Introducing ‘Touch’ in the Metaverse
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Technology is changing the way people live. The advent of the web has become an inflection point in technological innovation. Web 1.0 was launched in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee and consumers have witnessed its evolution over the years. The second generation of the Web, known as Web 2.0, was defined by Dale Dougherty as the “Reading and Writing Web” in 2004. Web 2.0 has also been called the Participatory Social Web. Web 2.0 refers to the way web pages are designed and used and there are no changes in the technical specifications. Interaction and collaboration with individuals is enabled by Web 2.0 in a social media dialogue as a creator of user-generated content in a virtual community. The introduction of Web3.0 and decentralization at its core has changed the game.
Metaverse, NFT, cryptocurrency, blockchain, etc. have all become buzzwords today. Virtual reality and augmented reality have emerged to revolutionize the way consumers perceive digital realities. AR/VR provides an immersive experience engaging an individual’s vision and hearing abilities. However, enabling touch and feel in the metaverse is a niche area. Emerge.io engages the ability to touch and feel in digital realities. Emerge.io is the brainchild of Sly Lee, Issac Castro Garcia and Mauricio Teran. A happy meeting of the trio inspired them to start their own business after meeting at Singularity University in 2015 for a Google/NASA sponsored program.
The company has spent two years of rigorous research and development. The company has raised $36.4 million to date. According to a Bloomberg report, the metaverse market is expected to grow over $800 billion by 2024. Lee said in an interaction with Contractor India, “The Web3.0 space is bound to grow. Metaverse is the new Internet.” The company is optimistic that it’s not just focusing on facilitating touch. Emerge intends to transcend mere touch to something much more emotional.
Emerge uses ultrasonic sensors in its products to help people feel connected over distance and time through an immersive experience. Emerge has developed solutions based on micro-electromechanical systems that use the technique of silicon microfabrication, producing smaller ultrasonic emitters that are powerful, precise and economical compared to existing solutions on the market.
“We’ve always focused on the emotional side of things. Our main goal is to help people connect through the metaverse and provide our customers with experiences they can’t forget,” added Lee.
Physical touch in digital realities has long been a dream of sci-fi fans. However, Emerge made it happen after partnering with many MEMS specialists such as Kurt Petersen who acts as an investor and advisor for Emerge. Emerge also announced its partnership with TRIPP, an XR wellness company, to discover how tactility can improve mental health and human connection within the metaverse.
The company intends to grow further and focus on its community rather than expanding. The company is based in Marina Del Rey, California. India is developing as an emerging Web 3.0 market and growing by leaps and bounds. Lee believes that the right circumstances and support would be important for India to unlock its potential to become a huge market.