We’ve devoted a lot of blog space to the metaverse in recent weeks, and for good reason. The coming tidal wave of metaverse-enabling technologies – spanning AR, VR, MR and XR – will radically reshape how we interact with each other in all facets of day-to-day life, from socializing and entertainment to business, healthcare, education and well beyond.
The metaverse has been described as “the biggest technology revolution since the emergence of smartphones 15 years ago,” according to VentureBeat. In its wake, the metaverse will reshape the consumer electronics industry, and this process has already begun.
Every major technology market leader is arrayed to monetize the metaverse, and VentureBeat does a tremendous job detailing how companies like Google, Meta/Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Xiaomi, Lenovo and others are racing to achieve leadership in the nascent AR and MR glasses domain.
How fast is this market moving? In the short interval since SPARK’s last blog post, Google spent a rumored $1B for a startup specializing in augmented reality and virtual reality headset displays. Behind the scenes, eagle-eyed media recently spotted Google job listings recruiting innovators “focused on making immersive computing accessible to billions of people through mobile devices.”
Why all the attention on AR glasses, more so than fully immersive VR headsets? Because AR glasses will serve as our primary gateways to the metaverse, acting as our physical ‘browsers’ for toggling between physical and virtually augmented worlds whether we’re at home or out and about. For more on this, be sure to check out: “Why AR, not VR, will be the heart of the metaverse”
ACHIEVING THE MOBILE METAVERSE
In our earlier “Multisensory Metaverse” blog post series, we addressed the value of UWB for the short-range wireless delivery of critically important visual, audio and touch stimuli in the metaverse. All will play a key role in enabling metaverse immersion, with video and audio capabilities integrated within our smart glasses and headsets, and haptic feedback distributed to our bodies via a new generation of VR gloves and wearable peripherals.
These devices will become as ubiquitous and essential to our daily lives as our smartphones are today, going with us wherever we go…for as long as their battery charges will last them. The metaverse will be fundamentally mobile and we will be reliant on these devices being charged and ready for use as we go about our day.
Indeed, VentureBeat identifies the “holy grail” of fully realized AR glasses as the ability to effectively address power consumption. No simple feat when one considers the large volumes of data that will flow amongst these wearable devices in our personal area networks (PANs).
UWB vs BLUETOOTH IN THE METAVERSE
UWB answers these challenges head on, exceling in ways legacy Bluetooth cannot. Whereas Bluetooth compresses and degrades data streams to fit tight bandwidth constraints – and consumes a lot of precious power doing so – SPARK UWB technology is unrivaled in its ability to deliver the requisite high data throughput at short range with extremely low latency and power consumption.
This performance profile gives AR and VR glasses designers the ability to extend device battery life without adding increasingly bulky and cumbersome batteries to the design. SPARK UWB, therefore, helps to ensure that smart glasses wearers can enjoy long operational times with far fewer interruptions for battery charging – without the added bulk/heft of a large sized battery to impede the user experience.
SPARK UWB’s reduced latency is key to ensuring that data is refreshed and presented in real-time in response to the user’s actions within a dynamic virtual environment. This assures a more seamless immersion in the metaverse, eliminating the timing lags that can distort our perception and detract from our metaverse experiences. When it comes to mitigating interference between AR/VR devices, UWB outperforms Bluetooth yet again. UWB readily coexists with other wireless protocols, and sidesteps Bluetooth’s heavily congested 2.4MHz ISM band to help ensure greater AR/VR device interoperability with fewer signal interruptions and/or drop outs. The orders of magnitude performance advantages that SPARK UWB technology provides compared to legacy Bluetooth – 10X more data throughput, 40X better energy efficiency, 60X lower latency – will be essential for enabling the mobile metaverse.
SPARK UWB is the short-range wireless connectivity platform best optimized for metaverse enabling devices like AR glasses, gloves and other peripherals still to come, providing the robust, high-quality data comms necessary for enabling seamless metaverse immersion on the fly – with the power efficiency to ensure long usage times between device charges.