What is the Metaverse?

Since October 28, 2021, when Facebook relaunched as Meta, the notion that prompted the new name has been a heated subject of debate among those attempting to decipher is Metaverse Facebook. While Meta’s unbridled desire may seem like it created the Metaverse, this is not the case. While some say that the Metaverse that Mark Zuckerberg spent so much time explaining at the Connect 2021 conference keynote already exists, others believe it is the subsequent development of the internet, dubbed Web3 or Web 3.0. To some degree, discussing what “the metaverse” means is akin to discussing what “the internet” meant in the 1970s. This is partly because the Metaverse means various things to different individuals and because the boundaries between the virtual and physical worlds have become more blurred. Today will explore what the Metaverse is.

Where Does It Come From?

The word Metaverse is ascribed to Neal Stephenson and his dystopian cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. The novel was released in 1992 and, along with William Gibson’s Neuromancer, which depicts a virtual reality dataspace known as the matrix, is considered a canon of the genre. 

Consider the following experiment to show how inaccurate and convoluted the term “the metaverse” maybe. In a sentence, substitute “cyberspace” for the term “the metaverse.” 90% of the time, the meaning will mostly stay constant. That is because the word does not refer to a specific kind of new technology but rather to a broader shift in how we engage with technology. And the term may eventually become as obsolete as the technology it once characterized. 

In broad strokes, the metaverse technologies include virtual reality—which is characterized by persistent virtual environments that endure even when you are not playing—and augmented reality, which combines digital and physical worlds. However, such areas do not have to be accessible through VR or AR exclusively. A Metaverse virtual world, similar to elements of Fortnite, may exist. This environment might be accessible through PCs, game consoles, and even cell phones. Additionally, it refers to a digital economy in which users may make, purchase, and sell interoperable items in more utopian metaverse ideas, enabling you to easily transfer virtual objects like clothing or vehicles across platforms. In the real world, you may purchase a shirt in a mall and wear it to the movies in the Metaverse. You can be whoever you want and go visit the Metaverse Kaaba in a Mecca Metaverse. At the moment, most platforms have virtual identities, avatars, and platform-specific inventories. Still, a metaverse may enable you to establish a persona that you can carry about as simple as transferring your metaverse face from one social network to the next.

Why Are There Holograms?

When the internet was born, it was preceded by a succession of technical breakthroughs, such as communicating between computers over long distances or hyperlinks from one web page to another. These technological capabilities served as the building blocks for the abstract structures that comprise the internet: websites, applications, social networks, and anything else based on those fundamental aspects. That’s not to mention the convergence of developments in user interfaces that aren’t strictly related to the internet but are essential for it to function, such as displays, keyboards, mice, and touchscreens.

The Metaverse introduces some new building blocks, such as the ability to host thousands of people in a single server (future versions of the Metaverse should be able to handle thousands, if not millions, of people simultaneously), or motion-tracking tools that can determine where a person is looking or where their hands are. These emerging technologies might be pretty intriguing and futuristic in nature. However, several constraints may be impossible. When technology corporations like Microsoft or Facebook-Meta, broadcast fictitious movies of their future visions, they usually skim over the specific ways people will engage with the Metaverse. Virtual reality headsets remain bulky, and most individuals endure motion sickness or physical discomfort after wearing them for an extended time. Augmented reality glasses have a similar dilemma, in addition to the not-insignificant issue of finding out how to wear them in public without seeming to be enormous dorks.

Therefore, how can tech businesses demonstrate their technology’s concept without the reality of heavy headsets and goofy glasses? Thus far, it seems their primary approach is just to create technology from scratch like the hologram lady from Meta’s presentation did. Yet, even with the most powerful versions of the present technology, this is just not achievable.

What Powers The Metaverse

Diverse sorts of technology will power the Metaverse, including cloud infrastructure, software tools, platforms, apps, user-generated content, and hardware. Along with the technological needs, the Metaverse will contain a variety of user experiences, including entertainment, gaming, commerce, social interaction, education, and research. The issue then becomes how long it will take for humanity to transition from numerous proto-metaverses to the grand Metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg thinks it will occur around the end of the decade, but it might happen much sooner due to already-in-place basic features. The infrastructure that underpins today’s internet enables enormous crowds to assemble in virtual worlds, as was the case when more than 12.3 million gamers tuned in for a virtual reality concert starring Travis Scott in Fortnite. Although this existing infrastructure is rather excellent, it will almost certainly need to expand further to support the Metaverse that industry experts anticipate.

