Technological Advancement we would say is almost like living and doing the impossible.
A metaverse is a collective virtual space, created by the union of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality. Like the internet, the metaverse will help you connect with people when you are not physically in the same place and get us even closer to that feeling of being together in person. To understand the concepts of a Metaverse, think of it as the next version of the Internet, which started as individual bulletin boards and independent online destinations. Eventually, these destinations became sites on a virtual shared space — similar to how a Metaverse will develop. In the metaverse, you would be able to connect, work, play, learn and shop.
How Can You Get Into the Metaverse?
Since the metaverse is a 3D virtual space, you will need to possess an item that lets you access virtual or augmented reality, such as a headset. There are currently many VR headsets out on the market today such as the Valve Index, HTC Vive, and the Oculus Quest. While many enthusiasts enjoy these headsets, the majority of headset owners use them for their gaming interests. The metaverse is not going to be a world for developers or gamers…It would be for everyone. No one company can build the metaverse alone, which implies that it is not owned by a single vendor. In the future, there may also be glasses that let you step into this virtual world. And while VR headsets currently exist and are improving each year, we are still in the early adoption phase of VR headsets. Many individuals do not own a VR headset possibly due to price or just lack of interest.
Why is the Metaverse Being Created?
The goal of the metaverse and why it is being created is to bring about the next evolution of social connection. Where users can interact, engage, and socialize with one another in a 3D space. Technological progress is increasing exponentially. It looks like the scenes and stories we have seen in Sci-Fi movies of artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, robots, space travel, and virtual worlds are getting closer to becoming reality each year. It was inevitable that we would start having the conversation about 3D virtual worlds.
What Can You Do in the Metaverse?
How the Metaverse Will Change Social Connections
The Metaverse will change social connections by creating embodied experiences, as opposed to just viewing them from a screen. For example, let us say it is your dad’s birthday and you are across the country from him. Well instead of possibly Facetiming or Zooming him, only seeing him from a limited screen, you will be able to hop into a 3D virtual space together. The goal is to have a more vivid social experience that you cannot experience with a screen.
How the Metaverse Will Change Entertainment
Similar to social connections, the Metaverse will change how we experience entertainment. For example, let us say you want to visit a concert with your friend. You can hop into the metaverse and be instantly transported to the concert. This sounds pretty similar to what Fortnite did with the Travis Scott concert, except now you will be in a 3D environment. When it comes to gaming, VR is already popular among the gaming community. Gaming will only become more engaging and immersive with the Metaverse. Being able to hop into 3D virtual games with friends will only be the bare minimum.
How the Metaverse Will Change Exercise
Exercise will also become revolutionized with the Metaverse. VR headsets already have excellent exercise games such as Supernatural, FitXR, Thrill of the Fight, and more. Due to the pandemic, many have adapted to an “at-home lifestyle,” including home fitness routines. With new equipment, companies and technology promoting an at-home fitness lifestyle such as Peloton and the Mirror, exercising in the Metaverse may become the norm for some.
How the Metaverse Will Change Work
The adaptability of humans is pretty incredible. It seems as if overnight, millions had to adapt to a work-from-home environment — at least, those lucky enough to. While the pandemic certainly forced this shift, it doesn’t seem like working from home and “remote culture” is just a trend only reserved for digital nomads — it is now an integral part of the everyday workforce. While some like going into the office, many reports that they like having the flexibility to work from home and it has been shown that around 62% of employees aged 22 to 65 say they work remotely at least occasionally. (Owl Labs)
This shift in work culture means everyday moments that would occur in an office such as meetings, water cooler chit-chat, lunch with coworkers, etc… are being replaced with Slack channels and Zoom meetings. While it is not bad at all, it is just different. With these social moments occurring digitally on a screen, the only next possible evolution is to create these moments digitally, but in a 3D environment.
Enter the Metaverse
The Metaverse has hopes of being the virtual environment for these social moments. Have a meeting? Put on a VR headset or AR glasses and you will be transported to a virtual office where you are looking across at your colleagues with your hands crossed on a virtual table. All without leaving the comfort of your home. Zoom meetings are great, but sometimes nonverbals can get lost in translation in a video meeting (especially if someone does not have their camera on). Perhaps the Metaverse can serve as another alternative to showing up to a business meeting in your pyjamas.
How the Metaverse Will Change Commerce
Commerce is the Act of Buying and Selling. When buying an item, you usually give an item of value to the seller in exchange for the item they are selling. It could be another item of equal worth (like a bartering system), or a form of currency in an amount equal to the subjective value of the item (often dictated by supply and demand). Being a virtual 3D world, if you were to want to buy an item that you could use in this virtual world, then you will most likely be using another virtual item of equal worth (such as an NFT) or a digital currency such as the numerous cryptocurrencies that are in existence. You might be thinking it is silly paying for a fake item with fake money.
While there is some truth to that, value is often subjective and just dictated by supply and demand. Take the dollar, for example, we have one-dollar bills, five-dollar bills, twenty-dollar bills, etc. But they are all just pieces of paper with no inherent value in them. We as a society have decided to put a monetary value on them. Although I am no economist or cryptocurrency expert, but if enough people were to wake up one day and say “this digital currency is now valuable” then I guess it would be valuable. Of course, there will be some pushback, but you get the point. The Metaverse will bring further rise to this discussion.
When Will the Metaverse Arrive?
While the concept of the Metaverse is a rather large one, there are no promises of it launching anytime soon. Zuckerberg has estimated that it will take around 10 years for the Metaverse to arrive.
How the Metaverse Can Change the World
While this section is purely opinionated, I have taken time to think about this proposed virtual world and think deeply about the good and the harm it can bring to the world. I would love to hear if you agree or disagree with any of my points of view in the comments section.
Pros of the Metaverse
The biggest “pro” I see of the Metaverse is the ability to connect with those you love on a more intimate level.
Good Things Like Human Connection
Picture this, you live on the other side of the country from your parents due to work. You ache to see them but you have to stay in your new place of residence for an extended period. A call or video chat might suffice, but imagine putting on a VR headset and being instantly transported to your childhood home. In this house are your parents who are also in this virtual world. You see them, they see you, and you embrace one another while being thousands of miles apart. If haptic suits are around at this time, perhaps you can even feel the physical touch. While a virtual world does sound a bit intimidating, I want to believe this new virtual world will allow for positive, intimate moments such as this.
Cons of the Metaverse
On the flip side, let us talk about a con of the Metaverse. Perception and Reality….
Perception is Reality
Although I believe the Metaverse will allow for a closer, more intimate reactions with those you care about. What if this new reality is better than the one you currently live in? It will be so easy to be transported to any place in the world, you may have better clothes in this digital world, and you may even be better looking — what if you do not want to leave this digital world? Perception they say is reality. If there now exist two worlds, who is to say which one you should choose to live in?
We have seen tremendous growth in such a short amount of time in terms of technology. Not too long ago, we did not have cell phones, now we are talking about virtual world. If we continue to advance at such a rapid pace, who knows what the future holds. In all, I am excited about Metaverse and hope to explore all it has to unveil as the tenth planet in a virtual world.