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    VR: The key enable of the metaverse

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    The metaverse, as envisioned by companies like Meta and Microsoft, aims to fundamentally alter how we use and consume material online. It claims to create a dynamic, completely immersive 3D environment that combines the real and virtual worlds and will drastically alter how people interact with one another.

    Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have a crucial role to play in delivering what is being described as the next generation of the Internet, and an increasing number of companies and businesses are looking to use online virtual platforms to deliver new experiences and content. The metaverse as currently conceived is on a very grand scale and is multifunctional.

    The metaverse provides some intriguing potential future prospects in anything from marketing and tourism to education, entertainment, shopping, design, and engineering.

    But getting there will take some time; just consider what Meta has learned and how much money it has spent so far on development. However, 5G and VR/AR will work together to create the framework and circumstances necessary for the metaverse to evolve successfully in the future.

    The metaverse is currently an undefined market, according to Michael Corrigan, Staff System Engineer, Analog Devices. “The application cases for the metaverse that are possible are as many and diverse as your imagination can create. But there is one thing that all metaverse experiences have in common: they all rely on robust, complementing technology.

    According to Corrigan, “wearable technology has become ubiquitous today, and the category has expanded far beyond watches to include AR and VR headsets.” As headset technology develops, popularity, demand, and competitiveness rise along with it.

    Leo Gebbie, Principal Analyst, Connected Devices, CCS Insight, claims that Meta has recently developed the Quest 3 headset, which is more potent and manageable than its predecessor.

    Read also : The BEST 3 VR Headset in 2023

    “Meta is placing a major emphasis on passthrough mixed reality with Quest 3, which means that external cameras will perceive the outside environment and allow users to merge it with virtual pictures inside the headset. The company wants it to become the new VR headset of choice for the mainstream market. This is the current hot trend in VR, and it’s also the path that Apple’s rumored headset is likely to go in.

    Apple is anticipated to introduce its own extended reality headset as this article is being published, which might help to rekindle interest in the technology.

    “Apple’s presence would spur interest in the sector and investment in the ecosystem, which would be advantageous to all participants. Additionally, the enthusiasm for VR and AR should lead to more

    The price of the devices is likely to be a problem for both headsets; some reports claim that Apple’s headset could cost up to $3000; therefore, the question is: Will the user be a developer who wants to spend time preparing for the eventual release of a less expensive model, or someone with a specific commercial need for this expensive equipment?

    Delivering a realistic simulation that fully immerses users in a digitally created virtual world in which they may interact is the main goal of VR/AR. Users may fully immerse themselves in this computer-generated three-dimensional universe, which employs digital technology to replicate an interactive 3D environment and allow them to explore and interact with things and people.

    IDC researchers estimate that shipments of AR/VR headsets increased by more than 92% year over year (YOY) in 2021 and are forecasting double-digit growth through to 2026, when worldwide shipments of AR/VR headsets are expected to reach 50 million units.

    Although gaming has been the main force behind this expansion, Corrigan predicts that it won’t be long before gaming is reduced to the status of a subset of the larger metaverse.

    A full infrastructure, including edge devices, network, and energy infrastructures, will be needed to build the metaverse itself over time.

    According to a JPMorgan Chase analysis, the metaverse represents a business potential worth more than $1 trillion and will “infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years.”

    “Business executives and boardrooms from all over the world are currently debating their metaverse strategies. In the metaverse, what am I meant to be doing?

    Technological challenges

    It is anticipated that the metaverse will need 1000 times as much computer power as is currently accessible. According to Corrigan, there are four crucial areas that must be taken care of while establishing the metaverse. “If you’re looking to leverage the metaverse in any way, this figure should guide you in determining how to approach a successful deployment,” he advises.

    Cloud Compute Power

    “The methods in which we currently utilize the internet are driving the fast expansion of hyperscale data centers. According to Intel, the necessary processing power will increase 1,000-fold when the metaverse achieves its full capacity, necessitating the construction of more advanced data centers in tandem. High density servers, AI accelerators, storage, and networking systems, as well as optical control solutions for gigabit connection and sensor solutions for data center infrastructure development, will be necessary to successfully power the metaverse.

