How QR Codes Could Make Their Mark in the Metaverse

Coined by Neal Stephenson, the metaverse made its first appearance in the science fiction novel, Snow Crash. The novel takes place in a dystopian world where, protagonist,  Hiro Protagonist, enters into a virtual reality called the metaverse. Almost 3 decades ago, it was a mere figment of Stephenson’s imagination. Today, it’s a possibility. Is this 1992 novel fiction, or a foreshadowing of the future of technology? Only time will tell. 

Will QR Codes play a role in the future of the metaverse? Possibly. It may be a portal from the physical into the digital world. In fact, we’ve already seen that fusing Augmented Reality with QR Codes makes a marvelous marriage. And just by glancing at the possibilities of altered reality: Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), we can already see snapshots of how the metaverse can change the game for learning, gaming, communicating, working and the tech industry. 

The Metaverse app 

Founded in 2016, a group of tech geniuses launched an augmented reality platform called the Metaverse Studio app. The platform consists of a mix of interactive experiences of which augmented reality plays a big part. The platform itself empowers users to create interactive content using augmented reality — from games and stories to educational learning experiences and more — all without using code. This is a major relief for non-techies. 

The Metaverse app has been an invaluable tool, particularly for educators using tech to create a more engaging and fun learning experience for their students. These platforms have the potential to elevate education  — and it may benefit you even more if combined with the QR Code Generator. Here are some cool ideas on how to use the QR Code generator for teachers

What is the metaverse? 

You already know that the metaverse was birthed out of sci-fi, right? Now imagine that fictional world is real: a 3-dimensional (3D) universe where your physical world intersects with virtual and augmented reality. In this virtual space, you exist as an avatar, a cartoonish character that represents your digital identity. You can do virtually (pun intended) anything you want in this formless world — from work and play to buying digital real estate and earning metaverse crypto.

Virtual reality versus augmented reality 

Virtual reality 

VR is a computer technology used to create a simulated environment that is experienced in 3D. VR headset immerses the user directly into the virtual environment through sight and sound which creates an illusionary experience of reality. Once your headsets are on, your vision is completely cut off from your surroundings, making the virtual world all the more immersive. If you’re a total tech nerd, the popular Oculus Quest headset needs no introduction but just in case this sounds like total hogwash, they are the most advanced VR headsets up to date. 

Augmented reality 

If VR pulls you into the virtual world, then AR technology brings the digital world into the physical. Allow me to break it down. AR operates in the real world by overlaying real-life objects with digital content. The AR experience is incredibly interactive; users can enhance ordinary everyday objects into extraordinary lively digital objects. Users can play with AR devices via glasses, apps, and other tech devices. Remember when Pokeman made a major comeback through Pokemon Go back in 2016? You can thank AR tech for making that happen.

Mark Zuckerberg unveils the metaverse 

Facebook CEO (now Meta),  Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse pitch has gone viral. In his Facebook connect keynote presentation he reveals his grandiose vision for the metaverse. Here are some noteworthy takeaways:

  • Zuckerberg calls the metaverse a shared digital space: a place where people can enter and still feel as connected as they would in real life. 
  • He aims to create an embodied internet experience that goes beyond entertainment, augmented, and virtual reality. 
  • He imagines a future of community building on the metaverse platform where creators have far greater possibilities. 
  • He predicts a world of new opportunities in the metaverse, including but not limited to: a new digital economy, job creation, and digital goods. 
  • He forecasts a future where the metaverse will replace our digital devices, making them the center of our attention.  

What will we be able to do in the Facebook metaverse? 

Meta isn’t in the business of wasting time when it comes to the building of the metaverse. You can expect no delays. It’s not about when it’s going to happen — it’s happening already. Zuckerberg and his team at Meta have begun attending their meetings virtually in their virtual office space, Horizon Workrooms  — and since its launch date in August in 2021, the platform has opened up to all remote workers  — a total game-changer for remote working and the world of work. 

Eager to play around with your digital avatar in the metaverse? Well…in the not-too-distant future, traveling, teleporting, and meeting people in our avatars may not be out of the question!  

What’s in the metaverse right now? 

You’ll find components of highly entertaining and successful metaverses already alive within the gaming world: Roblex and  Epic Games, not to mention, Minecraft. It should come as no surprise that tech pioneers,  Microsoft has already dug a piece of the metaverse pie. Microsoft bought Minecraft back in 2014 and Mesh for Teams (Microsoft’s virtual workroom space) is set to launch in 2022. 

Meta certainly has their challenge set out for them.  But Zuckerberg is cognizant of the enormous feat ahead and is calling for other tech titans and digital creators to contribute to the building of the metaverse. It’s already piqued The Walt Disney Company’s interest but then again, they aren’t newbies to AR and VR. A collaborative effort into building the metaverse is what will allow for Zuckerberg’s ambitious vision to actualize. 

But since the metaverse is still in its cocoon stages, we can only make projections of how it will progress. What’s possible is that the metaverse may be as ubiquitous as QR Codes. Lest you forget, once upon a time, QR Codes were only scannable on inventory management —now you’ll find a QR Code scanner built-in on most smartphone models. What’s more is that since the coronavirus pandemic, QR Codes have resurrected to the point of omnipresence. 

