Metaverse: Less Buzz, More Enabling Devices

  • Display sign for metaverse booth
  • People looking through AR glasses

Written by Brian Yamada, chief innovation officer at VMLY&R, and Ian Cahill, director, innovation and data at VMLY&R

At CES 2022, the metaverse was still on the rise. Facebook had recently rebranded to Meta. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs were escalating in value. Brands and companies we anxious to jump into the possibilities and the promise. What a difference a year makes. 

That said, all of the technologies powering the metaverse have not gone away. Like all tech, they continue to improve and evolve. CES 2023 had a metaverse section, and the majority of the booths in that section of the Central Hall of LVCC were showing gaming accessories and devices. But the metaverse is more than immersing in virtual worlds and games; the broader definition of the metaverse integrates our digital and physical worlds. That capability was spread throughout the show. Some examples include:

  • Sensory experiences: As more people spend more time in mixed and virtual reality, developers are striving to make those experiences more immersive and realistic through new solutions. CES 2023 showcased haptic gloves and vests, rocker plates and seats that literally move the user, and advances in spatial audio and IoT pairings. 
  • Headsets and AR specs: Companies like Magic Leap shifted their focus to enterprise solutions, solving business problems. TCL’s AR glasses have both pass-through and immersive experiences. And new entrants such as AnjaXR — a mixed-reality headset out of India — continue to make AR/VR/XR headsets more reasonable in terms of cost and size, which will ultimately bring more users. 
  • Digital twins: Digital twins are real-time data-integrated virtual models accurately mirroring reality. These solutions can help us better manage and optimize power systems, construction sites, our cars, our homes, and even our personal health. The prerequisite for digital twins is real-time data integration, thus the evolution will happen more quickly in enterprise scenarios where one business controls their datasets versus consumer use cases such as medical where one must aggregate data from different devices, tools and health service providers. 

The metaverse may have lost some of its luster, but don’t make the assumption it’ll fade completely. The technologies are getting better, faster, and cheaper, so keep an eye on the use cases for your business and your customers. And keep an eye out for the next tech release that will increase adoption and scale.

This article is part of a series that recaps CES 2023. To view other, please visit our CES 2023 Overview and Recap page.

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