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2 Barriers for Meetings in the Metaverse: Avatars and VR Devices


Jamie McMahon:

Hi, everyone, it's Jamie from the LineZero team. This month, I had a couple of interesting conversations with folks relative to the Metaverse. I was not getting challenged but getting questioned over it. Is this going to be a thing? Is this a real tangible item for businesses? How is this going to determine reality? Specifically, there were some thoughts around is this ever going to work?  

I do think there are a couple of items that are currently barriers to the Metaverse but I expect these will be solved in the next year or two. 

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2 Barriers For Meeting in the Metaverse

So, the first reason why the Metaverse might not be as successful as it potentially could be is the glasses. I think everyone's seen those big bulky glasses like the Quest or Oculus devices. If you've ever worn a pair, they're bulky, very heavy and they're uncomfortable for a long period of time. I can absolutely see those as being a barrier. You cannot have that as a productivity device and be asked to wear them longer than 30 minutes or 60 minutes. It creates neck pain. They are just not there yet. 

At the same time, when we look at how the technology industry tackles this kind of challenge and other scenarios, there are tons of examples of miniaturization that have occurred. As we learn and understand how the components work and how things get put together, people usually figure out ways to either make the items smaller or lighter or both. 

I think when these devices become smaller and lighter, ergonomics will be applied to them. So, they will become, let's say, as comfortable to wear as sunglasses. We've already seen many companies that have augmented reality glasses that are functioning and working. To me, the idea that we can get full VR (Virtual Reality) glasses to be in that same form and at that same comfort level is not a stretch. It’s only a matter of time before manufacturing capabilities and technology catch up. 

I actually don't think that's a real barrier. That's a barrier now perhaps for mass adoption, but it won't be a barrier in 12 or 18 months from now.  

The second issue that popped up was the appearance of the avatars. And I think it's interesting how some people like the cartoon look and think that's a good thing because you can create your avatar however you like. So, if you want to show up to a meeting either dressed in specific clothes or even to have a specific appearance, you can do that. You have control over that. 

Other people want to show up as themselves or as near as possible to their real selves, but in 3D fashion. Right now, we have avatars mainly because we only have the glasses. We have no ability to take pictures of ourselves and superimpose real life pictures into a meeting or a Metaverse scenario. 

Let’s take a look at what we're seeing from companies like Meta. I think it's quite interesting, they've got this. They've got the Oculus and the Quest devices. They are your means to interact with three-dimensional or Metaverse topics or miniverse items.  

They've also just released portable devices, and they've had these for a while. They operate very similar to Alexa and ECHO devices but they have cameras and a screen on them. The camera is unique, and they've spent a lot of money on the camera technology that offers tracking and other features. Other people have followed suit with some of the technology.  

What I expect is going to happen soon is Quest device goggles or Oculus devices are going to come paired with some form of camera.  

Think of the Xbox 360 and their camera device that still exists to allow you to show up and play dancing games, etc. That type of technology is going to be mirrored with 3-dimensional graphs so that you will be able to show up in a meeting exactly how you are. Your avatar will have the same hairstyle or show if you didn't shave today. 

You'll have the choice whether you want to show up as an avatar or take a picture of yourself with that camera or show yourself in your ideal state. As an example, you may never want to shave again or brush your hair and your avatar could show up based on your preferred image. A snapshot of you can let you appear in the state you want without having to worry about being surprised for a meeting and you didn’t shave that day or style your hair. 

So, a couple of these types of things are still barriers now. I think in some instances it will be advantageous to have meetings in the Metaverse because you will be able to take advantage of some features that are not currently available with Zoom meetings or even in-person meetings.  

These are just a couple of thoughts. My thinking is still the same and that is the Metaverse is going to be a very impactful, disruptive technology. We don't yet see all the implications or impacts it’s going to have across the board. But I do think that a lot of these challenges that are cropping up now will be solved in the near term and then we can get into really rich use case development and see how it's actually going to unfold. 

We'll have a conversation again next month. And if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Thanks. 

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