One of the main limiting factors that has stopped the expansion of the metaverse has been that people have got it wrong so much, added Dr Lu, who said that games hosted on platforms like Roblox are “virtual worlds” rather than “true” metaverses.
Mr Warren Woon, co-founder of local metaverse platform Xctuality noted that the overall level of understanding of the metaverse is “relatively shallow”. This sometimes leads to “misconstrued concepts” and limited application of technology, he added.
“More often than not, large organisations will just check off its KPI that a metaverse has been rolled out, but without viable long-term commercial planning,” said Mr Woon, who works with clients looking to digitally transform their businesses from Web2 (the current state of the internet) to Web3 (the internet’s next evolution which incorporates concepts such as blockchain technology and is used to access the metaverse),
Accessing the metaverse via virtual reality and augmented reality does not come cheap either.
While there are several cheaper headsets which cost less than S$100, most sit in a price range of S$100 to S$1000.
“The costs of buying VR headsets or future AR glasses are unavoidable and potentially prohibitive, despite our best efforts in making our headsets as affordable as possible,” said Meta’s Mr Kim.
“This is why we are also focused on building up other entry points to the metaverse, for example, through mobile phones, apps and AR technologies.”
Experts too agree that the metaverse can still be accessed via other means such as smartphones and computers.
“We can have other toned-down versions, stripped-down versions, so that those who don’t have access to the full immersive experience can still participate in the metaverse using their own devices or other ways that they can have access to,” said NTU Assistant Professor Benjamin Li.
“Right now we can access the metaverse through our normal desktop computers. It’s just not going to be as rich or as immersive as the immersive type technologies, but you can still access the metaverse through these other means,” added Dr Lu.
The entry point of the metaverse is often also limited by elements such as internet speed and the capabilities of mobile devices, noted Mr Woon.
“The limitations are that the current state of technology and telecommunications still make it difficult to access and consume (the) metaverse in its optimal form, and we need to create entry points into the metaverse that are easily accessible by the masses across different geographical markets,” he explained.