The Killer App for Virtual Reality is the Metaverse

Anna Bashmakova and Oculus Rift (photo by Sergey Galyonkin on FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0)

Loup Ventures is a research-driven venture capital firm based in Minneapolis and New York investing in frontier technology. They just wrote an article on Medium titled Is VR Dead or Just Getting Started?

Here’s a quote:

VR’s Killer App, the Metaverse

Everyone is searching for the killer app for VR, the application or experience that will be a system seller like Wii Sports for the Wii or VisiCalc for the Apple II. VR’s killer app, we believe, is already in development and should be ready for mainstream adoption in the next five years.

The Metaverse, a term coined in the 1992 sci-fi classic, Snow Crash, is a virtual universe similar in many ways to reality. Players can be anyone, do anything, or go anywhere, regardless of their real life circumstances. The Metaverse will be a place where all of what VR has to offer branches off from. A place where you can socialize, do business, shop, go on outerworld adventures, watch esports tournaments, and more. The limits lie in the imagination of users and developers who will compete for prime real estate in the Metaverse. We will take an in-depth look into the potential of the Metaverse in a future note, but for now, just picture The Oasis from Ready Player One.

High Fidelity raised $35 million in June, with the goal of bringing VR to a billion people through their new VR world. Linden Labs, maker of the popular online role-playing game, Second Life, is also working on bringing a Metaverse to the mainstream with Project Sansar. It remains to be seen who will become the real-life Gregarious Games, but one thing is certain — the Metaverse will play a critical role in the future of VR.

And I do agree with this. VR’s “killer app” will be the metaverse. Sansar and High Fidelity are just two of dozens of platforms which are in various early stages of development, and which could potentially transform the way we use computers and communicate with each other. It’s a major paradigm shift, similar to the one where we moved away from command-line MS-DOS and towards using a mouse with graphical user interfaces like Windows and the Mac.

One day (just not as quickly as the most enthusiastic forecasters predicted), we will all be in a form of virtual reality/augmented reality/mixed reality, both for work and personal use. It’s just going to take time, maybe another decade. In the meantime, enjoy the ride!

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