There is an influx of highly functional and sophisticated gadgets as we edge closer to the metaverse. From tactile gloves to AR wristband sensors, we’ve seen companies invest millions of dollars in inventions to cash in on the metaverse. We should expect more controllers, hardware support, and breakthrough devices as the list of big tech companies committed to creating the metaverse keep growing.
This article will focus on some of the hottest metaverse gadgets you should look out for in 2022. You’ll be shocked at the fantastic work tech companies such as Facebook, recently rebranded to Meta, are doing when it comes to realizing the metaverse dream.
1. Flexible Skins (Reskin)
As we said, Facebook is a significant contributor to the metaverse. It recently partnered with researchers and scientists from Carnegie Mellon University to create a tactile sensor, about 3 mm thick, that acts as a flexible skin. The product, Reskin, is an upgrade of all the existing tactile glove solutions.
It is a gamechanger since it is easier to scale, unlike other tactile gloves. It does not also face limitations such as durability, weight, volume, threshold, and cost. This flexible tactile sensing solution uses a deformable elastic material. It comes fully equipped with built-in magnetic particles that ensure electromagnetic signals emitted to the surrounding change when the glove deforms.
If you are wondering how this works, it measures the electromagnetic signals changes using a magnetometer. The system then converts the data into usable information such as strength and contact location through algorithms.
This electronic tactile skin is compact, lightweight, cheap, and can be used with any holder. It is also ready to use. Meta maintains that the cost reduces with mass production, meaning that it should sort everybody once the metaverse becomes fully functional in the next ten years. Also, note that this skin is highly durable and can support more than 50,000 interactions.
The specs get even better. This gadget has a sampling rate of up to 400Hz, an error margin of only 1mm, and an accuracy rate of 90%. It can also be easily replaced after some time, making it the perfect solution for robotic hands, pet insoles, and tactile gloves. It has made the collection of relevant data easier.
2. Tactile Gloves (Reality Labs)
Also known as touchscreen gloves, these gadgets absorb electrical current emanating from capacitative touchscreen devices through their conductive fingertips, similar to bare fingers. With the coming of the metaverse, companies have launched gloves such as the Reality Labs tactile gloves, specifically made to enhance tactile interaction in the virtual world.
They allow people to feel objects, including specs such as weight and softness, as well as textured surfaces. An example is the Reality Labs Haptic gloves with a soft actuator and several soft motors. The microfluidic chip moves the actuator through airflow control, while the soft brake is aligned with the soft motors, thus offering the perfect tactile experience for users.
They allow people to perform several functions in the metaverse mainly by manipulating virtual objects. You can rest assured that they will beef up your handshake, multi-person interaction,multi-player games, and virtual block-building experiences.
Note that this is a brilliant innovation that only top-notch and reputable big tech companies can achieve. Meta hasn’t made the gloves available for commercial release yet due to affordability issues and the level of research needed. It is worth noting that the company took over seven years to hack the glove technology.
3. Wristband AR Sensors
The tech world gets spicier every day, given the number of intelligent devices companies keep producing day in, day out. Most big tech companies are massively investing in AR devices, which are vital in accessing the metaverse. Currently, they are focused on producing AR glasses.
Given their reputation and might, Meta launched a wristband AR sensor earlier last year. It is fully functional and can detect hand movements through electromyography, which enables the detection of electrical signals from the movement of the wrist and fingers. These signals are then converted into commands, enabling the control of several devices. The company claims that the sensors can detect even the slightest movement.
We can expect more functionalities as we get closer to fully achieving the metaverse since, at the moment, it can only detect gestures and finger movements. Meta believes that once they add more control functions, users will perform a range of activities such as touching and moving virtual objects in augmented reality.
4. AR Glasses
You have definitely heard of or used augmented reality glasses. These smart glasses come in different shapes, designs, sizes, and build. They enhance reality with digital overlays.
Their cost has significantly reduced over the years, which is excellent news as we anticipate the realization of the metaverse. This is primarily contributed to by the number of companies entering the market, thus creating competition and encouraging innovation.
