When you stroll through MetaWorld, a future of simulated living seems imminently plausible.
Strap on a virtual reality headset and you can walk across a vast terrain next to a friend, who is actually thousands of miles away, play chess, sit by the campfire or pick a mushroom and eat it.
The developer of MetaWorld — HelloVR — describes it as a "10,000 square mile massively scaled open world." It's quite a technical feat.
All the random interactions have to be understood in real time, which requires rapid data processing and analysis, not to mention overcoming bandwidth restraints.
HelloVR has gotten this far in 18 months with just three people.
How did they do it?
Dedric Reid, HelloVR's founder and CEO, attributes the accomplishment to Improbable, a London-based start-up that's spent the past four years creating the backbone for the virtual world.