Hi there. Today we're going to take a look at the many devices you can use to access the metaverse. Let's get started. Did you know that in 2021, the market for augmented and virtual reality headsets grew more than 90 percent from the previous year? That's according to data from the International Data Corporation, and it represents over 11 million units sold. Do you have a VR headset or AR glasses? Have you been thinking about getting some? Virtual reality or VR headsets are probably the main way you think about accessing the metaverse. They show up in TV shows and movies, and in advertising about metaverse products. They allow for the most immersive encounters, blocking your view from the physical world and giving you a full, embodied, 360- degree experience. As you move around the metaverse wearing a headset, it will look and feel like you are truly moving around in whatever virtual space you're visiting. Headsets not only allow you to embody a 3D avatar, but you'll also be able to interact with 3D virtual objects. Headsets and their accompanying handheld controllers are either standalone devices or can be tethered to your computer or gaming console. Popular headsets you may be familiar with include the HTC Vive, Meta Quest, Valve Index, and HP Reverb. Devices vary in terms of their hardware, resolution, field of view — which means how much the virtual world you can see in front of you at one time — and price. While the market is definitely growing, price points for VR headsets are still fairly high, ranging from a few hundred to over one thousand dollars. As with all technologies, as headsets are more widely adopted, we may see the price points come down so that they are more affordable to a wider part of the population. We may also see them become lighter and smaller. Next up, we have augmented reality, or AR. Think of AR as adding a digital layer onto the world around you, providing you with information, entertainment, or connection, while still allowing you to see and interact with the physical world in front of you. It's our everyday world, but with an additional layer of digital information on top. You can engage with AR on any device with a screen and a camera, including glasses, smartphones, and tablets. AR glasses also provide opportunity to record and share what you're actually seeing, and project persistent content into the world. Web AR, or web-based augmented reality, doesn't require an app. Anyone with a browser can access the experience easily, although to properly experience an effect, it should be viewed on a device with a camera that can be looked through. You might have already experienced AR, whether your car has a heads-up display that projects information such as turn-by-turn directions or the speed limit onto your windshield, you've played a few rounds of Pokémon Go, used a virtual background on Zoom, or you've tried a pair of AR glasses like Snap Spectacles. Right now, you can hop over to Amazon and try out AR View or download the IKEA Place app, both of which allow you to see what a product will look like in your home before buying it. That's AR. The potential for the augmented metaverse is huge. Imagine walking down the street and seeing information projected in front of you about the businesses as you pass, finding hidden artwork, trying on virtual shoes, or seeing your virtual calendar on your wall in your office. AR can be used for learning and training, repairing and maintaining complex equipment, tourism, and so much more. If you don't have a VR headset or AR glasses, don't worry. You can still access the metaverse through your mobile device, tablet, or a personal computer. While you won't experience the immersion that you would with a headset, you can still engage and communicate with others as an avatar, view digital art, and experience virtual events. Worlds you can explore in the metaverse right now without AR or VR hardware include AltspaceVR, VR Chat, and Decentraland, to name just a few. How you access the metaverse determines what you'll experience, but no matter how you access the metaverse, you will have the opportunity to experience with other people. The metaverse is meant to be a communal experience, and all methods of access allow you to communicate, collaborate, and connect. Now, what does it look like if, let's say, I'm in the metaverse in my VR headset, and you just joined through your PC. We've talked before about how there will be multiple ways to access the metaverse. An example of this is Meta's Horizon Workrooms, a space designed for planning and brainstorming. Those in a VR headset will have the embodied experience of being in a room together with other avatars, while those who join on a video call from their laptop or desktop will appear on a shared screen in that virtual space. Others can call in from a phone, in which case everyone would hear their voices. No matter how they connect, or how distant they are in the physical world, colleagues can be together and collaborate in the metaverse. As we build the metaverse and the devices that will be used to access it, we have to keep privacy and safety at the top of our minds. When it comes to devices like AR glasses that are worn in public, we need to ensure there is a clear visible signal for when they're recording. With VR headsets, generated data, including images and videos, should be encrypted when appropriate, and when it's technically feasible to do so. All devices used to access the metaverse need to include privacy settings and security controls that give users the power to manage their data. Later on in this course, we'll talk more about safety in the metaverse. For now, know that devices are being built with these features in mind. Now seems like a good time to take a little break and let you do some exploring. Coming up, you'll have the opportunity to take a field trip into the metaverse, no matter what device you're using to access it. Don't forget to pack a snack!