You may have been hearing a lot of buzz on the internet about the metaverse, what it is and what it’s not, especially following the announcement of Facebook rebranding its parent company, from Facebook to Meta. That’s not the only cause of the buzz.
With the value of the metaverse estimated to hit around $800 billion by 2024, the metaverse is going to change the way we work and the way we live, as it is believed to be the next phase of the internet as we know it.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at what the metaverse is and how it affects everyone.
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is an immersive 3D world that’ll be the next phase of the development of the internet. Through a virtual reality headset, users can enter and access this world, navigating the metaverse with their eye movements, feedback controllers, or voice commands.
In the metaverse, the user is submerged by the headset, stimulating a phenomenon called presence, which is created by simulating the actual physical sensation of being present.
Neal Stephenson first used the term “metaverse” in his science fiction book Snow Crash in 1992. In the book, the metaverse is referred to as a vast computer-generated virtual reality that is layered on top of the real world and allows for avatar-based communication. Other science fiction works, like Ready Player One, go in-depth with this concept.
When the metaverse is mentioned, what usually comes to mind is the gaming industry. However, the broader applications of the metaverse beyond gaming are astounding. Concerts in the metaverse are being experimented with by musicians and entertainment labels.
The sports industry is following suit, with top franchises such as Manchester City constructing virtual stadiums where fans can watch games and, presumably, buy virtual merchandise.
How Will The Metaverse Work?
Several experts consider the metaverse to be a 3D model of the internet. In essence, it is a parallel universe to the physical world, where you spend most of your time. A place where everyone has an avatar and each person communicates with others via avatars.
Some also argue that the metaverse, in the truest sense of the term, doesn’t exist yet.
The metaverse is envisioned as a 3D version of the internet that would ideally be accessed through a single gateway and be considered the logical next stage of development of the internet.
Most technologists claim that the metaverse will advance virtual reality by enabling users to enter the virtual world and carry out tasks like purchasing real estate, hosting events, and even getting married using digital avatars.
Although there isn’t currently a single gateway to the metaverse, experts advise getting some hardware to fully immerse yourself in the experience.
Features of The Metaverse
The metaverse promises a lot of amazing features that will create a more immersive experience for users and a more creative environment for easy interactions with other users in the metaverse. Some of these features include:
#1. Digital Avatars
Each user in the metaverse will have their avatars, which they can curate to be anything they would like to be represented as in the metaverse. Digital avatars create a chance for users to create their ideal persona different from what they look like in the real world and also help with anonymity.
One of the most important aspects of the Metaverse is the ability to create digital avatars of oneself to express one’s emotions and feelings in unique ways.
Avatars are an unusual way to express oneself because, while they can be exact replicas of your human form, they can also be replicas of your favorite pop culture figure or something entirely new. Allowing users to customize their avatars encourages gamification, resulting in an interactive and immersive experience.
Consider the 4.66 billion people who currently use the internet. What if each of us created AI-enabled Digital Twins capable of traveling to the most remote locations, sharing knowledge, and interacting with other avatars? Yes, that’s possible in the metaverse.
It’s quite amazing to imagine all of our normal physical experiences in the real world coming together under one virtual roof. Whether it’s making Zoom or Discord calls to our coworkers or attending Monday morning meetings.
All of these different and personal experiences will converge into a single holistic 3D experience that will assist us in navigating the infinite world. In the education space, for example, students will join a shared virtual room and collaborate remotely. Teachers will use the click of a button to take students on endless field trips and hands-on learning experiences.
Aside from education, friends will be able to get together to experience everything from an amusement park rollercoaster to landing on the moon.
The Metaverse is an online universe that will continue to grow much like the current internet. In light of this, it should go without saying that we would need suitable 5G towers to bring ultrafast internet speeds, increased capacity, and ultra-low latency for pleasurable Metaverse experiences.
