Don’t confuse virtual reality with metaverse

The metaverse for one is not just any single virtual world you experience with VR technology.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: Recently, we have had a spate of activities in the metaverse. Durgo Pujo, couples getting married and more. While news like this grabs eyeballs and headlines, but the reality is different - in fact they lean more towards virtual reality (VR) albeit technically they may be in an established metaverse.

The metaverse for one is not just any single virtual world you experience with VR technology. On the contrary, it is being built to be a shared and persistent virtual world complementing the real one. A deeper reflection can provide some vital answers to the question.The other obvious point of comparison in a metaverse vs VR discussion, is the definition itself. The metaverse is an open, shared, and permanent virtual world that provides access to user-created 3D virtual locations, solutions, and surroundings. VR is the technology for constructing three-dimensional virtual worlds with specified functionality.

The next big distinction is the prospect of ownership. When using a VR system, you are experiencing a system owned by a brand. So, the only thing you have in your possession with VR technology is the equipment. Metaverse, however, is a completely different ball game as it allows ownership of virtual assets and experiences to users. Everything you create and own in the metaverse is yours, whether it is a piece of virtual real estate or an artefact. In fact, the metaverse confers the privileges of complete ownership on users. 

Going forward, VR, has certain limitations. You can only create virtual experiences refined further with improvements in the VR systems. In the end, VR would be all about simulations and enjoying virtual adventures.  On the other side of the spectrum, the metaverse does not have any such limitations. The metaverse does not function only from VR technologies. It’s powered by others such as AR, blockchain, crypto, and connectivity technologies. Most importantly, the metaverse is a humungous virtual world that allows the integration of new technologies for offering enhanced functionalities.

Further, in the case of VR, you can feel that you are wearing a headset or a gadget that lets you experience the virtual environment whereas the metaverse gives a virtual universe much similar to the real world by combining the technologies of AR with VR.

The are others differences as well but we can park that for another day. The metaverse is so much more more than VR. Virtual Reality is practically one of the foundation technologies for developing the metaverse. It allows users to access the metaverse. However, VR alone is only limited to certain functionalities. The metaverse is a massive and gradually developing virtual universe, which would embody a 3D representation of the internet. Just like browsing through different web pages, users can browse through virtual 3D spaces in the metaverse. Also, there is no limit to the possibilities of introducing innovation in the metaverse. Start discovering more about the metaverse and find out how VR complements it.

So the next time we see these “metaverse moments” in the news, stop. Reflect. As they say, don’t believe all that you see. There are three sides of any story. Theirs, yours and the truth!

​(The writer is Founder, India Blockchain Alliance)

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