Meta virtual reality: Blending worlds
Meta virtual reality: Blending worlds
Those of you who have a keen interest in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) must have heard of the Meta virtual reality product, Meta Horizon Worlds - a fascinating VR-powered social media app with 3D avatars, virtual worlds, gaming, comradery, workspaces, and much more!
Horizon Worlds is a free-to-use app that connects people virtually. All you need is a VR headset and you are good to go! Meta’s latest VR headset advancement, Meta Quest Pro, is available for as little as $999.99. Currently, the app is only available in a few countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, France, and Spain.
The organisation has spent well over a billion dollars on this project, and its foray into mixed reality (MR) through Meta Reality - the blending of virtual and physical worlds - is nothing less than astonishing.
Mixed reality vs. virtual reality
There is a stark difference between MR (Meta calls its mixed reality technologies Meta Reality) and VR. I was on holiday in August and visited this high-tech gaming parlour bang in the middle of the city (unnamed).
I paid $5 for a 20-minute VR experience that included me feeling dizzy each time my virtual roller coaster zoomed down the railroad tracks from hundreds of feet above! Now, the man in charge of my VR experience simply displayed a video feed inside the headset. Mixed reality is much more than that.
MR can open the door to numerous cool experiences, from real-time collaboration and productivity with colleagues to chilling with family and friends to yet-to-be-created gaming and interactive apps - the possibilities are endless!
Virtual reality immerses you in a digital setting (such as the roller coaster experience I talked about), while mixed reality allows you to freely move around and interact with objects and people in that very digital setting.
Let us take the same roller coaster experience - imagine being able to feel the wind blowing in your face, hear the screaming of other people on the same ride, and experience the firm hand grip of your terrified friend/family member/partner sitting beside you. Now, that is a mixed reality for you.
According to Sarthak Ray, a Product Manager at the organisation:
“Being able to see the physical world around you and blend it with virtual content opens up new possibilities for VR today—like co-located games you can play with friends in the same physical room or productivity experiences that combine huge virtual monitors with physical tools.”
Mixed reality unlocks AR-like experiences in virtual reality. The organisation envisions MR as a stepping stone towards a longer-term vision for AR.
The Meta virtual reality headset: Meta Quest Pro
The Meta virtual reality headset, Meta Quest Pro, is one of the advanced technologies that are a part of Meta Reality. Before we dive into its functionalities, let us explore the concept of a Meta Horizon profile.
To visit a virtual world (or Meta Horizon workroom), you must first create a profile. It is as simple as it gets. For starters, enter your name, craft a username, and upload a profile picture. Now, the fun part - creating a 3D avatar.
The product allows you to construct an avatar that best resembles your real-world appearance, and yes, it is much more advanced than Snapchat avatars (we will explore this soon!). You can modify your body type, facial features, hair, and attire. You can also sync your profile with other affiliated apps like Facebook and Instagram.
The latest Meta VR headset comes with face and eye-tracking features. This allows for people's 3D avatars to resemble their facial expressions more closely in real life. To blur the distinction between a virtual existence and reality, improving the quality of expression, communication, and connection in virtual worlds is vital.
As you can see from the above picture, Meta is still far off from this vision. They are working hard to build a headset that is slimmer, faster, lighter, and, above all, much more powerful. They aim to make their headsets smart enough to render high-resolution graphics specifically in the small area a wearer is looking.
To have a clear vision of what VR, MR, and AR may look like in years to come, look no further than the movie "Free Guy". In the film, 3D avatars resemble their users to human-like perfection - virtual and real existence is truly blurred. Now, that is something worth waiting for.
Joining a Meta virtual reality world and building a community
Meta Horizon Worlds comprises a multitude of worlds, where you can play laser tag, shoot zombies, fly a broom like Harry Potter, or just chill! You can create your world as well and invite your followers/friends to visit it. Meta virtual reality is more than just fantasy. It is a new way of living.
Imagine being able to attend a concert featuring your favourite artist from the comfort of your home. No, do not think of a mundane, boring experience. Imagine feeling the entire concert vibe along with thousands of others! Meta virtual reality will make such events possible, and now is the right time to join a virtual world community.
Gaming is not just for kids—this is a gross misconception. Meta is working hard to push the boundaries of virtual existence, and we at Moni Talks eagerly await their 2023 progress report!
Author: Surajdeep Singh
Surajdeep Singh has been working in the tech sphere as a marketing guru and journalist for over 6 years, with his speciality laying in blockchain and Web3. He has donned several hats in marketing and journalism over the years and worked with many reputable brands. Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn!