You wake up, one Saturday morning, with a long list of choruses to do before you hit the next week. The top of your list is to go to the store but you can’t remember every product you need.
What do you do then?
Simple! You check your brain-computer interface device and recognize all the items you need, along with what stores and aisles it’s located in.
If it were that simple. Right?
Well, it might be true in few years.
If you are a tech nerd like me, there is a high possibility that you have heard about this brand-new concept called Metaverse.
Not Multiverse, you marvel fans, its Metaverse!
After all, Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that he is planning to shift Facebook from being a social media giant to becoming “a metaverse company.”
Sounds like something straight out of The Matrix, doesn’t it?
It’s not just Facebook who’s giving it all to the metaverse, but tons of other companies including Microsoft, Roblox Corporation, Nvidia are all in the race.
So, let’s jump straight to the chase, shall we?
What is a Metaverse?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been glued to our devices and now Metaverse is taking us inside them.
While Metaverse is still an amorphous idea, but from what we do know it embodies the internet and blends right into the real and virtual worlds.
For instance, you need to go to the internet to experience it, but with Metaverse, you can experience it all around you every day.
Here is a concept video from Adobe which might you get a little grasp of the concept and what it might look like in the future. The video starts at the 2-minute mark.
If you are blown away, just as we were, hop in we are in for a ride!
If we can create a metaverse, we’ll have alternate digital realities where you can go to work, socialize, and even play.
But Why is it Called Metaverse?
We, the word “metaverse” can be divided into the prefix “meta” (which means beyond) and the stem “verse” (which means a backformation from “universe”).
Now that we are out of all technicality, you should know that there are no restrictions, and instead of the metaverse, you can call it the Magicverse, the AR Cloud, the mirror world, the Spatial internet, Live Maps, etc, etc…
But the thing that you can’t replace is the fact that it is certain, it’s coming and it’s a big deal.
So, let’s see where was this concept first introduced?
While the metaverse” isn’t new, but it surged in popularity recently.
Neal Stephenson coined it in his 1992 sci-fi novel, Snow Crash. The term itself referred to a convergence of physical, virtual, and augmented realities in a common online space.
In an article, The New York Times explored companies, with their products, including Roblox, Epic Games’ Fortnite, and even Animal Crossing has elements similar to the metaverse.
In fact, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, has discussed his desire to contribute to a metaverse for many months now.
This brings us back to the Obvious Question if we had the concept since 1992, Why are we talking about it now?
Well, we had the concept of Robotaxi since 1891 but we couldn’t develop it till now. Similarly, we lacked the right technology that could power the world of Metaverse!
This Brings us to Another Important question: Which Technologies Power the Metaverse?
As it turns out, the very first on the list is our favorite: mobile phones. Its adoption will give rise to a new way of interacting with the Metaverse.
Next comes Augmented Reality (AR). It utilizes complex systems and uninterrupted internet to open the doors for the Metaverse by superimposing it onto the real world. AR observe physical surroundings and overlays digital information onto physical environments.
Then we come to mixed reality (MR). MR is created when a user directly interacts with the Metaverse in the physical world. You can see the movie Minority Report which provides an accurate example of interacting with digital environments.
The last is Virtual Reality seeks to build an immersive virtual experience within the Metaverse. It utilizes a combination of both hardware and software to transport you to the digital environment.
The fun part is that you don’t need a VR headset to interact with the Metaverse. Instead, you can use the Metaverse directly from a keyboard.
While there are tons of other technologies involved, these are some of the most crucial technologies at work behind the Metaverse.
But, Why does Zuckerberg looking to turn Facebook into a Metaverse Company?
To date, Mark Zuckerberg is the most vocal proponent of metaverse so far and he explained his position, “What is the metaverse?” by saying “It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. You can kind of think of this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at.”
And it’s probably the best explanation.
Let’s consider a situation where you’re on the internet, chatting to your friends. In this case, you are interacting at a very superficial level which means that you could be typing “LOL” without actually laughing out loud.
While video calls can somewhat aid this situation, but the metaverse takes this idea to the next level.
In Metaverse, you can log into a virtual universe, calling up your friend to hang out at a virtual destination and all of you can show up as a virtual avatar.
In an interview, with The Vergecast, Zuckerberg detailed his concept and how it will help bring opportunity to creators who want to work far from urban centers.
While virtual reality is important in the metaverse, it isn’t. Zuckerberg plans to make metaverse accessible across all platforms, including AR, VR, mobile devices, PC, and even gaming consoles.
He says, “A lot of people also think about the metaverse as primarily something that’s about gaming. And I think entertainment is clearly going to be a big part of it, but I don’t think that this is just gaming.
I think that this is a persistent, synchronous environment where we can be together, which I think is probably going to resemble some kind of a hybrid between the social platforms that we see today, but an environment where you’re embodied in it.”
The tech billionaire hopes that the traverse will start the next chapter for Facebook over the next few years or so. He wants to transition from the company being primarily a social media company to being a metaverse company.
He explains in an interview that “the metaverse spans non-immersive platforms like today’s social media as well as immersive 3D media technologies such as virtual reality, and that it will be for work as well as play.”
But as I said other companies are also already in the race. For instance, Microsoft is working on building the enterprise metaverse. You can read more about it here.
Coming behind, we also have Epic Games investing billions of dollars to fulfill their metaverse dreams. Then comes, Roblox, the gaming company calling itself “the shepherds of the Metaverse”.
All in all, the hype that is surrounding the Metaverse is as real as it can get. Even though it’s a futuristic dream, many believe that it can actually come true.
Now, I am guessing that your next question probably is — Why would anybody want to do this?
After all, you can always meet your friends, shake their hands, and interact with your surroundings in the real world.
Why Would Anyone Want to do all of this in some Dystopian Digital Universe?
Well, the answer is simple, because people love it. For instance, take the case of Decentraland. It is a virtual world inside this shared space where you can own land, develop it, and if you want, sell it as well. This world is taking the real world by storm. (You can read more on this here)
We are trying to make it here that it’s already happening and people are more than happy to spend time and money inside this virtual universe.
To sum up, the virtual universes are kinda becoming the buzz-spot and the like of Facebook isn’t going to be left behind. If anything, they want to run this universe, And, we can only imagine the influence they’d have in an unregulated virtual environment. It would be a Metaverse of madness! (kinda stole it from the MCU)
Hence proved, that even if the regulators and the world think that the metaverse is a stupid idea lacking any common sense; could ever take off; or that this technology is way too futuristic to make a dent, it’s still worth looking into.
Why does the Metaverse Matter?
There are so many speculations on what the metaverse might become. There are even speculations if it will become anything at all.
But the important point here is that if it does, then it will be a successor to the internet. Another important thing will be who builds it and how, because this will affect the future of the economy and society as a whole.
While Facebook is aiming to play a leading role, other companies are not far behind.
One day, the metaverse might resemble Ernest Cline’s flashy fictional Oasis. But until then you can always turn to our all-time favorite games like Fortnite and Roblox, virtual work environments like Immersed, and VR social media platforms like VRChat and AltspaceVR. Just to get a taste of the metaverse experience.
Till then keep reading, and don’t forget to share……
Shreeya Chourasia is an experienced B2B marketing/tech content writer, who is diligently committed for growing your online presence. Her writing doesn’t merely direct the audience to take action, rather it explains how to take action for promising outcomes.