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The essential hardware guide to the Corporate Metaverse

Discover all the surprising devices you can already use to unlock the potential of the Corporate Metaverse today - not tomorrow.

The Corporate Metaverse is a fascinating term loaded with many interpretations

It can be confusing to understand exactly what it is and isn’t. A lot of that confusion, however, can be cleared up once you’ve grasped the fundamentals of what devices you can use to access it. The upside is that you probably own a few of them.

To start off, it’s important to remember that the Metaverse isn’t a tangible, clearly defined “thing”. On the contrary, it encompasses different technologies that pierce another level of digital interaction. Most of us talk about it as the interfacing of Extended Realities (XR) with the physical world, in which you become immersed in an experience.

 

So, let’s unpack what that means and what devices can unlock the Metaverse. We’ll start with the ones you most likely already own.

Mobile

You probably already know it from Pokémon Go and Snapchat filters, where your screen and camera lens superimpose a digital effect on the real world.

We call this visual overlay Augmented Reality (AR), and it’s arguably the most common interaction with the Metaverse in our daily lives. However, they’re still a far cry from the fully immersive virtual experience you’ll find in more sophisticated XR devices like Virtual Reality (VR) or Mixed Reality (MR).

Some mobile applications, like SynergyXR for iOS, boast cross-device compatibility, which allows for hardware-independent interaction between mobile users and people on either their PC or VR headset. This makes the Metaverse seriously accessible no matter where you are or what hardware you own.

PC

Computers are just as ubiquitous as our phones, but what people may not realize is that they’re effectively our gateway into the Metaverse. Many Metaverse platforms are built and developed on PC using game engines like Unity (the company that founded SynergyXR back in 2008) and 3D rendering software like Blender, which make it easy to create digital worlds of every stripe. 

Social platforms like VRChat and Spatial are perfectly accessible on PC, even if they’re designed for Virtual Reality (VR), whereas a Metaverse-builder like SynergyXR uses the PC to upload and manage 3D assets. You can also enter the virtual worlds you build with SynergyXR via a PC. In this context, you could argue that computer platforms are an appetizer to the Metaverse but fall short of being the main course since they’re still effectively 2D experiences. 

Extended Reality headsets

As we breach into the territory of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, it opens many new doors. These head-mounted displays project images in 3D that fully immerse you in a vibrant digital experience. Whether it be simulated fire hazard training or a trip to the Bahamas, your eyes are practically bound to deceive your brain.

Almost always paired with hand-held controllers for motion tracking, you get an additional level of interactivity which helps cement that feeling of realism in digital space. Let’s take a look at some of the best VR headsets on the market.

Meta Quest 2

Among the commercial headsets on the market, the Meta Quest 2 is undoubtedly the most mainstream of the bunch. Released by Meta in 2020 and widely praised for its affordability, this standalone headset makes it easy to enjoy VR experiences without tethering to a high-end PC like its predecessor, the Oculus Rift.

Because of its competitive price point, large catalog of apps and transportability, the Meta Quest 2 has gained prominence as the go-to headset for anyone new to VR.

HTC VIVE Focus 3

As a more high-end alternative to the Meta Quest 2, the HTC VIVE Focus 3 boasts more processing power and better graphical fidelity overall, but its beefier hardware components also come with a significantly higher price tag, making this device a lot less accessible to regular consumers.

Sacrificing affordability for performance, and with access to fewer applications, the HTC VIVE Focus 3 is geared especially toward enterprise use and development – areas which typically benefit from the capabilities of a more powerful standalone headset.

Microsoft HoloLens 2

Notable for combining both AR and VR elements in its functionality, the Microsoft HoloLens 2 operates under its own category of Mixed Reality (MR), which encompasses the interactivity between the virtual and the physical world. In practice, that means wearing a headset that can scan the environment around you, and merge it with virtual inputs which feed you live information related to your task. Think of a less talkative J.A.R.V.I.S. that probably won’t make you feel like you’re Tony Stark. 

With its steep price tag of $3,500, however, the HoloLens is designed almost exclusively for enterprise use. We typically encounter it in the maintenance and remote support of production facilities, where the live feed of visual data can be harnessed in practicable ways. See how Sanovo uses the Microsoft Hololens 2 to find the perfect solution to maintaining machines.

The number of consumer human machine interface devices dedicated to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) throughout the world is forecast to grow to more than 73 million by 2030, an increase of more than 65 million compared to 2020.

Using the HoloLens 2 to find faster solutions for maintaining machines abroad

In the past, Sanovo’s service technicians would travel – often more than 200 days annually – to clients’ locations to repair machines on-site. But this was made nearly impossible when international travel became heavily restricted. See how they’re using the HoloLens2 to reduce downtime from days to hours.

It doesn't end here

There’s of course a greater breadth of additional devices that we didn’t include in this guide, both the more niche products and the future heavy-hitters still being developed. However, in the interest of brevity, this was our compilation of hardware essentials that should equip you with the knowledge to enter the Metaverse confidently today – not tomorrow.

Need help finding the right hardware for your XR project? Let our 14 years of experience guide you in the right direction.