More of a note to self than anything worth reading:
Inspired by playing Beatsaber for the second time in 3 years on the Oculus, I’ve started to pay more attention to the “metaverse”, starting with looking at key players and the current state of tech. Not much seems to have progressed in the home VR world, the games are just as familiar and cartoony and VR and the metaverse still seems just as inaccessible and unadopted. Only a few of my “gadget techy” friends (I have a disproportionately large % of techy friends) actually own a headset. I actually had to actively choose to find out “how do i get into the metaverse” and start researching. Similar to when the Deep web term started to circulate.
It’s early stage, but I’m not particularly overhelmed by what I’ve looked at so far in browser. The Metaverse in its current state appears to me like nothing more than a glorified, yet actually disappointing kids game. From Horizon Worlds (youtube videos), to Recroom, VRoom, Decentraland I wandered empty cartoony environments with clunky movement input compared to the desktop games like Doom and Fornite I’m used to playing with no purpose which failed to hold my attention for more than 30 seconds. I wasn’t wowed by the environments and The only platform that seems to have community and personality is VRChat which I couldn’t actually look at because I’m on a Mac.
This will change.
Seeing how my younger brother interacts in Fortnite shows how virtual worlds and interaction can work and will work for the next generation, if hardware can catch up. The key here being interaction. Although it will come with its moderation problems I think the purpose of VR for me is go to to an immersive world, visually stunning and abstract and have meaningful interactions with the people there.
The power in this 3D artwork to transport the viewer to worlds unimaginable in reality is what I want to see, with some of the intimate interaction of Clubhouse and Reddit AMA.
To wander a cyberpunk Japanese back street dressed as a knight, enter an atmospheric bar, sit and discuss geopolitics with a goat with a hammerhead shark head.
After that tangent
I want to investigate what file formats the industry is centring around. How can I buy an avatar NFT in one platform and use it across world vendors. Facebook seem to be developing their own Avatar SDK (with legs?).
I created myself an avatar with Ready Player Me and got a .glb file
which was viewable in
It seems that Unity, Unreal Engine, Blender are platforms artists use and export to WebAssembly for browser use for environments.
ODT seems to be a popular format for sharing 3D files.
Why am I not surprised to see another Google graveyard product in this space
I’m scratching the surface with very little knowledge of how any of this actually works.
The next big things will likely be
- 3D scanning https://www.skydio.com/3d-scan
- Metaverse environment Architecture (unless this is generated by AI)
- Custom Avatar art as a job
- Environments with a savable state (eg with furniture, wall spraypaint)
- Inter-transferable files between worlds – not sure how this will impact copyright, NFT’s pointing to IPFS files don’t enforce this at all.
- Maybe services like ASMR by specific humans might not get replaced by a machine