2 min read

The Devices Used to Enter the Metaverse

For the better part of a decade, techies like me have wondered what devices will replace our smartphones. Inevitably, there will come a moment where the smartphone interface just cannot accurately deliver the digital experiences that we’re building in the metaverse.

The consensus is that XR (mixed/extended reality) devices are up next because they allow us to enter 3D environments and feel part of them. XR includes both VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality).

Certainly, Meta is pushing to make the Oculus VR headsets the primary device for accessing the metaverse. However, if you’ve spent any time in VR then you know there’s a limit to how long you want that screen strapped to your face.

AR, on the other hand, has a more realistic shot at replacing smartphones because they are a more natural evolution of how we use smartphones; mainly removing the act of looking down at a screen. Instead, AR glasses (or even AR contact lenses) give us a heads-up-display or HUD that overlays visuals into our field of view.

We’re a long ways away from establishing a consensus on what device we’ll use to access the metaverse. In the meantime, as I talk in detail on page 40 of The Metaverse Handbook, we will access the metaverse through a combination of devices: phones, laptops, VR headsets, AR glasses, and gaming consoles.

This is the sixth note in my series on Metaverse Builders: The Companies Driving Metaverse Innovation. The previous five notes are:

  1. 70 Ways to Experience the Metaverse
  2. Metaverse App Stores
  3. The Metaverse Creator Economy
  4. The 3D Software Behind the Metaverse
  5. The Decentralized Metaverse

Metaverse Interfaces

Metaverse interfaces refers to the hardware that helps us access the metaverse, from mobile devices to VR headsets to emerging technologies like haptic suits and smart glasses.

  • Apple – AR phone capabilities and developing an XR device
  • Avegant — Light engine for AR glasses
  • Leica – High-quality camera lenses and laser scanning devices
  • Magic Leap – AR device
  • Meta Quest – VR headsets and metaverse experiences
  • Microsoft HoloLens – AR device
  • Mojo Vision – AR contact lenses
  • Neosensory – Augmented hearing device
  • Net VR – Web-based VR without a headset
  • Neuralink – Brain-computer interface
  • Nimo Planet – Virtual workstation enabled by AR glasses
  • Nintendo Switch – Game console and cloud gaming platform (metaverse access point)
  • Nreal – AR glasses
  • Playstation – Game console (metaverse access point)
  • Razer – Gaming gear
  • Snapchat AR – Platform for building public AR lenses
  • Synchron – Brain-computer interface
  • T5 – Data centers
  • Varjo – VR and XR headsets
  • Vive – VR headsets and metaverse experiences
  • Vuzix – AR glasses
  • Xbox – Game console (metaverse access point)