Metaverse: Is This the Future?
Metaverse is the hot current favourite topic nowadays. Be it techies, tech giants, or celebrities, everybody is talking about it.
Facebook has rebranded itself as Meta, while Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard, a game developing giant at US $68.7 billion.
It was Mark Zuckerberg's (founder of Facebook) grand ambition to build a future of social media platforms as a metaverse company.
Tech companies are betting on the metaverse as they believe it is the future of digital connectivity, virtual and augmented experience, and e-commerce. With corporate giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Google investing significant time in the metaverse, it has become a desirable space.
Let us understand this metaverse and why it is gaining much attention.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is a digital reality universe that will connect you socially using virtual reality and augmented reality, and digital media. It is a digital life, like a parallel life to the physical world where you can virtually do anything like eat, shop, attend concerts, etc., in your digital avatar.
According to Mathew Ball (a venture capitalist and angel investor), "It is a 3D version of the internet and computing at large."
The metaverse term was coined by Neal Stephenson Snow Crash' in his science fiction novel in 1992. It gained attention when Facebook renamed itself Meta.
It is a digital stage where people can go virtually to interact and engage in their customized avatar and assets.
Currently, only the gaming industry has mastered this concept of virtual reality. However, many new initiatives are experimenting with the idea. For example, entertainment and the Music industry are hosting their concerts in the metaverse. In addition, the top soccer franchise Manchester City in sports industry is building a virtual stadium for fans to watch and experience the game.
People will be able to enjoy real-world experiences through the virtual economy.
Is Metaverse a Video Game?
It is easy to relate and explain metaverse through a video game, but it is far more than just a video game.
The gaming world has adopted this concept long back. For example, Fortnite is a shooting game where you can have your avatar, engage and interact with other participants, and earn virtual currency to have the advantage over things like unlocking other players' avatars or moving to the next level with specific benefits, etc.
Another closest example to envision metaverse is a simulation game called Second Life. In this, the avatar can perform anything that can be done in real life like shop, eat, bath, etc.
According to techies, the metaverse will take virtual reality experience to a new level altogether. It will allow people to do everything through their digital avatar, from hosting concerts, and parties, buying/selling land, and to even getting married in this virtual world.
How is it useful?
The techies believe that the metaverse will change the world's future. The digital economy will grow by many folds and become the growth driver for the world economy.
You will know the actual value of metaverse when it brings real change in people's lives. For example- the students can experience what exactly happens while performing forensics, or a train/car mechanic can remotely learn and fix the problem.
However, the metaverse is nascent, and all these uses will have a long way to go.
Is it safe in the metaverse?
The safety of metaverse is still under discussion and is a significant concern. However, eventually, it will become a surveillance tool.
Will metaverse create a safe and responsible environment is something to wait and see. Metaverse is presently in the state where the Internet was in the early 90s. It's evolving, so let us wait and watch.
Is Metaverse the Future?
Experts and Techies believe that metaverse is a future. They anticipate that a large population will be part of this in some way or another by 2030, considering much work is still required.
Currently, there are many challenges like:
• Accessibility of the hardware.
• Interoperability on different platforms (like taking clothes from one to another)
• Legal and commercial issues
• Policing issues
• No guarantee if people want to hang out virtually
All these above challenges are vital for metaverse success.
Metaverse is like nirvana for the digital world, where you can immerse yourself. It will be similar to the physical world, where you can virtually feel and see anything, anytime and anywhere. It will be a broad shift in this fast-growing world on how we interact and communicate using technology.
In other words, it mimics the natural world through virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, and digital media.