As the metaverse becomes a bigger, better part of our lives, the jury is still out on the part virtual reality (VR) will play in it. A group of experts recently weighed in on what they believe VR’s role will be in the future.
According to these tech insiders, investors, and CEOs, virtual reality will have a place in the metaverse at some point, but not imminently due to slow adoption rates. This is despite what many believe is a natural marriage between the two.
One of the experts who weighed in on the matter is the founder and CEO of the metaverse platform CEEK, Mary Spio. CEEK is also riding the coattails of the metaverse, and Spio states that the true power of a metaverse can’t completely come to fruition unless users are immersed in the experience through VR devices.
CEEK aids digital content creators, like musicians and artists, connect directly with their fans in the virtual space. According to Spio, her platform opted to focus on VR immersion because users can’t access the benefits of the metaverse with non-VR modes or devices.
“Virtual Reality enables full immersion and creates that sense of presence, real emotions, and memories; no different than actually being at a time and place in real life,” Spio said.
Spio added that CEEKs metaverse needs to allow both VR and non-VR accessibility, as content, ease of use, and accessibility are required if VR is adopted widely.
Everyrealm CEO Janine Yorio has another take that counters Spio’s. She believes the metaverse platforms and VR technology need to evolve exclusively from each other without mutual consideration.
To her, a minute share of metaverse experiences is built for VR, like CEEK. She continued by saying VR won’t hugely impact the world in the near future. This is because of “technology obstacles” and the human desire for gradual changes in how we use technology.
“People typically game or engage with technology while they are doing something else. That is impossible when using a VR headset which effectively blocks out the rest of the world and makes the user physically vulnerable while using it.”
Rick Pearce, creative and technical director at Human Park, is between Spio and Yorio. He thinks it may be five to ten years before VR becomes ready for the metaverse. This is due to issues on the development side and obstacles in the realm of mass adoption. But he also said that VR implementation “isn’t off the cards.” Human Park hasn’t implemented VR into its platform but says it is a possibility for the future.
The headset is the main hurdle for Pearce. While the Oculus solved many of the issues Pearce has with the devices, connectivity and gameplay will remain a difficult challenge for the next five years. Some of the limitations of integrating VR and the metaverse may have no solution due to the “physical limitations that stop those things from connecting on a fundamental level.
Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the Quest 2 VRs developed by Meta are developed to enable users to plug into virtual reality immediately. The Quest 2 headsets will primarily work with Horizon World.