Metaverse seems to be the future interface to the internet. Facebook, now rebranded as Meta, has presented a future vision where the metaverse will expand engagement among individuals in education, social contexts, and work.
But what is metaverse, and what should you know about this new and enhanced virtual reality technology? The metaverse will be available whenever you want it – like playing in an online casino for that quick gamble. And since the metaverse is ever-present, you can add new virtual buildings, art, or other objects.
Metaverse comes from the words meta and verse, which mean transcendent and the universe, respectively. Metaverse is an idea coined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson in 1992 in his novel Snow Crash.
In the book, Neal presented a 3D virtual world where people as avatars interacted with each other and with artificially intelligent agents. Nonetheless, the concept of a metaverse was popularized in 1984 in the groundbreaking novel Neuromancer written by William Gibson.
Today, Facebook's/Meta's metaverse is founded on three aspects:
- Presence, the feeling of being with virtual individuals in the virtual space, aimed to improve online interactions
- Interoperability – the ability to seamlessly travel between different virtual spaces using the same items and avatars
- Standardization – the technological standard that enables interoperability of the services and platforms in the metaverse
What You Need To Know About Metaverse
The metaverse is a significant future that does not fully exist as of yet. This is what you should know about Meta and the Metaverse.
- It Is Virtual
The primary characteristic of the metaverse is that it is entirely virtual. Meta has determined that with tools like a computer, mobile device, gaming console, and some wearable technology, exploring and experiencing the 3D graphics in metaverse will be possible.
Think of an enhanced virtual reality platform, where the virtual reality headsets and added features make the space feel more present and the natural world feel less present.
- It Is Social
Think of metaverse as a 3D representation of other social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. In the metaverse, you will meet numerous people represented as avatars of their choice with whom you can communicate and socialize.
In the metaverse, you can choose to block people as you do on social media platforms. But in a more enhanced way, you can interact better by playing games like chess together or sitting on a park bench carrying on with conversations, even though you are worlds apart in reality.
This means that communication will be more natural in the metaverse through the help of features like “gaze” that help you identify the person you are addressing in a group. Nonetheless, some of these people will be virtual agents, bots, or some manifestation of artificial intelligence.
- It Is Persistently Connected To The Real World
Part of the virtual stuff in the metaverse will represent the real stuff in the real world. This means that the real and the virtual will become a form of digital twins. Think flying a drone in the virtual world to steer an actual drone in the real world.
The changes you make will remain in place every time you visit. And due to advancements in technology that have created digital opportunities, you can also own some of the items in the metaverse.
For instance, you can own NFTs in the metaverse and use them as your avatar. The bottom line is that your personal stories and digital creations make up the user-generated content that the metaverse relies on.
Corporations can create unique visions of the metaverse, gamers will have access to games and online gaming, and socializing will become a norm in the metaverse. The possibilities are endless. For instance, you can go to a meeting as a hologram in the metaverse.
However, these positive outcomes also come with attached possibilities for online and real-world harms, like criminality, addiction, and negation of democratic institutions. Therefore, each individual should consider carefully the type of metaverse the world should create.