Comparison of Metaverse & Virtual Reality: 5 Key Differences

Modern technology is a fascinating topic regarding the concept of a digital world where you can escape from the realities of the real world. It allows people to assume any identity that they want. We have seen glimpses of virtual worlds in many works of science fiction. The virtual reality Metaverse has been the subject of media attention over the past few months, creating a buzz about comparing the Metaverse with virtual reality.

People unfamiliar with the concept would assume that the Metaverse is a virtual world that users can access via Metaverse VR headsets. Are metaverses and virtual realities the same thing? Obviously not. It is possible to distinguish the Metaverse from virtual reality in many ways. This discussion provides a detailed overview of virtual reality and metaverse technology that helps you identify their differences.

The Metaverse and Virtual Reality: Why All the Hype?

Since big companies started investing in the metaverse, it has become one of the hottest topics in the tech industry. With their unique platforms, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Sony, and many other giants are entering the metaverse. The Metaverse VR concept gained prominence only after Facebook announced its rebranding as Meta in October 2021. Is there a reason why Facebook took this action?

In an interesting development, the company announced that it had sold 10 million Oculus VR headsets, which brings a lot of attention to the comparisons between virtual reality and the metaverse. Well, many descriptions of the metaverse equate it with using the internet in a virtual environment. Virtual reality would, however, only serve as one component for interacting with the metaverse.

What is Metaverse?

Metaverse is an online, open, persistent, three-dimensional virtual world that allows people to connect with each other from all aspects of their lives. You can consider it as the world wide web connects many websites using a single browser; it links many platforms. According to an estimation, augmented reality will power the Metaverse, in which each participant will be able to manage an avatar or role. For example, it can assist you in organizing a mixed-reality conference in your virtual workplace with an Oculus VR Metaverse headset. Here, you can finish assignments, enjoy blockchain-based gaming, and manage your crypto portfolio and virtual currency by simply entering the metaverse technology.

In addition to games and social media, the virtual reality Metaverse will include economies, digital identities, decentralized governments, and other systems. The Metaverse blockchain is also a good fit for cryptocurrencies. It facilitates the development of a digitalization based on several digital currencies and electronic valuables (NFTs). The formation of Trust Wallet and MetaMask is also contributing to the development of Metaverse. It is also possible to develop transparent and dependable governance networks using blockchain networks.

Big tech companies are paving the way for the future. Furthermore, the decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency zone allows lesser members to participate in the Metaverse’s growth. For all these reasons, blockchain technology is a viable option for driving this innovation.

What is Virtual Reality?

As its name implies, Virtual Reality refers to the creation of virtual environments using technology. From a technical perspective, virtual reality refers to a computer-generated three-dimensional environment. Virtual reality provides an immersive and engaging environment for individuals to explore and interact.

There is no doubt that the definition of VR blurs the line between the Metaverse and virtual reality to some extent. VR Metaverse environments allow users to immerse themselves in the environments and manipulate objects or perform various tasks within them. While VR can offer access to virtual worlds or walled experiences, it is essential to note that it is limited to walled experiences.

Using special Metaverse VR headsets and glasses associated with the system running the VR programs, a person could experience specific VR experiences. Through the use of specialized devices, users can enhance their immersive experiences in virtual worlds through the use of sensory elements such as sight and sound.

As of now, VR primarily has use in the entertainment industry. In contrast, virtual reality has also recently gained momentum in education, medical, and military applications. Furthermore, you can also discover VR systems that allow users to wear gloves with electronic sensors.

What Are the Differences Between Virtual Reality And the Metaverse?

As you read about the Metaverse, it is impossible not to draw parallels with virtual reality. However, there are a few significant differences between the two.

The following are the most important differences between virtual reality and the metaverse:

Differences Between Virtual Reality And the Metaverse

Overview

The most important comparison point in a metaverse vs. VR debate would be their definitions. Essentially, the virtual reality Metaverse is an open world that allows users to access 3D virtual spaces and environments created by themselves. Alternatively, virtual reality refers to the creation of three-dimensional virtual environments with specific functions.

There is, however, no clear definition of the Metaverse. In a debate between virtual reality and the Metaverse, VR has an advantage in terms of definition. It may seem strange that the Metaverse does not have a clear definition.

In this case, you should know that Metaverse has many meanings. In some definitions, the Metaverse is described as an open, shared, and persistent digital world, whereas in other definitions, it refers to an embodied internet. Due to this, metaverse descriptions are as vague as those regarding virtual reality.

