METAVERSE – Conclusions
Richard Murch and I have spent many days on our 4 part series Metaverse. We have explored its origins, its main component today (Gaming) and where it might go in the future. We have also looked at why its come under the spotlight recently and how corporate greed is at the heart of pushing this immature technology, on a consumer base that’s not ready, with technology that’s just primitive. What have we learned?
The dictionary says this means “the appearance of being real”. According to some sources real life might get hard to differentiate from VR at about 75 megapixels (MP). That’s visually of course, forget the smell of the ocean or a flower! Where are we? Almost all gaming headsets are between 2mp and at the very high end 8mp. What does that mean?
Well its just not good enough for the office or for social life. Basically the experience is very poor indeed. Looking back the first 4k camera for video was released in 2003. As the prices dropped more and more tv sets became 4k but even now there is very limited content, as almost all content is shot at HD far less than 4k. We see then that its taken 20 years since invention to a patchy use. It seems to us that another 20 years will elapse before we are even close to verisimilitude.
By the way, pixel density is only one measure, the image must refresh at real time rates too, we are far away from this.
Bing AI comment
There is no definitive answer, but some experts have estimated that we need about 120 pixels per degree of view to match reality1. Pixels per degree (PPD) is a measure of how many pixels are displayed for each degree of your field of view. The higher the PPD, the more realistic and detailed the VR image will be.
Currently, most VR headsets have a PPD of around 10 to 2012, which is far below what our eyes can perceive. Some high-end VR headsets have achieved a PPD of up to 60 by using a micro-OLED display in the center of the field of view3. However, this still falls short of matching reality.
To achieve a PPD of 120 with a 220-degree field of view (which is close to our natural vision), we would need a VR headset with a resolution of about 26K x 26K per eye4.(700mp)
That’s more than 100 times higher than the current VR headsets. Such a headset would also require a lot of computing power and bandwidth to run smoothly.
The Internet as it currently stands does not really support “real life” type VR on headsets. As the number of pixels doubles the bandwidth needed to display it goes up exponentially. Eeven a good 4k display takes 22gb/s. Currently our cities support and average70mb/s, Singapore the fastest supports 211mb/s. Some experts think we may get commercial internet speeds of 10gb/s by 2030 so you see the problem. To do the metaverse properly we need over 200gb/s, we think thats about 20 years away as well or even longer as getting that speed means massive infrastructure upgrades all over the world. To make it look real we need the speed between chips not the speed we have commercially anywhere.
According to research while cameras have been around for a while that can shoot 4k, there are even few movies available in 4k and we have shown above that this is critical to acceptance. Content is big for the Metaverse, we have to effectively shoot the whole world in 12600×6000 pixels. There is no content at this time. There is no camera that can shoot that pixel rate. Again estimates of 20 years before real content can be provided.
What about the other senses? When will smell, taste and touch be incorporated? Haptics gives you some sense of contact with the virtual world and that is being heavily invested in now in many areas. Pundits seem to think that the best solution is a direct neural link. Elon Musk is working on it they say LINK
The big thinkers of this world, the big consulting groups are all hyping up the Metaverse as though its right there today. Its not. What’s there today is some very rough low res gaming stuff, and one or two fluff high res videos to show what could be done. But the high res used is totally inadequate. We expect to see negative reactions as people test this structure. Entering current metaverse online platforms and talking to people they mostly expressed frustration with the content and visuals.
Like many other over hyped ideas, Metaverse will go through a trough for some years until the real world catches up with the hype.
We do not doubt progress will occur and people will use some form of AR (augmented reality) or VR (virtual reality). It will be led by gaming until some kind of killer real world app is designed. That app does not exist today. Many people spend 3 -5 hours a day watching TV and cable, given something better they will migrate slowly. At the moment that “better” does not exist.