People usually know virtual reality as being limited to the media they consume. Other than what various media depict, many are unaware that technology has become so advanced today. Technology advancements have gone so far as to develop virtual realities that anyone can experience.
The Metaverse has gone beyond the point of theory. It is an already existing world that anyone can access. Although the concept is not new, this innovative experience is unique and is continuously developing.
As if social media is not good enough, Metaverse takes meeting with other people to a whole new level. Internet users can now experience escaping to another reality to explore digitally simulated worlds.
What Is Metaverse?
A metaverse is a simulation of a digital environment. It uses virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, and social media to create a world for the user that imitates real-world interactions.
A metaverse can be described as a hypothetical internet interpretation as a network of many worlds in three dimensions. It is an interactive and immersive environment where users can interact with each other using virtual reality headgear.
The word ”metaverse” was first used in a 1992 science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, “Snow Crash” used the word ”metaverse” as a portmanteau of the words ”meta” and “universe.”
Various media have since used the word “metaverse” to represent virtual or digital worlds. Many metaverses have been developed for popular science fiction movies and other media.
Today, Metaverse is more often used to describe the progressing virtual technologies for public relations. For example, now Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook introduced his vision of a metaverse, a combination of a 2D and 3D world.
In 2021, Zuckerberg launched Facebook Horizon. This technology uses AR, VR, and other innovations to provide a middle ground between the physical and virtual worlds. Also known as Horizon Wolds, this revolutionary VR game was developed in 2019 as a game-making platform.
Zuckerberg’s Metaverse proved to be more than a gaming platform, as he also launched a test version of Horizon Workrooms. In addition, he introduced the forum as a virtual space for office setups and conferencing.
How Important Is Metaverse?
People find it hard to know how important the Metaverse is in reality. Not many people know about it, and it’s still open to more developments in the future.
However, it may not be obvious today, but Zuckerberg has stated that there is a lot of potential for Metaverse. He plans on continuing Metaverse developments with more investments to help make it a reality.
According to Zuckerberg, as Meta plans to bring more people to spend more time online, he aims for a more advanced network-building process. Metaverses will help develop tools beyond apps and social media that improve our current capacity for connectivity.
In addition, the development of the Metaverse will enable the use of more immersive realities that people can inhabit. It expands the range of content creators can make for various purposes, like entertainment or advertising.
The Metaverse will also allow a new economy to open up where there is an additional avenue to create, trade, and enhance wealth. Using a currency distinct from the real world will provide more opportunities for many.
Developing the Metaverse is an integral part of technological evolution. Concerns regarding data privacy, diversity, and security in the real world can be potentially addressed using virtual reality.
Different Ways In Which Companies Are Utilizing the Metaverse
It’s too early to tell to what extent the Metaverse can do for various industries. However, as development is still in the works, many companies are already using the Metaverse in their operations.
The most commonly known use of the Metaverse is for building networks and connections. However, as previously mentioned, Mark Zuckerberg has already launched a virtual world where users can connect using VR technology.
However, the use of the Metaverse goes beyond making connections. Users can also build their own worlds, create parties, meetings, concerts, and re-create environments in the comfort of their own homes.
Business or Commercial Use
The Metaverse is also making its way into business and finance. To start, Mark Zuckerberg has already created a virtual reality world where business meetings and conferences can be held.
During the launch of Horizons Workrooms, he held a virtual press conference where all the participants appeared as avatars. According to the Oculus website, Horizon Workrooms is a new meeting room where colleagues can collaborate on their ideas right from their home office.
The immersive experience of using Workrooms will help boost company productivity even though the team is working from home.
In addition, VR technology is being used to improve e-commerce experiences. It allows consumers to take shopping to a new level. Customers can now do online shopping in the comfort of their homes as avatars in a virtual setting.
E-commerce plans aim for more improvements regarding an immersive experience in virtual stores and establishments.
Financial institutions are now also utilizing AI, and virtual technology. For example, Binance is advancing an NFT marketplace where clients can buy and sell virtual asset NFTs using cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
Moreover, Binance also offers metaverse pair tokens, which help encourage more users to trade cryptocurrencies. It will help create a liquid market that can boost the finance industry.
