In the ever-evolving technology space, “Metaverse” is the latest appearance, which is certainly to have a significant impact on the human experience.
In this blog, we will explore what is Metaverse, what it means for ‘Software Testing’, and how can we prepare to test the applications and the digital products that are a part of this “evolution”?
Before we go further, let us understand what is Metaverse?
Metaverse is a digital universe or next-generation version of the internet, where users interact with the computer-generated reality and other users. This next-generation version of the internet is rendered by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology.
While AR and VR have long been associated with the gaming industry, revolutionizing the way people play games like Fortnite and Roblox online. More recently, the potential use of AR and VR has expanded into other industries as well. It is even shaking up workplaces and changing the way how people work.
Today it is not just Facebook that is standing behind this concept. Other tech giants, like Microsoft, Amazon, and Epic are also investing in the metaverse.
Testing Metaverse Applications
Since metaverse is developed with AR and VR technologies, you will need to consider an AR and VR based testing solution to build a comprehensive testing strategy. This strategy can include different types of tests that will cover all the factors which affect your solution:
1. Accessibility Testing
Ensure the AR/VR app can be used irrespective of age and physical disabilities, reduce discomfort, and ensure quick and natural navigation.
2. Compatibility Testing
It checks whether your software can run on different hardware, operating systems, applications, and network environments.
3. Immersive Testing
Characteristically, VR requires distinct hardware to function. So, to ensure that the device works well and remains compatible with existing software and devices for successful simulation, it can’t be too immersive, as users might feel motion sick. If it is not immersive enough, then users won’t get the desired experience. There must be a balance!
4. Hardware Testing
It ensures that external equipment, such as headphones, sensors, and other wearables, function properly and seamlessly. This form of testing reveals the key problems that might block the user’s experience.
5. Performance Testing
It is to determine whether the system parameters in terms of responsiveness and stability under various workloads. Performance testing also measures the quality attributes of the system, such as scalability, reliability, and resource usage.
6. Security Testing
It uncovers vulnerabilities of the system and determines that the data and resources of the system are protected from possible intruders. It ensures that the software system and application are free from any threats or risks that can cause a data loss.
7. AR and VR Testing
AR and VR products can be exciting without being buggy so, AR/VR testing is important to prevent issues that can occur during application experiences in the metaverse. AR/VR testing ensures the application works perfectly across devices and platforms and the visuals are rendered exactly. Testers must cover more areas and devices whether the customer is using a headset, or their mobile device, based on the application by using a physical device or simulators.
Below are the various factors to consider before AR/VR testing.
- Trial and error: This help in finding bugs/issues with the application in devices or simulators and how they will behave with the reality of the application is subjective to the user, which means that a lot of the testing involved will be as simple as trial and error.
- Recording sessions: It is an important aspect of testing VR applications and recording the sessions gives more granular detail on debugging. By looking at the recorded sessions, one has the advantage to scan the issues in different ways and allows the developers and testers to see what you are seeing.
- AR must consider the environment: Considering all the aspects in mind and testing with different sets of environments, it is a good solution for any AR applications.
- Test for motion sickness in VR Apps: Most of the VR Apps allow users to move around at different levels of reality that could lead to motion sickness. So, it is important to keep in mind and test it to ensure that users do not experience any difficulty while using VR applications.
Are there any tools that can Simulate AR/VR applications without physical devices?
Yes, if the application is developed on the Google Android Daydream platform, “Chromecast” can be used. Chromecast displays what you see in the headset onto a monitor and even allows you to record your manual interactions. Also, from an Agile pair testing approach, it lets the developers see what you’re seeing as you’re testing in real-time.
We also have other tools like Unity and AirTest, which we will discuss in the Automation testing part, which also allows you to simulate your application without a headset.
Automation testing for AR/VR can be focused on the Unit level and UI level.
1. Unit Level Testing: Breaking down complex modules or units into smaller pieces and testing them separately is probably the better testing approach you can use. Having the developers decouple application objects from the input device allows you to simulate test inputs for every module through unit tests without using the physical AR/VR controllers.
To work with unit tests, we can use “Unity”, which does have some testing possibilities. But it’s not an end-to-end solution but more for unit testing. “Unity” with google instant preview allows you to preview your build in the editor so that without having to put on the glasses you can just run your AR/VR application. Also, everyone can see what you are doing directly in the editor.
2. UI Testing: Think of UI as anything that an end-user will interact with when using a piece of software. In AR/VR applications, the user can interact with every object in the virtual environment. A further level of challenge is presented due to various combinations of possible user interactions. The testing team thus should follow and adopt testing tactics to test the user interactions.
Open-source framework called “AirTest” is a UI Test Automation Framework for AR/VR applications. It uses image recognition technology to locate UI elements. So, you can automate tests on AR/VR applications without any code injuctions. It provides cross-platform APIs, simulated input, and assertions. The tool also generates HTML reports that allow locating failed test cases quickly.
While metaverse has just started and is no longer a fantasy, it is here to stay! Technology companies will not be sitting on the sidelines waiting until the time has come. Instead, one they have already started to plan their strategy for the upcoming few months to prepare and grasp any opportunities.
In case you need more information and have queries, reach us and our experts will be happy to assist you.
By: Murthy Upadhyayula