Metaverse is that world where you can shop, work, study and enjoy all those things that you do in the real world but virtually. A Metaverse is a virtual world experience of an individual by huge gatherings of concurrent users who share a feeling of common presence.
The term is first introduced in 1992 by Neal Stephenson. He introduced this term in his novel ‘Snow Crash’. In the novel, he presented a dystopian world. The other reference to the metaverse is said to be taken from the online video game ‘Second Life’, which was launched in 2003. This game creates a virtual space for its users, where digital commodities can be sold and bought.
FUSION OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY
Metaverse is the amalgamation of virtual and augmented reality. For your understanding, let us explain to you what is virtual reality and augmented reality.
Virtual Reality is an online environment that artificially creates objects, images or places that are fully immersive in their nature. It is generally used nowadays in online video games. The other aspect is Augmented Reality which is a version of real-world with enhanced auditory, visual and sensory information with the help of technology. Pokemon Go is one example of augmented reality. It is a cross-over of real-world with technology, where you are able to see your real surrounding but with virtual objects such as pokemon. Now, imagine the metaverse with the fusion of both virtual and augmented reality.
In simple language, Metaverse is a social space that allows its users to socialize in 3D Avatars. People have the liberty to create avatars and make them personalized. Matthew Ball suggested that Metaverse is the “successor state to the mobile internet” and a “platform for human leisure, labor, and existence at large.” On the one hand, people are sceptical about it claiming that metaverse is not something that we can rely on. On the other hand, the big giants of the tech industry like Facebook, Microsoft and Intel are claiming it to be the next pioneer in the world of the Internet.
Recently, we can see that Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg is putting so much emphasis on making the Metaverse work. To support his claim that the company is serious about Metaverse, he changed his company name to Meta in October 2021. In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, the Metaverse is going to be the future of the internet, “it is going to be beyond anything we can imagine.”
WHY METAVERSE IS THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET?
Metaverse can bring a revolutionary change in the world of the Internet. It means that instead of just reading, writing and watching on the internet, you can actually have real-world experience. For example, suppose you are watching some concert of a celebrity. With the current technology, you can watch the video or the live streaming of that concert. But with the arrival of Metaverse, you can experience the concert by the virtual presence. With the help of headsets and glasses, you are able to enjoy the concert. In September 2021, American singer Ariana Grande did a virtual concert on Fortnite.
DIGITAL ASPECTS OF METAVERSE
The need for 5G Internet, Web 3.0, Blockchains and Cryptocurrency arrive with the emergence of the Metaverse. 5G internet is required in order to smoothly function in the virtual space. Since Metaverse provides the opportunity to do all those activities that we do in the real world, it also requires the currency for the same. Digital space needs the digital currency and also a medium that makes transactions safe and secure.
This is done with the help of blockchain technology and Cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology makes digital transactions more secure. The other aspect that Metaverse will need is NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). NFTs are tokens that are used in digital space to represent the ownership of art, collectables or domains and even real estate. NFTs allow people to own goods, services or any other thing virtually.
BOOM IN THE TECH INDUSTRY AND THE ECONOMY
Metaverse with the help of Blockchain technology, Cryptocurrency and NFT is jumping into a whole new industry and economy. Currently, Metaverse provides the platform for the online gaming industry. But the experts from the tech industry believe that it will become a norm in upcoming years and will help lots of businesses. It will bring revolutionary change to the Tech industry and give an important contribution to the economy.
According to Eric Sheridan (Sachs’ analyst), the Metaverse is an ‘$8 trillion market opportunity.’ With time, this industry will see significant growth and prosperity and will then be estimated at a much higher number. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks about the Metaverse: “When we think about our vision for what a metaverse can be, we believe there won’t be a single, centralized metaverse and there shouldn’t be. We need to support many metaverse platforms … in gaming, we see the metaverse as a collection of communities and individual identities anchored in strong content franchises, accessible on every device.”
Metaverse is surely the next thing that the Tech industry awaits but we are still at a very nascent stage. Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg claims that it will take 5-10 years, while the other experts say it will take over a decade for the Metaverse to flourish. Metaverse provides businesses with the space to think creatively and engage their customers. With the prospect of buying and selling virtually, it may provide businesses with the chance to engage with more customers.