    Network Infrastructure

    In the metaverse, laggy video, slow loads, and iffy connections are unacceptable. “Since the metaverse shouldn’t buffer, neither should the real reality that surrounds us. Imagine delay affecting how you interact with people, things, and locations in the metaverse if you think latency is important in the modern world, Corrigan continues.

    Studies have also revealed that the main factor contributing to motion sickness when using a VR headset is latency.

    Energy

    One study revealed that the projected carbon footprint of one AI language processing model was approximately 626,000 pounds of CO2. “For the metaverse, the energy consumption and emissions would be astronomical; therefore, it must rely on green energy sources (solar and wind),” cautions Corrigan. “Storing and distributing that energy is the biggest challenge because batteries typically store unused green energy to maximize their effectiveness. An effective battery management system (BMS) is needed to closely monitor, control, and distribute the trustworthy charge and discharge of the entire battery system throughout its lifetime.”

    Edge Devices

    Edge computing has been developed in response to the exponential rise in bandwidth demand from distributed devices, particularly in the metaverse, where real-time applications demand local processing and storage capabilities for data generated globally.

    The metaverse requires a number of technologies that are incorporated in the vision, audio, and human machine interaction subsystems, all of which need a sizable amount of computing power at the edge, according to Corrigan.

    “AI at the edge will be essential for the lowest latency and greater processing at the lowest feasible power. Processing nearer to the sensor guarantees lowest latency using local computational power rather than in the cloud and minimizes electricity to send data off a device.

    Is VR the future?

    Although VR technology has a lot of potential, many people still feel like it has unrealized potential. Despite the fact that gaming has dominated the conversation, there are many more use cases to consider.

    According to research done by CSS Insight last year, 90% of people who own a VR headset would be willing to use one at work if asked. The company also discovered that almost 80% of businesses had looked into investing in extended reality in its Senior Leadership IT Investment Survey, 2022.

    The present state of VR applications, according to Nadav Avni, CMO of Radix Technologies, is revolutionizing several sectors throughout the globe. Avni claims that VR, along with augmented reality, is utilized for a variety of tasks, including exploring the metaverse and constructing precise instruments. “It is having an impact, whether in training, design, meetings, and collaboration.”

    A standard VR setup includes a user wearing 3D goggles and interactive controllers, but Avni believes that even if existing VR technology produces remarkable results, there is always space for development.

    He predicts that advances in 3D rendering and eye- and motion-tracking technology will advance virtual reality.

    What industries have been adopting VR, and how is the technology being used in those industries?

    Education and Training

    Higher education has always been at the forefront of digital revolution in the VR industry, according to Avni. It was the first to embrace remote learning for online degrees, and following Covid-19, we noticed a significant increase in remote teaching in secondary schools. since a result, there has been tremendous government investment in the digital classroom, including VR, since it was regarded as a terrific method to help underprivileged kids and keep them from falling behind.

    Avni claims that VR enables the education and training industry to both show and tell, allowing students to take virtual field excursions to various locations and, in addition, allowing students to collaborate to build models and solve issues using VR training modules.

    According to Avni, combining a 3D environment with chances for students to collaborate with one another toward the same objectives can make learning more engaging and memorable.

    Healthcare and Therapy

    Healthcare is another industry where immersive experiences are offered to engage students and demonstrate concepts in new ways. Every medical institute places a strong priority on teaching future doctors and medical personnel high-precision skills like surgery or other life-saving operations.

    Giving pupils hands-on instruction outside of virtual reality entails placing them in real-world scenarios for which they are not yet prepared. Without needlessly endangering patient lives or using genuine medical equipment, VR enables medical students and responders to gain all the practice they require, says Avni.

    Additionally, VR may provide patients with immersive and interesting methods to finish therapy sessions.

