CES POV: CES 2022—Metaverse: Hype or Reality?

Matt Hall, Director of Content Creation, StudioRX

The metaverse was certainly everywhere at CES 2022—but how much of it was hype and how much was real? For the hype, check out this hilarious twitter thread showing questionable uses of it across the show floor. However, there were also some serious announcements that moved metaverse technology forward, and we’ve captured our top seven here.

Also, if you’d like to have a deeper background of what the metaverse is, check out our metaverse overview. This discusses what the metaverse is predicted to become, examples of how brands are exploring it now, and ideas on how the health and wellness industry can utilize it.

1. Sony announces the PlayStation VR2 headset

CES is not typically the place where big new VR tech announcements are made (Meta and other companies typically hold their own events), but there were a few interesting products and announcements at this year’s event.

The biggest announcement was Sony’s reveal of their next generation for the PlayStation®5 game console. This updated headset and controllers have impressive resolution and field of view, as well as haptic feedback and eye tracking, which has not yet been implemented into the other major headsets. This move mirrors the success VR is continuing to have in the gaming world.

2. Panasonic MeganeX VR Headset

This eye-catching headset from Panasonic touted its light weight and easy-on, easy-off design. It also features the ability to dial in an eyeglasses prescription to the headset, so glasses wearers like myself wouldn’t have the awkward “glasses under headset” situation.

3. Mojo Vision’s AR Contact Lenses

Mojo Vision has been gaining momentum at CES over the past few years and generating a lot of interest in their contact lens technology with embedded augmented reality screen. While any actual product release is still a long way off, they announced they had received a new $45 million round of funding and key partnerships with brands like Adidas.

4. Canon VR Lens

And finally, for anyone looking to shoot live-action VR content, Canon has new tech that can provide a simpler approach. They won a CES innovation award for a new dual fish-eye lens that attaches to a standard camera lens mount. This unique lens simultaneously records two 190-degree, wide-angle images, which can be combined into one 8K image. 

5. Nvidia expands the Omniverse

Nvidia shared updates on their Omniverse platform, a real-world simulation platform that has been used by many industries in so-called "digital twin" simulations of the real world (for example, automakers use it to test virtual versions of self-driving cars). At CES, Nvidia announced Omniverse Studio, a software platform that aids the creators of 3D and interactive worlds to build quickly and interactively. These are the tools that will be used to build future metaverse worlds.

6. Samsung 837X Experience

A few companies created actual metaverse experiences to attract virtual visitors to learn about their products. One example was the Samsung 837X experience. This was built using the existing Decentraland platform, and allowed visitor avatars to interact with each other, go to a virtual dance club, and gather collectible NFTs. However, access to this platform was a challenge for most visitors (joining Decentraland requires having a crypto wallet), so it may not have had much impact on the general CES audience.

7. Wunderman Thompson Metaverse

The ad agency Wunderman Thompson used the Osyssey.stream platform to deliver a very impressive virtual world that was the closest example to a real metaverse that I saw at CES. The Odyssey platform uses pixel-streaming to create a high-quality 3D world and avatars. It was populated with live hosts, who would greet visitors and show them around, demonstrating the possibilities of the metaverse, including “future of retail,” and “gamevertising.”

CES Takeaways

So, all of this shows that a true metaverse—in which we can smoothly interact with each other in a persistent, shared virtual environment—is still a long way off. However, with the above developments, we can see the groundwork being laid, and the rumored release of a new headset from Apple coming later this year may just be the thing to open the floodgates.

How can you plan for the metaverse?

So, what does the metaverse mean for the healthcare industry? It’s a great time to get ahead of the curve and start to explore where metaverse technology can make an impact for your business, so you can be well-positioned when things really take off. Here are a few ways you can start exploring now:

  • Create an immersive experience for marketing/disease education or sales training
  • Create a shared virtual world for your remote team to enable more collaborative work
  • Explore using existing metaverse platforms like Roblox to connect with your audience
  • Create an augmented reality experience that can integrate useful data into the real world