this even be possible? If it could be possible, would the devices actually be compatible and easy to use for everyone?

Key Ideas

  • The AR Cloud copies the features of the physical world and creates its own virtual world that interacts with the physical one.
  • Uses quick localization to pinpoint the area for virtual content to blend in real-time. This is important for multiple user interaction when the technology updates and syncs in real-time, hopefully without any lag.

Magicverse

A vision developed by the Magic Leap company, Magicverse is the idea of combining both the physical and digital worlds together within a community of people. Where viewing information as scale digital models, communication with one another, healthcare, and more is easily available, causing humanity to become even closer than ever before. What I think is important about this technology is what Magic Leap believes to be the most “critical components of spatial computing” for the Magicverse. These components are presence, persistence, awareness, scale, interactivity, respect, and sentience. I’m especially interested when the article discussed more about respect and awareness because being in a digital world can be dangerous if not safeguarded like they said, especially with the technology, and internet in general, we have today can already be misused and abused. I guess that also makes it my concern because I don’t want myself or anybody else in possible danger if we were to use Magicverse in the future. The safeguards would have to be very intricately designed to protect everyone.

Key Ideas

  • Magicverse combines both the physical and digital world together making information and other important factors available to the whole world.
  • the critical components needed for the Magicverse is presence, persistence, awareness, scale, interactivity, respect, and sentience
  • Magicverse will be a place where everyone respects freedom, privacy, diversity, joy, inclusion, health, and fundamental human rights for all.

Mirrorworld

The Mirrorworld does not actually exist yet, but it’s definitely coming in the near future. There are already many people working on this technology at the moment, to get to the point where everything in the physical world will end up having its own life-size digital twin. Currently, we can only experience small pieces of what could be of the Mirrorworld with devices or apps like Google Earth. What I think is important about this technology is knowing that with the creation of the Mirrorworld, people wont just see flat images anymore. We will get to fully experience, manipulate, and interact with the digital twin of the Mirrorworld. Everything from the volume, size, and texture, making it exactly parallel to our physical world. I think the whole idea of the Mirrorworld is very interesting, especially when this future technology is fully accessible. It could unleash many ideas and give prosperity to future companies that are involved with area of technology. Although, with the creation of Mirrorworld, it could also bring a bunch of problems as well. I’m a little concerned again about how safe this would be for people. There's always a chance that someone, or a group of people, could misuse this new technology for their own gain or cause harm towards others. Is there a chance there could be safeguards placed like Magic Leap talked about for Magicverse, but for the Mirrorworld? And if so, would they actually help protect anybody?

Key Ideas

  • The 3D digital twin of the Mirrorworld, embodied with volume, size, and texture could become like an avatar or a dynamic digital simulation of the engine required for the Mirrorworld.
  • For the Mirrorworld to exist, it needs to build its world from our physical reality.
  • There are some devices/apps currently used that posses fragments of what the Mirrorworld could be like Google Maps and Pokémon Go.

Cyberverse

This technology, developed by Huawei, is kind of similar to the Mirrorworld but more involved with translation and mapping. Cyberverse was designed with spatial computing, scenario understanding, a 3D high definition map, and immersive rendering to work with 5G and provide an integrated virtual reality experience with the physical world. Like Huawei described, Cyberverse will be used in many public places such as “tourist attractions, museums, airports, commercial buildings” and more. It’s important to note that this technology needs 5G due to the key of it’s success is its ability to map it’s surroundings and overlay the information in augmented reality, and the devices high quality cameras. Without this, Cyberverse would not be able to understand the input it receives, and it would lower its degree of accuracy significantly. I thought this technology was interesting as it could be very helpful for people who are traveling and don’t really know the area they are in. My only concern, or I guess question, about Cyberverse would be how we could make it more helpful for people if they got lost and didn’t have a 5G connection anywhere. I didn’t read anything about this, and I think that idea would be even more helpful than what the technology already does now.

Key Ideas

  • Cyberverse uses spatial computing, a 3D high definition map, immersive rendering, and scenario understanding to provide an integrated virtual reality experience with the physical world
  • It’s key components are the spatial computing and the high quality cameras that Huawei puts on their mobile devices.
  • Huawei predicted Cyberverse will be used in public places such as tourist attractions, museums, smart campuses, airports, high-speed railway stations, and commercial buildings.

Planet-Scale AR

Planet-Scale AR has been developed by Niantic by using emerging technology to enhance people’s virtual experiences that interact with the physical world. So far, Niantic has created games like Pokémon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards, and Ingress that, with their AR mobile devices, get motivated to go out into the physical world as they play. I think what this company is doing is important and interesting because its good to get people to actually go outside, move around or exercise, and enjoy the real world a bit. I can admit that when I got the game Pokémon Go, it actually got me to go outside a lot more than I usually would have during the summer. I guess my only concern about this is that I wish some people didn’t need a distraction to be able to actually go outside for a period of time. I can, kind of embarrassedly, admit I am one of these people. It just also doesn't help right now when everyone is supposed to stay inside as much as possible to stay safe from Covid-19.

Key Ideas

  • Niantic creates augmented reality games that get people motivated to go outside and move around
  • The company is continually researching to advance their virtual experiences to give people even more to enjoy with their games. Or possibly whatever else they possible design.

Spatial Computing

The term Spatial Computing may seem like a phrase that is too complex for technology. However, this is not the case. It’s actually a term that defines the way people interact with the multitude of digital realities. Whenever people play games like Pokémon Go, scientists tracking diseases, or even using apps like Uber Eats to have food delivered to our homes, it’s all a part of spatial computing. I think it’s interesting and important to understand how embedded spatial computing is in our lives, especially when most of us have no idea. I mean I certainly didn't have a clue. Again my concerns are the same as I’ve written before with some of the other technologies. Continuing to advance in technology, especially for AR, MR, VR, and XR technologies, there are bound to be some downsides to the benefits that come along. And even if we prepare to the very last detail against all the downsides, that may not be enough in the end.

Key Ideas

  • Spatial Computing is the term that defines the way people react with the multitude of digital realities
  • Spatial Computing is very embedded in our way of life and will probably become even more intricate in the future
  • Digital realities that advance in the future will always come with benefits and downsides

Summary

The Metaverse sounds so massive with all that it could do, even if doesn't currently exist yet. I think the broader implications of the Metaverse is that it will indefinitely enhance our reality to the point where people can’t tell the difference between what is digital and what is physically real. Communication and information will be as simple as a snap of the fingers. There might be more safeguards for everyone’s protection than what we are used to now, especially with how easily accessible anyone’s private things could be if the wrong person had full control over the Metaverse. There might be a vote or one company who creates the Metaverse that would be in charge of everything, and I hope that they would treat everyone with dignity and respect like Magic Leap was talking about in their article.

I think that the extreme implementation of the AR technologies could be both good and bad. There’s already a problem currently of being able to include everyone, like people with disabilities or motion sickness, to be able to participate and interact with the digital realities. I also fear that being too involved with the digital world would make people dissociated and disconnected from the real, physical, world. Especially if the Metaverse had us only needing to be inside, or even let alone walking around, that could create huge problems for our bodies. Would people even remember to eat? Overall, I do believe that the Metaverse would be a good and exciting new experience for people, I just also believe it would be a good thing to not immersive ourselves completely in this digital reality, and to remember to enjoy our physical reality as well.