Art and Architecture
Visualization is one of the things that make the Metaverse a unique experience for any user. As a result, the Metaverse is the perfect tool to revolutionize art and architecture.
The Metaverse supports various AR tools, such as a 3D Viewer and sketching tools using augmented and virtual reality. These features assist artists in visualizing their creations and making them come to life.
Better visualization would mean better results and more accurate measurements, especially in architecture and interior design.
Because the Metaverse uses 3D images, the artist also has access to 3D modeling tools. As a result, it would make it easier for them to accommodate commissions from businesses utilizing the Metaverse platform.
Gaming and Technology
The Metaverse is a complex world that combines AR and VR technologies. These aspects make the Metaverse perfect for the ultimate gaming experience.
Although a single-player game that uses VR does not exactly put the user in the Metaverse. But the connections in the virtual world do.
Gaming companies are now incorporating the Metaverse into the experiences they offer. The Metaverse is more than just playing games on a screen because, directly, you can connect with other players through virtual reality.
Another innovation in virtual reality is artificial intelligence. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is important in developing many of the virtual worlds in the Metaverse.
Aside from data information and calculations, AI can also generate better algorithms that improve the user experience. For example, AI helps with language processing and translation tasks, creating avatars and word generations.
Artificial intelligence also paved the way for more improvements in VR interactions. For example, AI can gather data that measures muscular and bioelectrical patterns. It can also help with other advanced technological features, such as image recognition for people with visual disabilities.
Medicine and Health
A problem that medicine today is experiencing is the quality of training that future doctors receive. By utilizing virtual means, health professionals are afforded better training opportunities, like performing surgeries and diagnosing patients.
The Metaverse can also be used as a space for patients that need rehabilitation. For example, a team of American surgeons was able to perform AR surgery with the help of an Israeli medical technology company. They used vision AR headsets on a living patient.
Where Is the Metaverse heading?
At this point, it’s hard to discern where the Metaverse is headed. The development of a digital utopia is still fresh in the minds of many, and the concept is still hard to grasp. Not to mention that technology is still not yet accessible to many.
There are limitless possibilities that come with the development of a virtual world. It can alter the way people talk, connect, interact, and even live.
Access to the Metaverse can only be done by a limited few who can afford expensive equipment like VR headsets. So while tech developers are aiming for more people to use the technology, there is still a big question mark when the general public can experience it.
More companies find it more economical for their teams to work remotely for work practices. The Metaverse is one of the many innovations that can change the way conferences and meetings are held.
Instead of talking and collaborating through screens, teams can meet through virtual meeting rooms with 3D avatars. People can present reports while moving different body parts, not just their heads.
What’s in Store for the Metaverse in 2022?
In 2022, talks about the Metaverse are expected to be stronger. More organizations and developers are conducting talks of incorporating the Metaverse into their operations.
Although 2022 may not be the year that the Metaverse flourishes, there is still room to develop and improve. Big tech companies like Meta, Nvidia, and Microsoft have expressed their interest to metaverse development.
As there are still a lot of studies to be conducted, more companies are trying to leverage the Metaverse as being the internet’s next version. Some of the top metaverse projects to watch are
- The Sandbox: It is a decentralized metaverse similar to Minecraft that uses the cryptocurrency Ethereum. Users can purchase land as NFTs here, which they can use for customization and monetization.
- Decentraland: It is also a metaverse founded on Ethereum but is more like The Sims. Tokens for in-game purchases in Decentraland are called “MANA.”
- Wilder World: A newer metaverse, Wilder World, is also built on Ethereum and is a virtual world based on photorealism.
Although the Metaverse is still being studied and developed, there is great potential for various industries. Besides marketing and innovative technology, the Metaverse offers multiple opportunities for people, businesses, and industries.
It is still too early to say where the development of the Metaverse will take the world. But, whatever it may be, it will surely be something similar to what we thought was only seen in movies.