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Metaverse Is Maturing But Hardware Has a Long Way To Go A whopping 36% of the metaverse market share is contributed by VR and AR alone. But the current hardwares to experience metaverse suffer from certain limitations.

By Priya Kapoor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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With 400 million monthly active users of metaverse and one-fourth of people expected to spend an hour or more each day in the metaverse by 2026, the future of metaverse looks bright. The word that majorly came into practice just two years back, even though the term was coined way back, has gone through various curves of learning and made an impact in various areas like learning and auditing. But what is interesting to note is the fact that hardware like AR and VR plays a major role in its growth. A whopping 36% of the metaverse market share is contributed by VR and AR alone.

But the current hardwares to experience metaverse suffer from certain limitations. At a panel discussion on the role of technology in building metaverses at Web3 summit experts of the metaverse industry shared their opinions. Says Mukundan Govindaraj, Principal Solutions Architect, NVIDIA, "While the metaverse is maturing, there are also the hardwares which in parallel are also maturing. However, there is a limitation when it comes to hardware. For instance, there is a VR headset which is CPU based with 50,000 polygons, but now we are talking about cloud rendering ones with 50 billion polygons that can make it run in an android device like an Oculus Quest 2 seamlessly.

Low on ease and comfort

Experts also agreed that current hardwares is bulky and scores low on ease and comfort. Commented Mike Charalambous, CEO, Threedium, "Silicon gels which are ultimately the lightest version of hardware that you can embed, without causing extra discomfort and being able to penetrate through the lenses in a mixed reality environment is a good choice to consider in hardwares."

Agrees Govindaraj, "The gadgets at present are bulky in form. There is a lot of research happening and there is demand to bring it to the level of eye specs. Secondly, the devices are lacking a lot of horsepower. So when you are throwing a lot of AI at it,, when you are running a powerful AI inferences that means the device doesn't have the right hardware."

Watch video: Technology in building immersive experiences

Use of limited senses

Experts also feel that hardware is just limited to sight and sound and need to go beyond it. "We have five senses but within the current scope of things, we are only using sight and sound. Touch and feel is another area which needs attention. We are working with some companies that are working in haptics which deliver the sensation of touch and feel which are crucial to experiences like skilling or working with hard goods. It is extremely important to know the texture of the surface or how much pressure is being applied. So these are less addressed now," says Shivang Desai, CEO, CTO & Co-founder, Bigthinx.

However, hardware makers are hopeful of more lighter and user-friendly hardware in the future and one way of doing this is through moving computing onto the cloud as compared to the device. Says Pankat Raut, Co-founder & CEO, AjnaLens, "As a hardware company, we try to make it lighter, more user friendly. We are trying to move computing onto the cloud as compared to the device along with working on the optics part of it as it takes more and more space within the device. Once they are more innovations in this spectrum, you will see more lightweight hardwares."


At the summit, the discussion also moved towards interoperabilty of metaverses, which is an important aspect. The question is how do we promote it? "In the current scenarios, most m-platforms don't want to share the user data with anybody else. But there are some players who are trying to bifurcate the entire ecosystem where you create one avatar and can use it for shopping as well as to visit a clinic. But this requires openness from all companies," adds Govindaraj.

Charalambous, on the other hand, feels it needs a lot of faith and this is not the case at present. "I am a big advocate of omni interoperability. Multiple different digital avatars like digital twins that can omni operate across different channels. Blockchain can allow you to take different data into different worlds, not necessarily transferring the same asset but the same data information across different worlds.That is a much bigger or realistic bet rather than consolidating experiences across multiple environments.and being able to create a much more realistic notion of giving the user same power across different experiences rather than trying to solve this problem of interoperability."

Says Desai,"When it comes to technology they all behave very differently. The avatar that you use for shopping are different. They take your body shapes but the gaming ones are different. Interoperability as a singular concept may not work out much the way but we can see omni operability."

Raut commented, "There are two things. One is you have an android ecosystem and ioS. Within metaverses also, there would be an android ecosystem where it is more interoperable with multiple other things, more open and some which do not have interoperability for reasons like speed, privacy. So going forward, there will be two types of companies-one which will consciously go for interoperability and second which will not go for it."

Priya Kapoor

Former Feature Editor

Priya holds more than a decade of experience in journalism. She has worked on various beats and was chosen as a Road Safety Fellow in 2018, wherein she produced many in-depth & insightful features on road crashes in India. She writes on startups, personal finance and Web3. Outside of work, she likes gardening, driving and reading. 




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