The term “immersive internet” refers to what I believe will be the next stage in the evolution of the online environment. It’s about moving beyond flat web pages, images, and videos to create experiences that are more engaging and conducive to shared interaction and collaboration. This includes technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Am I talking about the Metaverse? Well, you can call it that if you like. Personally, I’m not a big fan of this term. This term is highly hyped and has so many connotations.
But it’s true that the Internet is constantly changing, from static web pages to the social web to the mobile web. As it evolves, I think there will be a focus on immersive experiences that allow users to interact and engage with each other in richer ways. Breaking through the corporate hype, I think this is what people really mean when they talk about the Metaverse, anyway. However, I believe that the term “immersive internet” will become more common.
With that in mind, here are some of the stepping stones we’ll be jumping over into the future in 2024.
The biggest technology sensation of 2023 (and arguably beyond) has many applications that match the immersive and engaging online experiences that will be created in 2024. An obvious use case is creating environments, artwork, and other assets that make up the digital world. Mark Zuckerberg himself has said that he sees the potential to reduce the time it takes designers to build his 3D environments. Another thing he does is create people and characters that exist in the world, from chatbots to serve customers to realistic characters in entertainment-oriented experiences that talk to them as if they were humans. work completed Incorporating realistic conversational characters into the virtual worlds of existing video games is an indicator of where this is heading.
Immersive online experiences can engage users through screens and speakers attached to headsets, but for the feeling of actually being there, it’s best to be able to reach out and touch the world around you. Nothing beats that. Device makers are working to develop haptic gloves that provide the sensation of weight or pressure to convince users that they are manipulating objects in the world around them. Some researchers are working on devices that could replace other lost senses, such as smell, by wafting scented vapors through a mask. Full-body suits have also been prototyped and brought to market, and we can expect further progress in this area throughout 2024 as manufacturers develop devices that increase immersion in the digital world.
Mixed reality – Fusion of AR and VR
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are separate technologies that will play a major role in creating an immersive internet. But when you combine them, you have even greater potential. For example, consider a live concert where the digital twin also runs in parallel as a virtual event. The virtual audience can enjoy the show via VR headsets, and the real attendee can wear his AR glasses and see the virtual attendee standing next to the audience. This convergence of immersive technologies will become increasingly common, blurring the barriers between real and digital and creating blended mixed reality environments.
More powerful, versatile, or lightweight devices
This year, Apple’s flagship VR device finally launched at a price point that positions it as a tool for creators or a toy for the very wealthy. Next year could see new devices from Meta (a high-end headset known as the Quest 3 and Project Cambria) and Apple’s AR glasses. Some, like Apple Glasses, aim to provide a new experience, while others, like Project Cambria, aim for a more high-end and sophisticated experience. Others focus on lightness and simplicity, recognizing the fact that many find the size and weight of current headsets to be a barrier to adoption.
intensive training and education
Outside of gaming and entertainment, the most common use of VR and AR technology is training.According to the operator Investigation by PWC In 2022, VR trainees will absorb knowledge four times faster than classroom learners and will be 275% more confident in applying the skills they learn in training in the real world. Enterprise companies are leading the way in creating immersive virtual learning environments and training programs. 2024 will see continued growth in platforms that allow smaller organizations to participate in this trend.
Many brands are now using augmented reality to let you virtually try on glasses or clothes, or see how items like furniture or paint will look in your environment. Expect to see more sophisticated and feature-rich mixed reality retail experiences in 2024 as interfaces and user experiences become more streamlined. At the same time, offline stores are incorporating elements of online retail into the in-store experience, blending the flexibility and convenience of online shopping with the brick-and-mortar environment.
Online platforms that allow teams to collaborate remotely will become even more immersive and useful in 2024. While remote and distributed working is more popular than ever, there are still aspects of face-to-face communication that are difficult to replicate. As a result, collaborative mixed reality work tools will increasingly leverage VR and AR to capture and express more subtle aspects of interactions that don’t translate well to video calls.
Immersive customer experience
This trend aims to create more immersion and engagement at every stage of the customer journey. From the time you start reviewing marketing materials to making a purchase decision to the time you start delivering, using, and interacting with support and after-sales services. With the rollout of the immersive internet, VR and AR are often part of the marketing and sales process, and brands are investing in creating virtual environments where they can interact with buyers, solve problems, and encourage them to take the leap. You’ll probably end up doing it. From customers to lifelong fans.
Sex and the immersive internet
It is well documented that pornography and cybersex have been one of the prominent drivers of the adoption and commercialization of the Internet. So it would be naive to think that a more immersive and experiential internet will become less popular. Ultimately, the immersive Internet will be built on the principle of enabling more intimate interactions. VR porn has been available for years, but the immersive online space allows couples who are separated by distance or people with disabilities that limit their ability to function in the physical world to enjoy sexual relationships. It may also allow you to experiment and develop.
The Internet as it currently exists can often be a hostile, discriminatory, and dangerous space. Therefore, there is no reason to think that a more immersive Internet, where interactions feel more real, is safer. This means that procedures and guardrails that reduce the potential for harm must be carefully considered. Children in schools are now being taught about online dangers and how to avoid dangers such as cyberbullying and misinformation. The development of strategies to apply this safeguarding behavior to future more immersive and realistic online environments will increasingly be part of the discussion in 2024.