What is the metaverse, and who will build it?

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What is the metaverse, and who will build it?

Over the past several decades, the world of technology has been focusing more and more on developing tools that can create virtual twins of objects, people, spaces, environments, and more. So far, scientists have been able to develop new technologies that can manipulate the sense of smell and touch, as well as Virtual Reality headsets that provide an immersive experience in an enhanced environment. But while tools and devices like VR headsets, IoT, and cyberspace already represent significant advancements in technology, they What Is The Metaverse are offering no more than just a glimpse into what the future holds. It is only the Metaverse that is now showing the potential of its underpinning technology in reshaping many aspects of life as we know it. Mixed reality is the integration of real and virtual worlds to create new ways to interact with physical and digital spaces and other users. In mixed reality, you are not solely in the virtual world or entirely in the real world but somewhere along the 'virtuality continuum' between the real and virtual environments.

What Is The Metaverse

Historically, companies have been hesitant to allow their assets to be compatible with a competitor’s ecosystem. Playing nicely with other platforms, the logic goes, would mean giving up some amount of control. But for a fully realized metaverse to come about, such cooperation will be necessary. The word metaverse is sometimes mentioned in parallel with another buzzy term — Web3.


VR headsets like the Quest 2 are cheaper than ever and finally weaning off of expensive desktop or console rigs. Video games and other virtual worlds are getting easier to build and design. And personally, I think the advances in photogrammetry—the process of creating digital 3D objects out of photos or video—is an incredibly cool tool for digital artists. This kind of wishful-thinking-as-tech-demo leaves us in a place where it's hard to pinpoint which aspects of the various visions of the metaverse will actually be real one day. If VR and AR headsets become comfortable and cheap enough for people to wear on a daily basis—a substantial “if”—then perhaps a virtual poker game with your friends as robots and holograms and floating in space could be somewhat close to reality.

  • Interactive gameplay and simulations could speed up learning and improve outcomes by, for instance, enabling employees to learn how to operate equipment as if in "real life" or to practice a sales pitch for a big-money client.
  • For those interested in investing in the metaverse, companies like Meta Platforms , Microsoft , Roblox , Nike , and Nvidia are all investment opportunities that have or are developing metaverse-related products and services.
  • Information privacy is an area of concern for the metaverse because related companies will likely collect users' personal information through interactions and biometric data from wearable virtual and augmented reality devices.
  • The metaverse unlocks great opportunities for businesses who want to embrace this technology revolution.
  • “The metaverse will grow the digital economy, which is the primary growth driver of the world economy,” said Ball.
  • Coca-Cola launched a “flavor born in the metaverse” alongside a Fortnite tie-in mini-game.

Another notable but oft-forgotten example of an early metaverse was PlayStation Home. Sony’s ill-fated virtual social hub for PlayStation 3 launched in 2008 and closed in 2015, to the sorrow of its tiny community. It didn’t go anywhere and seemed, to a casual user, quite pointless, but it’s an interesting example of what a highly corporatized metaverse — as opposed to the anarchic, community-driven Second Life — might look like. It featured a lot of advertising and one-way purchasing opportunities, and not a great deal else to do; it suffered from sitting right next to much richer and more entertaining virtual worlds, the games themselves, in your PS3 interface. But the clean, blandly stylized, utopian futurism of its art style clearly prefigures Zuckerberg’s recent metaverse demo.

(Arguably this is the closest analog to Stephenson’s Metaverse, where a good avatar requires either money or great computer skills.) Meanwhile, the developers cede some control over the aesthetic of their space. And if companies approach them with deals for licensed characters or items, they could find a world already populated by knockoffs. At the same time, virtual and augmented reality have gotten closer to consumer application, even if VR remains niche and AR nascent.

After a few years of exploring, he grew curious about the games’ development tools and using his own artistic talent on the platform. In 2018, he netted his first Roblox paycheck—for $7—though he says his parents didn’t believe it was real because, unable to withdraw it from PayPal, he could only spend it on digital goods. The idea of what exactly the metaverse will be in the future is still quite new and we would have to wait to find out. Will it still be the same idea of VR glasses and virtual gaming worlds, or will it be an escape from the current reality we exist in?

The Metaverse Economy: Shopping and Investing in the Metaverse

"It is clear that it is one of the most highly anticipated technology evolutions of the coming decade," Dave Wright, chief innovation officer at IT provider ServiceNow, told TechTarget writer George Lawton in "History of the metaverse explained." Throughout the guide, there are hyperlinks to in-depth explorations of these and other relevant topics, as well as to definitions of important concepts in the metaverse such as interoperability, digital twins, spatial computing and Web 3.0. Social media provides a lot of discourse, but sometimes, a minor revolt over a coffee chain’s loyalty program is the best use of its tools. Microsoft, Meta, and every other company that shows wild demos like this are trying to give an artistic impression of what the future could be, not necessarily account for every technical question. It's a time-honored tradition going back to AT&T's demo of a voice-controlled foldable phone that could magically erase people from images and generate 3D models, all of which might've seemed similarly impossible at the time.

The metaverse refers instead to a shift in how we interact with technology. As we continue to explore and develop this new cyber realm, its meaning will inevitably change. Payments & monetization – platforms and tools to enable the metaverse economy. VR and AR trailed the field on maturity, located in the low investment/low adoption sector . According to Computer Economics, "Virtual and augmented reality still suffers from form factors being clumsy and often tethered to larger machines. However, the technology is getting easier to use. We expect it to grow as this happens." In many ways, the metaverse is the next, 3D version of the web and is based on many of the same technologies as Web3, with a similar decentralised, user-driven focus.