The tech world is on the precipice of advancing beyond our mind’s eye — and QR Codes aren’t going anywhere. In order to make a proper forecast for potential uses of QR Codes in the metaverse, let’s take a peek at what AR and VR have been cooking up.

Potential uses of the QR Code metaverse: 

#1 Playing games in Walt Disney’s Company’s metaverse  

Walt Disney Company is also making plans to create its own branded metaverse. And nothing is impossible when it comes to what the Walt Disney Company will do to create borderline magical experiences for their viewers. Far ahead of their time, these innovators experimented with VR by recreating Aladdin’s famous carpet ride as early as 1997. 
Pushing the boundaries of our imagination once again, Disney’s theme park, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has created a digital clone: a VR app called Galaxy’s Virtual Edge. In this virtual galaxy, users enter into the virtual theme park via Oculus Quest headsets. This virtual galaxy is a Starwars fan’s dream: users can explore the theme park in ways they never could in the physical world, strike up conversations with their favorite characters from Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge, and become part of the Star Wars story. Star War fanatics: now is the time for you to officially geek out!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Walt Disney World Resort in Los Angeles. (Source: Unsplash)

How QR Codes could work in the metaverse: 

Imagine your customer bought a Google Cardboard VR Headset for the first time and has no idea how to sync it with their smartphone. As a manufacturer, you’d want to make sure you’re providing a seamless and stress-free user experience. The last thing a user wants to do is read a tiny printed instructional manual. Let the QR Code do the work for you!  Display a QR Code on packaging where users can easily pair the VR headset with their smartphone. This shouldn’t be too far of a stretch for the video gaming industry already embracing QR Codes for games.   

#2 Cinematic experiences in the metaverse

What would it look like to watch movies in the metaverse? Thanks to VR, we already have a taste of what’s possible. Netflix and chill with VR? Yes, please! With Netflix VR, you’re able to stream via the VR app and headset. Here’s a grand idea: host a virtual Netflix party night and enjoy an enhanced cinematic experience with your squad! 

Bright red letter “N” representing the Netflix logo shown on a mobile screen.
Netflix app on a smartphone (Source: Pixabay).

Using QR Codes for a virtual film party:

Imagine you want to have a solid series or movie marathon with your best pals, but they’re scattered all across the world. Is that a problem in the metaverse? Nope. No need to go to the ends of the earth to gather with your friends anymore. A common problem many of us run into when choosing what to watch is decision fatigue. That’s why Netflix codes help you narrow down your choices based on the genre you want to watch. Pro-tip: make a collective decision together about the genre before your Netflix party. Once chosen, your host converts the code into a (drumroll) — QR Code!

This is how the magic happens: Create a QR Code and send the QR Code to your friends over a text. Once your friends scan the code, they’ll have access to the genre. Now you only have 2 things left to do: choose your show and put on your VR headsets. And guess what, even if you don’t have VR headsets you can still stream the exact same show with your friends with Netflix Teleparty. Get your popcorn ready, dim the virtual lights and bond with your tribe like never before. 

#3 Learning in the metaverse 

Adopting tech such as AR and VR in the classroom has been a progressive move in education: students get a real feel for the subject beyond the textbook by learning through immersive experiences. In one particular school, Geography educators used VR and 360 films, 3D printed fossil coral specimens to teach their students about the coral reefs. The tech had such a tremendous impact on the students’ learning that many of them who were initially apprehensive, became eager and curious to snorkel and explore the coral reel in real life. If tech could push young kids to dip their toes in the water (quite literally), the potential is endless! Could it inspire curious minds to become marine biologists, or nurture young ocean conservations that could help protect our fragile coral reef ecosystems? 

Two kids getting a glimpse of the metaverse with VR.
Children experiencing virtual reality via VR headsets. Source: Unsplash

How QR Codes give learning a facelift:   

Educators have already been using QR Codes in the classroom to optimize learning — and AR is no exception. One teacher, in an attempt to make her architecture lesson more interactive, showcased a QR Code on the projector screen and asked different students to get up and scan it with the Metaverse app. The combo of the QR Codes and AR tech made a powerful duo: students learned about cityscapes in a fun, innovative, and memorable way. Find out more about QR Code uses and how you can liven up your classroom. 

The metaverse is officially upon us and it’s only a matter of time until we see its full development. The blueprint has been laid out and tech giants are planting their flags in the metaverse. We’re on the brink of a tech revolution and it will change the way we engage with all online activities from communication and learning to entertainment, and much more. In the interim, experiment and play with AR and VR tech. Remember: QR Codes are going to stick around for good, so keep your eyes glued to the screen for a metaverse QR Code.

Robyn Albertyn

Robyn Albertyn is a content writer for Bitly from Cape Town, South Africa. She’s previously written about preventative health and wellness, and specializes in creative writing and copywriting. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her hiking up majestic mountains, or discovering the best coffee hotspots in her city. Feel free to say hi to her on LinkedIn.

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