As the metaverse is slowly coming to life, the paradigm of jobs is shifting, and jobs like computer engineers and designers have seen a huge boom.
Virtual reality is one of the leading sectors in the metaverse, yet it is going through a hiring freeze for various reasons.
What are these reasons, and what does this mean for the future of Metaverse?
First off, what is virtual reality?
Virtual Reality is something we’ve been hearing for a long time now, but what does it actually mean, and what does it mean to be submerged in a virtual world?
Virtual reality is a simulated 3D environment that allows users to explore and interact with a virtual environment in a fashion that simulates reality as the users' senses experience it.
A virtual environment is made through a combination of computer hardware and software; the user has to wear headsets, hold controls, and download certain software through which he can access Virtual reality.
Users can better suspend disbelief and treat a VR experience as real; even if it is not, the more fully they can immerse themselves in it and block out their physical surroundings. (1)
There are typically three types of virtual reality that we must consider;
The type of 3D experience you can access through a computer screen can be called non-immersive. A non-immersive virtual reality typically has sound and a way for the user to interact with the environment through either controllers or keyboards. Still, there is no direct contact between the user and the environment.
An example of virtual reality is playing computer games on a desktop.
A type of virtual reality that can be accessed through a glass or computer screen.
It does not involve physical movement like full immersion and concentrates on the visual 3D part of virtual reality.
An example is flight simulators that trainee pilots use.
The virtual reality that fully immerses the user in the artificial environment incorporates sight, sound, and even touch at times.
Users can completely interact with their surroundings when wearing specialized gear like helmets, goggles, or gloves. The setting can also include machines like treadmills or stationary bicycles to give consumers the feeling of movement across the 3D world.
Metaverse is entirely based on the idea of fully immersive virtual reality. (2)
What does a VR engineer do?
The job of a VR engineer is to manufacture Virtual reality products through their specific skill set; they are in charge of constructing a virtual world that users can interact with.
Their job doesn’t only end here; they are also required to make products that will help users access this virtual world.
A VR engineer usually has a skill set that may include 3D development, software design, and programming languages such as C++. (3)
What is a virtual reality headset?
To provide an immersive and interactive audiovisual experience, a VR headset is a head-mounted device that incorporates a display screen, stereo sound, sensors, and appropriate controllers.
When people don a VR headset, they cannot see anything in their immediate surroundings. They can only see VR content projected on a display screen, such as 360-degree videos, games, workspaces, or meeting spaces for other activities.
The user will use a set of VR controllers in addition to the headgear itself to move around the experience. As previously indicated, the device provides an interactive experience. It needs a controller to perform tasks like pointing at things, selecting, dragging, and dropping them, scrolling up or down, and navigating between various VR areas.
Most VR headsets today employ handheld controllers that work similarly to joysticks. More advanced designs might include haptic gloves that let users move through the virtual environment with the help of their fingers, gestures, touches, and other organic movements.
Virtual reality and metaverse;
It is safe to say the metaverse will revolve around multiple virtual worlds; the importance of Virtual Reality cannot be diminished.
Currently, the most advanced virtual reality for the metaverse can be experienced through the Oculus Virtual Reality headsets. (4)
Virtual reality's impact on technology is no joke, so the importance of VR engineers, especially for meta, is huge.
Yet they have been huge setbacks for VR jobs, making it seem like meta are compromising on their virtual reality technology.
If VR is so important, why are the jobs dying out?
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently invested nearly $10 billion in his metaverse dream; he put it into Meta’s project called ‘Horizon Worlds.’ (5)
This has led to some serious sanctions and has affected Meta’s wallet deeply.
Due to this, the Virtual Reality job hiring has frozen in Meta, which has not only affected their projects but also slowed down the entire creation of the metaverse.
Even big companies like Apple and Google are facing issues in hiring VR engineers due to the global economic rundown,
Although after Meta’s rebranding, the jobs for VR skyrocketed, it is not the case anymore.
"However, the crypto crash and tech slowdown likely destroyed the hiring demand more recently. While Meta led the way in demand for VR talent in late 2021, it slowed its effort as other companies rushed in to fill the void,"
Revelio Labs said in a recent blog post.
No matter how we look at it, Meta’s future depends on virtual reality, and unless Zuckerberg can find a way around the recent collapses, Meta could be looking at a rough couple of years ahead.
Although VR engineers have to bet their future on Zuckerberg's $10 billion bet, they should not be disheartened.
No matter the circumstances, virtual reality is the future and has only one way to go; that is up.
The change to Virtual Reality might be a slow one, but it is a change that will definitely take place, leaving Virtual Reality Engineers with a good future ahead of them.