Revisiting the Metaverse: An Overview of its Technology and Knowledge Domains

The Metaverse: A Convergence of Digital and Physical Realities 

Mapstar Metaverse

1. Introduction

In our increasingly digitized world where the boundaries between digital and physical realms are blurring, the term "Metaverse" – originally coined in Neal Stephenson's science fiction novel "Snow Crash" – has now undergone a significant evolution.

What is the Metaverse?

Today, the Metaverse represents a user-generated world where social interactions, avatars, and contextual information merge in digital or physical environments. This seamless integration allows us to experience digital information spatially and adds a new dimension of interactivity to our real world locations and objects. Therefore, it is necessary to report on this development and to examine its components as well as its challenges.

2. Components of the Metaverse: An Examination

2.1 Technical Infrastructure

Extendend Reality (XR) Technologies: VR, AR, and MR

The technical infrastructure of the Metaverse, realized through Extended Reality (XR) technologies, comprises a range of key technologies and components that work together to enable seamless integration and interaction between digital and physical worlds. XR combines aspects of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) to create immersive experiences that go beyond traditional screens and interfaces.

Spectrum of XR Technologies

The illustrated graphic depicts the spectrum of Extended Reality (XR) technologies, ranging from Augmented Reality (AR) to Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Reality (VR), highlighting their increasing degree of immersion from a real environment to a fully virtual environment. This concept is based on the Reality-Virtuality Continuum, originally described by Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino in their seminal work on the subject.


For the sustainable integration of augmented reality (AR) content into an environment, it is critical to capture physical spaces as metric 3D models and make them machine-readable. This process, known as spatial mapping, enables a computer to accurately recognize the environment and precisely place AR elements within the physical space, ensuring that digital information is consistently anchored in the real world. This technique not only aids in the precise positioning and localization of augmented reality content but also imparts a realistic context to the map in web and in webvr.

2.3 Decentralization in the Metaverse

Decentralization in the Metaverse, driven by blockchain technology, allows for the creation and distribution of unique digital assets through Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), securing authenticity and ownership. This mechanism enables creators to monetize their content and paves the way for a new creative economy within the Metaverse. Decentralized marketplaces for trading these assets promote a transparent and trust-based digital economy and democratize access and participation. This evolution could not only respects the privacy and rights of users but also significantly fosters creativity and innovation, heralding the rise of a dynamic creative economy.

3. Exploring the Metaverse

3.1 Beyond Virtual Reality

To better understand the diversity of the Metaverse, we will focus on its various manifestations to gain a comprehensive picture of it. So far, we can see that the Metaverse now goes beyond traditional virtual reality, enabling three-dimensional interactions through various technological forms:

  • 3D Web-Based: Offers a more intense experience than traditional websites, especially through the use of Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs).
  • Virtual Reality (VR): Allows users to enter fully immersive digital environments and interact with each other through avatars.
  • (Mobile) Augmented Reality (AR): Overlays digital content onto the real world to create enhanced experiences, utilizing a variety of solutions including marker-based and marker-less technologies.
  • Mixed Reality (MR): Merges virtual and physical objects into a unified environment through spatial mapping, enabling contextual user engagement.
  • Extended Reality (XR): Integrates elements of Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Reality (VR) to offer a remarkable level of immersion, interaction, and accessibility, facilitating the delivery of content across a diverse range of devices.

Among these technologies, Extended Reality (XR) represents the most accessible solution, as it bridges the gap between the digital and physical worlds, allowing users to enjoy immersive experiences regardless of their technological background or the devices they own. XR creates a seamless experience that blurs the boundaries between VR, AR, and MR, thus forming a versatile infrastructure for the Metaverse. By harmonizing a range of technologies and devices, XR provides a valuable infrastructure and a seamless pathway into the Metaverse, rendering the experience more intuitive and accessible.

3.2 Revolutionizing Customer Engagement: The Future of XR Metaverse Experiences in B2B and B2C Sectors

In the future, we can anticipate the following XR Metaverse experiences within the B2B or B2C sectors:

One example is the use of AR in a café to attract customers through virtual treasure hunts. Users discover AR experience on their mobile device that lead them to vouchers, creating an interactive community experience that not only strengthens customer loyalty but can also be shared on social media.

In bookstores, passersby could discover historical authors as holograms on their mobile device, speaking about their works. Upon entering the store, customers experience interactive AR reading samples, not only increasing foot traffic but also offering an immersive shopping experience.

