From Vision to Reality: The Evolution of the Metaverse and New Frontiers in AR Technology

How Apple Vision Pro and the development of the metaverse (pardon spatial computing) are changing our perception of the world

Artur Paprocki
6 min readFeb 4, 2024

Perception Revolution: Casey’s Experience with Apple Vision Pro

Casey, a well-known YouTuber from New York, explores the new frontiers of augmented reality with Apple Vision Pro, demonstrating how this technology blurs the boundaries between the digital and the physical world. His experiences shed light on the future of AR technology interactions, showing how it can transform our everyday lives.

Vision Pro has ability to create an immersive augmented reality experience that seamlessly integrates digital objects with the physical environment. This feature stands out as a significant leap towards a future where the lines between digital and physical become increasingly blurred. For instance, the device’s capability to make objects fade away as one walks through them, including random objects like bricks and wooden poles, exemplifies a sophisticated level of spatial awareness and interaction not seen in previous AR technologies.

In the acknowledgment that the Apple Vision Pro creates a seamless augmented reality experience that blurs the line between digital and physical reality. This experience, he argues, is indicative of the future of computing, where digital enhancements become an integral part of our physical world. The Vision Pro, is not just a new product category but broadly recognized new media consumption paradigm.

From Science Fiction to Reality. It’s all about the content.

The Metaverse (Apple avoid use this term preferring Spatial Computing), a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel “Snow Crash,” has long been a subject of science fiction literature, describing an all-encompassing, shared virtual world. Today, with technologies like Vision Pro, this concept is becoming more tangible than ever before, heralding a new era of digital interaction.

In Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash,” the Metaverse is depicted as a vast, immersive virtual reality space where users can interact with a digital environment and each other through avatars. This fictional universe foresaw the profound impact that corporations could have on the construction and governance of virtual worlds. The narrative explores themes of corporate power, digital autonomy, and the blending of online and offline identities, providing a prescient view of the role corporations might play in shaping our digital futures.

My favorite quote from the book inspired me to open business focusing on new worlds creations:

See, the world is full of things more powerful than us. But if you know how to catch a ride, you can go places

― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Fast forward to the present, and we see the realization of Stephenson’s vision through the actions of major tech companies. These corporations are not just influencing; they are actively constructing the digital landscapes in which we increasingly spend our time, work, and play. They build the ride of spatial (3D) content.

Microsoft’s Acquisition of Blizzard and EA Games

Microsoft’s strategic acquisitions, including that of Blizzard Entertainment and partnerships with companies like EA Games, highlight the company’s intent to secure a dominant position in the content delivery ecosystem. These acquisitions allow Microsoft to control a significant portion of the gaming and virtual experiences market, providing them with the content needed to attract and retain users in their digital environments. This mirrors the “Snow Crash” depiction of corporations controlling vast swathes of the Metaverse, where the power to shape user experiences and narratives lies in the hands of a few.

Epic Games and Fortnite UEFN

Epic Games’ investment in their metaverse, notably through “Fortnite UEFN,” showcases a different approach to creating digital spaces. Fortnite has evolved from a popular battle royale game into a platform hosting concerts, social gatherings, and brand partnerships, blurring the lines between gaming and social media. Epic Games’ vision extends beyond traditional gaming, aiming to create a broad, inclusive digital space that offers a variety of experiences, akin to a Metaverse. This strategy reflects the “Snow Crash” idea of a digital realm where different entities control unique, immersive experiences.

This Metaverse is going to be far more pervasive and powerful than anything else. If one central company gains control of this, they will become more powerful than any government and be a god on Earth.

Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games

Facebook’s Rebranding to Meta

Perhaps the most direct nod to the Metaverse concept is Facebook’s rebranding to Meta. This name change signifies the company’s commitment to transcending its origins as a social network to become a leader in building the Metaverse. Meta’s vision includes creating interconnected digital spaces where people can work, play, and socialize in a fully immersive online environment. This ambition directly mirrors the Metaverse of “Snow Crash,” where digital spaces become as integral to our lives as physical ones.

Dystopia and hope in a Virtual World

“Ready Player One,” directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, is a visually stunning and narratively rich film that delves into the concept of the Metaverse long before the term became mainstream. Set in the year 2045, the movie portrays a dystopian future where the Earth is beset by environmental issues, overpopulation, and economic collapse. To escape this grim reality, people immerse themselves in the OASIS, a vast virtual reality universe where anyone can be whoever they want to be and live out any fantasy.

explores several themes relevant to the current and future impact of virtual reality and the concept of the Metaverse. Identity, community, and escapism are central to the narrative, showcasing how digital worlds can offer a sense of belonging and purpose absent in the physical world. The film also addresses the power dynamics between individuals and corporations in these virtual spaces, with the antagonist, a corporation called Innovative Online Industries (IOI), seeking to control the OASIS for its gain.

It provides a cinematic exploration of how these technologies could shape society, highlighting both their potential to create new forms of social and economic interaction and their challenges. The film, through its depiction of the OASIS, serves as both a cautionary tale and an optimistic forecast of humanity’s capacity to find joy, purpose, and community in digital realms.

Entering Spatial Computing

Collaborating with firms like Veles Productions, which invest in the development of RealityOS applications and world creations, presents a unique opportunity to explore new possibilities in the new paradigm of media consumption, learning and storytelling. Such partnerships can open doors to new forms of customer interaction and value creation in digital spaces.

Veles Productions testing Led Wall with virtual world. Vision Pro same as Led Wall are portals to virtual worlds.

As we face these transformations, understanding how innovations in Spatial Computing and the development of the Metaverse can impact future business strategies and social interactions becomes crucial. Collaborating with pioneers like Veles can not only enable companies to leverage these new technologies but also actively shape the future of the digital world.