‘Metaverse’ is a ‘Pokemon GO’ Style AR App Where We All Build The Experience

by Charles Singletary • November 2nd, 2016

Pokemon Go was a major leap forward for augmented reality when it comes to bringing the technology into casual households even though it has suffered massive drops in player base since launch, partly expected and partly due to poor updates throughout its life. Regardless, it was an introduction to AR for many people and GoMeta wants to take the next big step. Augmented reality, in its simplest form, overlays digital information or images onto our real worlds. GoMeta’s Metaverse aims to maximize our surroundings by turning them into massive adventures and we’re all the dungeon masters.

Via a blog post, GoMeta announced the release of Metaverse on Halloween and we reached out to founder and CEO of GoMeta Dmitry Shapiro to speak about the program, its inspirations, and more via email.

Metaverse is a program that takes your smart devices and turns them into augmented reality swiss army knives. “Creating AR experiences is hard.  It requires programming, graphics editing skills, creation of 3D objects, etc,” says CEO of GoMeta Dmitry Shapiro, in an email interview. “Metaverse experiences can be created in under a minute, and this changes everything.”

There are interactive experiences already in place for you to stumble upon, but the crux of Metaverse is when players create their own events using the Experience Builder. In it, you can upload characters of your own, write their dialogue, and place them anywhere you wish. You can create quick little treks across areas or even make massive scavenger hunts like the GoMeta team did in Santa Monica.

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity that has people hunting for landmarks and trinkets using GPS coordinates and is a clear inspiration for the program, “geocaching for the masses” as Shapiro put it. He also says the book “Ready Player One” was an inspiration, likely referring the novel’s fictional virtual game OASIS that has the entire world on a bit of a scavenger hunt.

The astronomical rise of Pokemon Go also brought about safety concerns with people being taken advantage of and robbed while wandering outside. Metaverse could even be a bit more dangerous considering individuals can create targets and place them where they want, so we asked if there were safety initiatives already in the works. There’s nothing concrete right now beyond the in-app warnings, but “over time may be able to create additional technology to help with that.”

Currently, Metaverse can be downloaded on IOS devices here and creators can also request access to the Metaverse Studio beta so you can create deeper and collections of interactive experiences.

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