There was a time when science fiction writers imagined a second world, a fictional world where people could escape and live a whole other life. Thanks to technological advance, this second world is close to becoming a reality.
The Metaverse was first mentioned or proposed in the early 2000’s, and almost 20 years later it’s finally being shaped as something everyone will be able to join. In this article, we’ll explore what the Metaverse is, how to understand it better and how exactly can we expect to see it in our daily lives.
What is Metaverse?
Basically, the Metaverse is a virtual world where people can play, work, communicate and even travel. We could say that the Metaverse is not fully developed yet, it’s still on test. However, there are plenty of early versions that can show users how big it can be once it’s fulfilled. The Metaverse is considered by tech experts to be the next step or phase of the internet, a place where people will spend their time in a more interactive and fun way.
The Technology Involved in the Metaverse
As you can see, the Metaverse is a very diverse concept that involves different terms, platforms and even technologies. It’s important to note that the Metaverse revolves around everything digital, a place where users can create, transport, buy and sell digital objects between platforms instantly.
With this in mind it’s no surprise that the main technologies that makes the Metaverse a reality are VR and AI. There are, however, other ways to access the Metaverse, such as PCs, phones and game consoles.
Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of any three-dimensional surrounding or character. This virtual representation allows for an almost real and physical interaction by any user, just by using a gadget or gear such as VR headsets, glasses or helmets. There are other VR devices such as gloves with sensors that involve other senses to enhance the experience. In theory, the settings of Virtual Reality keep existing even if you’re not in said environment. Virtual Reality is usually accompanied by Augmented Reality, which is a combination of the digital and physical world characteristics.
Related: 5 Ways to Enjoy Virtual Reality
Artificial Intelligence is the simulation or mimicking of human intelligence. Whenever a software, platform, machine or character is programmed to think or act like a human that is AI. The Metaverse relies heavily on AI because it needs a human-like way to solve problems and develop virtual characters in order to keep the experience as real as possible.
Related: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Your Life
Blockchain in the Metaverse
Another important aspect to consider when speaking of the Metaverse is Blockchain technology, which can give users the certainty that they’ll have a safe experience no matter what.
Blockchain is a system or program that records information or transactions in a fool-proof way, this means that it’s impossible to hack or cheat a system that contains blockchain. In the Metaverse, blockchain provides a safe way to prove ownership of your purchases and possessions, lets you transfer currency or digital property, and allows for you to move your virtual assets among each time more platforms.
Uses of the Metaverse
The Metaverse is not yet a finished project, it’s more of a step-by-step process that involves all current and upcoming technologies. It’s no secret that every company will want to be using the Metaverse in different ways to lead their own industry. They’ll make apps and platforms even more immersive experiences, from more fantastic video games to 3D building models for architecture firms.
In the meantime, tech companies are investing in new hardware that can serve as a gateway between the real world and the Metaverse. Some of the most notable major global brands that have started joining the Metaverse one way or another are Coca-Cola, Gucci, JP Morgan, HSBC and, of course, Meta (formerly known as Facebook).
Basically, one of the main uses of the Metaverse and probably the first one to adopt this new concept to make it a reality is the gaming industry. From the earliest forms of virtual worlds such as Second Life and The Sims, the games are the easiest or simplest way to represent what the Metaverse would look like.
Nowadays, there are plenty of gaming platforms or virtual life platforms that are basically a Metaverse on a beta version. The most popular are Decentraland, Minecraft and Roblox.
What started as classes via Zoom meetings could potentially become the new way to provide education through the Metaverse. From the possibility to help students connect with each other and the teacher at distance, to let them experience a highly interactive session using presentations, videos and other virtual assets, virtual learning could be highly benefitted from this new technology.
Now, not only can students learn theoretical courses, but they can also take practical classes and engage in a more active way through a headset or other sort of gear connected to a virtual campus.
Another industry that has been highly experimenting with the Metaverse and its possibilities is e-commerce, particularly fashion and technology. Some major fashion brands now give the opportunity to dress your avatar to try on their new collection, hosting all-virtual runways and even sell digital products for you to dress up your avatar.
In a virtual world where people will spend most of their time, this is becoming a way to increase revenue at a lower cost.
The Metaverse is fully designed to support all sorts of social interactions. People can do anything from hanging out with their friends in a virtual setting such as a bar or even the beach; to having a business meeting with people from all around the world in the same working environment or office.
Nowadays, the average UK and US adult spends more than 12 hours a day in front of a screen, this reality has really set the scene for what’s coming next. Experts say the Metaverse is being constructed slowly and by pieces, but once the gear and platforms are more accessible and become somewhat mainstream, we’ll definitely see it come together more quickly.
The Metaverse will not only be the new way to live, it’ll also be a new way for businesses to stay afloat. After all, by the year 2030, the Metaverse economy could be worth between $8 and $13 trillion, although this will need a big investment, of course.