With so many new terms and technologies in the metaverse, one that is often overlooked is AR (Augmented Reality) and the many ways it can bridge the gap between the virtual and physical world. While VR is a way for people to integrate themselves deeper into the metaverse immersive experience, AR is more of a way to bring the metaverse into the real world. It’s likely we will see them blend together at some point, as large companies like Apple are supposedly developing combination AR/VR devices. We’re sure you’ve heard of Pokemon Go, which in 2016 showed us that an AR layer over the physical world can bring massive amounts of users.
What Exactly is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality, according to Wikipedia, is “an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory.” AR is a blend of the real world and the digital world, where things could eventually become seamlessly integrated. First developed by the U.S. Air Force Armstrong Laboratory in 1992, over the years it has moved into many military, industrial, and commercial applications, with the most popular being gaming, entertainment, and education.
It has potentially huge benefits for those who need an extra hand in life. For example, by providing an extra layer of guidance direction arrows perhaps to those who need to find their way home but sometimes get lost. Similar to how blind superhero Daredevil uses audio cues, guided directions whether audible, visual, or a combination, can help guide tours, the visually impaired, the elderly, and others where they need to go safely. Another interesting way AR may help people is via this paired system of gloves and speakers from UCLA, which translates sign language in real-time, speaking the words being signed audibly so those who do not know sign language can seamlessly interact.
Popular AR Devices include:
How Will AR Work With the Metaverse?
This is a great question, and one that is still being determined by researchers and developers around the world. With many like the founder of Pokemon Go, John Hanke, seeing it as a metaverse vs augmented reality world, we see them as a potential complement to each other. Not only will we likely see items from the virtual world like a metaverse come into the real world via AR devices, but we will likely see the opposite too, with AR or other devices layering real world places and things into the metaverse. One real world example is the IKEA Place AR app, where you can see their furniture and products layered over your actual home, all within their app. We see no reason why you can’t eventually use an app like this to not only see them in your real world home, but also integrate and modify them in your metaverse home. Who wouldn’t want their favorite chair and color schemes of their house to match their metaverse house?
We envision a potentially cross-blending scenario of metaverse creations and lands being layered into the real world via AR, metaverse experiences and challenges based on real world coordinates and items, and avatars that are used in both AR and the metaverse. The possibilities are really amazing and surely we have not even touched upon the potential of the technologies and layers colliding.
Our lead developer and founder of Metaversol Charles Poole is actually well-versed at both HoloLens and Magic Leap development, so we are excited to see what we can bring to the table with a cross-platform (iOS/Android) future. Check us out if you haven’t already, and join our discord to ask any questions and hear the latest about our metaverse project!