Since Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta had been chosen as the new name for Facebook, the ‘metaverse’ has become a bit of a buzzword, leaving many confused about what it actually all means. Along with this, there are several big-name brands, such as Nike, that have joined the metaverse. So, what do we need to know about this concept?
The Metaverse Explained
The metaverse refers to a combination of several different technologies including eye-tracking, augmented reality, and virtual reality. These elements are all used together to create the ultimate virtual experience, all within a completely virtual experience. Some examples of a metaverse that you may already be familiar with, especially if you enjoy video games, include Roblox and Fortnite. metaverse was first mentioned as a term in 1992, in Snow Crash, a sci-fi novel by Neal Stephenson. While this term isn’t new, today we are living in a very digitized world, and the idea of living in a virtual world may not be as futuristic as it first seems.
If you’ve watched the Ready Player One movie set in the year 2045 where most people are using virtual reality to escape the real world, then you already have a good idea of the concept of what it is to operate in the metaverse. Right now, there are several metaverses that support popular VR headsets like Stream, Oculus, and Vive. But you don’t need a VR headset to enter most metaverses – a computer and a good internet connection is usually the minimum requirement.
What’s In the Metaverse?
Many people still find the metaverse and what’s in it to be a mystery. If you’re not sure what to expect, the metaverse is home to various elements including games, businesses, digital assets, 3D avatars, and events, all of which support a virtual economy. Users can meet with friends, host business meetings, attend virtual events, and monetize their creations. In fact, the metaverse offers many of the same features that you would be able to find in the real world. However, the biggest difference is that in the metaverse, you are able to travel anywhere, all from the comfort of your home if you have a computer and a VR headset. You can even teleport to any location that you like.
The Importance of the Metaverse in 2022
It’s easy to see why some people may not realize the importance of the metaverse in today’s society. What exactly is so important about it? The metaverse is an important concept as it offers people a way to connect and communicate in-person from anywhere in the world, without actually leaving the comfort of their own home. And it supports an entire virtual economy where users can take part in various different activities including networking with others, hosting events and gatherings, and starting a business. For example, if you have a family member or friend that lives in a different part of the world and you’re not able to meet up with them on the holidays, all you need to do is put on your VR headsets, and there are programs that allow you to get together virtually. You can do a range of activities together and enjoy each other’s company without actually having to travel. Also, the metaverse allows us to do the same for all kinds of things, such as training sessions and business meetings. With the rise of remote working, this is becoming increasingly useful for some companies, with colleagues able to sit at the same table, view the same presentation, and discuss the meeting in an immersive environment without having to go into the office.
Along with this, the metaverse allows users to own virtual land, which you can use to actually create a business. For example, you could build a recreational area in the metaverse and monetize it by renting it out to people who want to host events or play games, open VR stores, and even make money from your skills as a builder by charging people for various digital creations. In turn, this is likely to create further career opportunities for people in the real-world, as the metaverse leads to a higher demand for virtual architects, software developers and more. Ultimately, the main aim of the metaverse is to allow people to be anywhere, with anyone, in a realistic yet virtual setting at any time.
Right now, there are several metaverses that are available for anybody to explore. Some have thousands of users, and a thriving community. Decentraland, Somnium Space, Roblox, The Sandbox, and Cryptovoxels are popular examples of the metaverse. Some are known for being online gaming platforms where others are more popular as virtual reality platforms. Some modern-day metaverses that most people are going to be aware of today include Minecraft and Fortnite; these are virtual 3D spaces that combine both gaming and non-gaming elements. Currently, the metaverse is still a fairly new thing; however, it has a huge potential for innovation, and many huge brands including Microsoft, Adidas, Google, Sony, and Nike have all begun building their brands in the metaverse.
With any new economy there will come different currency options, and the currency used will depend on the specific metaverse. The only type of currency accepted in any metaverse is usually cryptocurrency, of which there are many different types. You may pay for things and be paid in a different cryptocurrency depending on the metaverse that you are in.
What Does the Future Hold?
When it comes to the future of the metaverse, experts agree that things are probably not going to slow down any time soon in terms of development. In fact, current events including the COVID-19 pandemic have only served to speed up development within the metaverse as more and more people look for safe, virtual and immersive ways to connect with others. In all likelihood, the metaverse is set to completely revolutionize the way that humans interact with one another, along with helping various industries improve efficiency.
Are you ready to take advantage of this new way of exploring the world from your home?