“The metaverse is far, far more than what is being talked about,” he says. Oscar Gonzalez, while helping us adjust the virtual reality headset over our heads. he is the director of the community real or virtual, the main Spanish-speaking platform specializing in virtual and augmented reality, which began as a group of friends united by a common hobby, the “four devils” as he defines himself, but now has more than 90,000 users. Huh. We are at your headquarters, where we have come to find out the true degree of development of the Metaverse.
The facilities in which we are located also have a laboratory and a museum, as practically all virtual reality audiences that are present have been housed here, since first commercially launched in 2013, and which are now considered digital Paleolithic tools. could. , even the most modern ones, like An interface that decodes neural activity in real time And allows you to interact with the mind, which until not long ago seemed like science fiction. Some of these devices have not yet come to market, as are responsible for real or virtual beta tester Major Chinese and American brands in this field.
Virtual reality is like a shell game, but with more sophisticated and complex mechanics. Here it is also necessary to confuse the view, and that is why the viewfinder is the most important element, However there are other systems with immersion, such as haptic suits, controls, bracelets… There are countless sensors that are used to trick the natural sensors of the human body, and thus provide a more realistic experience.
To start, we tested the Meta-Facebook-developed Oculus Quest 2 headset. Oscar Gonzalez explains, “It doesn’t provide the best possible immersive experience, but it is the one that offers the most to enter this world.” The approach of the first application could not be simpler: you are in front of an elevator, on a city street. The first reaction is always to look around, nodding at the robot’s movements, fascinated by the spectacle before your eyes. And it is, for those who try virtual reality for the first time, the sensation is akin to entering a dream. After the initial impact, you enter the elevator and, interacting with the controls in your hands, press buttons on the ceiling, which take only a few seconds to reach. then the doors open and A plank hanging in the void appears before you,
The whole secret of the application lies in that piece of wood made from forest and zero, which was released about six years ago and has continued to function successfully since then, without the need for improvement. Getting on board and then throwing yourself into the void is the closest thing to a leap of faith, and doing so feels like Indiana Jones before reaching the chamber of the Holy Grail. Your abs do not contract due to inertia, nor is it impossible for your body to prepare for ground impact. As we fall—literally—the trail moves next to us, to catch us in case our feet fail. “It’s happened several times already,” he says.
Virtual Reality and Interconnection
“The Metaverse” is a term first coined by author Neil Stephenson in his science fiction novel snow accidentPublished in 1992. It is based on two basic concepts: Virtual Reality and Networking, to create an immersive replica of reality in which you can interact with other people, objects and spaces. The audience would be the gateway to this world, which, like the Internet, would have many uses, from entertainment to work, or simply as a social network.
In October last year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company was renamed Meta. will be done, within its commitment to lead the development of the Metaverse. “Our vision is to help bring the metaverse to life,” he said, and the term has since taken hold, being used countless times, even for something that already exists. Nothing could be further from the truth. “Zuckerberg has given himself a ten-year term, but we believe it’s even shorter. The technology will come, but all companies lack the will to reach an agreement,” says Oscar Gonzalez. be a very gradual change We are talking ten to twenty years, at least, And just like the phone, it will be a product that changes from year to year, generation to generation.”
Virtual reality (VR) applications aimed at simulating real experiences in controlled environments have been used for at least two decades in fields such as education, medicine, engineering or aviation. However, recently it has become popular with the low cost of these tools, which has allowed them to reach more people and developers.
Until now, as Oscar Gonzalez points out, this technology has been hindered by very large screens, lenses that are far from optimal, which has forced viewers to be cumbersome and sometimes uncomfortable. but this situation That could change in the last quarter of 2022, when Oculus is about to launch the Cambria, Which would mean a radical break with everything that happened before. “Screens will be smaller, with higher pixel densities, so the reality they show is being viewed more faithfully, and the lenses are also going to be modified, so a form factor is being produced. bricks The current ones are going to be smaller, more lightweight, with more batteries, and they’ll have a lot more technology, a lot more sensors inside,” he explains.
