In recent months you may have heard about something called the Metaverse, a topic which has become trending in the technology industry today, mainly by Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, who has decided to bring this social network to an immersive virtual environment.
Mark Zuckerberg indicated that the Metaverse is the next generation of the internet, a space for coexistence that will go beyond a digital platform on a PC, or a cell phone, which would also be present in our day-to-day lives.
Next, we will talk more about the Metaverse. Are you ready?
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse (a portmanteau of meta and universe) is a hypothesized iteration of the internet, supporting persistent online 3-D virtual environments through conventional personal computing, as well as virtual and augmented reality headsets.
In other words, the Metaverse is a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually. It will be like teleporting into a new and digital world.
Brief History of the Metaverse
The term “metaverse” was originally coined in Neal Stephenson’s seminal 1992 cyberpunk novel, Snow Crash. In the book, the Metaverse is a shared “imaginary place” that’s “made available to the public over the worldwide fiber-optics network” and projected onto virtual reality goggles. In it, developers can build buildings, parks, signs, as well as things that do not exist in Reality, such as vast hovering overhead light shows, special neighborhoods where the rules of three-dimensional spacetime are ignored, and free-combat zones where people can go to hunt and kill each other.
The big bet by technology leaders
Currently there are already some technology companies that are betting on the Metaverse:
Horizon Workrooms is Meta’s first major step toward Zuckerberg’s imagined metaverse, an all-encompassing alternate reality that blends the real world with digital imaginations and enhancements. Horizon Workrooms is a virtual reality (VR) application for remote collaboration. Think of it as a 3-D virtual office you can access with an Oculus VR headset.
In addition, Meta plans is to create a virtual world where people can meet, shop, play, and even work “A set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you”
Mesh, which was first announced in March, builds on existing Teams features like “Together mode” and “Presenter mode,” which make remote and hybrid meetings more collaborative and immersive. The updated product will allow organizations to create “metaverses” where people can collaborate in virtual environments that mimic physical offices and other shared spaces. Everyone in a meeting can be “present without being physically present using personalized avatars.
Another tweaked Microsoft product, Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces which will be previewed in December. That tool is expected to provide analytics about people, places, and how the former interact with the latter.
Autodesk provides another angle for those looking to gain exposure to the metaverse. The company provides software used for design, allowing people to virtually create everything from buildings and products to animations used in media and gaming. Although the software is currently used to design virtual things to be made in the real world, the same software could prove to be a key building block for companies and creators looking to develop the metaverse.
Computer chip maker Nvidia Corp built its Omniverse platform for connecting 3D worlds into a shared virtual universe. It says Omniverse, which is used for projects like creating simulations of real-world buildings and factories, is the “plumbing” on which metaverses could be built.
Epic is the company behind video game phenomenon Fortnite, which has moved beyond its core shooting game to social experiences like dance parties and virtual music concerts. Users pay to dress their avatars in different costumes and can build their own islands and games. Epic also owns a large gaming engine, Unreal, used to develop games and other visual effects like TV show backdrops.
Life in the future: Metaverse will change the way we live
The Metaverse is designed to help draw in users and create the illusion that they’re really in the reality they’ve entered. Instead of a simple two-dimensional screen, it helps take those collaborative options to the next level, bringing users into a 3D environment where they can interact more closely with the things around them. Not only is it a great way to create enhanced reality when dealing with games, including deeper involvement with the entire environment, but it’s also a great way to change the future of virtual meetings, collaborative events with people across the globe, and more.
A lot of people think the Metaverse might just be a buzzword. Many big companies, however, beg to differ. Both Microsoft and Google, along with Zoom and Facebook to name but a few, are investing heavily in the development of Metaverse technology. These tech companies strongly suspect that this is what the future of technology will look like–and, as a result, how people will come together.
The Metaverse has the potential to change the way people interact, both with the technology they use on a regular basis and with the people they need to interact with to get their jobs done. With many people looking for remote jobs, and many companies investing in remote opportunities for their people, the Metaverse has the potential to enhance relationships and connections, putting some of the human element back into those two-dimensional virtual meetings. It’s a step into the future–and it could be here before you know it.