The metaverse concept has garnered significant attention lately, with discussions about its potential to revolutionize how we engage with the mobile internet. As consumers eagerly anticipate the arrival of augmented reality (AR) glasses and extended reality (XR) experiences, the entertainment industry is poised for a dramatic transformation.
The Rise of the Metaverse
According to Ericsson's Consumer and Industry Lab study, half of the world's smartphone users anticipate wearing AR glasses by 2025. This demonstrates the growing expectation among consumers for immersive technologies to enhance their digital experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the demand for immersive services as people yearned for social interactions beyond the confines of traditional screens. The metaverse promises to replace screen-based meetings with holograms or avatars, enabling users to experience social interactions in a manner reminiscent of the physical world.
Hear from XR experts
Listen to a panel of experts discuss how the metaverse is rapidly changing and evolving, with implications for both producers and consumers of XR experiences.
Gaming as a Catalyst for Metaverse Adoption
Aaron Grosky, President & COO of Dreamscape Immersive, highlights how gaming's focus on immersive experiences and engagement has paved the way for metaverse adoption. The transition from AR to the metaverse offers fascinating possibilities. Children, for example, spend countless hours in virtual environments like Roblox and Fortnite, building communities and engaging organically. Gaming's influence in bridging the physical and virtual realms showcases the potential for broader applications across various industries.
Gaming as the Metaverse Gateway
The gaming industry has played a pivotal role in driving the adoption of XR and will likely continue to lead the way into the metaverse. Through games like Pokémon Go, AR technology initially captured mainstream attention, bridging the gap between the physical and digital realms. As we progress further into the metaverse, gaming experiences will evolve to immerse users deeper, transcending the limitations of small screens and laptops.
The Role of 5G in Immersive Storytelling and Production
5G technology is poised to revolutionize storytelling and production processes in immersive formats. In VR and XR, the introduction of 5G has already had a profound impact. It enables real-time motion capture, providing actors with immediate feedback and enhancing creative flexibility. Furthermore, 5G enables the creation of untethered experiences, eliminating the need for cables and expanding the scope of immersive content without compromising performance.
The Path to the Everyday Metaverse
While the widespread adoption of AR glasses is anticipated by many, the exact timeline remains uncertain. The year 2025 is often mentioned as a plausible timeframe for the availability of such devices to the mass market. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the challenges surrounding device affordability, form factor, battery life, and privacy concerns that need to be addressed for the metaverse to become an everyday reality.
As XR technologies evolve, the metaverse emerges as the ultimate destination for immersive entertainment and interaction. From blending gaming, AR, and VR to connecting global users in a shared 3D space, the metaverse presents limitless opportunities for creators, storytellers, and consumers. While we eagerly anticipate the arrival of AR glasses and the realization of the metaverse, it is clear that XR is set to redefine our relationship with digital content, leading us into a future where the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds are forever blurred.