AR glasses allow people to immerse themselves in different adventures, even though they are used mainly by gamers. They have front-facing cameras that work hand in hand with recognition software. The software uses data to generate images or stats before projecting them onto the glasses’ lens for you to view.
Note that these glasses have different functionalities. Some have microphones that allow you to communicate with different technologies for voice-controlled searches. The results are then projected onto the lens. Others have message alert functionality. Your messages will appear in your field for view without distracting you. You can choose to ignore them.
These gadgets are highly functional in the metaverse because they come with simultaneous localization and mapping algorithms, popularly known as SLAM algorithms, that allow you to view and gauge your surroundings. You can then use hand gestures to control the different available images.
Note that they are generally slim and lightweight, boosting your experience even further. We expect intelligent contact lenses and highly operational cameras with small solar panel technology in the future. Some companies working on AR glasses are Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Epson.
Facebook, for instance, launched Project Aria, a code name for its AR glasses. It is a lightweight creation with a camera and three buttons for power, capture, and mute functions. However, it is not a commercial project at the moment.
5. VR Headsets
Virtual reality is an essential technology in the metaverse. Note that the latter will help users immerse themselves in the virtual world, which is impossible without virtual reality. VR technology has become popular in the past few years and is estimated to clock around $200 billion in the next five years.
These headsets replace our surrounding with a virtual world, generally created in software. They stimulate environment settings, allowing users to access these worlds, and are most popular with gamers. The headset transports you to an alternate reality, which the metaverse sets to achieve.
These devices were built using the basic rules of perception, explaining their authenticity. They have accelerators, gyroscopic sensors, and magnetometers that monitor and control your movement while tracking your interactions. The headset is also connected to external cameras and computer systems, allowing you to use other programs and connect to different software, thus boosting your virtual reality experience. Some of the vital components of VR evolution include spatial audio and sound effects, the field of view and frame rate, and lastly, position and head tracking.
As we approach the metaverse, expect mind-blowing VR headset innovations. Through machine learning and AI, the future of VR technology promises more than we know.
One of the notable VR headsets essential for the metaverse is the Oculus Quest 2, which works like a wearable computer. It has two Oculus touch controllers equipped with triggers, a joystick, and buttons allowing you to access virtual objects and improve your interaction. You can also reach portals such as the Horizon Workrooms if you need to focus.
The rush by several companies to invest in virtual reality gadgets saw the invention of cyber shoes by Oculus Quest. This platform is dedicated to helping VR users achieve freedom of movement and interaction while immersed in the virtual world.
What then are cyber shoes? Cyber shoes are an intelligent locomotion system meant to ease movement in virtual reality by making it as natural as possible. These ‘shoes’ translate natural motion to in-game movement. They have an underneath roller that allows forward and backward movement. You only need to slip on the shoes and begin walking.
Note that this is a one-size-fits-all pair of shoes with user straps. To use it, place the straps over your shoes before taking a rotatable seat that allows you to walk in the game while seated for comfort and security. You can then begin your game. Cyber shoes is an intelligent gadget hence highly intuitive, allowing you to perform several movements.
We can expect a wireless version of this equipment as the metaverse becomes more achievable by the day. Also, one of the reasons why you should watch out for these ‘shoes’ is their ability to prevent motion sickness, a common problem with joysticks and teleportation. You will get a chance to enjoy increased immersion, enjoyment, and more activity, making it worth your time and money.
Teslasuit is an incredible creation by one of the subsidiaries of VR Electronics Ltd. It was introduced in early 2020 in the Consumer Electronics Show, which saw several companies showcase their creations. It is a full-body clothing set having different functions. Items such as the gloves track the user’s biometric activities, such as the movement of the wrists and hand fingers. They can also record the heartbeat.
All in all, the company responsible for Teslasuit maintains that it uses electro-muscle stimulation, meaning that your body will excellently adjust to different conditions while immersed in the virtual world.
