Technology

Why AR, not VR, will be the heart of the metaverse

My first experience in a virtual world was in 1991 as a PhD student working in a virtual reality lab at NASA. I was using a variety of early VR systems to model interocular distance (i.e. the distance between your eyes) and optimize depth perception in software. Despite being a true believer in the potential of virtual reality, I found the experience somewhat miserable. Not because of the low fidelity, as I knew that would steadily improve, but because it felt confining and claustrophobic to have a scuba mask strapped to my face for any extended period. Even when I used early 3D glasses (i.e. shuttering glasses for viewing 3D on flat monitors), the sense of confinement didn’t go away. I still had to keep my gaze forward, as if wearing blinders to the real world.

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