The Man Who Named the Metaverse Is Optimistic Despite Meta’s Troubles

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    It’s okay to be confused about the metaverse. Pessimists can point to the difficulties Mehta has faced this past year and convince us that we are all going to live in this immersive 3D realm. Optimists may celebrate the technology that has taken years to develop, pointing to a mixed reality headset that Apple is expected to unveil within days.

    Neil Stevenson, 1992 Dystopian sci-fi novel “Snow Crash” Introduced the term Metaverse to the optimist camp.

    “Over the last few years, it feels like a lot has been put in place, the prerequisites we need to have on hand to actually start building the metaverse,” Stevenson said in a talk on Wednesday. Augmented Reality Expo.

    Stevenson’s vested interests do not come from his novels.He’s worked for several start-ups since his 1990s, including augmented reality headset maker Magic Leap, but his current commitment is Lamina 1is working on plumbing the metaverse in hopes of leading to an open foundation that is easy for developers to build on and easy for people to visit.

    It will be difficult to sell. Metaverse buzz in 2021 has dwindled significantly. Facebook has changed its name to Meta, but investors have lashed out at the company’s ambitions to use the Metaverse. And the Web3 movement, which aims to build a “decentralized” metaverse tool that rewards those who create products that can be sold in the metaverse, plagued by persistent problems. This includes fraud, security vulnerabilities, and “rag-pulls” where project organizers hype cryptocurrencies and then cash them out, leaving investors with a worthless asset.

    Creative Strategies analyst Olivier Blanchard believes that computer-generated virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) that fuses computer images with the real world, and mixed reality (XR) that encompasses both. are skeptical of mainstream adoption of

    “After the AI ​​gold rush has settled and Apple finally shows some direction, it will need to decide what it wants to be when it grows up if it has any hope of attracting mainstream consumers,” said Blanchard. said Mr. “Metaverse and XR companies will need to clearly communicate to users how their solutions are not just expensive and complex, but actually improve their lives.”

    But perhaps the metaverse, or at least an equally tough sale, will happen soon.

    Apple’s hoped-for headset has been in development for years and will likely be announced at the company’s developer conference WWDC, which could help convince developers to build mixed reality apps. there is a possibility. Apple has managed to get a mobile developer to create millions of apps for his iPhone and iPad. And Meta’s VR headset business is working on the Quest 3 XR headset. Video passthrough mode Gives AR ability.

    The metaverse has a long way to go before it fits into today’s web and Snow Crash mainstream environments.

    Snow Crash is a hilarious novel that uses humor and adventure to shatter a dystopian vision. Although the Metaverse plays a central role in the book, Stevenson places the responsibility for dystopias on a broader human society. Stevenson wanted the Metaverse to present a realm of technology that addresses a wide range of human activities.

    “Our first exposure to the metaverse is that it’s kind of a very vast market, the lowest common denominator that includes the worst of television,” Stevenson said. “But then, as we go further into the book, we see that people have used it to create beautiful works of art. No. It’s an amazing work of art, both visually and in this acoustic environment.”

    That metaverse was all about VR, but Stevenson today embraces a broader definition of “three-dimensional virtual shared environments,” which also includes AR. Snow Crash is famous for its metaverse, but the real world also has a “gargoyle” character, an AR super-tech who hides behind his goggles and constantly taps into his feed of data.

    Stevenson said he was impressed by the advancements in game engine tools such as Unity and Unreal Engine, which are widely used for VR, AR, XR, especially 3D graphics and games. But for now, I don’t have enough reasons to spend time in the Metaverse.

    Augmented reality technology leader Oli Inver stands on stage at AWE 2023 next to a near life-size virtual version of himself on a screen in a box.

    Augmented, mixed and augmented reality technology leader Oli Inver speaks next to a virtual version of himself at AWE 2023.

    Stephen Shankland/CNET

    “If you’re going to create a metaverse that millions or billions of people will use all the time, it has to have a worthwhile experience,” Stevenson said. Lamina1’s goal is to improve the metaverse tools so that developers and other creators can build such experiences. This includes blockchain and NFT technology, which has lost much of its luster as cryptocurrency has lost much of its value since its peak in 2021.

    Augmented World Expo has a lot of AR fans, including show organizers and exhibition organizers. CEO Oli Inver shared the stage with a near life-size virtual version of himself in a telepresence box built by the company. ARHT Media. Inver spent the better part of 20 minutes onstage at the show defending technology, arguing that it is thriving even as the industry’s focus shifts to AI.

    “We will not rest until everyone is using XR anywhere, anytime.”


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