WHAT ARE THE DEVICES THAT ALLOW US TO ENTER THE METAVERSE?

by | 20 May 2022 | metaverse

After discovering what the Metaverse is and the opportunities it offers,
you’re probably wondering: “What are the devices that allow you to enter the virtual world?”
 

 

The entrance into the Metaverse is represented by the combination of hardware devices and software that enable such parallel world, thus offering users unique and engaging immersive experiences. 

It is the interaction between the user and a digital tool that provides the ‘user interface’ and that makes the ‘user experience’ possible, that is the set of sensations, emotions, and memories that the user experiences during the interaction with the virtual world. 

 

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HUMAN INTERFACE 

As mentioned in the previous article, we can define the Metaverse a set of layers that make up its value chain, including the Human Interface, which includes all the technological solutions that allow us to access the virtual world from anywhere. 

Like for any show, the Metaverse also needs its “props”, meant as all the indispensable devices allowing users to enter the virtual world. Before discovering them together, however, it is essential to make a distinction between AR and VR that will allow us to shed light on this topic and to categorize the devices. 

What characterizes Augmented Reality (AR) is the fact that it adds virtual elements to the real world. For this reason, users can directly live interactive experiences by using their mobile devices, such as smartphones, PCs, tablets or smart glasses/HDMs (Head-Mounted Displays). The latter are built as small displays integrated within a pair of eyeglasses or a helmet, and their peculiarity is in the fact that they superimpose virtual elements to the real vision of the user. 

Virtual Reality (VR) instead, as the name itself suggests, is a world of its own, digital, born from the combination of software and hardware devices in which user experiences are no longer interactive only, but they also become immersive. It is thanks to immersive headsets and other devices such as sensors, haptic devices, gloves, and earphones that you can experience a true multisensory experience. 

DEVICES IN USE AND EMERGING 

Among the devices used to enter the Metaverse, as previously anticipated, VR headsets are certainly the most important ones. They are typically constituted by a helmet, accompanied by two controllers; the latter are not always necessary, but they allow you to directly interact with everything that will be displayed. The headsets incorporate two small displays and can generally be of two types: the first type need to be connected to a PC, while the others are instead independent. Anyways, it’s the sensors inside of such headset that play a fundamental role. Such sensors, in fact, in addition to monitoring the user’s movements (head tracking) to map their real location in the virtual space, they also monitor the eye movement (eye tracking), which allows other users to perceive the user’s expression. Finally, each headset integrates an audio system that accentuates the effect of immersivity/ involvement. 

To make the experience even more immersive, you can also use other devices like gloves and other garments which, albeit aesthetically similar to traditional ones, are equipped with the technology necessary to provide the same haptic feeling that you would perceive when touching real objects. 

In addition to the devices currently in use, which are in a state of constant evolution, there are also new tools being tested to access the Metaverse. These are innovative solutions, designed to make such access easier and more immediate. An example of such tools are AR contact lenses, designed to allow the user to view the virtual world without having to wear bulky glasses, goggles or earphones. Clearly, this is a solution that has yet to be tested and approved, but which could represent a breakthrough in this area in the short term. 

AR/VR hardware devices are constantly evolving, and, in the short term, they will see an exponential market growth, which is why many companies are investing in the Human Interface sector. Devices, therefore, represent a powerful tool to access the Metaverse, giving users the opportunity to experience the virtual environment at 360 degrees and offering multisensory experiences, which are not just similar to the real ones but even more engaging. 

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