Imagine scaling Everest, swimming with hammerheads or skydiving over the Grand Canyon — without ever leaving your living room. All will supposedly be possible in the metaverse, a new level of virtual reality being developed by the world’s top tech gurus.
“I want to walk through the grounds of Trinity College, Dublin, to turn the pages of the Book of Kells, and I’ll be able to do that in VR,” said British futurist Andrew Curry, referring to the 800-year-old gospel scrolls housed at Ireland’s top university.
In its fully realized form, the metaverse promises to offer true-to-life sights, sounds and even smells, where a tour of ancient Greece or a visit to a Seoul café can happen from your home, Curry said. Decked out with full-spectrum VR headsets, smart clothing and tactile-responsive haptic gloves, the at-home traveler can touch the Parthenon in Athens or taste the rich foam of a Korean dalgona coffee.
You wouldn’t even have to be you. Members of the metaverse could prowl the Brazilian rainforest as a jaguar or take the court at Madison Square Garden as LeBron James. The only limits are your imagination.
Some will simply use it “only to fulfill work or educational obligations,” she said. Others “will live the majority of their waking hours ‘jacked in.’”
Using a “blend of physical and behavioral biometrics, emotion recognition, sentiment analysis, and personal data,” the metaverse will be able to create a customized and enhanced reality for each person, she said.
In the future, “AR wearables may be as pervasive as smart phones are today,” said Patrick Cozzi, who runs the 3D tech company Cesium and is heavily involved in enhancing the metaverse.