A Mirror in the Metaverse

The Metaverse. Hovering ahead of us on the horizon, buzz topic of endless articles and blog posts (like this one). Everyone agrees we’ll all be living there at some point soon, but at present, it mostly exists as a mass of questions. When will it be here? What will it look like? Who is going to own it?

The third wave of the internet promises limitless space for the construction of an entirely virtual world, one where everything we already love and need could be replicated. The luxury of pushing a mega-cart around the aisles of Costco without having to wear pants shall soon be yours! As the prospect of actually getting to show up in the metaverse approaches, it brings up potentially the most poignant question of all: what are you going to look like when you get there? Will you actually get to be you?

It’s hard enough to be seen as yourself in the flesh and blood world we were all born into. In a dimension made entirely of pixels, where your entity exists purely as a digitized replica, the people controlling these platforms and the technologies required to access them have tremendous power over what your virtual form is allowed to be. Less than a decade ago, the creators of multiplayer game Assasin’s Creed admitted that they had neglected to create a female avatar because “it was a lot of extra production work.” If developers have no qualms about nixing the representation of a population segment as broad as all female-identified people, it would be easy to have little faith that the finer nuances of our characters will be coming with us into virtual space.

But… there is in fact hope for existing as yourself in the metaverse. It may come as no surprise that in this blog, published by Soar, we’re going to tell you that Soar wants you to get to be yourself, for real, wherever you are. Soar’s technology is designed to capture you in all your manifold dimensions and transport this precise likeness into the virtual realm. We have been working for years to develop an accessible technology that can create true-to-life replicas of a subject. With Soar, you just show up as you are and the cameras capture you.

As the cheapest and most successful volumetric capture technology, Soar promises actual accessibility. Until now, creating volumetric video has only been possible with large, extremely expensive capture stages. Getting yourself captured by one of these systems has been about as accessible as getting a Hollywood studio to shoot you on 35mm film. Soar’s mission is to open this technology up and make it available to as many people as possible. We believe that the only way that the virtual world is going to be an interesting and vital place is if everyone show up and fill it with media created from their infinitely varied perspectives.

When we say we want everyone to be able to show up in virtual space, we really mean everyone, in all our infinite distinctions. People who’ve been historically underrepresented in media, people who because of disability or immunocompromised status have not been able to take part in IRL events, people who have a weirder side they’ve been longing to bring to light. Imagine the creative possibilities of a dimension that is free from the spatial and gravitational limits of analog life, imagine what new things we can create in that space, if we can just get there. You shouldn’t need anyone’s permission to show up as you in this new 3D world. With Soar’s technology, you don’t.