The origin of the term “metaverse” came from a 1992 novel “Snow Crash”, which portrays a virtual reality world where everyone works, plays and shops. Well! Going back to the 1970s when the internet was merely a concept and was the talk of the town. It was in the process of being created, but no one could wonder what reality would look like. Talking about the metaverse is also quite similar to discussing the internet in the 1970s. So is metaverse the future of the internet? Or is it a video game? Or is it a terrible version of zoom? Who knows, it’s hard to anticipate.
The term metaverse is a broad transition in how we interact with technology. It doesn’t refer to one particular type of technology. The new-age technologies which make up the metaverse can include virtual reality which is characterised by never-ending virtual worlds that persist to exist even when you are not playing. Also, another technology can be augmented reality which blends elements of the digital and physical worlds. Nevertheless, it is not necessary that those spaces can be solely accessed via Virtual reality or Augmented reality. A virtual world, like that, can be accessed through PCs, games, and even phones could be metaverse. We have seen games building parts of the metaverse. However, many big tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook (now rebranded as “Meta”) are also working on this.
Initially, when the Internet first came, it began with a sequence of technical innovations, like the ability to hyperlink from one page to another. These characteristics were the building blocks that were then used to make conceptual layouts we know the internet for. Websites, apps, social media and everything else depends on these fundamental components. Similarly, in the metaverse, there are some new building blocks like the ability to host hundreds of people in a single representative of a server, or you can take the example of proctored AI software which can detect a person’s eye movements and other actions. Many universities are using this software to conduct online examinations these days.
Metaverse also interprets to a digital economy, where users can buy, sell and even create goods. And ideally, in the metaverse, you might be able to take virtual items like clothes, cars from one platform to another. Right now, most platforms have virtual personalities, avatars, that are linked to just one platform, but a metaverse might let you create an individual that can be taken everywhere as effortlessly as you can copy your profile picture from one social network to another. Sounds exciting, no?
Another interesting aspect of the metaverse about which you might have heard a lot these days are NFTs(Non-Fungible Tokens) and Cryptocurrencies. Who doesn’t know about it? Do you also know about their interaction in the metaverse? Talking about the NFT interaction with the metaverse, users can have extensive control over their digital assets in the metaverse. Blockchain technology provides firm testimony of ownership that supports these virtual worlds. On the other hand, cryptocurrencies are considered to be the metaverse’s money, and each metaverse has its own set of coins that are used for paying NFTs, virtual real estate, etc.
Coming to the most simple definition of the metaverse, it is an online three-dimensional universe that incorporates numerous virtual spaces. It can be considered as a forthcoming version of the internet. With metaverse, users will collaborate, play games and socialise in these 3-D spaces.
Although it’s not very clear how the metaverse will ultimately shape up. It is still in the early phases of advancement. The metaverse cites a huge opportunity for crypto. It has the potential to modify how people socialise, interact with brands, understand and exchange digital assets. Metaverse is set to influence the physical world across areas like services, entertainment, education, governance etc. In many ways, AI and other technologies will frame the metaverse, the most significant will be the intersection between the physical and the virtual world. As we are heading towards the metaverse, it will also remain quite crucial to be aware of the challenges it might give rise to and avoid problems like data privacy to invade the metaverse.
Anyways, individuals and organisations must be prepared to sustain this new world which makes the virtual world look more real and the real world more enhanced with a virtual experience.