What Is The Metaverse

Think Snapchat filters or that Google feature that lets you see life-size 3D models of animals. The Metaverse Roadmap explains that, "the Metaverse wouldn't be the entirety of the Internet–but like the Web, it would be seen by many as the most important part." Digital communities have existed for several years beyond the Metaverse – practically since the dawn of the internet.


It's impossible to separate Facebook's vision of a future in which everyone has a digital wardrobe to swipe through from the fact that Facebook really wants to make money selling virtual clothes. But Facebook isn't the only company that stands to financially benefit from metaverse hype. The prospect of buying and selling physical goods from stores in the metaverse is an emerging opportunity that’s likely to attract more businesses as this hybrid economy evolves. Imagine going to an immersive virtual grocery store to purchase items that are then delivered to your front door . In this guide by Authena, you’ll learn about the unexplored potential of the Metaverse and technologies like augmented reality, NFTs, and blockchain. Many enterprise applications are available for companies that provide incredible virtual environments to build products, test ideas, and innovate with colleagues.

Mr. Donato said that during the pandemic he spent so much time meeting in the company’s virtual office that upon returning to the physical space, he had to remind himself that he could not do the same things as his Roblox character. There are millions of games created on Roblox each year, and much of the money they generate — through the sale of digital items and upgrades — goes to independent developers. Ready Player One is a novel — not actually a metaverse — that was adapted into a movie. However, it gives great insight on what a near-future with totally immersive VR may look like. And though the sci-fi source material has a dystopian bent on VR worlds, that’s not necessarily our fate with the metaverse. In a separate article, we'll explore what the current experience of an avatar meeting in a virtual 3D space is like.

Will it use its current building blocks of VR, AI, and digital ownership to fundamentally shift into something else? Major technology companies certainly think so, and they’ve invested billions into exploring and building this new virtual sphere. A virtual social platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland is built, owned and governed by its user base. It has its own system of virtual property , its own cryptocurrency and its own smart-contract-powered governance system . You can buy parcels of LAND using MANA, create 3D environments, applications or games, and trade Decentraland assets in the Marketplace. The lack of centralised control implicit in its name sets Decentraland apart from, for example, Second Life.

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And despite the pandemic that has confined so many of us to our houses, a strong consumer desire for a metaverse experience that isn’t just a video game has yet to be proven. Facebook now goes by the name of Meta — a clear indication of how much the company has staked its future on the Metaverse. Their Horizon series of metaverse platforms, much like Facebook, is focused on user interactions, and it offers virtual spaces for events, hangouts, and collaboration. Roblox is a gaming platform that lets users create their own game worlds that interconnect with other worlds on the platform.

What Is The Metaverse

Social interaction and 3D virtual worlds are often an integral feature in many massively multiplayer online games. Microsoft , meanwhile, is focused on adapting technologies it currently has for the metaverse. They have a service called Mesh, a mixed reality platform, that allows users to access augmented reality environments via their smartphone or laptop without having to buy a virtual reality headset. Microsoft also plans to integrate Microsoft Teams into the metaverse, creating a more immersive experience for remote workers and virtual meetings.

Selling real-world goods virtually

Users access the world using a virtual reality visor and haptic gloves that let them grab and touch objects in the digital environment. But to a certain extent, the tech industry writ large depends on futurism. In reality, it may be the case that any real “metaverse” would be little more than some cool VR games and digital avatars in Zoom calls, but mostly just something we still think of as the internet. Tech giants like Microsoft and Meta are working on building tech related to interacting with virtual worlds, but they're not the only ones.

Nike Opens SWOOSH Web3 Community Platform

In this game, users have a personal avatar that is used to interact with other such players, earn virtual currency, change outfits, and more. To access the metaverse in action, we can look at popular multiplayer games such as Fortnite, Rec Room, or Horizon Worlds. The wider and newer applications of the metaverse that tech companies are experimenting with are building virtual stadiums to watch a football game, hosting concerts, or virtual shopping.

User experience design is the process and practice used to design and implement a product that will provide positive and ... Spatial computing broadly characterizes the processes and tools used to capture, process and interact with 3D data. A penetration test, also called a pen test or ethical hacking, is a cybersecurity technique that organizations use to identify, ...

It should be noted that it is possible to “own” and even trade virtual items in plenty of games and virtual spaces, Second Life included, without using the blockchain — but that ownership is pretty flimsy and usually https://xcritical.com/ subject to a license agreement. Regardless, the uniqueness and supposed portability of NFTs has metaverse proponents excited. Several metaverse platforms are browser-based and do not require special hardware.

Looking beyond virtual reality and augmented reality, the metaverse also offers non-immersive experiences, through PCs, smartphones, and tablets. In the gaming world, titles like Fornite and World of Warcraft are great examples of early stage metaverse concepts. In these games, users interact with persistent digital worlds where they can play, socialize, and purchase virtual objects.

One estimate suggests Facebook has sold around 8 million Oculus Quest 2 headsets, and several dozen VR games have made over $1 million in sales. Those are tiny numbers compared to phone and console sales, but huge compared to the practically nonexistent home VR market 10 years ago. Apple is reportedly working on VR / AR headsets, and Chinese company Nreal has successfully shipped full-fledged consumer AR sunglasses at a comparatively low price. On one hand, emulating the virtual worlds of Snow Crash or Ready Player One is less deliberately creepy than naming your tech initiative “Skynet” or your nutrient shake after Soylent Green.

Across industries, organizations are entering these new virtual worlds where they can extend their real-world activities and create completely new business models. The metaverse’s economy will not just consist of companies selling digital goods to users. On the platform, users have the ability to create their own games using Roblox’s developer tools. Fortnite, the battle-royale-style action game published by Epic Games, sprang to notoriety in 2019.

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