The metaverse has cross-industry implications and hardware is a critical piece of the metaverse puzzle.
Metaverse is a buzzword that has been at the forefront in the tech world since Facebook charted its Meta course in 2021.
The metaverse has cross-industry implications and hardware is a critical piece of the metaverse puzzle, begging the question: what kind of personal devices will flourish in the metaverse?
The smartphone will be an enabler, not a mainstay
The first line will be what we currently use: gaming consoles, laptops, and smartphones. These devices will be used in conjunction with an augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) overlay to begin with, which makes the current ecosystem of devices a large one. Although smartphones will be one of the first points of entry, in an evolving metaverse, smartphones will take on an enabling role instead of acting as a personal device mainstay. Smartphones enabling AR and VR will become increasingly common as the metaverse evolves.
AR wearables, haptics, and our bodies
AR wearables devices, with their unobtrusiveness, and wearables as a category will be the key to taking mixed reality out of the living room. Consumer AR products, very likely glasses, are expected to arrive in markets perhaps as early as 2024, with use cases such as enhancing the shopping experience by enabling a user to see how a new car would look in their own driveway or how a watch would look on their wrist.
Haptic gloves – or full-body haptic suits – are wearables that allow the sensation of touch through advanced tactile feedback, opening up a wide variety of use cases and experiences. Haptic gloves that allow full control of hands in VR are already available for both mainstream and enterprise segments. The definition of mixed reality wearables as we know it will expand. It won’t be limited to glasses or watches or rings, but things that are embedded into our clothes or into our very skins: implanted wearables.