What is the metaverse?
Recently, Facebook announced its move to invest more in the metaverse. Facebook also rebranded its name to Meta in line with its plan to move from a social media company to a metaverse one.
While the concept of the metaverse is nothing new, interest in it spiked dramatically as digital ownership through non-fungible tokens (NFTs) increases and digital currencies are becoming commonplace in the financial realm.
But what is the metaverse? How does it affect the track of current and future technological developments? How will it revolutionize the internet that we know today?
The term metaverse has been around since 1992 and has been present in novels and sci-fi movies. It simply refers to cyberspace but in a broader sense as it includes how we interact with internet technology.
The metaverse is perceived to be the combination of multiple technologies that will enable us to live in a digital universe. From working and playing to attending concerts or visiting other places in the world – the metaverse will allow us to do almost everything in a digital space.
Currently, the technologies involved in the metaverse are 3D holographic avatars, video calls, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). These spaces aren’t exclusively accessible as they can be a mix of these media. The metaverse also incorporates a digital economy where people can buy, sell, and trade goods in the digital world.
Perceptions On What The Metaverse Will Be
Different companies and people have various takes on what it should include. For instance, Meta thinks it will include virtual houses and estate. Microsoft thinks it will involve virtual meeting rooms.
Hints of what a potential metaverse can be observed in online games such as Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft. Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games are essentially functioning virtual worlds with their economy, culture, characters, and rules. But the metaverse can be much more than this as it incorporates cross-platform interactions that have real-world effects on individuals.
As of now, identities, inventories, avatars, histories, and other relevant information are exclusive to a platform. Other platforms have little to no access to one another, but this can change as the metaverse evolves. In the future, it may be possible to create one persona and use it in any social network or platform much like how things in the real world work.
The Future of Metaverse
No one knows what the metaverse is or will be. All we know is that the foundations for expanding the metaverse are already here: ultrafast internet, VR headsets, and online worlds are becoming more accessible to many people. As the metaverse incorporates more new technology, it will create a hyper-real alternative world for people to interact with each other.
Technological innovations like holograms might appear as one of the building blocks of the metaverse. VR headsets, AR glasses, and other futuristic technologies might become the necessary tools for interaction that will be totally different from what we’re used to with today’s internet. The truth is no one knows what the trend in the metaverse will be. For now, imagination is the limit, and technology is slowly catching up to it.