This article is brought to you in collaboration with The European Sting at the World Economic Forum.
Author: Victoria Masterson, Senior Writer, Content Training
- Emerge, a California -based tech startup, says it brings a physical connection to the metaverse.
- Virtual handshakes and objects are like real touching experiences.
- Ultrasonic waves help create a pressing sensation.
- Emerge is one of the 2022 World Economic Forum 100 Technology Pioneers.
In the metaverse, a virtual handshake will look real, a tech startup promises. Metaverse has been described as an immersive version of the internet where we can experience virtual 3D environments, rather than viewing digital content on a computer.
Emerge, a company based in California, USA, makes technology that it says allows people to physically feel what they see in virtual reality (VR).
The company is a 2022 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer – one of 100 startups from 30 countries driving innovation using innovative technologies.
What does the Emerge system allow you to do?
Emerge describes itself as a “virtual social connection” company that brings physical connection to the metaverse. When you greet someone on the Metaverse with a high-five or a handshake, you can really feel their hand, according to the company.
When you pick up or touch a virtual object, you will be able to feel and interact with the object.
A tabletop panel called the Emerge Wave-1 Device uses ultrasonic waves to create a touching sensation. The panel is about the size of a 13-inch laptop computer and draws ultrasonic beams into the air above and around its surface.
When users hold their hands above the panel, ultrasonic waves map virtual objects they can see on their VR headset. The technology called haptic feedback then translates this into a feeling of touch.
Uses haptic feedback of motion such as vibrations or shakes to simulate touch. For example, haptic technology makes your phone vibrate. Haptic movement can also be done using motors and air pockets.
Emerge paired the panel of its Wave-1 device with the Meta Quest 2 VR headset (formerly known as Oculus) and its hand tracking sensors. Ultrasonic waves can reach up to 3 feet above the panel and travel 120 degrees around it.
Are there any limitations?
Because the ultrasound waves of Emerge Wave-1 come in one direction, the range of tactile sensations it can produce is likely limited, a review on the New Atlas news site suggests.
The range of apps and games available by the panel is also currently limited to Emerge content. Linking the Emerge Wave-1 to the Quest system’s larger library would be an “easier sell,” New Atlas said.
Why is pressing important for the future of virtual reality?
Most people are excited about the Metaverse, but 78% say they lack the ability to physically touch and interact with people in the virtual world, according to a report by the National Research Group, which specializes in entertainment research and technology.
Half of the customers said they wanted to physically feel or touch virtual objects like they could in real life.
The ability to use our “hands to physically feel, interact and connect with the people who matter most to us” is an important pillar of our experience as human beings in virtual worlds, which will increasingly become the center of social interaction. , says Emerge.
The company hopes that helping people connect emotionally in a natural way, regardless of distance, could be the “next paradigm shift” in human interaction.
By 2026, about a quarter of us will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse working, studying, shopping and socializing, predicts a recent report from research firm Gartner. It should benefit businesses. According to JP Morgan, the metaverse is expected to create a market worth more than $ 1 trillion in annual revenue.
2022 Technology Pioneers will be invited to participate in World Economic Forum workshops and events and high -level discussions during their two years in the community.
They also join the Global Community of Innovators, part of the Centers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network, where members help shape new policies and strategies in areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and digital assets, the internet. objects and autonomous vehicles.