What the Future of the Metaverse Might Look Like: XR and VR at the cutting edge of innovation

What the Future of the Metaverse Might Look Like: XR and VR at the cutting edge of innovation
Frederick Stenton-Putt
Program Manager
The Metaverse is the virtual world that exists parallel to our own. It’s a concept that’s been talked about for decades, but now with the rise of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), it’s beginning to take shape.
What the Future of the Metaverse Might Look Like: XR and VR at the cutting edge of innovation

VR and AR are both extremely exciting fields of technology right now, and the ways in which they can combine to create an immersive alternate digital space is almost limitless. With so much potential, what does a huge component of the future of the Metaverse look like?

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a technology that allows virtual elements to be superimposed onto the physical world. It’s most often used in the form of heads-up displays (HUDs) that project information onto your view of the world, but it can also be used to create fully immersive environments that go beyond what’s possible with virtual reality.

AR is not a new technology. In fact, it’s been around for decades, but recent advances in hardware have allowed for some major breakthroughs. With the advent of ARKit and ARCore, AR technology is now accessible to millions of people via their smartphones.

It’s expected that the market for AR will skyrocket in the next few years, creating new uses for the technology that we couldn’t have dreamed of just a few years ago. AR is an exciting technology with a lot of potential, but it’s important to note that it’s not the same as VR.

Virtual Reality

VR is a fully immersive digital environment that completely surrounds you. This virtual world can be as fantastical or realistic as its designers want it to be, but either way, you have complete control over your movements within the VR space.

VR is currently the technology that has been most associated with the idea of the Metaverse, probably because it’s the most immersive experience that we currently have at our disposal.

To fully immerse yourself in a VR experience, you need a headset that fully blocks out your view of the outside world. This means you can’t see the real world around you in any capacity.

VR technology is continuing to advance and improve, and there are lots of exciting new avenues for its growth. But VR isn’t the same as AR. Although both technologies are played on your headset and feature virtual elements, the way in which they are experienced is very different.

VR is an immersive digital experience that completely surrounds you, but AR is a digital experience that is superimposed on top of your view of the physical world.

Merging AR and VR:  XR in The Metaverse

VR and AR have been talked about as the two pillars of the Metaverse since the idea of a digital space where people can interact with each other and share experiences was first conceived. But VR and AR have always existed as separate entities, and although they can be combined, they aren’t naturally compatible with each other.

That is, until recently. The introduction of ARKit and ARCore paved the way for AR and VR to be more easily combined. Now, an application can easily be programmed to work across both VR and AR platforms.

In fact, many virtual reality platforms have started to build in support for AR. This means that VR users can now see digital elements projected onto the real world around them. It’s a small step toward the concept of the Metaverse, but it’s a step nonetheless.

Responsible Use in the Metaverse

No matter how promising the future of the Metaverse may be, there are still some big issues that need to be addressed before it is fully formed. One major issue is privacy and security.

How do we ensure that people in virtual environments aren’t just as vulnerable as they are in the real world? How do we protect their privacy? This isn’t an issue that VR and AR can solve on their own.

It’s a human issue that will require collaboration and communication between designers, developers, and people in general who are using these technologies. Another issue that needs to be addressed is accessibility. With VR, you need a headset to experience the digital world. AR can be experienced with just your phone, but VR is a very different story.


The technology is nearly there, but concerning a fully immersed Metaverse experience, there is still a way to go. There are issues that need to be addressed, like those mentioned above.

But the future of the Metaverse is something to be unequivocally excited about. We’re beginning to see the pieces fall into place, and it’s going to be an amazing experience once they do.

Back to blog