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The biggest problem facing virtual reality and the metaverse is not a technical problem, but a functional one

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In the story of what the Metaverse will bring, and how virtual reality and VR will be part of it in some way, there is one major feature issue that is overlooked.

As we’re led to believe, the Metaverse is a glorified VR chat room (in case you didn’t know, it already exists). In reality, the metaverse could become a real aggregation service acting as an umbrella for multiple other online services, but until someone realizes that, a lot more money is wasted.

But when it comes to VR as part of the metaverse and its bright future, the real problem you face is what it does functionally.

Currently, VR mostly uses 1:1 motion controls, and you don’t need a screen fixed to your face for these to work. We already have a dedicated game console with motion controls in the form of a Wii, and it worked just fine without VR.

Moreover, if the Metaverse is trying to give users a ton of options, a one-to-one motion control interface just won’t cut it.

So what does VR need? Simply put, an input macro.

When driving a car and manipulating the steering wheel and brakes, these are not one-to-one inputs. Behind these inputs is a complex set of machinery that responds to one unified action (the input macro).

Games are built around these, and game controllers abstract many complex actions into a single input. The more you stack them, the wider the range of things you can do. In short, the complexity of inputs is condensed into simple discrete actions that can be layered on top of each other.

So if the metaverse takes the VR route, the biggest hurdle it faces isn’t getting higher frame rates, but what you actually do with your hands, and how that is unique to VR. is. After all, what’s the point of that fancy headset if you can replace those controls with your regular TV display?

There is arguably a tremendous amount of money being put into VR at this point, and the vague promise of the Metaverse seems to be fueling that investment even further. But it seems like all the money spent on VR is going into the technical side rather than the more important functional side of how it actually works.

ready player one With both the book and the film presenting the future of gaming and interaction in this sleek VR experience, there are so many questions to answer. Sadly, most investors seem to enjoy the clean image of the Metaverse brochure without reading the fine print.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I think the metaverse will be a collective setup rather than one service handled by one provider. Needless to say, Augmented Reality or AR is ultimately more practical for this stuff.

After all, AR is already working well on modern phones (shown above), and the resulting capabilities are pretty solid. However, the charm of tying a screen to your face and flying around like an idiot is something the future has in store for us.

If so, maybe it’s time to take a pantomime approach to business planning and focus on what VR can offer functionally rather than overlooking the uniqueness of VR’s controls.

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Read the Forbes blog here.