This is the second of five articles that follow our first article, Myths About the Metaverse: True or False?
The film and gaming industries have been experimenting with the idea that the metaverse could replace reality for years. The film Ready Player One explores the concept of humans being connected to the “Oasis” (metaverse). This is done via advanced VR headsets, full-body suits, haptic gloves, facial scanners, and omnidirectional treadmills, all in the comfort of their own homes. And in this world, everybody works, lives, and spends most of their time in virtual reality.
While this scenario is the biggest dream for some, it’s the worst nightmare for others, and this divide will likely be present for a long time. However, every metaverse enthusiast can agree that human beings will continue to have and serve their physical needs in the physical world, at least for now.
The key thing to remember is that the metaverse is not here to replace reality, just as the Internet is not here to replace reality. For now, the scenario mentioned above—wwhere our entire lives will be lived inside the Metaverse—wwill remain science fiction.
The Impact of the Metaverse in our Daily Lives
It’s also important to note that the metaverse will penetrate many aspects of our daily lives. People will use it for things like socializing, games and entertainment, shopping, art, culture, work, education, and health care, which are all things that people already do on the Internet.
Of course, people are already using the metaverse in their daily lives. By 2026, it’s expected that 25% of people worldwide will spend at least one hour per day in the metaverse. It will act as the new channel in which people can interact with the digital world and between the digital and physical worlds. These two worlds will co-exist, but the boundaries between physical and virtual will become increasingly blurred; reality will not be replaced but rather augmented and enhanced. We can already see this today through mixed reality experiences combining AR and VR or live-streaming from one world to the other.
Blended Realities will Become the Norm
SPACE is one metaverse company that is working on blended reality experiences, such as AR Try-On features for physical products that are shown digitally in a metaverse storefront. Rather than allowing consumers to simply view physical products in a digital environment, it enables buyers to see what the item will look like on them and not just on their avatar.
A recent study found that 93% of metaverse users said they would like to use AR try-on apps, and 67% of those who currently shop via 2D online shopping sites and are not metaverse users (yet) like the idea of using an AR try-on app. This means that by integrating these types of features, retailers stand to experience significant benefits, such as increased sales and a world-class customer experience. The latest research from Showpad shows that 59% of people in their survey made a purchase after seeing a demonstration in the metaverse or using augmented reality. And this is just one example of how the digital and physical worlds may converge in the future—think of all the other use-case possibilities.
It Will Create Entirely New Realities
On the one hand, we have blended experiences that combine digital and physical worlds; on the other, we have purely digital or virtual experiences. The metaverse will create whole new realities and experiences that wouldn’t be possible in the real world today. One example of this is the fact that you can change the way your avatar looks in the metaverse. This lets people become whoever they want in the virtual world, kind of like an alter ego. Another, perhaps more obvious, example is the ability to visit new places. You can be physically sitting on your sofa at home but digitally plugged into the metaverse, where you are on the other side of the world and experiencing a whole new culture and activities.
Many people define the metaverse as a replica of physical reality, and some even go so far as to say it offers the opportunity to create a better version, or “digital twin,” of the real world. While the potential of the Metaverse goes way beyond digital twins, alter egos, and faraway places, the only limit to this virtual reality is the human imagination — the possibilities are truly endless. It will be entirely up to the user what this new extended reality will look like and what experiences will be available within it.
Want to learn more about SPACE Metaverse? Try it out here!