Recently, Bitcoinist published an article discussing the future of the metaverse and how mobile metaverse applications — which are currently lacking in the market — will be what takes this emerging marketing to the mainstream. The Bitcoinist article explores how Hololoot leads the pack in decentralized mobile metaverse solutions, and we thought we’d unpack this idea a little further.
What is the future of the metaverse? Why is mobile such an important market for metaverse projects? And how does Hololoot fit into the picture?
The mobile market
As just about any developer will tell you, mobile is perhaps the most important platform for applications. It’s by far the most common way for people to access the internet, with approximately 6.6 billion smartphone users — or around 83% of the world’s population — as of August 2022. To put that in context, in 2022 there are an estimated 5.41 billion TV viewers, giving mobile reach to an additional 1 billion people.
It’s been clear for some time that if you want to engage people, you need to optimize for mobile. Of course, there are some exceptions — mobile devices have hardware limitations that make them unsuitable for some resource-intensive apps. Games are a clear example: the average smartphone would have a hard time running AAA titles that are built to run on the latest generation of consoles or high-end gaming PCs. The smaller screen size can also be a disadvantage in high-precision games like Counter-Strike or Call of Duty.
These limitations have seen game devs look for alternatives to serve their users on mobile. Mobile-optimized versions of games — like PUBG MOBILE and CoD: Mobile — bring the console experience to mobile gamers via rebuilds of successful games. These mobile-friendly titles also take advantage of mass-market economic models based around microtransactions that have proven to be extremely lucrative: CoD: Mobile generated $480 million in revenue in its first year alone.
A new metaverse frontier
While mobile has been taking over as the preferred platform for most internet users, the metaverse has emerged as a new way to actually connect. We gave an introduction to the metaverse in another article, but in summary: the metaverse is a shared digital world (or worlds) in which users can interact with each other. Multiplayer video games, chatrooms, meeting rooms and more are part of a growing market that takes the social web to the next level.
Interactivity is key, and the metaverse idea will thrive if as many people as possible can connect. Immersive experiences are also key, as these will be what sets the metaverse apart from the web as we know it today.
There’s a big problem though — if the metaverse needs to be immersive, how can you create an immersive experience on a tiny phone screen?
One of the best-known visions for the metaverse is that of Meta (FKA Facebook). This metaverse experience will be fully available only by using a VR headset like the Oculus (which, conveniently, is produced by Meta).
Other well-known metaverses like the blockchain-based Decentraland are accessible on old-fashioned screens, however, these browser-based worlds put enormous strain on your computer’s memory and most mobiles simply can’t handle the load. And even if they could, exploring such a large and engaging world on a 5” screen can be somewhat underwhelming.
So what’s the solution? How do we make the metaverse mobile and deliver an immersive experience that doesn’t require any expensive hardware to use?
The answer, you’re probably unsurprised to hear us say, is Augmented Reality 🔥
Hololoot and metaverse mass adoption
AR technology is beginning to turn heads. As described in the Bitcoinist article:
“…[AR] enables users to record and create virtual environments resembling the one they live in. The virtual world made via AR technology is just as realistic as the real world. Thus, users can communicate, touch, feel, and hear other people anywhere through AR technology.”
With nothing but a phone screen and mobile camera, users can create an immersive virtual world on top of the real world. You can move around to explore objects, interact with the virtual items before you, customize your space in countless ways and share these experiences with others. AR takes the virtual out of the headset and makes it a reality — and just about every modern smartphone already supports it.
Early contenders in the AR metaverse space have already proven its viability. Niantic’s Pokémon Go was a global phenomenon, providing would-be Pokémon trainers with an experience that they could have only dreamed of growing up. People were able to interact with each other — through the game and in real life — while they searched for Pokémon in a hyper-realistic world. Well, ‘realistic’ isn’t really the right word here — it was the actual real world.
We’re going to see more and more AR titles gunning for Pokémon Go’s crown, and at Hololoot, we’re building the underlying infrastructure to make this possible in a decentralized world. Not only will our own games and features make the mobile metaverse a reality, but our tech stack will also enable other developers to begin exploring what the metaverse can do if we put it in the palm of our hands.
As the metaverse becomes easier to access with apps like Hololoot, and as AR brings new levels of interactivity to our devices, metaverse adoption will only accelerate. We’re proud to be at the forefront of this transformation, and we can’t wait to see what the AR metaverse looks like in the coming years.