Recently Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company’s name carrying Facebook and all its other assets and applications will be called “META”, which gave the digital world a new topic to talk about - The Metaverse.
There are plenty of pundits all over the social media sites warning about the potential drawbacks and how virtual worlds are doomed to fail, but we wanted to take a more practical look at the obstacles the Metaverse concept can face, as well as the numerous benefits society stands to gain if those working on it succeed.
Facebook Company has now officially changed its name to Meta
The Human race has been trying to escape from their reality since the dawn of the internet. With each new technological advancement comes a new way to immerse oneself in cyberspace, temporarily removing oneself from the physical bonds of nature. The border between real life and the virtual world seems to blur every day as the metaverse looms on the horizon of existence.
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Metaverse can be considered the pinnacle of virtual reality. If you've seen any of the Black Mirror episodes, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's right there in the word, where "meta" means "beyond" and "verse" means "universe."
Tech behemoths like Facebook and Epic Games (Fortnite) envision the metaverse as a virtual duplicate of reality. Whatever exists in our reality will eventually find its way to the other - almost like a parallel universe.
(Speaking of Facebook, check out Facebook Technologies)
Before we can do that, we want to make sure we're both on the same page with the Metaverse concept, both about the obstacles it faces and the benefits it offers.
What is the Metaverse, and how does it work?
The concept of the metaverse is ambitious. We'd be looking at a computerized representation of all real-world components, such as economics and environment, in its final form. Users would totally immerse themselves in a virtual world and be able to achieve things they would never be able to do in real life. We don't need to be subtle to figure out what some of those things are.
The current stage of the metaverse has various branches, including ones with specific goals, such as bitcoin and NFTs trading. Consider the games Axie Infinity and Entropia Universe. If they do decide to create their own metaverses in the future, the category is likely to become more competitive.
The metaverse, on the other hand, would be characterised by two distinct atmospheres: economy-driven and a sandbox lifestyle. The former will maintain a monetary atmosphere, while the latter will cater to a limitless virtual universe.
In a sandbox metaverse, we may meet up with friends and strangers from all over the world. In a metaverse, mundane actions in the real world would become considerably more convenient. Things like trying on new clothes or taking a car for a test drive may all be done from the convenience of your own home (or a futuristic VR chamber we might have by then.)
Facebook has already stated that it is developing a metaverse. We feel it is, without irony, one of the most culturally suitable companies to take such a step. Let's face it, social media is the one who began it all, so it might as well end it.
(Here are some of the other Top companies Leading the Metaverse Technology)
Getting into the Metaverse
In a very real sense, the metaverse is all around us. Early trials in MMORPGs like Second Life and World of Warcraft introduced the concept of gamified social platforms, which engrossed players to the point where digital commodities, like weaponry and apparel, held enormous real-world value.
Existing social networking services like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have enabled users to create pseudo-anonymous Internet avatar identities and interactive virtual rooms where they may share news, discuss topics, and communicate with friends.
People are no strangers to complete digital immersion through an external screen, whether it's in a Twitter Spaces hangout, a Zoom conversation with coworkers, or multiplayer games. Emerging technologies, on the other hand, have the potential to give the digital world additional relevance, permanency, and presence.
Our ability to reproduce the human experience will play a big role in enabling the enhanced telepresence that will enable metaverse development. Virtual reality (VR) headsets and movement-tracking technologies, with increasingly realistic depictions that produce a feeling of complete sensory immersion, can play a key part in this.
SuperHot, a Matrix-style game in which time passes only as fast as the player, and VR Chat, a social network in which participants construct 3D avatars to engage in common virtual rooms, are two instances of early developments.
While virtual reality (VR) aspires to create an immersive virtual world separate from physical settings, augmented reality (AR) incorporates virtual displays into real-world environments.
Microsoft's Hololens, an AR headset that tracks both what we're looking at and our body movements to superimpose virtual images and icons, allowing for compelling use cases that can help us navigate, identify objects, and interact with the physical world in a virtual manner, is one such example that exists right now.
Imagine a world where you can put on AR glasses to see which virtual shoes someone wore that day, or where you can play games on an entirely virtual screen that resides on your desk.
AR glasses could provide information and enhance everyday experiences by updating in real time based on sensors. AR's goal is to create a seamless merger of the virtual and actual worlds that will make everyday living more fascinating, functional, and genuine.
AR and VR are inspiring technologies that are helping to shape the experiences that will characterize the metaverse's future vision. However, interactive and immersive experiences are only part of the picture; the metaverse will need a value layer powered by decentralized infrastructure like blockchains to empower users as much as platform developers in the metaverse's development.
Finally, this will aid metaverse users in defining the metaverse's structure, providing the digital universe greater solidity through verified digital goods and allowing users to sense substance in an ethereal, digitized space.
(Must Read: Metaverse Stocks to Invest in )
The Issues with the Metaverse
Although the concept of the metaverse appears to be a technological triumph, it is not without flaws. Decentralization and the economy, we believe, are the two most pressing challenges.
Decentralization: It is impossible for a real metaverse to function on centralized servers. Similar to crypto mining, participation entails giving your computing power. In their own universes, no one wants to be moderated. Facebook isn't exactly known for its unwavering devotion to user privacy, so we can only imagine the ramifications if it decides to centralize its metaverse.
Economy: Cryptocurrency would most certainly be used in metaverse economies, including those in a sandbox. This might drive up the price of cryptocurrency to an all-time high. We'd have to figure out how to keep such heavy loads off the networks.
This results in excessive energy consumption, which has an impact on the metaverses itself. Finding a compromise between these aspects, at least with the technology we have now, would be incredibly challenging.
Watch this: The Metaverse could be a problem
When Windows 95 was the coolest thing you possessed, life was a lot simpler. We now spend hours of our life on the internet without even realizing it. Even our money has devolved into a series of numbers on a screen.
The metaverse will continue to evolve as long as we advance our technologies. Every step toward its realization pushes us further away from reality. Is it getting closer to a better solution? In the metaverse, where would you be?