It is tempting to start with the answer to the question, What is the metaverse? However, take a minute to imagine a situation in which people work, live, shop, and interact with others from the comfort of their couch in the physical world. This is what is referred to as the “metaverse.”
The name “metaverse” did not come to light until Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta in the year 2021. At that time, the company announced its plans to spend over $10 billion in the next year on technologies to build its vision of the metaverse.
Metaverse is considered the next revolution of the internet. The metaverse will take many forms, including games, online communities, and business meetings where people come together through a digital avatar of themselves.
What Is the Metaverse All About?
The concept of the metaverse isn’t completely new. “Snow Crash” was the first to describe it in 1992. Lots of online communities were developed by companies based on that concept.
The Metaverse is a virtual world. People use avatars to represent themselves, communicate with each other, and virtually build out the community.
The metaverse has its digital currency that is used to purchase clothes, weapons, protection (or shielding) in the case of video games, and many other items. With this reality, people can virtually travel through the metaverse for fun with no specific goal in mind using a virtual reality headset and controllers.
What Is the Difference Between the Internet and the Metaverse?
Here is the difference between the metaverse and the internet. The internet is a network connection of billions of computers, servers, and other electronic devices. Once you are online, internet users can communicate with each other, view and interact with websites, and buy and sell goods and services.
However, the metaverse does not compete with the internet; it builds on it. The metaverse allows users to traverse a virtual world that mimics aspects of the physical world using technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, social media, and digital currency.
In other words, you browse through the internet, but you live in the metaverse.
Governments are beginning to extend into the metaverse. For example, while some governments or countries have a real presence on the internet, Barbados plans to open a diplomatic embassy in the Metaverse, specifically in the online world of Decentraland.
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Top Metaverse Companies
Here are some companies with metaverse visions:
The C.E.O. of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, said that his company’s metaverse investments represented a fundamental change and were part of the new vision for the social media giant designed to “bring the metaverse to life.”
Additionally, he stated that Facebook is a company that puts the metaverse ahead of itself. This is a significant change because it signals the eventual removal of the requirement for Facebook accounts to access other metaverse services. Facebook has already sold millions of its Oculus VR headsets for use in the metaverse, among other non-Facebook products.
In the Meta announcement, Zuckerberg stated that Facebook hopes to hasten the development of the core technologies needed to “bring the metaverse to life,” including social platforms and creative tools. Facebook introduced Horizon Worlds, a virtual reality environment that users may explore as an avatar, and tools for developers to construct additional virtual worlds after the Meta news broke in late 2021.
Following a $1 billion round of fundraising in 2021, Epic Games, the company behind the immensely popular online shooter game series Fortnite (which has 350 million users), and the game development tool Unreal Engine, intended to establish a claim in the metaverse.
In contrast to Facebook, Epic Games intends to create a community where users can communicate with brands and one another without a news feed full of advertisements.
Microsoft Teams, the software giant’s alternative to Zoom for online meetings, is moving into the metaverse. Mesh for Microsoft Teams will be available in 2022, according to Microsoft. Users of the new service can participate in shared, collaborative holographic experiences during virtual meetings from different physical locations.
According to Microsoft, Mesh would enable users to create a personalized avatar of themselves and create a virtual presence on any device. With the use of the 3D capture technique known as “holo-portation,” users can reconstruct and send high-quality 3D models of individuals in real-time.
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How Do NFTs Fit into the Metaverse?
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) play a big role in the usefulness and popularity of the metaverse. NFTs have secured types of digital assets that are based on the same black-chain technology used by cryptocurrencies. Instead, cryptocurrencies represent a piece of art, a song, or digital real estate. NFTs give users a kind of digital deed or proof of ownership that can be bought or sold in the metaverse.
Pieces of the Meta Verse
The metaverse, which is the virtual dimension the tech world sees as the next big thing, is already coming alive in pieces all around us. Some examples of this dimension are:
The Optics of the Metaverse
Metaverse experiences all require new types of display technology to put images directly in front of the eye.
The big picture here is that computer and phone screens will become the primary entry points into a digital world.
Spatial Audio: The Soundtrack of the Metaverse
Immersion in a digital world depends on sound as much as vision.
Special audio places audio in three dimensions, so when you turn your head, sounds change direction and volume, just as they do in real life.
Holograms: Another Gateway to the Metaverse
Holograms allow the display of a high-quality, three-dimensional digital representation of a person without the need for users or viewers to wear a headset.
Holograms are more real than you might think. There are a variety of holographic display systems on the market today that use even more impressive technology within the labs of tech companies.
The metaverse will become a popular way to hang out online. It could be a sort of hybrid of an open-world video game and a 3D hangout supported by entry fees or maybe ads.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Metaverse in Real Life?
The metaverse is an immersive and persistent three-dimensional virtual realm that is shared by many users. It spans various digital platforms and merges with the physical world, where people can shop, work, play, and hang out together in real time.
How Do I Enter the Metaverse?
Accessing the metaverse is as easy as putting on a virtual reality headset and holding a set of controllers. Although its biggest use today is gaming, the metaverse will increasingly be used for shopping, education, job training, doctor’s appointments, and socializing.
Can You Buy Real Things on Metaverse?
Yes, you can buy things as real as real estate and leverage them just as you can in real life. You can populate it with interactive experiences like events, concerts, 3D objects, games, and a marketplace to sell assets such as your own NFT creations.
Who Built the Metaverse?
The term “metaverse” was coined in 1992 by the author Neal Stephenson in his hit novel “Snow Crash.” 30 years later, he is teaming up with another crypto-OG, Peter Vessenes, to bring his vision to reality.