Welcome to The Yellow Summarin - collecting the most interesting ideas, topics, and tweets from the past week at the intersection of tech, media, and commerce.
In today's edition (20.11.2021), I share some thoughts on the interconnected world of VR and AR and how those two technologies combined will bring us the metaverse.
Read and listen:
The journey to build the metaverse is currently being contested by brands left and right. We have all the big tech companies working on projects to bring you immersive digital experiences in virtual reality and augmented reality. Then, there are fashion and consumer brands, even fast-food chains, who have jumped on the bandwagon and are exploring their own visions of what a metaverse is.
One thing is for certain, whichever version becomes the dominant one it will be thanks to screens, cameras, capture and rendering technology - all forming a magical glass through which we will be able to look at the world with “fresh” eyes.
Virtual Reality (VR), which has been around since the 80s of the last century has never really been able to reach its imagined all-consuming immersive promise of the world. Thanks to the latest developments in technology, and a clever name change - Meta (Facebook) could do the biggest favor for the whole industry by effectively rebranding VR into “metaverse”. Like a breath of fresh air…
Augmented Reality (AR), a not-so distant cousin of VR, has not had much success with the exception of Pokemon Go - the popular mobile game which got people to go out and chase Pokemon. That game was developed by Niantic - a company whose CEO has been quite vocal about the metaverse and has a very different idea about what it should be. So, together with his team they are working to bring to life a flavor of the metaverse that overlaps with the real-life experience, instead of locking out all senses and putting you in a simulated environment.
Both VR and AR have a role to play in shaping the new medium that is going to be the metaverse. Ultimately, we’ll be able to jump in and out of each. Entertainment, such as watching movies and playing games, or working can easily be set within a VR world. Already today we are going into cinemas, to obstruct any distractions to watch a movie or wear noise-cancelling headphones when working, blocking off the external world. Basically, if you need to be in a focused state or entertained, you can find a pretty good use in VR.
The moment you need to participate in the social experience, AR is the better bet. Holograms and tools that can help you communicate easier work much better if rendered on top of your surrounding environment. You don’t need the all-encompassing immersiveness of VR to have a conversation. Likewise, if you are going to do something in the real world, it is much more helpful to have pointers and nudges rendered on top of what you see, than getting in a virtual world.
In any case, it’s the magical glass that is in the screens or on the frames we put as eyeglasses (or even a contact lens in the far future) with which we will build a very intimate and beneficial relationship.
That’s all for this week.
Have a good one!