Imagine it’s year 2030 — mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs have all been replaced by comfortable smart glasses and perhaps a few wearable sensors. I put on the smart glasses, and instantly experience being with my kins living far away, go to a soccer match, play soccer, make friends, or go shopping for anything, anywhere and anytime – or go to school or work. All these experiences will be immersive, which means that I can feel being with my acquaintances and I can convey my feelings with gestures and facial expressions.
After following the eXtended Reality (referring to both virtual reality and augmented reality) industry closely for six years, I believe that eventually XR will emerge as the next major computing platform will result to a major paradigm change in the way we interact with the world and each other. This conclusion seems to be shared by most of the global consumer electronics giants, as they all have been investing heavily into XR. In the transformation that XR eventually brings about we can easily see parallels with the previous emergence of PC and mobile phone markets.
Metaverse was popularized in 2021 by Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg as a term to define a digital copy of the world, in which people can meet, buy, and sell goods and services and enjoy without the restrictions of space and time. Zuckerberg considers XR as “one of the hardest technical challenges of the decade”. Several deep technologies will still have to be mastered to enable the true metaverse but missing out on the metaverse is not an option to anyone.
FINLAND AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE METAVERSE
Particularly in XR, which is often considered the core of Metaverse, Finland has got a globally unique and versatile ecosystem of metaverse companies. The Finnish ecosystem of XR companies covers all stages of the value chain ranging from XR headset and hardware development to various XR development platforms, use case-specific developers (e.g., education, architecture, healthcare,) and customer-specific XR content.