What is Metaverse?
Despite the recent buzz in the tech world, the concept of Metaverse is not new. The term was first introduced in Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel, Snow Crash. He described it as a digital and virtual world populated by lifelike avatars and 3D buildings. It felt too cyberpunk back then and still does to many, but if you take a look at the tech world now, you will find it everywhere – or at least, some fragments of it. Let us take a deeper look to ponder what is Metaverse and how it will impact the world.
In simple words, Metaverse aims to combine the real world with the digital and virtual realm similar to the internet but much more advanced. And the visionary part about this whole ordeal is that this concept does not only apply to a few aspects such as gaming, cryptocurrency, or NFTs but all other aspects as well including productivity and business.
Metaverse is a collection of various technology elements based on virtual or augmented reality where users live within a digital universe. It visualizes its users staying connected by taking them on immersive virtual trips around the world. Today’s technology is so modern that users can go on epic adventures and share it with friends from the comfort of their homes. All credit goes to Metaverse for making this possible.
Users can turn their imagination into a reality and build plus live in their world using metaverse technology. The content of our artificially intelligent universe depends on our creativity. We can create our rocket and go to outer space or go on an epic deep-sea exploration.
VR Set and Metaverse
Metaverse collects the user’s data through innovative technology such as virtual and augmented reality to create the perfect environment. For example, Decentraland is a 3D virtual reality company that helps create a virtual universe that gives its users full authority over their virtual resources. It lets us explore an evolving world, build our scenarios and structures, buy and sell items, or share and trade with other players. It means we cannot only buy and sell the content but create our own as well. For instance, we can create sleeves for our avatars.
To make all this work, Metaverse uses Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and video streams. All of the companies that have stepped into this realm are already developing tools based on these technologies. These tools will shape our digital and physical life in the coming time. Of course, there is some controversy about this ‘Metaverse,’ but the fact is that it has got people talking. Not only just the tech-savvy ones but the large companies as well including many investment firms.
But what is Meta?
Recently, Facebook made headlines by rebranding to ‘Meta.’ That is the name the folks at Facebook have given to their parent company. Some of us might confuse Metaverse for Meta. But the point to understand here is that Meta is simply building upon the Metaverse, or in other words, Meta is endorsing it.
To help you better understand the answer to what is metaverse, think of it as the redefining moment of the web. Hence people also dub it the next version of the internet (Web 3.0.)
If you think about it, Facebook is not just a social app anymore – it has numerous VR (Oculus Quest) and AR ventures in this digital umbrella. Therefore, it is trying to place itself at the junction of this digital paradigm shift.
Metaverse in Action
Are you still wondering how games are related to Metaverse? Now that you know what is metaverse, let us take a look at its current applications, starting from Roblox and Fortnite.
Again games, but they are crucial to understanding the point. If you have ever played Roblox, you know that it is a digital platform where you can not only play but create games as well. The neat part is that you can sell your creations as well. Do you get it now? The physical world is already overlapping with the virtual and digital one of the internet in terms of money, at least. But hold on a minute, did we not experience a live concert of Travis Scott on Fortnite? If you are not aware, Fortnite is the biggest game company when it comes to connecting real-life events in gaming. And that too when the pandemic was still raging on, so it gave people an easy way to immerse themselves from the comfort of their homes.
And that is what Metaverse is all about. It is a way to merge the physical with digital and virtual worlds on the internet and aims to provide experiences similar to the real ones.
Connecting through Metaverse
Metaverse is not just about NFTs and virtual experiences; it is more than that. We already have a digital life. But the difference between our current digital experiences is that they do not feel real, not even close. Although we cannot hope to get a real-world in Metaverse – we can expect a better experience. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg recently shared their progress on haptic feedback gloves. If your work requires physical interactions, these gloves will do that while working online.
Of course, it means that you might have to spend more time connected to digital experiences than you are doing today. However, it is yet to be seen how this virtual technology will shape different aspects of our life.
Is it already here?
Although Facebook has aggressively adopted this new Web 3.0, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, says that it could take five to ten years for the main components of Metaverse to become mainstream.
However, as noted above, we already see its fragments changing our life – for better or for worse.
And the best part is that we can go way back to trace its roots. Remember the 80s and 90s when the internet was introduced, and we had started to experience what online meant, and how can we even forget the AOL instant messengers. Come the 2000s – we experienced another fragment of Metaverse when the world was introduced to World of Warcraft: a game that would define that area.
These examples might seem basic, but they paved the way to the vision of this digital universe, i.e., Metaverse; let us see how.
Who are the big players?
It’s not just games; many of the biggest names in the tech and digital world are already working on Metaverse. As noted above, Facebook had the whole thing where they rebranded as Meta. And just recently, Mark revealed in a live demo the working of a haptic glove which could one day efficiently mimic touch feedback and even textures. Fascinating times, right?
Well, it is not just Facebook either; Microsoft is set to bring holograms and virtual avatars to their communication platform, Teams, in 2022. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, recently said that Metaverse will host more official meetings in 2-3 years. This prediction confirms the fact that Metaverse is not just another digital innovation. It will transform our social life and connect people in the physical world with their virtual worlds. Numerous other companies are working on similar or different projects that will use video and other data, leading to the new era of the internet, i.e., the Metaverse.
Final Words on Metaverse
In theory, the concept of Metaverse is almost magical and without any flaws. Now that you know what is metaverse, you should also know it is true that the applications of such a system will be infinite. However, it is also true that it will require us to increase our screen time substantially. It will not be a problem if you are okay with that. But if you are already worried about your children’s screen time, it will be even harder to limit it in the coming future. But we have only scratched the surface of what is Metaverse. The future holds more answers. So, let us wait and see what the digital, tech world and internet has in store for us.
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