While The Metaverse Takes Off, There Is Electronic Skin To Embrace Via The Internet
Talking about the Metaverse often means focusing on the words virtual, three-dimensional, and digital. In reality, the Metaverse, without high-performance PCs and viewers capable of making us experience vivid immersion, would not be the experience it is.
Today, there are companies that are developing excellent products related to artificial skin that would give us the opportunity to experience touch virtually.
With this new hardware, for example, when avatars hug each other, whoever is on the other side of the screen (both users) will feel the sensation of being hugged.
In fact, the electronic skin that various companies are trying to create, such as the one we will examine in this article was created by researchers at the University of the City of Hong Kong (CityU). It is soft and wireless.
HERE IS HOW ONE OF THE FIRST SKINS FOR THE METAVERSE IS MADE
It is able to detect and reproduce tactile signals allowing a two-way interaction, even between multiple users. The result was published in Science Advances.
“With the rapid development of virtual and augmented reality, sight and hearing are not enough to recreate an immersive experience. Tactile communication could be a revolution for interacting in the Metaverse,” said Yu Xinge, an associate professor in the Department of biomedical engineering.
– There are many interfaces on the market today that simulate touch in the virtual world. But they can usually detect or reproduce tactile sensations, while the new e-skin, with its 16 flexible actuators combined in a device the size of a band-aid, is able to do both simultaneously.
HOW ELECTRONIC SKIN WORKS
– The touch imprinted on the actuators induces an electrical signal which is converted into a digital signal and transmitted via Bluetooth to the actuators of the electronic skin worn by the other user. It in turn reproduces the tactile sensation through mechanical vibration.
– The process can also be reversed, to send vibrations from the receiving person’s e-skin to that of the person who sent the signal first.
– While each actuator can only do one thing at a time, the other 15 on the device can complement the function by sensing or reproducing touch signals, so that touch transmission is bi-directional at the same time.
“Our e-skin can communicate with Bluetooth devices and transmit data via the internet with smartphones and computers to perform ultra-long distance touch signal transmission,” comments Yu Xinge.
“Friends and family in different places could use it to ‘feel’ each other. This form of touch overcomes the limitations of space and greatly reduces the sense of distance in human communication”
VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS: THE ESSENTIAL GADGET FOR THE METAVERSE
Virtual reality headsets are another essential element of the Metaverse, as they help to create immersive and interactive experiences.
There are several models on the market, but they generally fall into three categories: headsets that connect directly to the PC, standalone headsets with their own built-in operating system, and mixed reality (MR) headsets.
The last two are equipped with tracking technology to detect the position and movements of the body, in order to allow users to interact with the virtual environment in a natural way.
MR headsets have cutting-edge technology that combines virtual and augmented reality in the same environment viewed by users, thus providing opportunities to carry out creative projects, browse 3D content, and play games. It can even take online meetings to another level.
This means that virtual reality technology is now ready to be used in the Metaverse and transform our lives in a more interactive and exciting way. There is no time to waste: the Metaverse is just waiting for us!
By using the electronic skin combined with VR, AR, or MR headsets, the researchers hope they can create an immersive environment that can provide a tactile experience for multiple users simultaneously. However, the technology is still under development and it may take a few years before it is available on the market.
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THE GRAPHICS INCREASINGLY SIMILAR TO A REALISTIC FILM
If by chance you have ever entered a metaverse or seen images on the web of how it is done, such as that of Roblox, The Sandbox, or Horizon World, you will have seen that the graphics are similar to that of a video game or cartoon animated.
It is very predictable, however, in the future, it will be much more realistic.
In fact, with the advancement of graphic technology and the potential offered by more powerful computers, the quality of the images of virtual environments will reach the quality of a realistic film.
This will mean that people will not only be able to feel the presence of other users but also see their real facial and emotional expressions. This will upgrade the Metaverse experience by transporting people to a virtual place that feels almost real.
Another step forward could be to introduce augmented reality, i.e. elements superimposed on realistic images to reinforce the sensations of immersion and realism.
However, with the improvement of the 3D environment, the avatars will take on very human aspects, and those who wish can make them look like themselves.
This will free our minds from limitations and boundaries, transporting us to a world populated by human beings who will share emotional and interactive experiences as if they were real life.
Facebook has hypothesized that in the future, thanks to artificial intelligence, it will be enough to make a video independently and an application based on AI will create an avatar resembling ourselves.
It will be like entering a version of ourselves, with our thoughts and emotions but also full of visual and interactive stimuli that will change the rules of the game.
So the Metaverse promises an innovative future full of possibilities. It will be interesting to see where it takes us in the years to come. Scientists are constantly working to improve VR technology
The bottom line is virtual reality technology is already changing the way we live. The Metaverse is an opportunity to experience and explore environments and worlds that were previously only in our imaginations.
With MR goggles, electronic skin, and increasingly realistic graphics, technology is getting to the point where you can truly enjoy an immersive experience as if it were the real thing.
It will be interesting to see where the Metaverse takes us over the next few years. It is expected that we will have even more possibilities to experience and connect with other users in an interactive way, offering us a new form of entertainment.
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