The latest term that has the tech industry hyped and excited is Metaverse. With the ever-evolving technology, companies are seeking different ways to create fundamentally significant-tech paradigms. The announcement of Mark Zuckerberg to rename the parent company of Facebook to Meta has triggered the tech sector aggressively. Now, different tech giants are striving hard to explore the concept of the Metaverse.
Though very little is known, the Metaverse is an evolutionary tech. It has the potential to change the way we set up a meeting, work, conduct business, and live life. However, the conversion of this theoretical concept to reality will take years, if not decades.
What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse, in essence, is a virtual universe that is accessible via a mixture of different technologies. These include video, augmented reality, and virtual reality. The Metaverse is a vision of an embodied web. It is a digital universe where people can use personalized avatars to connect with others.
The universe is synchronous, making it more real-like and persistent so that there is no need to start over all the time. Futurists in favor of the concept visualize Metaverse users talking with friends, planning virtual trips, and attending conferences.
Where from Metaverse Term Originated From?
The term “Metaverse” comes from two different words – Meta and universe, literally meaning “a universe beyond.”
If you think Metaverse was Zuckerberg’s ingenious conception, hold on! The concept has been present for the past few decades and is not a new idea coming to the forefront.
Author Neal Stephenson coined the term “Metaverse” in his acclaimed best-seller Snow Crash in 1992. The novel sets up a dystopian future where mankind explores the virtual world, which he termed the Metaverse.
Apart from this, other science fiction novels also use the concept of Metaverse. Not only that, but different tech companies have also expanded this idea. For instance, video game companies have already released products that reflect the Metaverse idea.
Roblox and Epic Games have used the Metaverse concept to host concerts through online games. Other games that have examined this virtual universe include Second Life and The Sims.
None of these companies have been able to explore the actual extent of the Metaverse. However, they have indeed embodied one of its key aspects. The idea of a shared digital universe where different people can interact with one another with personalized virtual avatars. As virtual reality emerges and becomes more popular, we will hopefully see more games in the future.
But, the ideal form of Metaverse is yet to be established. With the rapid pace, the different tech companies are exploring the idea; we hope to access this digital environment real soon.
You must be thinking is someone using Metaverse and if yes, where? Here are some examples of the Metaverse. Take a look:
Known as the virtual representation of Legos, Minecraft allows players to develop their digital avatars and build anything that they want. It is a highly popular game and boasts 140+ million active users each month.
Formerly known as Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, its CEO has rebranded the company as Meta. One of the most vital acquisitions of the company in the virtual reality space is Oculus in 2014. Zuckerberg envisions Meta as a digital world where virtual avatars can connect for work, entertainment, and more with VR headsets.
3. Roblox Vans World
CEO David Baszucki put out an appreciation tweet for being closer to their vision of the Metaverse. The platform has partnered with Vans to develop Vans World, an impressive digital skateboarding park where Vans gears are available. Apart from that, you can also access the limited Gucci garden to try clothing on your virtual self.
4. Microsoft Holograms
The tech giant is already working on using holograms and developing extending and mixed reality with the Mesh platform. Moreover, the Microsoft Teams will come with virtual avatars and holograms. Besides, Microsoft is working with the U.S. Army to create a Hololens 2 headset with augmented reality.
5. Epic Games
One of the most popular video game companies, Fortnite, claims to be excited about creating the Metaverse. For instance, Fortnite has a partnership with Balenciaga to model their clothing on virtual avatars in the game. Moreover, they have also held Travis Scott and Ariana Grande concerts.
When Will we Get the Metaverse?
There is no exact timeline that states the appearance of the Metaverse. As per Zuckerberg and his vision, he estimates five to ten years for the concept to exist in reality and become mainstream.
In contrast, a well-known venture capitalist, Matthew Ball has a different perspective. In his essay “The Metaverse: What It Is, Where to Find It, and Who Will Build It,” he shares his belief. He believes that the web wasn’t built, keeping the Metaverse in mind. As such, tech prevalent now cannot aid in the functioning of the Metaverse. It is likely to be decades before the Metaverse can be designed.
It is, without a doubt, both small and major companies will have a significant role in the development of the Metaverse. Moreover, a smooth transition from the web doesn’t seem likely.
Is It Possible Metaverse Change Our lives?
While the actual Metaverse is decades away from existing, people will observe a change in their digital experience. For instance, there will be the availability of different VR and AR media formats. Moreover, other unique and exciting immersive technologies will also come into existence.
Online shopping can evolve immensely. Seeing new fashion styles will be a new reality. Popular clothing brands such as Gucci has already partnered with video game companies to use in-game avatars to display their clothing collection.
Moreover, the work from home concept can benefit a lot from the Metaverse. You can re-create a virtual office space in your house with erase. Besides, you can also design a virtual space as the permanent location of your office.
In the ideal Metaverse, users can gain access to multiple digital environments with ease.
What Role Metaverse Will Have In Brands?
For brands, the Metaverse will open different ways to express their stories and mission. The new ways to connect with consumers will have a direct impact on the overall sales and revenue. Here, the exciting part is that there won’t be geographical barriers or expensive marketing tactics. This will make the Metaverse even more appealing.
Another excellent way to utilize the Metaverse is to use social VR. This way, brands can use the different aspects of the Metaverse and extend the consumer base. With the evolution of technology, virtual social interaction has changed immensely. VR is the next big step in social networks. Besides, the possibilities associated with VR haven’t been fully explored yet.
For instance, in VR, celebrity endorsement will lose its value. That is because consumers are less likely to enjoy the endorsement if they can hang out or spend some time with them in a VR environment. That is why brands need to focus on choosing the right influencers to remain relevant.
Who Will Be the Gatekeepers of the Metaverse?
The tech companies that have figured out the key to the Metaverse will be in a controlling position. They can impose rules and gain maximum benefit. As of now, the VR and AR headset manufacturing companies are in the leap to becoming the gatekeepers of this virtual universe.
Privacy Issues and Other Safety Concerns Related to the Metaverse
Access to personal information and storing them invokes privacy issues. The spatial data that VR and AR headsets need to collect for proper functioning will require efficient handling. Otherwise, security questions will plague the concept even after its existence. That is why the best solution is to pay attention to these problems and seek solutions at the start.
Infrastructure to Bring Metaverse to Life
To create Metaverse and bring it to existence, a wide range of technologies need to work together. As of now, some techs have not yet been developed. However, assisted reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality, and metaspace can help significantly. For instance, with VR headsets, users can interact with others in the digital space.
Apart from that, 3D imagery, enhanced computing power, and fast internet connectivity will play a crucial role.
Uses of Metaverse
The interesting ability of the Metaverse to blend the virtual and physical world with perfection will make it extremely useful in everyday life. It will eventually find its way to health care, entertainment, sports, etc. However, the possible side effects also need to be explored and considered.
The Future of the Metaverse
In actuality, the idea of the Metaverse is in its nascent stages. No one can say precisely when it will come into existence. It may take a few years or several decades to create this digital universe. That is why discovering its impact on humans is still unfathomable.
However, theories suggest that the Metaverse will change the way society is right now. It can expand the usage of technology and revolutionize the way human beings survive.