The metaverse gives us newfound hope that our physical bodies will no longer limit our exploration of the world, and that the only barrier we may encounter in the near future is our imagination.
Many people see retirement as a lavish return for a lifetime of hard work and devotion, while others see it as a loss of purpose and ability. Whether you rushed to arrive by choice or because of old age or a catastrophic injury, the inevitable fight many will confront is navigating their new identity and seemingly endless amount of free time.
How the metaverse may assist
The metaverse is a collection of persistent virtual worlds that sprang from the internet’s ideal of reimagining itself without borders while connecting people on a global scale. This new frontier of unlimited experiences has the potential to open doors to every possible path of life. Someone like my mother may now work electronically within a health care institution without being constrained by physical restrictions. An older instructor whose limited mobility may make it difficult for them to stand and speak can nevertheless engage with students electronically and do the same coursework as they would in a traditional classroom setting.
Consistent effort is also being made to make the metaverse more inclusive, not only for the elderly but also for the disabled. AR-enhanced hearing aids and spectacles have previously been developed by virtual reality startups to address hearing and visual impairments, respectively. Project VOISS (Virtual Reality Opportunities to Integrate Social Skills) has been established for people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), leveraging virtual reality to mimic social dialogue and aid individuals with ASD therapy. In the metaverse, those with paraplegia who have a difficult time going to new areas may now visit numerous sites that were previously out of reach due to economical or physical constraints.
With firms like Disney, Apple, and Microsoft entering the metaverse, as well as entire towns producing digital reproductions, there is fresh optimism that our physical bodies will no longer limit our exploration of the world, and that our only constraint may soon be our imagination.