This invention is pretty handy for gaming since it can stimulate several occurrences, such as the impact of a bullet while gaming. It is a gamechanger and worth considering as we aim at the metaverse.
Unlike most VR headsets that only care about the virtual aspect, it stimulates the muscles to respond to whatever is occurring in the virtual world. You don’t have to worry about the dangerous aspect since the developers took great care when building it.
Therefore, this is the best option if you need a haptic suit that will offer haptic feedback and climate control as you go about your gaming expeditions. The powerful analytic and program control software combined with the partner ecosystem will improve your performance and experience.
8. Virtuix Omni One
A decade ago, nobody could have imagined that we would be talking about an omnidirectional treadmill that allows users to walk and run in 360 degrees while gaming and accessing the virtual world in 2022. Well, thanks to several investors, including Mark Cuban, we will have inventions such as the Omni One, which supports immersive and active gaming, allowing users experience the highest level of virtual reality.
Known as the future of gaming, this device is optimized for home use. It is light and can be easily stored. It also supports several movements such as jumping and crouching. Users get a complete gaming set, including a standalone VR set and an online game store.
It supports monthly subscriptions for online gameplay and game purchases from the game store. A user needs to stand and place a rotating arm around the waist for positioning. It is highly suitable for real games, allowing you to walk, jump or run with soft shoes.
Note that this company unrolled the Omni Pro in 2017, shipping more than 3500 units years later. Though less advanced than the Omni One, it used simulation for virtual reality games and different applications. The creation works with HTC Vive, allowing users to walk within selected games.
This is just but one example of some of the biggest revolutions in virtual reality as we await the metaverse. You should expect other companies to develop such or even better creations moving forward.
9. NFT TVs
Samsung recently revealed that its upcoming smart televisions would incorporate NFT technology, which is good news for metaverse enthusiasts. Companies such as Binance believe that NFTs are the key to accessing the metaverse.
The smart TVs Samsung is set to release in 2022 will therefore have new and updated smart hubs alongside features such as Watch All and an NFT platform. Viewers will easily research, discover, purchase and trade NFTs and other digital assets through the MICRO LED, QLED technology, and the Frame.
This was expected given the popularity that NFTs have gained over time. By coming up with an NFT market and explorer, Samsung is set to reap heavily. The popularization of NFT follows a growing trend of celebrities and renowned CEOs such as Jack Dorsey hopping on the trend.
10. Portal Go Digital Display
Our last recommendation is the Portal Go Digital Display by Meta. Also known as a Meta Portal, this gadget can act as an intelligent display and video chatting device with links to the real world. It has a smart camera and audio technology that automatically adjusts the camera and microphone function, thus enhancing communication. You don’t have to shout when talking.
You can use this portal to chat with your family members and loved ones easily. The camera will always ensure that you are at an engaging angle, fostering a life-like video chat experience. The device gives you a sense of presence, allowing you to feel like you are in the same room with whoever you are talking to.
It is also worth mentioning that the portal has a ‘do things together’ button, which is a gamechanger in the interactive world. You can also watch movies together in a shared virtual space with a loved one despite your difference in the physical location. The augmented reality effects in the device also enhance storytelling, making you and your loved one feel like characters.
It gets even better since this gadget also allows you to stream files such as photos and watch videos and movies. Also, while using Zoom, you will have an advanced auto-following camera and microphone that can crop out your background. This device will directly connect to your Microsoft account, meaning that your meetings will directly show up in the calendar on the portal. You can easily see your appointments and make calls.
We should expect t more functionalities soon since Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is invested in building live-event platforms that will give users one of the best virtual experiences. We expect this device to allow you to open a screen to the metaverse soon, allowing you and other users to interact. You will definitely appear on a screen before them and interact with their avatars.
This is one of the best devices by Meta as it doubles its plan for the Metaverse realization.
Technological advancement is inevitable. As big tech companies keep investing in building the metaverse, we should expect many creative inventions soon. Be sure to read our articles since we are committed to keeping you abreast of all the metaverse developments and stories.