A sports equipment manufacturer could place AR holograms of legendary athletes in parks or sports fields, offering training tips. Users collect points for completed activities that can be redeemed for discounts or exclusive events, integrating the brand into daily activities and motivating a healthier lifestyle.

A real estate developer uses a mobile AR app to show investors on an empty lot what the finished apartment building will look like. The investors point their mobile device at the location, and the AR application positions the virtual model of the building in its planned location. They can now "walk" through the floors, make changes to the facade, and immediately see how the building appears under different daylight conditions.

Additionally, a significant application is in the use of AR with large industrial machines, where location-based AR displays operating instructions and maintenance information right on the machinery through a mobile AR interface. This approach keeps the information relevant and readily available exactly where and when it's required.

These examples illustrate how overlaying digital information on real world objects changes our perception of the environment and creates countless opportunities for valueable interactions. By merging digital and physical worlds, innovative solutions that enrich and diversify the Metaverse are born, allowing users to use their mobile device to seamlessly connect both worlds.

Mapstar Metaverse

3.3 Technological Barriers and Accessibility:

For the Metaverse to thrive, ensuring its accessibility to all users, irrespective of technological, financial, or physical constraints, is imperative. Investing in the advancement of technologies that facilitate widespread adoption and in the promotion of digital literacy is essential for fostering an inclusive digital future.

4. Challenges and Considerations


4.1 Privacy and Security

Given the growing concerns about privacy and security, it is crucial that robust mechanisms are implemented in the Metaverse to protect users' privacy and handle data securely. Transparent privacy policies and the application of encryption technologies as well as anonymization processes are essential to build trust and ensure security in the Metaverse. Edge AI can be used to perform all necessary computations on the end devices or to allow the user to decide when and what content can be shared with others. Edge Computing and Edge AI are the right approaches to perform all necessary computations on the end devices.

4.2 Social and Ethical Implications

The evolution of the Metaverse brings to the forefront significant social and ethical considerations, particularly regarding its influence on social dynamics and user well-being. It is crucial to establish comprehensive guidelines that foster inclusive access and prevent discrimination, ensuring that the Metaverse serves as a positive force for social cohesion rather than becoming merely another platform for data collection.

4.3 Economic Impacts

The Metaverse harbors the potential to revolutionize the economy through the introduction of innovative business models and the creation of novel employment opportunities. Digital information transcends the confines of computers to become an omnipresent element in our immediate surroundings. This pervasive presence promises to substantially improve organizational processes by guaranteeing the provision of accurate information, precisely when and where it is needed, and in the optimal quantity and quality to employees, partners, or clients. Understanding the economic ramifications of this evolution is crucial, as is implementing strategies to ensure that the advantages are broadly shared.

5. Practical Real-World Metaverse Use Cases with Mapstar 

5.1 Enhancing Visitor Experiences through XR Maps

Mapstar is committed to redefining the interaction with digital information in physical spaces and offers XR maps as customized solutions for various devices. The following use cases impressively illustrate the transformative power of the technologies provided by Mapstar and the value they provide to users:

In the Money Museum in Zurich, XR maps have expanded the exhibition with persistent contextual content, which was enthusiastically received by visitors. The ability to dive into the deep history of money through Augmented Reality has impressed visitors and increased the duration of museum visits. Feedback suggests that the interactive and informative aspects of the exhibition lead to a deeper understanding and increased visitor engagement.

The Biesdorf Center in Berlin introduced Bea, a virtual assistant, which offers a new form of customer guidance and navigation. Bea has revolutionized the way visitors experience the shopping center by adding a personal touch to the customer experience. For users, this results in improved orientation and a more efficient shopping experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction and return rates. 

At the FMX in Stuttgart, the Haus der Wirtschaft was enriched with XR maps, offering visitors unique historical insights and entertaining content. This extension of reality is valued as an enrichment that emphasizes the cultural significance of the venue and allows participants to more quickly establish a connection between the past and present.

These XR maps are not only innovative permanent installations but also testimonies to how contextual information can enrich the visitor experience on-site in AR, on the web, or in WebVR. They demonstrate how Mapstar enables the creation of experiences that embed digital information in our surroundings, making them informative, entertaining, and emotionally appealing.

