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THE METAVERSE
Mark Billinghurst
mark.billinghurst@auckland.ac.nz
May 20th 2024
Are we there yet?
VR in 1994
$150,000+, SGI Onyx
Magnetic tracking
Virtual Research VR4
743x230 pixel/eye
60 degree FOV
$6,000
2 million polygons/sec
30 Hz
Greenspace (1994)
• First trans-Pacific shared VR
• 4 people – 2 in Japan, 2 in USA
• $50K USD phone bill
Snowcrash (1992)
• Neal Stephenson’s coined Metaverse
• mentioned 117 times
“.. a computer-generated universe that his
computer is drawing onto his goggles and
pumping into his earphones.. this imaginary
place is known as the Metaverse.”
Hiro Protagonist
“He is wearing shiny goggles that
wrap halfway around his head ..
He turns off his view of the Metaverse
entirely, making the goggles totally
transparent.”
Laser Scanned Retinal Display
• Laptop computer with R, G, B laser scanner
• 72 fps, 2K pixel resolution on a side
“.. a narrow beam of any colour
can be shot out of the innards of
the computer, up through that
fisheye lens..
..this beam is made to sweep
back and forth across the lenses
of Hiro's goggles”
Virtual Retinal Scanner (1991 - )
• Laser scanning display
• Horizontal + vertical MEMs scanners
• Commercialized through Microvision (1993)
1993
2002
Snowcrash Metaverse
“The people are pieces of software
called avatars. They are the audio-
visual bodies that people use to
communicate with each other..”
“.. Hiro goes into the Metaverse
and looks down the Street and
sees buildings and electric signs
stretching off into the darkness..”
Todays Technology
See-through to VR transition
3,660 x 3,142 pixel/eye
Hand Tracking
Social
VR
Realistic
Avatars
• asf
Are were there yet?
Seven Layers of the Metaverse (Jon Radoff)
Are We There Yet?
Mostly
There
Work
to Do
Would you wear this HMD?
Social Acceptance
• People don’t want to look silly
• Only 12% of 4,600 adults surveyed would be willing to wear AR glasses
• 20% of mobile AR browser users experience social issues
Snowcrash Gargoyles
“It's a gargoyle ..
Instead of using laptops, they wear their computers
on their bodies, broken up into separate modules
that hang on the waist, .. on the headset.
They serve as human surveillance devices,
recording everything that happens around them..
Gargoyles represent the embarrassing side of the
Central Intelligence Corporation.
Nothing looks stupider…”
Google Glass - 2013
Google Glass (2013)
• First consumer wearable computer
• Camera + processor + display on head
• Novel gesture/touch interaction and UI
Roblox (2006 - )
• Large scale Social 3D/VR platform
• 70 million DAU, 300 million MAU
• ~ 2 million people playing right now
• User Generated Content
• 3 million developers
• Over 5.5 million environments
• Multi-platform
• Mobile, Tablet, PC/Mac, VR
Glass vs. Roblox
• Glass
• Technically amazing, but poor social experience
• Socially isolating - “What is he seeing on his screen?”
• Creates privacy concerns – “Is she filming me?”
• Expensive, little utility compared to phone/smart watch
• Roblox
• Content/social focus first
• Creates community, Free + Social
• User generated content/developer rewards
• Multi-platform, extends familiar user experience
Designing for the Whole User Experience
Avoiding Glass 2.0
• Design for the whole user
experience
• Creating new types of user
experiences
• Improving connection with
the real world
• Improving connection
between people
Creating a Better Experience
• Metaverse Roadmap (2007)
• Connecting Metaverse back to real world
• The Metaverse is the convergence of:
• 1) virtually enhanced physical reality
• 2) physically persistent virtual space
Metaverse Taxonomy
• Key Components
• Virtual Worlds
• Augmented Reality
• Mirror Worlds
• Lifelogging
Two Dimensions
Intimate <-> External
Augmentation <-> Simulation
Sensing
Immersing
Augmenting
Capturing
Expanded Research Opportunities
Example: Connecting between Spaces
• Augmented Reality
• Bringing remote people into your real space
• Virtual Reality
• Bringing elements of the real world into VR
• Mirror World
• Capturing real world in real time
3D Live Scene Capture
• Use cluster of RGBD sensors
• Fuse together 3D point cloud
Scene Capture and Sharing
Scene Reconstruction Remote Expert Local Worker
AR View Remote Expert View
Empathic Computing
• Covering the entire Metaverse
• AR, VR, Lifelogging, Mirror Worlds
• Transforming collaboration
• Observer to participant
• Feeling of doing things together
• Supporting Implicit collaboration
NeuralDrum
• Using brain synchronicity to increase connection
• Collaborative VR drumming experience
• Measure brain activity using 3 EEG electrodes
• Use PLV to calculate synchronization
• More synchronization increases graphics effects/immersion
Pai, Y. S., Hajika, R., Gupta, K., Sasikumar, P., & Billinghurst, M. (2020). NeuralDrum: Perceiving Brain
Synchronicity in XR Drumming. In SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 Technical Communications (pp. 1-4).
Set Up
• HTC Vive HMD
• OpenBCI
• 3 EEG electrodes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG261GfiR90
Results
"It’s quite interesting, I actually felt like my
body was exchanged with my partner."
Poor Player Good Player
Conclusion
• Many of the Metaverse technologies are here today
• Research need in some areas
• Acceptance more about social issues than technical
• Needs further study (ethnographic, privacy, ethics, etc)
• Need to expand definition of Metaverse
• Connect user experience back to real world
• Explore the entire Metaverse for opportunities
• Opportunities for research across the boundaries
Delivering the Entire Metaverse
www.empathiccomputing.org
@marknb00
mark.billinghurst@auckland.ac.nz

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The Metaverse: Are We There Yet?

