Metaverse refers to a virtual place where individuals like us can interact, work, and play. It enables us to experience real-life things in a virtual world with the same people, persona, and places. The concept of the metaverse was first seen in a novel called Snow Crash in 1992. But, it started getting more attention after Facebook rebranded its name to Meta. Brands around the globe have started adopting this new technology and making notable enhancements to their products and services.
Metaverse is in trend these days, which isn’t going to fade sooner or later. It is essential to learn more and be updated about this new technological advancement, metaverse. Here in this article, we have created a comprehensive guide that explains everything about the metaverse. Read this article thoroughly to gain some meaningful insights about the metaverse in an intuitive manner.
What Is this Metaverse, Exactly?
The term ‘Metaverse’ has become another must-talk topic of this decade. People are keen to learn more about this new advanced technology.
The metaverse is nothing but a universe within a universe. This definition needs a bit more polishing. Here’s what it means. It simply means that the metaverse is a virtual world built inside this real world.
One of the easiest ways to connect with this term is through virtual spaces. We can understand the metaverse as virtual spaces or worlds created to do all real-life activities. The metaverse is a virtual space where people can gather, interact, enjoy, and do much more, just like the real world. You can meet new people, buy and sell goods and services, invest in a business, and more without even being physically there.
One of the highlights of the metaverse is that it enables you to experience events in real-time without even being physically present at the venue. You can also meet and greet people as you usually do in real-life functions and events. In the metaverse, everything is similar to the real world. You can virtually experience everything you want to do in real life. Even being so far from people, you can meet everyone in the same place, i.e., the virtual world. It is an exceptional way to unite people in one place, even if they are living in another corner of the world.
In real life, you can meet people physically and feel their existence. Yet, when it comes to the metaverse, this all happens virtually. You can still talk to them face to face but without being there. Your digital avatar will be your digital twin in the virtual world that will do everything you want to do in the real world. Of course, you will get control of that avatar.
You can feel their presence and personalities, but everything will be virtual again. Metaverse is an online replica of the real world. It would have parks, clubs, shopping complexes, buildings, different communities, and everything around us. We can create our own avatars. It also allows us to inhabit our persona into our virtual avatar. We can also customize the appearance of our avatars and select how they should look in the virtual world.
However, it is yet to be discovered whether there will be only one virtual world or more than one. This is still one of the debatable topics about metaverse, as no one knows the proven answer. Researchers are constantly learning about the metaverse.
Metaverse is expected to have notable impacts on many industries, especially education. It’s likely to positively change the education industry. Metaverse could transform distance learning and improve the education industry drastically. For instance, institutes will be able to provide much better education to students who opt for a hybrid education. It can help students provide a real-time learning experience even if they are not physically present in the classroom. They can attend lectures as they usually do in colleges.
Besides this, Metaverse is also anticipated to bring significant enhancements to the working culture. It can open new ways for companies to offer their employees the best working experience. For example, after the implementation of Metaverse, they won’t need to present at the office to report to the manager about the status of the presentation. Employees can simply enter the virtual world from their homes and use their avatars to do the same.
They can still attend office meetings and events without even being physically present. Metaverse will also improve teamwork and collaboration. It isn’t possible to engage with 20 people at the same time on a 2D screen. While, with metaverse, it becomes much more interesting and easier to deal with 3D avatars of all the employees, as it also improves the communication with them. Their realistic avatars will attend all the meetings without even being at the office.
Metaverse has recently gained more eyeballs at a good pace. Notably, it has some pros that set it apart from other virtual reality kind technologies. Whereas, it also has cons that make people doubtful about this technology.
- Improve communication for workspaces and education institutes;
- Double up the power of blockchain;
- New branding opportunities;
- Developing a virtual economy;
- Requires advanced digital technologies to access the metaverse;
- Privacy and security implications;
- Reducing the difference between real and virtual;
Where Did the Metaverse Come From?
It would be interesting to know that the phrase ‘Metaverse’ was first seen in 1992 in a book called Snow Crash. Snow Crash was written by Neal Stephenson. This book talks about futuristic technologies, including VR and Metaverse.
Later, in 2003, a game-cum-virtual experience platform was launched called Second Life. The purpose of this platform was to let users experience the virtual world. They can create their own avatar and interact with other people or their avatars.
Then, in 2014, Facebook acquired a leading platform, Oculus, for $2.3 billion. Later they introduced Horizon Workrooms, which is a virtual workspace or office. It can be understood as the VR version of Zoom meetings but with legless characters.
In addition, games like Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft are also perfect examples of this technology. In Minecraft, we can create our own place and design it as we want. There is sea life, non-living objects, and wildlife present in Minecraft. We can also meet and interact with new people. So, it’s a virtual world inside a game.
How Does Metaverse Work?
The metaverse is built of numerous virtual networks that replace the real world with the virtual world. It’s made with the help of 3D virtual worlds, blockchain technology, AR, and VR. Metaverse requires all these things to create spaces for face-to-face online interaction in 3D. A mixture of all there creates a metaverse.
After that, we can enter the metaverse using the AR and VR headsets. We can then interact with other people. Not only this, but we can also create our own avatar matching our real personality.
We can hang out with friends and colleagues, buy and sell services, explore different places, and much more. It will have everything in there that is present in this real world. You will simply need an AR or VR handset to enter the metaverse.
What’s the Difference Between the Internet and Metaverse?
It’s obvious to have a bit of confusion between the terms internet and metaverse as the definition of both terms contradicts at some point.