Ownership

Metaverse and virtual reality differ primarily in terms of ownership prospects. With a VR system, you are essentially experiencing a system owned by a brand. A brand owns the content in the VR experiences of the system. When it comes to VR technology, the only thing you possess is the equipment.

In contrast, Metaverse is an entirely different game, allowing users to own virtual assets and experiences. In the Metaverse, everything you create and own belongs to you, whether virtual real estate or artifacts. Users have the privilege of complete ownership of the Metaverse.

Experiences

VR and the metaverse experience are also essential factors to consider. With VR, you will feel like you are wearing a Metaverse VR headset or a device that allows you to experience a virtual environment. Additionally, VR experiences are limited to individuals, such as those who play the game.

Metaverse differs from virtual reality in terms of its quality of experiences, as it allows players to visit, experience, and connect with other users and different environments. By combining AR and VR technologies, the Metaverse creates a virtual universe similar to the real world.

Consequently, you can move around in the virtual world as if you were in the real world, although in the form of a digital avatar. On the other hand, the Metaverse experiences are not limited to a single location.

Technologies

Another important aspect of the metaverse vs. virtual reality debate relates to the limitations of technology. Taking a closer look at VR, there are certain limitations. Improvements in VR Metaverse systems can only enable you to create more refined virtual experiences. At the end of the day, VR would be all about simulations and virtual adventures.

The Metaverse, on the other hand, has no such limitations. Virtual reality is not the only technology that contributes to the Metaverse. Several other technologies are driving the functionality of the Metaverse, including AR, blockchains, cryptography, and connectivity technologies. In addition, the Metaverse is a vast virtual world capable of integrating new technologies to offer more advanced capabilities.

Resilience

Next, we can distinguish between the Metaverse and virtual reality by referring to presence. VR systems are one of the favorites in comparing virtual reality and the Metaverse.

In contrast to the Metaverse, you already have VR technologies that allow you to experience virtual worlds. VR systems, however, do not provide continuous experiences once they are turned off. As a shared and persistent universe, the Metaverse flips the script on VR in terms of persistence. Therefore, your digital avatar will remain there even if you exit the Metaverse. The Metaverse would operate normally, with other users engaging and interacting with it.

Metaverse

Is the Metaverse Accessible in Virtual Reality?

It is possible to use Metaverse VR headsets for activities that are currently accomplished through the use of mobile phones. There is no need to use a VR headset to experience the Metaverse. However, it is believed that headset users will be able to access most of the features. Consequently, the distinction between working on the internet and using virtual reality will largely fade in the future. Virtual reality will lose much of its status as a luxury product if the Metaverse proves to be as successful as Facebook expects.

What Will Be the Impact of These Technologies on Our Everyday Lives?

In terms of experiences, virtual reality is fantastic, but once you turn the product off, it is useless. Utilizing technologies such as Augmented Reality and others provides you with a true, real-life experience in a virtual format that is always available and has real-life results. Alternatively, the virtual reality Metaverse continues to evolve and blend real and virtual experiences.

Is the Metaverse Limited to VR Technology?

There are currently applications of virtual reality in the fields of education, therapeutics, and sports. However, it is best known as a form of entertainment. In terms of scope, it resembles a fresh and advanced version of the World Wide Web. Metaverse technology is expected to change how users work, utilize social media platforms, and even browse the internet, suggesting that Metaverse VR headsets are unlikely to be abandoned soon, despite several users having abandoned virtual reality headsets.

Will the Metaverse Replace the Internet?

There has not been the widespread impact of virtual reality as some had predicted.

Consequently, participants may limit their use of headsets. The metaverse technology that will be available to everyone, even those without a VR headset, will not be a challenge. As a result, they believe it will have a significantly greater impact on their audiences.

Furthermore, it is unlikely that the Metaverse will completely replace the internet. The use of virtual reality technology is an interesting alternative to screen displays. In the digital world, it will be a fascinating addition. However, neither of these is meant to be an alternative to one other.

Concluding Thoughts

Based on the differences between a metaverse and virtual reality debate, it is evident that the Metaverse is a more significant technology than virtual reality. Virtual reality is one of the foundation technologies for the development of the Metaverse. It provides users with access to the Metaverse. However, the capabilities of virtual reality alone are limited.

Conversely, the Metaverse is a massive and gradually developing virtual universe that embodies a 3D representation of the internet. In the Metaverse, users can browse through virtual 3D spaces like through different web pages. The most important aspect of the Metaverse is the possibility of introducing innovation without limits.

Thank you for reading!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
XANA | Metaverse

XANA is an Ethereum sidechain custom-built for the Metaverse. Compatible with all popular wallets, bridged with all major blockchains.