It is a virtual reality / augmented reality universe that helps you build social connections virtually. The concept of metaverse was invented by Neal Stephenson in a science fiction novel ‘Snow Crash’ in 1992, in which he imagined lifelike avatars that met in realistic 3D buildings and other virtual reality environments, but this virtual world gained recognition when Facebook , now known as Meta, adopted the new moniker, based on the sci-fi term metaverse, to describe its vision for working and playing in a virtual world.
What is Metaverse?
The term metaverse does not denote or refer to any specific type of technology, but rather a broad shift in how we interact and communicate using technology in this fast-growing world. And it is entirely possible that metaverse itself will become just as obsolete over time, even if the specific technology it once described becomes commonplace.
Broadly speaking, the technologies that include the meta-verse can include virtual reality (VR) – characterized by persistent virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you are not playing – as well as augmented reality (AR) that combines features from the digital and physical worlds. However, this does not require that these rooms be accessed exclusively via VR or AR.
In simple words, a metaverse is a network of virtual 3D worlds focused on social connection, and it can be defined as a simulated digital environment using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and blockchain along with concepts from digital media, to create space for rich user interaction that mimics the real world.
Metaverse in modern times
For technophiles, the metaverse represents a nirvana: a place where you can immerse yourself in any digital world and participate in any physical reality, at any time – and also to be able to see and feel anything, even if you are thousands of miles away from it right place.
The digital economy is also growing in Metaverse. Now a person can create, buy and sell goods. And in the more idealistic visions of the metaverse, it is interoperable, allowing you to take virtual objects as clothes from one platform to another. In the physical world, you can buy a shirt from the mall and then wear it to a movie theater. Metaverse may allow you to create a persona that you can take with you anywhere as easily as you can copy your profile picture from one digital space to another.
Meanwhile, as the COVID pandemic raged around the world and grounded economies, it was the Internet and the resulting Work from Home (WFH) technological aids that helped companies stay afloat and arguably even expand rapidly. Various sectors, including education, have changed radically since the pandemic and have become more technology intensive.
In short, the metaverse will potentially change many sectors further by introducing virtual reality (VR) based wearables. These wearables will introduce users to an alternative virtual world from the boundaries of their home. People will be able to interact without having to go through long commutes, inhale polluted air or even dress up for different occasions. Children will be able to study different subjects and modules at their own pace and expand their horizons beyond what is currently possible with the traditional curriculum.
Routines after work such as watching movies or social interactions with friends will have their alternatives in the virtual world without the hassle involved in the real world. In simple words, the possibilities with the meta-verse are endless.
Metaverse and the work of the future
As the metaverse concept begins to incorporate Web3 technology enabled through blockchain technology, the metaverse of the future will be something similar to our real world in many aspects and even replace some real activities.
Already some metaverse non-fungible token (NFT) providers have made it possible for their NFTs to be usable in some metaverse games such as clothing and footwear and more are planning to venture into the domain.
An increasing number of NFT enthusiasts are also noticing opportunities to invest in virtual countries on such games and sell or rent them for a price. The metavers of the future can also be a huge contributing factor to the growth of the virtual economy, which depends on video games and virtual worlds where disruptions are almost zero.
As such, both users and creators gain a lot, and this can even increase if non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are incorporated into assets in the game, so decentralization of the virtual economy becomes a reality.
Today, we already have an incipient version of the meta-verse that exists with digital goods like NFTs representing popular art and digital memorabilia that are already being tossed up by both investors and crypto fans.
With major players like Meta entering this space and confidently signaling that it could be the new future, it’s only a matter of time before we see other devices follow suit. This could lead to an exponential expansion of the metaverse’s boundaries and unlock huge amounts of value that have so far not been known to both consumers and investors.
The future of metaverse is also based on the idea of running openly, with almost no interruption from a single community or business, as the participation of creators will be from all over the world, as more brands seek to open their businesses on the broader metaverse as well as today’s internet.
(Hitesh Malviya is the founder of IBCDAO, an investment DAO. Views are his own)