Virtual Reality Evolution

Additionally, we have the technology necessary to produce realistic virtual surroundings and avatars in three dimensions. Meta controls Oculus, the market leader in virtual reality headsets. Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality smart glasses have been enabling a variety of corporate use cases since their first release in 2016. Additionally, Apple is believed to deliver its augmented reality and virtual reality headsets around 2022. HTC, Pico, MagicLeap, and other manufacturers quickly develop new hardware platforms, while cascade technology topologies transfer diverse computing demands away from back-end server infrastructures and into edge devices. Furioos, produced by Unity, is a classic example of streaming fully interactive real-time 3D worlds, with the heavy lifting of rendering performed by their dynamically growing GPU server architecture. The Metaverse will be a ubiquitous computing environment where users may exploit conventional computing devices such as laptops and mobile devices while also using upcoming immersive augmented and virtual reality wearables.

What Does It Mean Own Some Metaverse?

NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are a great demonstration of how Blockchain technology may be used to authenticate the ownership of digital assets, and they are already being employed in 3D virtual reality systems. A user’s digital possessions should travel across universes in an ideal customer experience. For instance, a user’s future NFT shoes bought from Nike using ETH will be accessible for avatar usage on Meta’s Horizon platform and other virtual worlds such as Fortnite and Minecraft(You can buy your ETH from Altalix). Another example is Decentraland, a completely decentralized planet with no central authority. The world is built on the Ethereum blockchain and is run by a decentralized autonomous organization. Players may exert power over the policies that govern how the world acts via this organization and voting. Additionally, Decentraland has its decentralized currency, MANA, which can be swapped for other currencies on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Decentraland may become one of many decentralized worlds that comprise a section of the Metaverse in the future, with digital assets and currencies flowing between them in the same way that fiat money and actual products are transferred between individuals living in various nations in the real world.

While nobody will own the Metaverse—just as nobody owns the internet today—there will undoubtedly be numerous significant players in the space. Companies like Meta, Microsoft, Unity, Epic Games, and Roblox all want to be among them, which is why they are investing billions of dollars to make the sci-fi dream a reality.

What Is The Metaverse Like At The Moment

The issue of defining the Metaverse is that the present must be explained away for it to exist in the future. We already have massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), which offer entirely virtual worlds, digital concerts, video conversations with people from all over the globe, online avatars, and commercial platforms. Therefore, to sell these objects as a fresh perspective of the world, some aspects must be novel. Spend enough time discussing the Metaverse. Someone will undoubtedly bring up fictional works such as Snow Crash—the 1992 book that created the term “metaverse”—or Ready Player One, which describes a virtual reality environment where everyone works, plays, and shops. When combined with the general pop-culture concept of holograms and heads-up displays (basically anything Iron Man has used in the last ten films), these stories provide an imaginative framework for what the Metaverse—a metaverse that tech companies could sell us something new—could look like. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that proponents of NFTs—cryptographic tokens that act as a type of certificate of ownership for digital items—are also embracing the metaverse concept. NFTs you bought using Ethereum from Altalix may be the digital key to your Roblox virtual estate, then. You’ve just elevated your pastime of collecting memes to a critical component of internet infrastructure (and perhaps increased the worth of all that Bitcoin you’re holding.)

It’s critical to keep this background in mind. Although it’s easy to compare our current proto-metaverse concepts to the early internet and believe that everything would improve and develop linearly, this is not a given. There is no assurance that people will want to hang around without their legs in a virtual workplace or play poker with Dreamworks CEO Mark Zuckerberg, much alone that VR and AR technology will ever become as ubiquitous as PCs and smartphones are now.

It’s possible that any true “metaverse” would consist mainly of fascinating VR games and digital avatars in Zoom conversations, but basically of what we now refer to as the internet.