Works in Metaverse – computerworld.ch

When it comes to writing about hybrid work today, we are talking about offices and home offices. Tomorrow, the work can take place entirely in the virtual space. But: Who works like in Metaverset?

Two out of three consumers bought a product in the virtual space or attended a virtual event in the past year. Both of course in the office or home office or in your own four walls. According to the results of an Accenture survey among over 11,000 consumers from 16 countries, more than half (55%) believe that everyday life will increasingly shift to the virtual world. With similar consequences for the real world – talk about work and leisure.

The media everyday life of young people in Switzerland is already strongly influenced by the use of mobile phones and the Internet. The “James” study from Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and Swisscom found in 2020 that an impressive 99 percent of young people use mobile phones in their spare time. Every third (34%) plays video games regularly, even though there is a big gender difference: 79 percent of the boys and 56 percent of the girls even play games daily or at least several times a week. Young consumers are already in one or the other “Metaverse”, be it “Fire Ring”, “Fortnite” or “Pokémon Legends – Arceus”. Earlier this year, the digital agency Sensor Tower counted over 550 smartphone apps that wanted to capture users’ attention with the keyword “Metaverse”.

Programs of the virtual world

A “real” Metaverse app does not yet exist. The company behind Facebook, Meta, will also not just launch an app once they have finished building their Metaverse. Until then, however, there is still a lot of work ahead for the developers, the administrators of the current 49 data centers (and soon 47 more that are being built), eyewear manufacturers, PC supporters and the system architects. They are currently working hard to make the metaverse vision a (virtual) reality. For example, chip maker Intel points out that real-time rendering of two people in a photorealistic world requires enormous computing power. For hundreds or even millions of people to meet in a virtual environment, 1,000 times the performance of today’s computers is required, according to Raja Koduri, general manager of Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, in a blog post. The chip company now provides developers with developer kits that enable them to write code that will be supported by future high-performance platforms, Koduri said.

The developers of graphics processors and driver software are especially important in the virtual world. With video games, they are already proving that they can provide chips and software to offer a photorealistic experience to larger groups of players. The CEO of the graphics chip market leader Nvidia, Jensen Huang, only sees gaming as the beginning of a major development. “Nvidia started as a computer company. It quickly became apparent that video games were the first killer application for us, “he said in a recent interview with Time magazine. Nvidia is now developing a digital twin of a factory with carmaker BMW, for example. manufacturing processes are first tested in the virtual world before they are actually put into use at the factory.But for Huang, the production facility is only a beginning.There will be a virtual New York City where all the buildings in the real city are replicated.Then city planners could first test on the 3D model whether another pond in Central Park would attract more visitors before the excavators actually start running.

3D designers like Blender or Unity are the first requirement to create Metaverse, runtime environments like CryEngine, Frostbite or the popular Unreal Engine are the second. The third thing you need is virtual reality hardware. This is where Magic Leap and Meta’s (Facebooks) Oculus Rift come into play. To be of interest to users right now, eyewear manufacturers need highly specialized software developers with patented technologies so that eyewear users can be introduced to a fully or partially virtual world that is close to reality.

If Sony-backed start-up H2L Technologies has its way, Metaverse will not just be visual experiences. The Japanese have developed a bracelet that emits small electric shocks that can be used to inflict not only pain but also the feeling of weight and resistance to users and avatars in Metaverse. According to the company’s founder Emi Tamaki, the bracelet’s electrical stimulation can be used to mimic a range of sensual sensations, ranging from catching a ball to a bird nibbling at the wearer’s skin. The sensory stimulation aims to enable Metaverse to transform into a real world with an enhanced sense of presence and immersion.

The H2L example shows that the programming of Metaverse does not only take place in the USA. “The Zurich office is – also due to our development focus on augmented reality and virtual reality – an important driving force for our company’s innovative capabilities and will continue to have a greater impact on us,” explains Tino Krause, Country Director DACH at Facebook, on the occasion of the opening of the new Premises on Giesshübelstrasse in Zurich. There is room for more than 200 employees.

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