Recently Metaverse has been gaining a lot of attention, with people questioning what exactly it is. Being a newer concept, excitement, as well as concerns, are floating all around this topic. The Metaverse can be a number of different things to different people, with some eagerly waiting for its full unveiling and others refusing to participate. The concept of metaverse differs from the internet as the metaverse is something you're immersed in compared to the internet that you just look at. As some people say, The Metaverse isn't about escaping reality; about enhancing and augmenting your reality and building a community.
What is the Metaverse?
The easiest way to describe the Metaverse is that it is a whole virtual world where a number of people from the comfort of their own homes can live, work, shop and interact with each other. It is basically like the real world, only a lot bigger and better. It is a cyberspace that doesn't fully refer to just one type of technology but a change in how we interact with any kind of technology. The metaverse can include virtual reality, which has a virtual world that doesn't stop existing when you stop playing and instead continues to exist and is a mix of both the virtual world and the real world with augmented reality. The aspects that call themselves the metaverse can be accessed by game consoles, PCs and phones and aren't limited to VR and AR.
Metaverse has been called ‘the next generation of the internet’, but we are still figuring out how investors and other people can use this to their advantage. Here, the gap between the virtual world and the real world will start to close up, and they will be able to interact with each other. People can express themselves here through avatars, creation and digital objects, and economic activities and creativity will flourish. In the metaverse, people will have shared experiences and play, shop, learn and experience thing they didn't think was possible.
What is the metaverse used for?
Immersive worlds have already been used a lot by online gaming industries, and the audiences of Epic games and Roblox kinds of games are huge and invest a significant amount of time and energy into playing the games and building virtual worlds. Many different companies are also experimenting with integrating the workplace with the metaverse so that remote work can be better supported. Workplace training is one of the uses for the metaverse, and a number of hospitals for training in medical procedures, are already using VR and AR. Collaborating on work projects in 3D rooms online adds a layer of realism to remote workers. AI-powered holograms and digital twins could be a thing where a person could interact with several groups at once through the holograms.
What are the Metaverse Companies?
There are 3 main contenders with their own visions of what the Metaverse will be like, and they are:
Facebook recently rebranded itself into Meta and announced how it's planning on putting meta first and not Facebook. Meta also has its MetaQuest VR headsets that are used for navigating the metaverse that they have already sold millions of. The rebranding from Facebook to meta also indicated that Metaverse service users wouldn't need a Facebook account to access it. Social tools and fundamental technologies are being developed and improved to bring the metaverse to life, and an avatar will be there to navigate around the world. The massive investment Meta made in the Metaverse is considered a huge gamble in the current economy.
The metaverse coming to Microsft teams has a range of AI tools that can be used for avatars, multiple users, spatial rendering, and much more. The new service offered will allow Team users to join from different locations into a collaborative shared hologram experience. The technology will let the users remake brilliant quality models of people in real-time. Microsoft is also collaborating with Accenture to make Mesh-enabled immersive spaces. Microsoft mesh enables the onboarding process of Accenture by providing a space through teams to give instructions on creating and accessing One Accenture park. In the amusement park-like world, there's a digital monorail that the new employees use to get from one exhibit to another, a conference room and a boardroom.
Epic games are the creator of Fortnite, which is extremely popular and has planned to stake a claim in the metaverse for 1 billion dollars. It had a round of funding in 2021, where it even got 200 million dollars from the Sony group. Their vision for the metaverse is different, and their main goal is to create a space for users to interact with brands without a feed full of ads.
When can we expect the complete version of the metaverse?
The metaverse is a fairly old concept with similar virtual worlds existing already. The full extent of the metaverse hasn't even been mapped out yet, so achieving that is quite a few years away. The Vr goggles and technology available now are inaccurate in representing voice and body language, and such technologies need to be worked on. Although this intricate metaverse will take a while to be developed, there are speculations that virtual meeting rooms will soon go from 2D rooms to 3D spaces with digital avatars.
How can the Metaverse affect the Future?
As the Metaverse is not even fully envisioned or formed yet, so there are many unknowns and possibilities. There are two sides people take towards the Metaverse; some agree that the technology and new developments will prove to be very beneficial and helpful in the corporate world, and some firmly believe that the metaverse is a security and privacy risk and will be nothing but a negative thing. They believe that the Metaverse will only further the social media ills that are already present. Creating a positive and safe metaverse experience will prove to be a lot more intensive and hard than originally thought. Still, if done correctly, it could definitely change the path of technology forever.
The Pros and Cons of Metaverse
There are always many different pros and cons of any new technology that appears, and so here are a few Pros and Cons of the Metaverse.
- There can be shares experiences with friends or family that live in different locations like they're in the same room.
- Interactions can be done better with more lifelike interpretations of physical objects
- Remote working quality improves with collaborations and co-creation as if in the same room.
- The training and testing are more efficient and realistic.
- Access to experiences that are otherwise impossible will be possible for everyone equally
- The business investments needed are a lot more
- There is a possibility of higher policy and behavioural violations
- The metaverse can become an escape from real life and addictive
- There will be points of compromise and Security concerns
- The cost of technologies needed to participate will increase and not be affordable for everyone.
The Metaverse is a very vast and intricate topic that still is forming its roots and so cannot be fully understood and vetted. There are a lot of advantages of that kind of advancement in technology, but with the advancements also come privacy and safety risks that need to be carefully taken care of. The metaverse is in the works and coming soon, so it’s best to stay prepared for everything.