What is Metaverse and Where is it Headed?Vikash Soni
Metaverse has become the talk of the town today. A concept that has always been a part of our lives, got new limelight with Facebook changing its name to Meta and Mark Zuckerburg talking at length about his plans to explore and become a key part of the technology at his company’s annual virtual and augmented reality conference in 2021.
The conference, added with the letter he wrote to the Meta (earlier Facebook) employees stating, “We’ve gone from desktop to web to mobile; from text to photos to video. But this isn’t the end of the line. The next platform will be even more immersive—an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.”, made it seem like metaverse is a Facebook project.
This notion is a result of the many confusions around what exactly is the metaverse. While we will dive into it in detail in some time, what we can tell you is that the metaverse is not only about Facebook.
What is metaverse?
Have you heard of the game ‘Second Life‘? If you have, you would know that the game brought in first of its kind immersive experience where the players could make virtual versions of themselves, join several virtual communities, be a part of virtual meetings, and even do things such as buying property or shopping for clothes.
Well, the game was one of the first peaks into the metaverse.
While a single definition of the metaverse is yet to be coined, the definition coined by the venture capitalist, Matthew Ball, can be a good start.
“The Metaverse is a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence, and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments.”
Which technologies are building the metaverse?
Metaverse, at its core, concentrates on decentralization and universality. It helps us in imagining a space where our digital experiences can be controlled and accessed in a flexible environment.
Now, since space is still growing, newer technologies are coming in every day to help it grow. However, if we had to look at the key/foundational level technologies building the metaverse, they would be these three:
In the metaverse, blockchain technology is giving users control of the online experience. It is not just powering the transition between web 2.0 to web 3.0 but is also making waves with technologies like NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) that can be used to buy a life in the metaverse.
Moreover, as users work around the metaverse with their identity constantly evolving, blockchain can help keep track – just like the social security number of the virtual space.
Building a link between the physical and digital world calls for a certain level of intelligence coming in from the machines. This is where AI comes into the picture. It is helping with natural language processing that ensures robotics and machines understand humans.
Moreover, it is supporting facilities like Simultaneous Location and Mapping technologies, computer vision, etc. that help machines understand their physical surroundings.
Probably the most in-demand area of metaverse exploration is the presence of an AR VR development company working on extended reality.
Extended Reality or XR as it’s generally called, merges the digital and physical world together with the use of devices and headsets. Through technology, we can step into the virtual space and interact with the 3D avatars of humans and the community.
Where is the metaverse today?
At the present moment, all the different use cases of the metaverse surround the gaming industry.
Roblox can be another example of a metaverse in the gaming environment. The game launched in 2004, consists of n-numbers of user-generated games where they can make homes and play unique scenarios. Moreover, the Roblox team has partnered up with several companies to create open gardens, virtual skateboarding parks, spaces to try on Gucci clothing.
Where is the Metaverse headed?
If you ask this question from Mark Zuckerburg, he will say that metaverse come into full force by the end of this decade. However, if you look into the rise in participation that the technology is witnessing, a different picture will emerge.
The near-future of metaverse will see it making a presence beyond the gaming industry. A sign of this can be seen in how companies from a varied level of industries are approaching technology.
Now, while the time it would take for metaverse to enter every sector possible, there are some companies that are pushing their efforts to make metaverse adoption a 5-year agenda.
- Nike – The leading footwear brand announced its entrance to the metaverse by purchasing RTFKT – the future-centric virtual shoe startup. With this, Nike will be able to build virtual samples without spending on the cost of producing physical samples of the sneaker.
- Puma – The brand has submitted the patent of its Metaverse plan. The footwear company is set to launch virtual items in its catalog for a global client base.
- Walmart – The company is working on building a virtual shopping experience by launching its own cryptocurrency and NFTs, which would be used to buy products in the virtual world.
- Samsung – The electronics company has partnered with the 3D avatar platform, Zepeto to build “My House”. In the platform, users will be able to interact with their Samsung home appliances in a customized virtual “house”.
- Microsoft – Recently, Microsoft partnered with Activision Blizzard, the team of game developers. Following the acquisition, the tech giant passed a statement that it is a step towards their entry in the metaverse space.
So here were the many companies that have announced their entry into the metaverse space. At the rate at which the technology is getting explored and adopted, we are sure it will soon find an entry in enterprises and B2B domain as well.
We can hope to have our learning and development sessions, meetings in the virtual space.
While only time would tell if metaverse stays true to the expectations attached to it or become another buzzword that has less value, at present every entrepreneur is looking for ways to enter the space.
If you too are one of those entrepreneurs, get in touch with DianApps – an AR VR development company with a specialization in the metaverse.