The concept of the multiverse has its origins in philosophy but has also been explored by theoretical physics, which hypothesizes the existence of multiple parallel universes. It is one of the interpretations of quantum physics and, in particular, string theory, which seeks to construct a theory of everything by reconciling quantum mechanics with general relativity.
To give a “concrete” example, as concrete as fiction can be, we can mention TV series like “Stranger Things,” where the Upside Down is effectively a dark and parallel reality to the normal one.
Multiverse: Where the Union (of Multiple Virtual Metaverses) Strengthens
In our context, a multiverse is simply the union of multiple metaverses, and we can consider virtual reality and augmented reality as gateways to these artificial universes. By wearing a virtual reality headset, a common wooden plank lying on the ground can become a springboard jutting out from the top of a skyscraper or the edge of a ship, with screaming pirates in the background. A simple empty room can become an arena in which participants transform into medieval warriors, World War II soldiers, or even campers chatting in front of a virtual campfire.
A single tool and four walls, or a little more, are enough to create infinite parallel artificial worlds.
Are we only talking about video games then? Not necessarily.
Game applications have represented a gateway to the concept of the multiverse, but gradually this approach is entering everyday life, and it does not always require specific VR hardware.
Filters for applications like Zoom and Google Meet that remove the background and apply other images (such as a panoramic view, the Las Vegas Strip, or a galaxy) give life to various multiverses, hiding our room and showing us to other participants as if in a surreal world.
And as banal as they may seem, it is only recently that it has become possible to apply these effects in real-time, using a regular home computer, without relying on blue screens or green screens, which have always been used in the film industry to remove backgrounds and replace them with computer-generated images. This is thanks to advancements in spatial computing, which now make opportunities once reserved for special effects experts accessible to everyone.
Examples of the Multiverse
We mentioned virtual showrooms at the beginning, and this is another example of a multiverse.
With just a few commands, a bedroom can be transformed into a living room, a kitchen, an office, or a laboratory without having to move an inch. The beauty of virtual reality and virtual worlds lies precisely in this: the ability to experiment quickly, effectively, and economically with worlds or spaces that do not exist in reality. Testing the ergonomics of a kitchen by simplifying the arrangement of furniture and appliances without having to physically move heavy objects.
Or, for example, evaluating accessibility to various parts of an airplane even before it is built, to experiment with various solutions until finding the most effective one for quick and cost-effective maintenance.