A single metaverse full of smaller universes
But if the first steps in the field of virtual reality have been taken relatively firmly, the same has not happened with the other basic concept that defines the metaverse: interrelationship, And this is where real damage can cause that delay and even stop the creation of this virtual world.
The main challenge facing the development of the Metaverse, in the opinion of Oscar Gonzalez, is Creating new standards so that all actors speak the same language, something that made possible the operation of the Internet as we know it. “Real or virtual we believe there will be a single metaverse, full of smaller universes: games, work, education … all the applications that will make it have to be intertwined in some way or the other, and that’s part of it.” Which is going to be more complicated from our point of view, putting all the actors and developers at one table so that they can create a common protocol”, he explains.
,The most complicated part would be getting all the actors and developers to sit at a table to develop a common protocol.,
The next app we tested is demoA role-playing game that lacks the previous affair, but gives us the idea Possibilities of virtual reality in cooperative environments, such as work or social meetings. You’re in a fully equipped dungeon, as seen in American series and movies, and in front of you is a table with games that up to four players can participate in at once. Most notable is the naturalness of moving the pieces through controls, or aspects such as the possibility of moving around the board and interacting with other participants, to change its shape. Somehow, It’s like joining the gameAs the pieces come to life before your eyes.
we come out demo and we are ready to try How photogrammetry is applied to virtual reality, a technique that literally allows you to go inside a picture. As if we had a teleportation machine in our hands, we appear in the middle of an inhospitable wasteland in Iceland, on a small Venetian square, on top of a mountain in the United States … The sound and image are so realistic that you Only remember the wind hitting your face and of course forget that you are inside a room in Madrid.
flight for blade Runner
Finally, we drop the Oculus headset and We offer Pimax 8K+ . put on, which offers one of the most successful immersive experiences of all devices currently on the market, thanks to stratospheric definition—it has two 4K screens, one for each eye—as it allows a 200-degree field of vision. Gives, any more. However, yes, it achieves this at the cost of increasing its dimensions to the limits of comfort and being connected to a PC of several thousand euros, as its heavy graphics require enormous power to move fluidly – for example The Oculus Viewer is autonomous, and doesn’t need to be connected to a computer or video game console.
You are in control of a small ship, in a city that has something of Los Angeles blade Runner, although it could also be like the Hong Kong or Shanghai of the future. Visor’s technical arsenal gets the job done and the realism is practically total, so you slide between skyscrapers while moving your head like a robot, the allure makes up for the difference. Although it doesn’t last long Because an unpleasant feeling of nausea appears immediately in the stomach Which makes it impossible to continue with the experience.
,Some say the Metaverse will give us superpowers, but we believe it will provide subtle solutions to subtle problems.,
In this sophisticated game of mirage, the inner ear, in charge of balance, sends false information to the brain, confused by conflicting signals it receives from other parts of the body, and explains that he is under attack of poison or poison, so it triggers vomiting as a safety measure. This is how Oscar explains it, which also makes it clear that it is a relatively common response in applications that recreates very fast speeds, especially during the first few times, although it is not something that everyone accompanies. it happens.
Despite being an idea cherished for more than three decades, it’s only in recent months that the metaverse, powered by a Facebook-like giant, has really started to hatch. Time will tell how far their commitment goes, and whether the rest of the tech players back it up with the same enthusiasm. In any case, it will be a long and complicated birth, but if it eventually manages to see the light, This could mean a revolutionary leap for man that allows him to enter a hitherto unknown dimension. Or maybe it’s not that bad, depending on how you look at it. “How is it revolutionizing people’s lives? Like any technology that provides solutions. Some people say it will give us superpowers, but we are thinking that it will provide specific solutions to specific problems.” Oscar Gonzalez.