As the past few years showed, staying connected to those we love is essential for a healthy society. Even if we couldn’t be together physically, social media and apps like FaceTime and Zoom helped keep us connected. Well sort of–as good as these platforms are it’s still a two-dimensional experience. The promise of the metaverse however, is one of 3D immersion.
The metaverse could become that next game changing social platform to maintain meaningful relationships in the very near future. Promising a level of immersion not capable in a FaceTime call. And as it turns out we’re really close to submerging into the metaverse, and may not be as far-out an idea as some tech pundits would have you believe.
Why am I so confident of this statement? Because virtual reality headset sales soared in 2021 and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the VR headset market is projected to surpass 34 million units by 2024. Virtual Reality headsets could become as commonly used as game consoles by 2030.
Who Will Make the Hardware to Enter the Metaverse?
With advancements in VR, AR, haptic and motion capture technology, it’s just a matter of time before the metaverse ambition begins to be fully realized.
Hardware to Enter the Metaverse Now
Just as early game consoles evolved, so too has Virtual Reality(VR) headsets. Thanks to advancements in processors, lenses and software development tools, VR headsets continue to get smaller, lighter, and have higher resolution with each iteration.
Meta Metaverse Hardware
Though we are still in early days of metaverse hardware, VR headsets are the entry into a fully immersive metaverse platform. The Quest 2 by Meta is metaverse(as it exists now) ready, and easily the most popular of all metaverse hardware on the market. It’s been a huge hit with over 10 million headsets sold, and my personal favorite.
Meta’s Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workrooms are two metaverse platforms that can be accessed using the Quest 2 headset.
HTC Metaverse Hardware
Another player in the metaverse hardware market is HTC who have a slew of metaverse hardware to choose from. In fact the tech company current offers three such products: Vive Pro 2, Cosmos, and the Vive Flow. All have their advantages over the Meta Quest 2 in either graphical resolution or form factor.
As an example, the Vive Flow weighs in at only 189 grams, compared to around 500 grams for the Oculus Quest 2. This is big deal for anyone that has ever used a VR headset for extended amounts of time. But these advantages do come at a significant cost over the Quest 2.
Microsoft Metaverse Hardware
Microsoft is taking a more enterprise-friendly approach to the metaverse hardware. With their new mixed reality headset HoloLens 2, they are making it possible for companies and businesses of all sizes to enter the metaverse with this technology without breaking the bank.
The metaverse is exactly the kind of place where you want to collaborate with your friends and have a blast. Mesh for Microsoft Teams aims, accordingly, at making that experience personal – while also providing an option for some fun!
HP Metaverse Hardware
This HP Reverb G2 is part of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality family, a platform created by Microsoft with a vision of holographic computing that includes it’s own product, the HoloLens 2.
The Reverb 2 includes Microsoft’s MixedReality Portal software–acting as your basecamp when wearing any type WMR headset. Although the Reverb G2 is seen mostly as the VR headset of professional world–replacing desktop monitors. The advanced resolution, sound, and controllers make it a natural for gamers and entering the metaverse.
Varjo Metaverse Hardware
Varjo is a VR/XR company based in Helsinki, Finland. The company has three headset hardware offerings that are all aiming at the enterprise user. Varjo approaches XR and VR as a tool to replace the standard desktop computer, and with demos that can be seen on their Instagram page, they may very well be on their way to accomplishing this goal.
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Varjo’s Reality Cloud Platform is a step forward for humanity and will change how we interact with one another. The company claims that its technology can make reality sharing between people in different locations possible, which could pave the way to new forms of human interaction as well as universal collaboration!
Is the Future of Metaverse Hardware VR, AR, or MR?
Ultimately it’s some form of all three of these technologies. The metaverse is being developed by companies in an attempt to create the ultimate digital experience. This new reality will need to combine virtual, augmented and mixed realities into one immersive experience. Because all these technologies separately are in a way digital silos.
If we put all three of these technologies in a blender we would end up with something that looks like extended reality (XR). Extended reality is a catch-all term for VR, AR, and MR. Its all the immersive technologies within one piece of hardware. This is what the future metaverse hardware might just look like.
Did I miss anything? If so please comment below.