Since Facebook rebranded to Meta in October last year, revealing their plans to build a metaverse, the topic has heated up. Many people want to know what is the Metaverse. we will explain everything you need to know in this article.
There are different opinions about the existence of the Metaverse. Still, Mark Zuckerberg made it look like it was solely the product of Meta during his keynote at the Connect 2021 conference. The Metaverse is one of the next evolution of the internet known as Web3.
So what will Metaverse bring to the internet that makes many brands and tech enthusiasts proud to associate themselves with it? Let’s answer the question.
What is the Metaverse
The term “Metaverse” was coined by Neal Stephenson in his cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. It was released in 1992, and he described it as a 3D virtual reality space accessed through personal terminals and virtual reality goggles related to the Oculus Quest and other VR headsets. If you want to understand how the Metaverse works practically, I suggest watching “The Matrix” and “Ready Player One.” It relates to how humans sit in a particular place and travel in a virtual world.
What is Metaverse? The Metaverse combines virtual reality, augmented reality, and video, where users live inside a digital universe. It is envisioned as a world where we can connect with family and friends. In the Metaverse, we can work, play, stay connected and do a lot of other activities together while staying in different locations in our physical world. Therefore, the Metaverse in a simple term is a Virtual World.
In the Metaverse, we can hold meetings, travel to various destinations easily, work together remotely, and even attend events together. For example, Hip-hop artist Travis Scott hosted a concert in Fortnite, a popular Battle Royale game; although it lasted for just ten minutes, millions of gamers attended it. Nevertheless, it gave us a glimpse into what music concerts will look like in the Metaverse.
The Metaverse is like traveling inside the internet. Some iterations of the Metaverse are already in existence, and we have some blockchain games where players can build and own virtual properties online. Currently, there is an influx of investors buying virtual lands already. I will explain all that in a bit.
Does the Metaverse Exist Yet?
The Metaverse is not yet entirely in existence in terms of how Meta, Microsoft, and other players envision it. Some virtual reality games like Sandbox, Axie Infinity, and Alice are Blockchain based and gamers can unlock in-game items in form of NFTs and trade them for cash. The games are blockchain-based, and they rely on smart contracts to verify ownership of objects. Gamers will create an Avatar and continue to customize it with the in-game items collected. It gives us an idea of what the Metaverse will be, but it’s far from what the end product will look be like.
Sandbox is a perfect example of a metaverse where gamers can own land, build and play the game while engaging with other community members. In addition, gamers can monetize their plot of land and other collectible items using the SAND token.
Facebook now “Meta” seems to be the first company to build the Metaverse. Right now, they have sold millions of Oculus VR headsets by making them cheaper than other rival VR headsets. They have also created VR apps for social hangouts and the workplace, including apps that interact with the real world. Meta has made It known that the Metaverse will not be built overnight, and they have promised to collaborate with others on the project. Mark Zuckerberg himself that it will take almost a decade to build the Metaverse while presenting the keynote at the Connect Conference 2021.
Why Build A Metaverse?
The Metaverse is already termed the next internet, and it will improve work and collaboration across time and space. Regardless of your location in the world, you can work with brands and people efficiently. The only thing required might be just your VR headset, depending on the Metaverse of your choice. Currently, Nvidia, Microsoft, Meta, Walmart, and other brands are working silently to develop their Metaverse. However, I am confident that these companies will have to collaborate to make it immersive.
Another primary reason the Metaverse is essential is the ongoing pandemic. In addition, many people spend their time working from home, and having a place where we can connect to work and catch up with friends is essential. Many business experts have also projected that the metaverse economy will grow to over 800 billion by 2024. Right now, many investors are already buying metaverse stocks and cryptocurrencies. Some of them are even buying virtual lands to be early investors in the next big thing.
Which Companies are Involved in Building the Metaverse?
The most recent company to announce their involvement in the Metaverse is Walmart. They plan to build a metaverse and possibly a crypto token to make online shopping faster and easier. So you can sit in the comfort of your room and walk into a Walmart store close to you and buy anything you want with ease.
Other companies involved include Nvidia, Microsoft, Meta, Unity Software, and Snapchat. In addition, Roblox, a gaming company, is already bringing gamers together online through play and is focusing on the Metaverse. So many other companies are working on building a metaverse, which brings us to the next question.
How many Metaverse are there?
The project is supposed to be decentralized and democratic, and ideally, it should be one Metaverse. There will be some key elements involved in building a metaverse. They include blockchain technology, Human interface, Creator economy, Discovery, and Infrastructure, to mention a few. Over 100 companies across various categories are all coming together to build the Metaverse.
Meta has made it clear in their statement that no single company will own the Metaverse, and they said a few companies have already aligned with them to invest in the project. This question is puzzling, but ideally, it should be a single metaverse to make it easily accessible to everyone.
The Reality – What is the Metaverse?
The future looks promising, and the concept of traveling on the internet will be fun. However, the Metaverse might take away from us is the importance of having a real life. As a result, there might be fewer outlets to engage with fellow humans in real-life situations when the project succeeds.
We currently haven’t solved some fundamental internet problems, and the Metaverse will be built upon that also. Problems like harassment, bullying, hacking, racism and hate speech are still a big part of the internet. Facebook now Meta also has a history of taking user’s data without their consent.
I am excited about the Metaverse coming into existence, but I feel some checks are essential before takeoff.