To support the growth of the Metaverse technology and ecosystem, the ICT Ministry of South Korea recently established an industry alliance between 17 companies, including major wireless carrier SK Telecom Co. and auto giant Hyundai Motor Co., and eight industry groups, including the Korea Mobile Internet Business Association. The adoption of the Metaverse will either succeed or fail based on this infrastructure.
For decades, cyber threats have been one of the most difficult challenges for businesses that use the internet all over the world. Without a doubt, it is essential to discuss ethics and privacy within the ecosystem before understanding the architecture of the metaverse.
The metaverse will be an infinite wealth of data regardless of who controls it, so the companies/authorities in charge must ensure that the personal data collected is securely stored and deleted once no longer required.
Movies like Ready Player One and Tron have given us glimpses of the Metaverse world. However, with companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Roblox, and RecRoom investing in their versions of the Metaverse, it won’t be long before humans have two lives: real and virtual.
Accessing the metaverse would be characterized by several innovative hardware devices. However, when we think of the metaverse, we usually envision virtual reality headsets that can teleport us to a universe with limitless interactive space. But that’s only one method of entering the virtual world.
Smartphones, tablets, PCs, and laptops are just a few examples of technologies that provide access to the metaverse. Although discussing human-interface devices is crucial, it is also crucial to emphasize the infrastructure that will keep us connected in the Metaverse.
How Will The Metaverse Change The World?
The metaverse has been the subject of many debates and discussions. Some believe it will be the next big thing in technology, while others believe it will be a fad. The truth is that the metaverse is here to stay, and its effects will be felt in every aspect of life, from our mental health to how we do our jobs.
#1. Sports and Exercise
You could connect your physical exercise bike to your computer, travel to the metaverse, compete in the Tour de France. or take on Usain Bolt in the Olympics. Will the ability to watch games in the metaverse render football coliseums obsolete? The remains are a mystery. Time will only tell.
Consider exercising with a personal trainer. Make a time to meet and hang out in the metaverse. You won’t need to schedule a time to meet at the gym in the real world anymore. Additionally, you won’t have to deal with gym jerks slamming weights or yelling at you as you complete your reps. The freedom to work out effectively without leaving your living room is what we’re referring to.
One aspect of work that will be impacted by the metaverse is that individuals within the same company can be spread out all over the world and notwithstanding, they will be able to meet in the metaverse to interact and solve problems through highly creative brainstorming.
Interactions between people in the metaverse will be much more personable and connected than in the 2D Internet world. The result? There will be no more awkward Zoom meetings where someone spends the entire meeting mainly sitting and listening.
Corporate hierarchies will be abandoned so that everyone, regardless of position in the corporation, has equal standing in a corporate metaverse environment to express their talents. Individuals’ creativity will be more easily and readily tapped.
The way that the educational system is organized will be completely changed. Students will have the option of attending universities in the real world or not. Instead, they can enroll in online courses at a university in the metaverse.
Consider that you are researching the Roman Empire. You can experience an immersive learning environment in the metaverse classroom. You can travel back in time to the Roman Empire and live in that era. So those fortunate children in a few decades won’t have to endure another tedious lecture but would rather experience learning in real-time thanks to the metaverse.
Do you wish to learn about the Relativity Theory? Why not enroll in an Albert Einstein class being taught in the metaverse?
#4. Money Makes the Metaverse Go ‘Round
Assets can be transferred digitally thanks to cryptocurrency. It is entirely virtual and is likely to displace all other forms of payment. Digital currencies will replace conventional physical currencies and even credit cards in the metaverse.
Cryptocurrencies will surpass all other exchange methods as the most practical means of paying for goods and services. Because of the clever system that records all digital buying and selling transactions, digital currencies will not require the backing of gold, silver, or paper money. Blockchain-style systems help maintain the integrity of a specific cryptocurrency network. The system is nearly impossible to scam; nothing suspicious about that. Every transaction is visible and traceable.
How Many Metaverses Can Exist?
