Recent conversations have focused on the metaverse, with Microsoft and Facebook both making claims about it. But what exactly is the metaverse? And when will it arrive?
Neal Stephenson, a science fiction author, is known for inventing the term “metaverse” with his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. He envisioned lifelike avatars that met in real-life 3D buildings or other virtual reality environments.
Numerous developments have been made since then on the path to a real metaverse. This online virtual world incorporates augmented reality and virtual reality as well as video and other communication methods. The metaverse will expand and offer you a hyper-real alternative world to live in.
What is the metaverse?
It is a mixture of several elements of technology including video, augmented reality, and virtual reality. Users “live” in a digital universe. The metaverse is a way for people to connect with each other through virtual trips, conferences and concerts.
The metaverse, a combination of “meta” and “universe”, is an imputation of the Internet. It supports persistent online 3-D virtual environments via conventional personal computing as well as virtual reality and augmented realities headsets. In a limited way, metaverses are already available on platforms such as VRChat and video games like Second Life.
The current metaverse ambitions focus on technological limitations and expanding the use and accessibility of metaverse spaces for business, education and retail. Many entertainment and social media companies have made investments in metaverse research and development.
Metaverse has been criticized for being a method of building public relations using a speculative and “over-hyped”, concept that is based on existing technology. The metaverse is concerned about user addiction and information privacy. This stems from the current challenges facing the video gaming and social media industries.
Metaverse implementation in Video games
Modern internet-enabled games have already developed many components of metaverse technology. Second Life, a 2003 videogame, is often referred to as the first metaverse. It incorporated many aspects social media into a persistent virtual environment. Many massively multiplayer online games often include social functions. Clive Thompson, a technology journalist, has claimed that Minecraft’s social-based gaming is an advanced implementation for the metaverse. Additional claims that a metaverse was created have been made for Roblox, Fortnite, Decentraland and Roblox. There were also early MUD games.
Metaverse has focused its efforts on improving virtual reality technology due to the benefits of establishing immersion in virtual environment. Facebook Horizon, a social virtual world created by the social network Facebook, was launched in 2019. In 2021, Facebook would be renamed to “Meta Platforms”. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chairman, declared his commitment to creating a metaverse ecosystem. Many of the virtual reality technology used by Meta Platforms is still being developed. Microsoft purchased AltspaceVR VR in 2017 and plans to integrate metaverse features into Microsoft Teams.
For increased work productivity, some developers suggest using metaverse technology.
Metaverse technologies have been suggested as a way to create interactive learning environments in the education sector. Metaverse technologies could host virtual reality home tours for the real estate industry.
The metaverse is an expansion of existing internet technologies. The metaverse has access points that include smartphones and general-purpose computers, as well as augmented reality (AR), mixed realities, virtual reality (VR), virtual world technologies, and virtual world technology.
Facebook bought Oculus VR in 2014 and announced plans to create a 3-D social network to connect different services.
Due to its dependence on VR technology, the metaverse is limited in its development and widespread adoption. The balance between design and cost is limiting. There are no high-quality graphics and limited mobility. The lightweight wireless headsets are not optimized for wired, bulky VR goggles systems. They also lack the image quality that is required for high-quality, lightweight headsets. The cost of the HTC Vive Pro 2 headset, which costs US$799 and controllers in 2021, is another issue that prevents widespread adoption.
The South Korean government announced in 2021 that it had created a national metaverse alliance to help build a single national VR and AR platform.
When can we expect metaverse tech to appear?
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) is the CEO of Meta, a newly named company. He estimates that it could take between five and ten years for the main features of the metaverse to become mainstream. However, certain aspects of the metaverse are already in existence. Even though they are not accessible to everyone, ultra-fast broadband speeds and virtual reality headsets, as well as persistent, always-on online realms, are all in place.
Let’s take a look at some examples for this Trending Tech
Here are some examples of what is happening right now that could lead us to the metaverse tomorrow.
Oculus, the tech giant that was once Facebook, has made substantial investments in virtual reality. Meta envisions a virtual universe where digital avatars can connect via VR headsets, whether they are traveling, work or entertainment. Zuckerberg is bullish about the metaverse and believes it can replace the internet as it exists today. After revealing the company’s new branding, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said that the next platform and medium would be more immersive and embodied than the internet.
Microsoft. Microsoft revealed its plans to bring mixed-reality, including holograms, and virtual avatars to Microsoft Teams by 2022 earlier this month. Explorable 3D virtual connected spaces are also in the planning for next year. Microsoft and the U.S. Army are currently working together to create an augmented reality Hololens2 headset that soldiers can use to train, practice, and fight in. Xbox Live connects millions more video game players around the world.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney stated that Epic is heavily invested in the creation of the metaverse. It has hosted concerts by Travis Scott and Ariana Grande, as well as music premieres and movie trailers.
There was even an “immersive” re-imagining Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech. It’s also developing photorealistic digital people with its MetaHuman Creator. This could allow you to customize your digital doppelganger for future open-world gaming.
Roblox was founded in 2004 and houses scores of user-generated games. These include role-playing options like Bloxburg or Brookhaven where users can create homes, work, and play out scenarios. Roblox’s current value is more than $45B after it went public in March.
Roblox CEO David Baszucki thanked everyone who had helped make the platform “one step closer towards fulfilling our vision for the #Metaverse” on March’s IPO. Roblox and skateboarding shoe company Vans have teamed up to create Vans World. This virtual skateboarding park allows players to dress up in Vans gear. A limited Gucci Garden is also available for you to purchase clothing and accessories.
The Microsoft-owned Minecraft, another virtual world that kids love, is the digital Legos of Minecraft. Players can build anything they want and create their own character. Minecraft has more than 140 million active monthly users as of August. It gained popularity during the pandemic and among children who were forced to rely on virtual connections more.
Several lesser-known companies also have their own online worlds. Second Life is an online fantasy world that was created in 2003. It’s now in its second decade.
Nowhere, an online haven, offers temporary and persistent virtual spaces that can be used for private or public events, such as concerts, reunions, festivals, and conferences. The platform was developed by the Windmill Factory in New York, a production company that has worked on projects for Lady Gaga as well as Nine Inch Nails.
Sensorium Galaxy opened its first two connected online “worlds” earlier this year. These are available to be explored with VR headsets and desktop computers. Prism, which was the first to open, is music-based – virtual DJs or bands can play in futuristic settings. Ref: wikipedia, Usatoday.