UWB in the Multisensory Metaverse, Part II: Vision

  • February 17, 2022



In our ongoing ‘Multisensory Metaverse’ blog post series, we’ve provided some high level perspective on metaverse concepts and highlighted the many ways that UWB will be invaluable for stimulating our sense of hearing and spatial awareness in the fully immersive metaverse experience of tomorrow.

In today’s edition, we’ll address the ways that UWB will play a critical role for sight-based applications in the metaverse. There will be much to see and do in the metaverse amid all the gaming, entertainment, social and business applications on deck for development, and just like in the real world, we’ll depend mightily on our sense of vision to navigate our surroundings.

To assess the technology trends at play here, it’s helpful to frame the metaverse concept within the broader umbrella of extended reality (XR), which itself encompasses augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). While AR, VR, and XR are technologies and terminologies we’re familiar with today, the arrival of ‘the metaverse’ has introduced new nomenclature, and perhaps a new framework for this continuum.

In broad strokes, all of these terms address the intermingling of our physical and virtual worlds. We’ll (eventually) have the option to fully immerse ourselves in the metaverse through VR, but more typically we envision the metaverse as something that travels with us wherever we go, bringing virtual content into our real lives – within our line of sight – as we navigate the physical world.

If this vision of the future sounds familiar to you, it should because it’s already here! This is the very essence of augmented reality (AR), where we invite digital information, entertainment, and avatars etc to reside at the periphery of our real-life experiences – on the periphery of our vision.

How Does UWB Enable Visual Apps in the Metaverse?

UWB is the perfect fit for AR/XR eyewear the likes of which we’ve written about previously in this blog, and you yourselves have perhaps already spotted out in the wild: ‘smart’ eyeglass frames that do not block our fields of view (FOV) from real-world visual stimuli a la headgear/goggles but are instead designed for the AR/XR we’ll experience as we go about our daily lives.

And just as wireless audio earbuds have become ubiquitous for experiencing multimedia apps and audio on the go, augmented reality eyewear is poised for similar ubiquity in the not-too-distant future as we enter in and out of the metaverse in the regular course of our days. Some even predict that AR smart glasses are poised to overtake smartphones for consumer device popularity, subsuming many of the functions that smartphones perform today.

AR and XR Use Cases for UWB in the Metaverse

Among other use cases, SPARK’s advanced UWB implementation is ideally suited for transmitting the rich data that populates visual cues and information on the periphery of our smart glasses’ lenses, guiding us through tasks, for example, or layering virtual images and/or avatars on top of our real-world FOV.

What’s more, the extreme high bandwidth delivered with SPARK UWB will be critical for transmitting the positioning/IMU data – metaverse meta data, if you will – that ensures these visuals remain positioned in the precise right place on our AR glasses lenses even as we move about the environment.

In addition to all these benefits, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also highlight how utterly essential it will be to maintain a manageable power budget for these wireless devices in order to sustain long usage times between charges. Any and every wireless hardware peripheral that we employ in our PANs and affix to our bodies for metaverse interaction will need to be optimized for extreme power conservation – and Bluetooth doesn’t even begin to compare to SPARK UWB in terms of meeting these exacting power efficiency requirements.

In many ways, this vision of the future has already arrived, and today’s AR eyewear is a compelling precursor to what we can look forward to in the metaverse of tomorrow. Be sure to join us for the next installation in our ‘Multisensory Metaverse’ series, where we’ll take a closer look at UWB’s advantages for harnessing and augmenting our touch-based awareness in the metaverse.