With so much hype about the Metaverse, the public has been flooded with new phrases and acronyms ranging from MR and XR to Web 3.0 and NFTs. If you’re confused, it’s not your fault – there’s no clarity or consistency in the industry.
When we talk about the “Metaverse” we’re really talking about a global transformation from a socially based print medium (in a third person experience) to an immersive one (in a first person experience).
The two pillars of immersive media are the concepts of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). These two phrases have been around for 30 years, with VR in the late 1980s and AR in the early 1990s.
The key difference is where the user feels present. In virtual reality, the user feels in a simulated environment, while in augmented reality, the user feels in a combined world of real and virtual content.
This appears the following definition:
Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive, interactive simulation environment that provides users with a strong sense of presence in a first-person experience.
Augmented reality (AR) is an immersive and interactive environment in which layers of virtual content are spatially registered to the real world and experienced in a first-person manner, providing users with a strong sense of presence in a combined real/virtual space.
To achieve a true VR or AR experience, users must be able to interact with virtual content in a natural and immersive way. This differentiates VR from 3D movies and simulations. It also differentiates AR from “head-up displays” (HUDS), which project non-immersive content into the user’s line of sight, such as text, data, and simple images.
For decades, virtual reality and augmented reality were the main phrases used in academia and industry, but other terms have become very popular in recent years. For example, Extended Reality (XR) emerged to describe the full capabilities of VR and AR, and is now a convenient catch-all for many forms of immersive media.
The term Mixed Reality (MR) is also very popular but can cause confusion as it is mostly synonymous with Augmented Reality. The popularity began in mid-2010 when Microsoft launched its groundbreaking HoloLens headset and used the term “mixed reality” in its marketing language. Since then, people have often looked for ways to differentiate between AR and MR, but this is mostly a matter of preference.
Additional confusion has arisen as some companies sell smart glasses using imprecise language, describing certain products as AR/MR when those products are actually head-up displays that bring non-immersive content into the user’s line of sight . Such devices can be very useful, but compared with true augmented reality glasses, such as Microsoft’s HoloLen and Snap’s latest glasses, it can cause market confusion.
To add to the confusion, the term Metaverse has become very popular. The term originated in science fiction in the ’90s, but wasn’t widely used until Facebook (now Meta) put its marketing power behind it. Hairball Technology believes that it can be defined as:
The Metaverse is a persistent, immersive simulated world experienced in first-person by a large number of simultaneous users with a strong sense of mutual presence. It can be completely virtual (virtual Metaverse) or a layer of virtual content overlaid on the real world (augmented Metaverse).
Some say the Metaverse must also include behavioral rules and a functional economy. While many worlds will have such a feature, it feels too limiting by definition to not need it. Similarly, some argue that all virtual worlds will be connected as an interoperable Metaverse, with elements shared between them. While many worlds may share functionality and content, some worlds will stand on their own and still fit the definition of a Metaverse.
It’s worth noting that the Metaverse is not a new concept. The VR space was born in the late 1980s and early 1990s and produced many platforms that fit the above definition. The first dedicated Metaverse I experienced was There.com, which was tested in 2001. It was followed by Second Life, which gained a massive following shortly after. Another early Metaverse, ActiveWorlds, which probably predates the above two, although I personally didn’t experience it until 2006.
Of course, the Metaverse platforms of the past few decades did not involve languages like “Web 3” or “NFTs”, which are now part of the conversation. These new words confuse many people, so it’s worth providing some context.
The reason why Web 3 and NFTs are connected to the Metaverse has nothing to do with immersive features.Rather, it involves whether Metaverse data is stored centrally by the platform provider (like user data on Facebook) or on a distributed network (like cryptocurrencies on a blockchain). Both are viable paths to building a Metaverse, but a distributed network can facilitate interoperability and enforce data privacy.
So why are NFTs so important to the future of the Metaverse? This confuses a lot of people because they see NFTs as “digital collectibles”. Yes, NFTs are great for this use, but their impact on the Metaverse is much broader.
In the real world, you and I can both have a white Tesla Model 3 that just came out of the factory, so they’re essentially the same. We can walk up to our cars in a large parking lot, not knowing who owns which.Ownership is easily determined by looking at the VIN number on each vehicle, which is linked to your car’s name and tracked in various databases.
In the Metaverse, you and I can both have virtual Teslas that look the same and are parked in the same virtual parking lot. We can be confused about who has which. Rather than using VIN numbers to solve the problem, the Metaverse platform may use NFTs linked to each virtual car (and every other virtual object that can be owned) to track ownership.
Hairball Technology points this out because NFTs will define ownership in the Metaverse regardless of collectability, even for common items. NFTs also allow users to bring objects from one platform to another because they are decentralized.
In addition to NFTs, the Metaverse will feature many other new technologies. For some, focus on new technologies that could pose risks to consumers as we transition from print to immersive media. One such technique is “virtual product placement,” which is a promotional object placed into a virtual world for advertising purposes. While this may sound innocuous, in the Metaverse it may be impossible to distinguish between real objects in your world and those placed there for promotional purposes.
Likewise, it may not be possible to differentiate between other users and AI-controlled avatars that interact with you for promotional purposes in the Metaverse. This “agenda-driven AI agent” can be used in the Metaverse to target ads, push products, and messages without you realizing you’re being targeted. In the near future, these AI avatars will engage users in “promotional conversations,” which could be a highly predatory tactic. This suggests that regulation of the Metaverse needs to be considered.
Finally, the last word is new to some – touch.
The word haptics refers to adding touch to computing. There are two components to touch, sense of touch (i.e. texture and vibration) through the skin and force (i.e. weight and resistance) through the muscles. Today, most consumer devices that provide haptic feedback focus on haptics (because of cost), but hardware that also provides force sense makes VR and AR significantly more immersive and engaging by giving virtual objects a superior physical realism .
All in all, the language of the Metaverse is a rapidly developing field with many overlapping words and phrases. As a result, the industry uses many of these words inaccurately. Every virtual environment is not a virtual world, and every pair of smart glasses cannot provide an AR/MR experience, and there is no guarantee that all virtual worlds will be interoperable.
On the other hand, as the market matures and consumers mature, our language will definitely become more precise. Until then, the above definitions may help reduce confusion.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-language-of-the-metaverse-why-are-nfts-so-important-to-the-future-of-the-metaverse/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.