The prelude to Spatial Computing
The Metaverse seemed to have arrived in our lives thanks to Meta and its train of friendship with all kinds of technology companies, including Spanish ones. Subsequently, all this pomp of dreams was diluted with the passing of the months, the economic losses of Mark Z in his attempt to turn our lives around through different technologies and the immeasurable effort to make us live a second life where, although Mark was one of the directors, the rest of the companies with unfinished products were the siren song that undoubtedly delighted hundreds of thousands of people. Nothing came out as the consumer expected, the hopes and illusions of living in the Matrix or Ready Player One were dissipating with releases typical of a company in the 2000s with poor graphics and outdated mechanics.
Blockchain, virtual and augmented realities, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, IoT and others were the main drivers of the Metaverse, an ecosystem of technologies that together formed the term.
Exploiting the Metaverse
Everything was Metaverse. Video games, closed virtual rooms, Ad-hoc service programs, interactive chats with virtual characters, interaction with the digital economy based on blockchain… Nobody distinguished anything. The voracious hunger of companies to sell their product or service at all costs and take advantage of a marketing wave, left aside the ethics and morals of their speculators.
The launch of Meta Quests by the former Facebook brought to the table this indispensable gadget for all consumers in the Metaverse.
It seems that when we talked about the Metaverse, Meta and Mark Zuckerberg were the first thoughts that came to mind. Subsequently, the news showed another reality. The company’s losses were enormous and counted in the hundreds of thousands of euros in negative numbers.
The company decided in its last attempts to turn to the current wave, artificial intelligence.
“John, they say that spatial computing is the new term par excellence, something that broadens the conception of new technologies much more”.
I’m sorry to tell you that you are being misled. Tim Cook and the same companies that supported Meta during the year 2022 and this year, have changed sides and jackets. Now we have to support Apple, which has launched the Vision Pro viewer and, as you will understand, must get rid of everything that sounds like Meta. For now we will follow the strategy of confusion by modifying two terms:
1. METAVERSE TO BE REPLACED BY SPATIAL COMPUTING
2. AVATAR TO BE REPLACED BY DIGITAL HUMANS
Well, let’s go to the definition of Spatial Computing to see if what I’m telling you sounds familiar.
DEFINING SPATIAL COMPUTING
What is spatial computing?
Spatial computing broadly characterizes the processes and tools used to capture, process and interact with 3D data. Components of spatial computing can include IoT, Digital Twins, ambient computing, augmented reality, virtual reality, AI and physical controls.
The term spatial computing was coined by Simon Greenwold, who described the concept in his 2003 master’s thesis ( click to view the thesis) at MIT as follows: “Spatial computing is human interaction with a machine in which the machine retains and manipulates referents to real objects and spaces. It is an essential component for making our machines fuller partners in our work and play.”
Spatial computing in action could be as simple as controlling the lights when you walk into a room or as complex as using a network of 3D cameras to model a factory process. Spatial computing concepts also play a role in orchestrating autonomous computing applications in warehouse automation, self-driving cars and supply chain automation.
Users interact with spatial computing applications through screens embedded on physical devices, VR headsets that mirror the physical world, or mixed reality devices that overlay data onto a view of the physical world.
In short, what Simon is saying is that spatial computing is the set of all those technologies that we are already working with when we talked about the Metaverse, because although some have sold you that the Metaverse was purely virtual reality, this was never the reality.
John, what’s going on?
Easy. You have to sell and as you will understand, Tim Cook is not going to launch products for the Metaverse using a term that seems more appropriate to advertise Meta than his own company.
Let’s also remember that the Metaverse Standards Forum is founded among others , by Meta , Microsoft , NVIDIA , Sony , Epic Games …
Let’s see you fools (ironic my dear readers) , there is no place for Apple, they didn’t want to from the beginning so you have to give them terms that sound different even if they mean the same thing to differentiate themselves from the competition. It’s business strategy.
Does this mean that the Metaverse will transform towards Space Computing ?
Personally I don’t think so. There are too many companies involved and interested in keeping the Metaverse as the governor of future technologies although this will be determined as always by the community and the mass of users, where with a good deception, they can change their minds. Perhaps even two camps will form, with some defending the Metaverse and others defending Space Computing as Apple’s own ecosystem.
In the same way, Apple will have to put a lot of effort into making everyone believe that red and sporty does not always make you think of Ferrari.
And you, what do you think ?