AR, VR, the Metaverse. What's hype and what's not?
Updated: Dec 22, 2022
I was a bit unsure what the Metaverse looked like, so I asked Dall-e 2 to make a picture of it for me. https://labs.openai.com/s/rrNVSoTM1Dl5d60bM2aTcLam?fbclid=IwAR3TlfkkCP-bKbwt4JbFAQI5ukGNISXsoLQTHIRAHXm6k3DQphQ8RcQBo9w
Seems even the computers with the most advanced AI aren't sure!
Mark Zuckerberg has famously used (spunked?) $10,000,000,000 on his own vision of the Metaverse (zero's including intentionally, as $10 billion doesn't sound as much as 10,000 millionaires). He describes a somewhat dystopian future where we drop the physical world and all work and play wearing his Virtual Reality headsets. According to internal mails, it's important that they "own" the Metaverse. But how can anyone own it? Who owns the internet? And anyway, what the hell is it? Here's my 2 cents. The Metaverse is an abstraction from the real world, where everything is digital, usually 3 dimensional, and often for sale. Companies have already made fortunes selling virtual "Real Estate" and companies have bought virtual locations, just in case.
Despite all the hype, and a future only very few people actually want, the gold rush for the Metaverse has spawned some very useful technologies. Technologies that can be used today, in sensible ways, to aid in sales and edutainment. Augmented Reality is now available to almost everyone with a smart phone. Apple's offering is particularly good (would have been nice with ONE standard) and allows you to view products in your own home. Check out the coffee machine on the kitchen counter before you buy. Will it fit? Does the colour match the wallpaper? Android's offering, while not quite so smooth or advanced, enables the same basic functionality, although with the vast array of different devices and cameras, results might vary.
From actual trinityjs solution at https://www.wineandbarrels.co.uk/shop/14-wine-furniture/1492-champagne-cork-tablestool-in-cork-and-metal/ TrinityJS naturally supports both platforms for AR, from just a single model upload. On iOS devices there is the additional option to place a multitude of objects simultaneously in your environment. At the time of writing TrinityJS supports 3 basic modes on iOS; Single, Ensemble and In Place, and a single product mode on Android. Unlike other platforms, it is possible to configure your product before viewing in AR.
VR is still a niche market, as far as consumers are concerned. However it does offer unsurpassed possibilities for experiencing an environment before actually creating it in the real world. Of course trinityJS supports VR, via webXR on most headsets, even those from Meta, the Quest 2 and Quest PRO.
So can we use it for anything? One of our customers has successfully used it in a trade show situation, and until VR headsets become more mainstream, this situation, or in a showroom, are the obvious user cases. But should it become more popular, we got you covered. Already today home users can experience their designs in VR in the standard server solution.
Should the future actually be everyone sitting at home in VR headsets, and post pandemic, we know anything is possible, be reassured that GLB, the format used for 3D models in trinityJS is the standard, and you'll be ready to jump right in...