  • 2. VR in 1994 $150,000+, SGI Onyx Magnetic tracking Virtual Research VR4 743x230 pixel/eye 60 degree FOV $6,000 2 million polygons/sec 30 Hz
  • 3. Greenspace (1994) • First trans-Pacific shared VR • 4 people – 2 in Japan, 2 in USA • $50K USD phone bill
  • 4. Snowcrash (1992) • Neal Stephenson’s coined Metaverse • mentioned 117 times “.. a computer-generated universe that his computer is drawing onto his goggles and pumping into his earphones.. this imaginary place is known as the Metaverse.”
  • 5. Hiro Protagonist “He is wearing shiny goggles that wrap halfway around his head .. He turns off his view of the Metaverse entirely, making the goggles totally transparent.”
  • 6. Laser Scanned Retinal Display • Laptop computer with R, G, B laser scanner • 72 fps, 2K pixel resolution on a side “.. a narrow beam of any colour can be shot out of the innards of the computer, up through that fisheye lens.. ..this beam is made to sweep back and forth across the lenses of Hiro's goggles”
  • 7. Virtual Retinal Scanner (1991 - ) • Laser scanning display • Horizontal + vertical MEMs scanners • Commercialized through Microvision (1993) 1993 2002
  • 8. Snowcrash Metaverse “The people are pieces of software called avatars. They are the audio- visual bodies that people use to communicate with each other..” “.. Hiro goes into the Metaverse and looks down the Street and sees buildings and electric signs stretching off into the darkness..”
  • 9. Todays Technology See-through to VR transition 3,660 x 3,142 pixel/eye Hand Tracking Social VR Realistic Avatars
  • 10. • asf Are were there yet?
  • 11. Seven Layers of the Metaverse (Jon Radoff)
  • 12. Are We There Yet? Mostly There Work to Do
  • 13. Would you wear this HMD?
  • 14. Social Acceptance • People don’t want to look silly • Only 12% of 4,600 adults surveyed would be willing to wear AR glasses • 20% of mobile AR browser users experience social issues
  • 15. Snowcrash Gargoyles “It's a gargoyle .. Instead of using laptops, they wear their computers on their bodies, broken up into separate modules that hang on the waist, .. on the headset. They serve as human surveillance devices, recording everything that happens around them.. Gargoyles represent the embarrassing side of the Central Intelligence Corporation. Nothing looks stupider…” Google Glass - 2013
  • 16. Google Glass (2013) • First consumer wearable computer • Camera + processor + display on head • Novel gesture/touch interaction and UI
  • 17. Roblox (2006 - ) • Large scale Social 3D/VR platform • 70 million DAU, 300 million MAU • ~ 2 million people playing right now • User Generated Content • 3 million developers • Over 5.5 million environments • Multi-platform • Mobile, Tablet, PC/Mac, VR
  • 18. Glass vs. Roblox • Glass • Technically amazing, but poor social experience • Socially isolating - “What is he seeing on his screen?” • Creates privacy concerns – “Is she filming me?” • Expensive, little utility compared to phone/smart watch • Roblox • Content/social focus first • Creates community, Free + Social • User generated content/developer rewards • Multi-platform, extends familiar user experience
  • 19. Designing for the Whole User Experience
  • 20. Avoiding Glass 2.0 • Design for the whole user experience • Creating new types of user experiences • Improving connection with the real world • Improving connection between people
  • 21. Creating a Better Experience • Metaverse Roadmap (2007) • Connecting Metaverse back to real world • The Metaverse is the convergence of: • 1) virtually enhanced physical reality • 2) physically persistent virtual space
  • 22. Metaverse Taxonomy • Key Components • Virtual Worlds • Augmented Reality • Mirror Worlds • Lifelogging Two Dimensions Intimate <-> External Augmentation <-> Simulation
  • 25. Example: Connecting between Spaces • Augmented Reality • Bringing remote people into your real space • Virtual Reality • Bringing elements of the real world into VR • Mirror World • Capturing real world in real time
  • 26. 3D Live Scene Capture • Use cluster of RGBD sensors • Fuse together 3D point cloud
  • 27. Scene Capture and Sharing Scene Reconstruction Remote Expert Local Worker
  • 28. AR View Remote Expert View
  • 29. Empathic Computing • Covering the entire Metaverse • AR, VR, Lifelogging, Mirror Worlds • Transforming collaboration • Observer to participant • Feeling of doing things together • Supporting Implicit collaboration
  • 30. NeuralDrum • Using brain synchronicity to increase connection • Collaborative VR drumming experience • Measure brain activity using 3 EEG electrodes • Use PLV to calculate synchronization • More synchronization increases graphics effects/immersion Pai, Y. S., Hajika, R., Gupta, K., Sasikumar, P., & Billinghurst, M. (2020). NeuralDrum: Perceiving Brain Synchronicity in XR Drumming. In SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 Technical Communications (pp. 1-4).
  • 31. Set Up • HTC Vive HMD • OpenBCI • 3 EEG electrodes
  • 33. Results "It’s quite interesting, I actually felt like my body was exchanged with my partner." Poor Player Good Player
  • 34. Conclusion • Many of the Metaverse technologies are here today • Research need in some areas • Acceptance more about social issues than technical • Needs further study (ethnographic, privacy, ethics, etc) • Need to expand definition of Metaverse • Connect user experience back to real world • Explore the entire Metaverse for opportunities • Opportunities for research across the boundaries
  • 36.