In layman’s language, the internet is a connection between millions of billions of computers that makes communication and data sharing much easier. You can communicate with other people on the internet. But it doesn’t give a sense of satisfaction about their presence. You can see them and engage with them but can’t feel their presence.
For instance, you can’t shake hands, walk with them, etc. But, it’s the opposite with the metaverse. You can meet people without feeling they are far from you. It won’t feel like the person you are talking to is sitting in another part of the world. Your digital twin and the other digital twins can engage with each other in many ways and still feel their existence.
One thing to note is that the metaverse is constructed on the internet, and it would be unfair to compare the metaverse with the internet. This is because the internet is a source to let people gather and meet in the virtual worlds.
Why Do We Need Metaverse?
Metaverse is still in a development stage, as more and more tech companies are adopting this new technology and understanding its use cases. There could be many reasons for embracing this new advancement in tech.
One of the first reasons could be to make the interaction more effortless. There won’t be any need to visit different physical places to meet new people. You can simply enter the virtual world and connect with them.
Metaverse opens new forms of real-time and interactive interaction. This is the reason many tech companies like Meta are welcoming this new tech. For instance, Facebook already rebranded its parent company to Meta with a clear vision of bringing the metaverse into reality.
Microsoft has also invested $69 billion in the acquisition of ActivisionBlizzard. Metaverse can also bring productivity and transparency to the professional working culture.
What Technologies Are Used In the Creation Of Metaverse?
Here are some technologies that are required for the creation of metaverse.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence plays an integral role in the development stages of the metaverse. It can be very helpful because of its power to process loads of data efficiently and effectively. In addition, it can be used in creating non-player characters that the players don’t control. NPCs automatically respond to players’ actions according to predefined algorithms. It can also be used to develop 3D and realistic digital avatars. AI can help create better and more realistic avatars with facial expressions, clothes, hairstyles, etc.
2. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Notably, virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) also play an essential role in the composition of the metaverse. AR and VR are a must to enter the virtual world. Augmented reality generally duplicates the environment using the existing visual elements and characters. Whereas virtual reality uses computer-generated virtual environments.
3. Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
The metaverse will be similar to the real world, and you can easily buy and sell goods and services in the real world with physical currency. Hence, you can also buy and sell goods and services in the metaverse. Unfortunately, you can’t use physical currency to transfer the ownership of the goods. This is because it isn’t the real world. In that case, cryptocurrency and NFTs will replace the physical cash in the metaverse. We will use cryptocurrency and NFTs to purchase and sell goods and services in the metaverse.
4. 3D Reconstruction
Metaverse will also have real-world objects like roads, buildings, etc. Therefore, 3D construction will also be needed to create actual-world objects to make the virtual world look more realistic. It requires tools like 3D cameras to develop perfect and lifelike buildings from all angles.
5. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is another technology you will need to create a perfect metaverse. IoT uses different cameras and sensors to make a connection between our natural world and the internet world. It records various types of data from the real world and uses it to increase the efficiency and accuracy of digital representations. After implementing the IoT, it becomes obvious to expect a change in the working and efficiency of many objects.
A Few Examples Of Metaverse
Metaverse has already been embraced by many tech companies like Meta and Microsoft. Facebook has already changed its parent company’s name to Meta. They have already entered this metaverse space with a vision to let everyone experience the virtual world. Facebook has already started working on many metaverse-based products. They are even introducing virtual reality in their existing products. For instance, they have also developed their own VR glasses, called Oculus VR, to enter the virtual world. In late 2021, Meta also launched Horizon Worlds, a virtual workspace where users can create their own avatars. There are a lot of companies, like Epic Games and Microsoft, that have also entered this space of metaverse. These companies have already invested a huge stake in this new advancement, metaverse.
How the Metaverse Could Change Work
Metaverse could help in improving the teamwork and collaboration skills of the employees. There are a lot of startups that are using Metaverse to create a virtual space for their team to work remotely but efficiently. NextMeet is one of the startups that offer companies a way to create their own virtual offices and handle all the remote working employees more efficiently. They offer an immersive augmented reality experience to let the employees interact with each other without being available at the office.
It focuses on making virtual workspaces more interactive and helps improve team collaboration and efficiency. It isn’t easy to keep track of multiple remotely working employees. You can’t track their progress through a 2D Zoom call screen. Thus, it becomes challenging to manage people working remotely and increase their efficiency and other work-related skills.
But, with virtual offices, it’s pretty easy and controllable. Virtual offices will eliminate the issue from the roots by allowing employees to interact and communicate using their 3D avatars. Employees will be working remotely but still be able to communicate as used to in physical offices. They can create their own 3D avatars and join the 3D virtual offices to do all this easily.
They can use their desktops to access the virtual environment and use the keyboards keys to visit different places in the virtual area. Hence, employees would be able to give their best.
Metaverse is an excellent technology that enables us to meet and engage with new people around the globe in one place without even being physically present there. Undoubtedly, it will greatly impact many industries in some way or another. Metaverse has the potential to change the entire view of the meeting and interacting with people. Understanding the metaverse concept is important as it’s a new and booming technology. We hope this article must have helped you learn more about the Metaverse.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Point of the Metaverse?
Metaverse refers to a virtual space where people can meet, work, play, shop, and socialize as they do in the real world. You can attend online events in real time without being physically present.
What Can You Do in the Metaverse?
Metaverse enables you to do everything you can in the real world. According to a survey by Statista, 38% of users would prefer doing extreme sports, like paragliding and bungee jumping.