Today, if you think of the term “metaverse,” you automatically conceptualize a futuristically enhanced internet, complete with all sorts of innovative and unimaginable elements. For one, interactions in virtual reality play a key role in essentially restructuring almost everything that has been a part of our everyday experience to date.
Naturally, it is quite possible to assume that the metaverse belongs solely to the here-now. But the fact remains that the metaverse isn’t an entirely recent phenomenon.
Of course, it has been forgotten to where it is today because of the superior and progressive technology of this day and age. But the metaverse had its humble beginnings back in 1838, with the conception of the 3D image by Sir Charles Wheatstone.
The theory of adding the illusion of depth to images is the fundamental principle that the modern-day idea of virtual reality works upon, and virtual reality is central to the metaverse. The first VR machine, Sensorama, was developed in 1956. Morton Heilig essentially combined sensory elements like smell and movement emulation to simulate the experience of riding a motorbike virtually.
This happened a couple of decades after Weinbaum’s Pygmalion’s Spectacles came out, which discussed the idea of goggles that provide an experience resembling today’s virtual reality. Heilig continued to make considerable contributions to the development of virtual reality.
Where we are today is primarily thanks to this genius. We have already come this far in terms of the metaverse when you think about it!
Making VR Work
When Neil Stevenson’s 1982 novel first coined and popularised the term “metaverse,” MIT engineers had already developed their Aspen Movie Map, a virtual reality-based tour of the town of Aspen. We cannot leave out immense contributions to the evolution of virtual reality either, with their SEGA VR-1 motion simulator that became a smash hit in arcades.
But what solidified the virtual reality bases was the Oculus Rift VR headset, released in the 2010s. Sony and Samsung also jumped onto this VR headset bandwagon, and eventually, Facebook bought off Oculus. Of course, it is common knowledge that Facebook CEO Zuckerberg recently changed its name to Meta. Now, it is obvious that he has been interested in development in the direction of the metaverse for a while now!
The Mighty Metaverse
But the fact that the metaverse has grown to what it is now is because of the contributions of several other firms, too. For example, Apple’s 2020 addition to their iPads in the form of the Lidar significantly improved image depth and record for the metaverse.
Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google’s low-cost Cardboard device and AR glasses also went a long way in ushering in the age of the metaverse. So, the evolution of the metaverse was spread over multiple generations.
New technological additions in every era did their bit to make the metaverse materialize in all its technical brilliance and immersive glory!