The metaverse: what is possible for you on the Internet of the future?
Virtual worlds, today’s Internet and elements of the real world are combined in an interactive and limitless environment. This is the Metaverse, the internet of the future. But what is this metaverse in fact, do we need it and when does it start?
What is the Metaverse?
Microsoft, Facebook, jackpotville, gaming companies like the inventors of Fortnite, Epic Games, and companies like Walmart and Kaufland: All dream of the metaverse. It’s still a vision – of the Internet of the future. This should unite the real and virtual worlds in one environment. This could open up completely new possibilities that are still unimaginable today.
The metaverse is a digital and interactive environment. In it, users can work, play, meet or shop as avatars. But it’s not a parallel universe to the real world – everything is one. The idea floated around the tech scene for a while. He received a further boost when Mark Zuckerberg announced he would invest billions in Metaverse – and soon renamed his company “Meta”. In the following paragraphs we explain where the term metaverse comes from, what the virtual world could look like and what is still missing to implement it.
What is the metaverse and what possibilities does it offer?
So far, the Metaverse is just the idea of a new kind of virtual world. But one thing is clear: it should be more three-dimensional, more interactive, more tangible and tangible than today’s Internet.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has spoken of “the Internet embodied”: We’re in it and not watching it on screen. Almost everything we do on the screen today is possible in a 3D format. Therefore, virtual reality and augmented reality will play an important role in the metaverse. With the help of VR glasses, we could meet friends, attend meetings, play games or shop on the internet of the future. We appear as avatars in the virtual world and interact with each other or friends appear as holograms in your living room. These ideas are electrifying many businesses. However, everyone has different ideas of what they want to do in the metaverse. Microsoft introduced “Mesh” a year ago: it’s a kind of desktop in a virtual space. Facebook wants to create a global metaverse that integrates many areas of daily life.
Kaufland, Walmart, AdidasNike, H&M and other companies want to sell products in the Metaverse – primarily as NFTs, i.e. as unique digital objects on the blockchain.
The 7 most important characteristics of the metaverse are:
- The metaverse never stops or ends.
- Everything happens in real time.
- There is no participation limit.
- It has its own economy.
- It encompasses the digital world and the physical world.
- Digital objects and content are used everywhere.
- The content comes from companies, individuals or groups.
NFT – What is it actually?
Especially in the art world, you hear the term more and more often: non-fungible tokens. We took a closer look at what’s behind it, where you can buy NFT art, and how much money some people are making with it.
What makes the Metaverse different from the Internet?
The metaverse is intended to contain real-world elements. Virtual experiences should look like real life. Central is the idea that you can easily transfer and take data and information with you. It’s like going from room to room in real life with a coffee mug! This is not possible today because the Internet is divided into zones and platforms. You cannot watch YouTube videos on Netflix – and vice versa. Items you buy in one game can only be used there and not in another. Ideally, the Metaverse should no longer be controlled by anyone, including big tech companies. Web 3.0 is often mentioned in this context! This is why blockchain plays an important role in the metaverse. The technology of the future is behind cryptocurrencies. It manages without a central instance but remains secure. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin should be a means of payment in the Metaverse. You can use them to buy NFT, for example.
Where does the name Metaverse come from and are there any predecessors?
The term “Metaverse” comes from the 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash”. Author Neal Stephenson is about a parallel world in which people live as avatars.
What’s weird, though, is that the book’s virtual world is quite repulsive. It is ruled by big business and organized crime.
Other artists also deal with such ideas. In Steven Spielberg’s 2018 sci-fi film Ready Player One, people escape their dystopian world into virtual reality. The story is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name.
In the digital world of Second Life, players have been able to play, live and shop with avatars since 2003. The hype was huge but quickly faded.
Other Metaverse prototypes include platforms such as Decentraland and The Sandbox. They’re booming: a digital property in Sandbox recently sold for $3.8 million.
Popular game Fortnite has long been more than just a game – and shows where the journey could go. For example, you can go to concerts and amusement parks with friends or watch movies.
Do we even need a metaverse or is that gibberish?
When the iPhone came out in 2007, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughed at it. It’s way too expensive and pointless without a keyboard anyway! In fact, the breakthrough of the mobile age came with the iPhone – even though mobile Internet and corresponding devices already existed before. Matthew Bell expects something similar. The influential thought leader wrote the essay The Metaverse: What It Is, Where to find it, Who Will Build It. He thinks the metaverse is gradually starting a process of transformation. It will change the role the Internet and computers play in our lives.
Virtual reality apps have been considered the next big thing for years. However, they have not yet caught on with the general public. In companies, however, virtual reality plays an important role, for example in training or in development.
All major tech companies are either working on VR technology or have already released it. These include Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Apple.
Although Apple has so far been reluctant to comment on Facebook’s idea of a metaverse, it is said to be secretly working on its own project.