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What is the Metaverse?
Introduction to Metaverse
A metaverse is a proposed software platform and virtual world architecture that would allow users to create their worlds and experiences, similar to the virtual worlds found in games like Second Life. Metaverse is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash.
In Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, the Metaverse is a digital world within the internet, and it allows users to create their virtual worlds and experiences and interact with others in these worlds. The Metaverse is a collaborative space where people can come together to work, socialize, or have fun.
Challenges associated with Metaverse
The concept of the Metaverse has been around for a long time, and one reason for this is the challenge of creating a platform that can support it. A metaverse requires a powerful and flexible software platform that can handle various tasks, from rendering complex 3D graphics to managing user interactions.
Another challenge is scaling. A metaverse needs to accommodate a large number of users simultaneously, and this requires a high-performance network infrastructure and efficient data management systems.
Despite these challenges, there is growing interest in building a metaverse. Several companies are working on platforms that could support a metaverse, and there is already some experimentation with virtual world applications. It's possible that the Metaverse will eventually be realized and that our future is in a shared digital world.
Metaverse as a concept
The Metaverse is the concept of a shared virtual space, encompassing all 'virtual worlds,' which can be accessed by any user or device with an internet connection. It's likely to be realized via distributed ledgers and blockchain technology, allowing for more open development than previous platforms like Second Life.
The Metaverse will act as both infrastructure and content layer, potentially hosting anything from services to software programs known as 'dapps.' As with most modern blockchain, consensus will be achieved via delegated Proof-of-Stake (PoS) - think Ark delegates, but on steroids.
Users retain control over their funds at all times rather than delegating them to a third party. Because the Metaverse is decentralized, it can avoid many problems plaguing other social media platforms. For instance, information hosted on the Metaverse cannot be censored because no central authority can prevent its distribution.
The platform will also allow for all types of content, including text, images, audio, and video - something not possible on other centralized systems like Steemit.
Users are free to create whatever kind of content they want without worrying about censorship or heavy-handed moderation.
Users even have complete control over their own identity within the Metaverse, unlike current services, which require people to hand over substantial amounts of personal data in exchange for using their services (Facebook).
Different Effects of Metaverse on Human Kind
The Metaverse will be humankind's great leap in technology for digital interaction between people. It will cause transformation in nearly every aspect of human life. Here are ten effects it can have on the human future:
The Metaverse is a virtual reality network through which the entire world will eventually be connected. A person can enter into this virtual space and interact with other people, objects, data, and environments represented as 3-dimensional forms.
A metaverse avatar can have detailed facial expressions and body language of the avatar's owner. It is done through an advanced form of puppeteering (e.g., Philip Rosedale and his wife recently produced video clips showing their avatars kissing each other). These videos serve as proofs of concept for telepresence within a metaverse — though it may take years or decades before we get there, we'll eventually get there.
The Metaverse is an immersive experience. It's like you're there! You can also physically occupy it with other human avatars; this is called telepresence (e.g., now, my avatar is standing next to your avatar). We may use sensors (e.g., motion trackers) or wearable computers (e.g., Oculus Rift) to fully immerse ourselves in the Metaverse and feel our avatars are there. For example, I just turned around 360 degrees, took a look at the place where my laptop was sitting, then walked over there through the Metaverse using foot sensors that came up on my display which mapped my actual location); how about that?
The Metaverse have different levels of immersion. The highest level comprise photorealistic environments (e.g., CGI). But even fully immersive Metaverses in which everything is 3D, like Second Life, will eventually serve as gateways for connecting to lower-immersion Metaverses.
The people in any given Metaverse may or may not know that they're avatars with an actual human presence behind them. For example, I'm presently sitting with my laptop at home typing on it, but when I go into one of these virtual worlds and "put on" my avatar, I may be sitting on a beach in the Bahamas. Someone else's avatar may be right next to me, also "sitting." It'll take some getting used to, but it'll happen; we're already seeing people do things like this with Second Life today.
The Metaverse likely have its economy (and possibly even governments). Linden Labs, the company that created Second Life, currently has a GDP of over $500 million, and that number will only go up as more people enter into virtual worlds.
The Metaverse change the way we learn. Have you ever heard of massively open online courses (MOOCs)? They're just starting now, and the Metaverse will make them even more massive.
The Metaverse change the way we work. It's already happening to some degree with companies like IBM and Dell taking advantage of virtual worlds for training, design, and collaboration.
The Metaverse change the way we play. Online gaming is a $50 billion industry, and it's only going to grow with the advent of the Metaverse.
The Metaverse change the way we socialize. In the Metaverse, people associate in ways never before possible. For example, they'll be able to have face-to-face conversations with each other even if they're on opposite sides of the planet. Additionally, they'll be able to connect with others and share experiences and interests, and they'll even be able to create virtual communities where they can live and work.
The Metaverse change the way we do business. Large and small companies flock to the Metaverse because it gives them a virtual presence in an infinitely malleable environment (e.g., Second Life has already been used for teleconferencing, advertising [and] interactive product demonstrations).
The Metaverse change the way we learn! All learning in traditional schools from kindergarten through graduate school may eventually migrate to a virtual space like the Metaverse; e.g., I could be sitting in a classroom talking about history with my anatomy professor.
The Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. The word Metaverse is a portmanteau of the prefix "meta" (meaning "beyond") and "universe" and is typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe.