Ever since Facebook changed its name to Meta last year, the term “Metaverse” has been the subject of numerous headlines on the interwebs. While the term isn’t exactly new as it was first coined by author Neal Stephenson in the science fiction novel called “Snow Crash” nearly 30 years ago, it has gained attention on the internet globally in the past few years.
Due to the growing attention in recent years, everyone wants to know and understand what the Metaverse is and how it will transform how the internet works. So if you are one of these folks, you have landed on the right page.
What is Metaverse?
Imagine many virtual worlds where you interact with people across the globe using VR or AR headsets to socialize, game, shop, and more. The Metaverse is essentially a network of virtual 3D spaces that you will be able to venture into and move around with your digital avatar.
These virtual 3D spaces provide a rich user interaction experience, which mimics the way we interact in the real world. These virtual spaces could resemble real locations around the globe or an entirely new world. The Metaverse essentially covers everything from games, workplace meetings, shopping, and much more.
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Basically imagine the worlds in movies like The Matrix and Ready Player One, where you will be able to create your own digital avatars and connect with people. Possibilities of activities in the Metaverse are endless. Everything that you do on the internet is rolled into a massive package in the Metaverse.
It largely takes place in real-time as you can play games with people worldwide, watch a private movie screening, enjoy a digital concert of your favorite artist, and much more, all happening at once for everyone. The Metaverse is also a complete economy of its own as people will be able to own, trade, and invest in anything that goes on there.
Who is building the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is not solely being built by select tech giants like Facebook (now Meta) and Microsoft. Anyone with the right set of skills will be able to develop experiences for people in the Metaverse.
You can expect the Metaverse to be populated by games, videos, movies, and much more from a diverse pool of creators. Just like the internet, no single proprietor will own the Metaverse. That said, some of the existing tech giants like Meta, Microsoft, and Epic, and a handful of new ones will undoubtedly have a large influence on the universe of the Metaverse.
Where are we with the Metaverse?
The Metaverse already exists in the world. Epic Games’ Fortnite, the blockchain-based game Roblox, 18 years old Second Life, and more already provide some of the imagined experiences of the Metaverse. However, the full-fledged experience of the Metaverse is expected to be available to everyone by the end of this decade.
The software giant Microsoft is working on providing advanced remote business solutions for the Metaverse with its project called Mesh. Microsoft’s Mesh is touting its “Holoportation” tech, which provides scanning and rendering of an object inside of a virtual space.
Nvidia is also one of the biggest contenders in the shaping of the Metaverse as it is making tools required to shape, edit, texture, and render 3D virtual spaces. Many other companies like Unity and Google are also building their own products for the Metaverse.
That said, the Metaverse currently lacks a few important things for its evolution. The specific electronic equipment required for the Metaverse experience is still in development.
As of now, virtual reality or augmented reality headsets like Ray Ban Stories from Facebook and Snapchat’s Snap Spectacles are still experimental devices at best. However, companies are working towards bringing affordable and comfortable VR headsets in the near future. Even Apple is rumored to introduce its first VR or AR headset later this year. In addition, internet connections also need to be improved around the globe for the evolution of the Metaverse.