    According to studies, about 27% of therapy-seeking individuals will decline care if it entails in-person sessions. Only 3% of patients, however, will decline VR-assisted therapy sessions.

    The COVID-19 pandemic also showed that many ailments, for which visiting the doctor’s office was the usual course of action, could now be successfully identified and treated from the convenience of a patient’s home.

    Avni claims that the arrival of the metaverse would further that idea by establishing virtual clinics, or “metahealth,” where a patient’s avatar is welcomed at the front desk, sits in a virtual waiting area, and then meets with a doctor’s avatar or a real doctor.

    The doctor might then consult an expert to expedite the diagnosis and keep the patient better informed while receiving care at home, wherever that specialist may be.

    Work and Innovation

    In terms of the workplace, VR is significantly facilitating the easiness and efficiency of particular jobs. Before breaking ground, construction businesses and real estate developers provide virtual tours of their projects, while engineering firms are able to create intricate pieces and test-run prototypes without producing a single item. Manufacturers can use VR simulations of their goods’ performances to find possible problems down the road.

    “In a similar vein, businesses may employ virtual reality to instruct staff members on how to operate machinery or carry out challenging jobs. According to Avni, opening a VR training facility eliminates the need to spend a sizable amount of produced goods for actual instruction. Before they get the chance to utilize real equipment in real settings, trainees may now hone their abilities.

    Entertainment and gaming

    According to Avni, “there are over 400 million active users visiting the metaverse each month where they play games, shop online, go on virtual dates, go to virtual concerts, or just hang out with other avatars. Additionally, independent VR gaming has a promising future. There are already VR versions of several well-known sports, racing, shooting, and fantasy games, giving players an immersive experience as they immerse themselves in the game and assume the role of the hero.

    Investing in VR

    A rising number of businesses are ready to consider virtual reality (VR) and how the metaverse may improve their operations, if not invest in it.

    The cost of VR headgear, controllers, smart devices, and software is significant for businesses who want to invest in VR. It may be expensive to amass a fleet of VR devices, so they’ll need to protect their investment using device management software, according to Avni.

    “The proper device management can guarantee that all of your VR equipment inventory receives routine upkeep, upgrades, and fixes. However, having secure cloud access to all the tools and documentation is required to make these maintenance tasks available on demand.

    Therefore, in Avni’s opinion, the ideal device manager should make use of secure connections, such those run by Amazon Web Services (AWS). End-to-end encryption and minimal latency are also guaranteed by this.

    Avni warns that maintaining many VR brands that use various operating systems might be quite difficult.

    Make sure your device management software provides a device-agnostic solution that regards all devices running various operating systems as the same in order to combat this. Additionally, it should have no issues handling enterprise mobility management (EMM), security components, and low-level device management.

    When it comes to security, data privacy is a major concern.

    “Your VR investment can be better preserved if your fleet devices are protected from data theft or unauthorized usage. It should be simple to identify efforts to run unauthorized applications or copy private information in contravention of GDPR, HIPAA, or other privacy regulations.

    Device management software ought to be able to deactivate or shut down the affected device when this issue arises to stop additional data breaches.

    The Future

    Those interested in VR/AR have been predicting a tipping point for the industry for years, but with the introduction of new products from manufacturers like Apple and Meta and the emergence of more businesses and industries using VR, perhaps the time has come.

    According to Avni, “I believe we have, and VR is beginning to shape businesses globally.” “Organisations really adopting VR/AR solutions are getting a genuine return on their investment, while Meta may have spent billions on the metaverse idea with unsatisfactory results. While the real use cases of VR typically concentrate on certain industries, the metaverse is a wide notion. For instance, HTC has taken care of business-related concerns. However, in each instance, they were able to significantly improve those marketplaces.

    Device management software is necessary to maintain everything operating well if you want to profit from this technology, says Avni.

    This will guarantee that you are always able to monitor, maintain, and service your whole fleet of VR devices.

    Avni says, “While the current technology is far from flawless, there is enough promise to guarantee VR will play a significant role in the future.

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