The metaverse is a three-dimensional social network. Instead of a profile, you and your pals each have an avatar. Instead of a news stream, individuals assemble in social hubs to discuss news, gossip, and play games in a virtual universe. It’s like what Neal Stephenson described in his book, Snow Crash.
Although the virtual environment is cartoon-like, the metaverse conjures up its own captivating version of reality that, perhaps counterintuitively, can offer better opportunities to interact and communicate with others than are often available beyond the screen.
Let’s take a look at what this new immersive experience is like and how it can change our physical space.
Breaking Down The Metaverse
Virtual and augmented reality will be used to access the majority of metaverse surroundings. Several tech giants are developing metaverse products, including Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and Facebook’s parent company Meta. Experts predict that virtual reality, which was worth $30 billion in 2021, will grow to $300 billion by 2024.
Many other applications of the technology are being developed. Seoul, South Korea, for example, will build a virtual duplicate of the city as part of the Seoul Vision 2030 initiative. Residents will be able to connect with local officials, participate in community events, and visit museums and restored historical locations through the virtual environment.
The city claims that its metaverse will take a decade to build and will be accessible via VR and AR headsets. It’s really a sight to see since it will change the way we look at tourism and digital culture.
This just shows how quickly these digital spaces are growing and how quickly it will connect people in the hundreds of millions.
Content, Commerce, and Gaming
One of the main uses in the Metaverse is currently video games. Players can create their own virtual avatars and compete against each other. However, things are changing.
The metaverse is now paving the way for more ways that we can interact. Digital avatars won’t only be for gaming, but for joining a meeting where remote workers can carry out their jobs. Artists and creators are also making the most of this by displaying their work and even hosting performances in the digital world.
Blockchain technology is a big help with this and digital currency is the only form of money here.
Tip of The Iceberg
Real estate sales are among the most popular Metaverse uses, with people and businesses seeking to be first to market.
Metaverse platforms are divided into land parcels that can be acquired with the environment’s specific cryptocurrency token. You can monetize real estate by selling it at a higher price or leasing it to a property developer or VR event organizer.
Another feature is VR avatars, which were popularized by science fiction and are now supported by Metaverse platforms, which are quite handy. In the Metaverse, for example, a user can change their hair color, body type, accessories, gender, or even appear as a fictional character.
How Safe is It?
As Meta transitions from a social media platform to a virtual reality corporation, safety and privacy experts are concerned that some of the problems plaguing the company in the real world will be carried over into the metaverse. In October, the firm announced a name change from Facebook to Meta, just weeks after whistleblower Frances Haugen disclosed thousands of internal papers revealing that company management ignored the public harm caused by its social media platforms. Don’t worry though, it’s not as bad as you think.
Where to Go From Here
Phillip Rosedale, a software developer, founded Second Life, a proto-metaverse, in 2003. By 2005, hundreds of thousands of users had logged millions of hours in the virtual world creating content, selling digital items, and playing games. Second Life was so popular that it was featured on the cover of Business Week, and the news agency Reuters established a virtual bureau to cover happenings in the virtual world.
Second Life, like many other social networks, was popular until it wasn’t. Sexual harassment was frequently reported by users. Linden Labs, the developer, was also unable to extend the tech infrastructure to meet demand, and the technology contained a number of security issues. Second Life was a virtual ghost town a decade after its introduction, ouch.
However, this was ages ago and tech giants are looking to create a new user experience through the Metaverse and have managed to prevent the same fate and allow a much better virtual experience for all active users. Rest assured, you’re in good hands with these guys!
The Virtual Space Awaits
As you can see, the Metaverse holds a lot in store. Real life and immersive technology come together to give you a metaverse experience that you’d think is something out of a science fiction movie. However, it’s not just gaming.
The metaverse is soon to normalize a digital life, with business meetings, remote work, education, and even shopping becoming a regular feature. Buckle up, the future’s at your doorstep!
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