Metaverse promises everything the science fiction writers have ever dreamt off in their writings. Virtual reality and Augmented Reality come together to create a universal and immersive virtual world. Metaverse is essentially a network of virtual 3D worlds which can be used to build social connections.
It is often predicted that web3 is going to be the platform on which the metaverse will be created. While web 2.0 will be remembered for making social media a part of our lives with an avalanche of user generated content. However, in the era of web 2.0, the servers that store data are owned by massive corporations and institutions and the creator was never the original owner.
The primary and most distinctive difference between web 2 and web 3 is; the latter is being built around the core idea of decentralization. Additionally the adoption of blockchain technology promises to make it far more evolved than what web 2.0 currently is.
What is MetaVerse?
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg shares that Metaverse is essentially going to be a place where people connect, artists create and friends meet, except all this will be virtual and accessible through special glasses and gadgets. Alternatively, items from the virtual world can be taken to the physical world in the form of holograms.
Pretty mind blowing, yeah right, or a bit of a mind twister. Well, we need more to make a sense of it just yet.
So, it is a virtual world where you can interact with other people through your digital avatars and computer generated objects. Meta promises to be useful for socializing, work, learning and playing. You can create an imaginary world from scratch or mirror your physical world into the metaverse.
History of the Metaverse
The term metaverse can be traced back to the science fiction novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson but was truly brought to life through online video games amongst which Second Life deserves a special mention. However, the concept remained within the bounds of the tech community, nerds, gamers and gaming enthusiasts. It never escaped into the mainstream until Mark Zuckerberg announced ‘Facebook Horizon’ in 2019.
Accessing Meta verse
So now equipped with the basic understanding of metaverse, we now need to know how to access it? There are multiple platforms like Fortnite, Roblox, decentral, and Sandbox that provide VR, AR and extended reality.
All you need is a VR headset and this allows you to navigate your way through the metaverse through voice control, eye movement and motion sensing controllers. This provides you a physical world feeling in the metaverse.
The dependence of meta verse on VR has an implication in its development and will also determine whether it will be adopted widely or not. The two major aspects that come into type picture are:
- Headset that are light and can achieve the desired retina display and pixel density needed for visual immersion
- The cost of the headset which currently ranges from $300-3000
As haptic technology (kinesthetic communication or 3D touch) gets better, the VR headsets and subsequently the metaverse experience shall improve .
Shopping in Meta verse
How about some land in the metaverse? The heavyweights have already snooped in the prime plots, JP Morgan, SnoopDog, PWC even and if you still are wondering about the returns, let’s give you an idea. The plot that may cost 5000 USD today you can expect it to go for 1800-20000 USD in less than a year.
Interested? But how do you make a real estate purchase in the metaverse? Cryptocurrencies off course. You can own virtual land on platforms like Decentraland and Sandbox, and pay through Ethereum or Sand.
Is Metaverse still a Sci Fi Imagination?
Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg claim that meta is the next big internet revolution however Meta lost $2.81 billion on $452 million in revenue from its virtual reality division and as per the Big tech Founder Kantrowitz Meta may continue losses until metaverse pays off.
But, the experts believe the road to recovery may very well be long and difficult for Facebook along with some very tough competition from tech giants like Apple creating their own version of metaverse accessible through iphones and ipads in your pockets and backpacks.
Apart from technological limitations, Metaverse also faces questions about data and cyber security, alssault and discrimination in a virtual space and other ethical and moral dilemmas. Frances Haughen, the Product Manager turned whistleblower provided the Wall Street Journal with what is now called the Facebook Files, which are internal facebook papers in support of her accusation that Facebook’s products put profits before the wellbeing of children and people.
The Future of Metaverse
Like all technologies Metaverse will have to establish itself as a safe, credible and trustworthy platform to be able to become a part of people’s lives however no amount of virtual greenery will compensate for a walk in the forest. And there’s a long way before Facebook or anyone else can Meta that.
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