The metaverse is essentially a collection of 3D worlds. The present web2 internet we have right now is made up of a collection of web2 websites that permit users to create content and interact with different content.
However, since the metaverse will be a collection of 3D worlds, it will essentially be a multiverse. The concept of the metaverse is one virtual world where users can use their digital avatars with the aid of VR and AR technology to interact with other people on the metaverse. However, it is more likely that different platforms/companies will have their different metaverse.
Although the CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, in his announcement of the development of Meta’s metaverse, suggested a unified metaverse, where everything comes to a single platform. However, this seems highly unlikely because it’s challenging to persuade all of your contacts—and for those contacts to persuade all of their contacts—to switch to Facebook. It continues to be a sticky platform.
Customers who purchase Macs, iPhones, iPods, Apple Watches, and AirPods and who subscribe to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, and Apple Fitness Plus get the most out of Apple technology. Office productivity, LinkedIn identity, and Activision for Microsoft Gaming from Blizzard are most likely going to be the main focus of its metaverse.
This is because most big tech companies have come to understand the importance of building and maintaining their communities within their platforms. Eric Alexander, the creator of Soundscape VR, believes that people will visit both the metaverse where their friends socialize and the one that their employer creates.
Different spheres will call for various governance structures, rules for content moderation, and foundational technologies with proprietary components. Low latency is necessary for his service, which creates a visually engaging 3D world to match people’s music or concerts, to prevent lag between the physical actions of real-world musicians and the audio that results. Soundscape VR isn’t eager to spread that to others or to compromise its standards in favor of a universal framework.
And until consolidation eliminates or absorbs smaller players, those distinct patches of turf will remain the hallmark of the metaverse. Everyone will want to own and manage their metaverse, predicts Tusk Ventures investor Bradley Tusk. “Once they start competing, we’ll see who wins.”
How the Metaverse Looks Like
The Metaverse is a three-dimensional world where, instead of a profile, you and your friends each have an avatar. Instead of a news feed, people gather in social hubs to share news, gossip, and play games.
Despite the cartoon-like nature of the virtual world, Kiernan Pearce finds the metaverse to conjure up a compelling version of reality that, perhaps ironically, can provide richer opportunities for interpersonal interaction than those typically found outside of screens.
An analogy by a meditation teacher claimed, “I have had more real experiences inside VR than I ever had outside.”
She continued, “You are not alone in VR.” You can contact that person and have a conversation. “It is amazing that communication and conversation are among the things that come naturally.”
Pearce created a virtual reality (VR) meditation world where we first met. Pearce’s illustration of life in the metaverse, which features a smile, alludes to the significance and social complexity that these early adopters see in what they see as a logical progression in the internet’s development.
“There are comedy clubs, discos, meditation centers, and world tour leaders all around us. On Wednesdays, various creators showcase their incredible game worlds. You know that this place has appeal to non-gamers as well. It serves more people than just those who want to go to events. Peer support is available, and there are AA meetings here. “
The technology is being used for a wide variety of other purposes. Seoul, South Korea, for instance, will build a digital replica of the city as part of its Seoul Vision 2030 plan. Residents will be able to interact with city representatives, participate in community activities, and visit museums and historically accurate landmarks thanks to the virtual environment.
The city claims it will take ten years to build its metaverse, which can be accessed using VR and AR headsets.
How Many Metaverse Platforms Are There?
The global market for augmented reality and virtual reality is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion in 2018 and to reach almost $815 billion by 2025, according to a recent market study.
There are a lot of metaverse platforms in development, however here are some metaverse platforms you can use right away
The Metaverse is a medium with the potential to alter the course of history. It will enable people to visit places they would never be able to visit, see things they would never be able to see, and feel emotions they would never be able to feel.
The reality we are currently experiencing is not the be-all and end-all. We are only a minor component of it. And, while it is critical to investigate and comprehend this reality, it is also critical to investigate and comprehend the nature of other realities.