Mapstar WebVR

5.2 Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of Mapstar

Mapstar's unique selling proposition (USP) in merging the digital and real worlds is based on the revolutionary ability to enable everyone to capture their surroundings and share it in 3D. This innovative approach allows a direct and intuitive connection between real and digital spaces, enabling users to spatially anchor information and edit it remotely, making it visible and accessible to others. By providing advanced Extended Reality (XR) experiences that are directly accessible via mobile devices, web, and webvr as XR maps, Mapstar democratizes technology and opens it up to a wide audience. Our XR maps are characterized by their user-friendliness and device independence, enabling location-based Extended Reality experiences for a broad user base.

Mapstar is committed to maintaining the highest levels of privacy and security. Utilizing Edge AI technology, Mapstar empowers users to securely create content on their own devices, and if desired, share it effortlessly with just a click. This underscores Mapstar's effort to promote an secure Metaverse, where technology enriches the human experience without compromising on privacy and accessibility.

Fundamentally, Mapstar symbolizes a future where the digital and physical realms effortlessly converge, prioritizing accessibility, security, and user empowerment. By transcending the existing constraints within the Extended Reality (XR) domain, Mapstar facilitates a novel form of interaction with our surroundings. It empowers individuals to augment their environment with pertinent information and experience through their mobile devices, thereby establishing a dynamic bridge between the tangible and digital worlds.

6. Summary

The Metaverse represents a remarkable convergence of digital or/and physical realities, enabled by advanced technologies like Augmented, Virtual, Mixed, and Extended Reality (XR). These technologies promote an immersive integration of digital information into the physical world, creating new dimensions of interactivity and accessibility. Decentralization, driven by blockchain technology, opens up new possibilities for authenticity, ownership, and monetization of content, laying the foundation for a dynamic creative economy.

However, the development of the Metaverse also poses challenges, especially regarding privacy, security, and social and ethical implications. The need for robust mechanisms to protect the privacy and security of users and to promote inclusive access is crucial for the trust and acceptance of the Metaverse. Furthermore, realizing an accessible and inclusive Metaverse requires investments in technologies and education to overcome technological, financial, and physical barriers.

Use cases utilizing Mapstar's XR maps vividly illustrate how the real-world Metaverse can enrich visitor experiences through context-dependent and interactive content. Mapstar open up entirely new perspectives on various places and elevate the user experience to a new level worldwide.

Overall, the Metaverse highlights the immense potential of technological innovations to transform our interaction with the world around us. It provides a infrastructure for creative expression, social interaction, and economic activity that goes far beyond traditional digital experiences.

Co-Founder & CEO of Mapstar

Shora Shirzad

Shora Shirzad

About the Autor: Shora Shirzad, as the co-founder and CEO of Mapstar, has played a pivotal role in developing interfaces between digital and physical spaces. With his profound expertise and passion for Extended Reality and cutting-edge technologies, he has created a digital infrastructure that redefines our modes of interaction and exploration of the world. Shora holds a degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science from Universität Kassel. His success at Mapstar is the result of a collaborative effort of a talented team, continuously working to enrich and diversify the experience in the Real World Metaverse. This collaboration gives rise to innovative solutions that enable users to effortlessly bridge the digital and physical worlds using just a mobile device. 

Date of publication: 29.02.2024

Discover the Future with Mapstar Today!

Are you ready to redefine the way your business interacts with digital and physical worlds? Mapstar's cutting-edge XR Maps technology is transforming industries by enriching real-world environments with immersive, contextual information. Whether you're looking to enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, or unlock new opportunities for engagement, Mapstar has the solution.

Dive into the world of extended reality and see firsthand how our innovative infrastructure can elevate your business to the forefront of the digital revolution. Join a community of forward-thinkers who are already experiencing the transformative power of Mapstar's XR Maps.

Don't let your business get left behind. Learn more about Mapstar and how our technology can be the key to unlocking new dimensions of success for your company. The future is not just coming; it's here, and Mapstar is ready to guide you through it.

We use cookies
Cookie preferences
Below you may find information about the purposes for which we and our partners use cookies and process data. You can exercise your preferences for processing, and/or see details on our partners' websites.
Analytical cookies Disable all
Functional cookies
Other cookies
Wir verwenden Cookies, um die Inhalte und Werbung zu personalisieren, Funktionen sozialer Medien anzubieten und unseren Traffic zu analysieren. Learn more about our cookie policy.
Change preferences Accept all