If you have been on the internet or major social media platforms in the last few days, you would have seen people talking about metaverse. Facebook renamed itself last year to Meta for aligning with its goal of building a metaverse in the future. If you are one of those who don’t understand metaverse, let me break it down for you in the simplest manner possible.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is a virtual world. Just like you used to play with characters in the virtual world of GTA games, metaverse will allow you to play with characters inside a virtual world. The only difference here would be that it will be more real, and the character will be you.
A metaverse is an amalgamation of augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) with 3D digital worlds. It is an interactive space where you, as a digital character, can have real experiences. Not physically real, but getting an experience as close as it can get to be real in a virtual world.
For example, just like you visit a friend’s house in the physical world, you can visit a friend’s house in the metaverse. Of course, you will need a VR headset for the same. But it isn’t just limited to that. You can basically walk into a virtual cinema hall and buy tickets with your friends to watch a movie. In the same way, a digital concert, conferences and more could be possible inside a metaverse.
What Makes Metaverse an Important Aspect of the Future?
To get the answer to this question, it is important to understand why companies such as Meta and Microsoft are counting on developing a metaverse. If we can understand why these big tech companies want such a big presence in the metaverse, we can understand what’s the potential it holds.
The future of connectivity and the internet is being able to be more interactive, work from anywhere (remote working), and deliver more immersive experiences to the users. But metaverse has the capability of doing something much bigger than this. With metaverse, a significant part of the world’s economy can be decentralised. Or maybe, a type of economy can be formed inside.
People are already spending millions of dollars purchasing land plots inside metaverse, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), and more.
Metaverse would enhance the way people look at digital ownership. Digital assets have already been recognised throughout the world, but with metaverse, the value of these assets would spring up so much more.
It is an important aspect of the future because it saves people time. Users can potentially visit and meet friends and family in the virtual world without having the need to meet them physically. It won’t be like meeting them physically, yes, but it would be much better and more interactive and personal than video calls, at least. Businesses, concerts, conferences, markets, and so much more can be set up inside the metaverse, and the possibilities are endless. This is the reason why the tech companies want to have a big hand there.
So When Can You Expect the Metaverse to be a Part of the Real World?
It won’t be anytime soon. Metaverse is still at a building stage. Maybe by the end of the decade, it might happen, but 2022 is surely isn’t the year where you will see metaverse. It will need time because it is a completely virtual world. So for the ecosystem to be developed, an ample amount of work needs to be done.
It isn’t really a one tech company work either. Many companies are expected to form partnerships going forward to get a move on with their metaverse goals. Further, the proliferation of 5G networks, AR and VR headgear needs to happen to make the metaverse a success.
Metaverse Could be More than We Understand, That’s Why It Is Controversial Too
In all honesty, the metaverse is nothing but a buzzword at the moment. While there are a ton of conversations around the idea, all of it is a concept with a lot of ‘ifs’. However, the amount of money and resources that people and large organisations are betting on metaverse is something that can’t be ignored. So while it isn’t a reality right now, there’s no saying it can’t be in the future.
Regardless, there won’t be just one metaverse. How these different metaverse economies will work and how will people navigate through them is still in the unknown. Many people have said that metaverse is actually worse than being stuck on their smartphones. They fear that it will take away from the reality of the world. But the reality, on its own, can’t be defined, for who knows, what’s real, and what isn’t (remember the spinning top at the end of Inception).
Thus, metaverse will have a big challenge to go through. It will need to make people accept it is a reality too, and a better one at the same time. Or else, why would anyone want to spend his/her time inside a metaverse if it can’t incite any positive feelings at all.