Metaverse: An Upcoming Revolution
Imagine a world,
- Where you can do whatever you can dream of like shopping, hanging out, gaming, creating, meeting, learning, and many more.
- Where you can be whatever you want to be, i.e. you don’t have to be yourself.
- Where you can be seen how you want to be seen by others.
- Where you can escape from the clutches of a monotonous lonely life.
Isn’t it mind-blowing and terrifying at the same time?
History shows that we have been moving towards a more and more engaging medium. These include letters, to calls, to text, to photos, to videos, to video calls and still moving forward to what we call as Metaverse. From now on, you will not be just looking at the digital world through a screen but you can be inside this world.
In this blog of the terminal stack, let’s dive into a living shared everlasting virtual universe, in short Metaverse.
Also read: The Rise of Technology – VR v/s AR v/s MR
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse can define as an advanced version of the internet that you are inside of, instead of merely looking at. It’s a 3D world where you walk around as an avatar, interact with other avatars, also perform activities on virtual stuff like go to work, play games, form your surrounding, etc. It will shift activities you do on a 2D camera grid to a 3D space with digital avatars. To pursue all these, you’ll need something like VR goggles and motion capture gloves to accurately capture expressions, body language, and the quality of your voice.
Metaverse aims to give the feel of presence with the people, no matter how far they physically are. It isn’t about spending more time on screen but making the time that we already spend better. They are the virtual worlds where you can do whatever you want to except eating, excreting, sleeping and lovemaking.
In simplest words, Metaverse is a place where you can live digitally. Therefore the acceleration of innovation has just started.
What is its utility?
According to recent news reports,
- A couple from Tamil Nadu is going to host a Harry Potter-themed wedding in Metaverse.
- Some are spending millions of dollars on buying virtual lands there.
- H&M has opened a metaverse store to let you buy clothes in a virtual world.
- Mega Yacht sold for $650,000 in Metaverse and became the most expensive NFT in the sandbox virtual world.
- Nike just bought a virtual shoe company that makes NFTs and sneakers for the Metaverse.
- Someone paid $450,000to become Snoop Dogg’s Metaverse neighbour.
Main features of Metaverse include:
- Social Connection: It allows you to connect with people virtually and interact with them as you do in the real world.
- Entertainment: it includes attending concerts, parties, shows with your loved ones while being inside your home.
- Gaming: It not only includes immersive experience and fantasy world but also allows you to play old games in a new way.
- Fitness: It presents fitness in a newer way. Here, by putting up your VR on you can start taking boxing lessons, sword fighting, dancing, working out, etc.
- Workspace: It allows you to work in your office even being remote. Also, meetings will be held in virtual world offices with newer tools and work setups.
- Education: Metaverse helps you to learn about anything by bringing it close to you. It will allow you to teleport to any place, anytime, and to interact with and see how that place was before.
The most fascinating point is that here you can create what you want to.
- You can create art-like paintings to put up in your metaverse home.
- You can create the clothes virtually, that you want to wear in the virtual land.
- You can create your surrounding, like the environment you want to live in.
- You can decide the look you want to have, starting from physical appearances including height, weight, race, facial expressions, gender, etc.
You can do whatever you want to by being whosoever you want to be.
Why Metaverse is a big deal?
Metaverse for normal people will be the means to come together irrespective of how far they are. This allows several people from different parts of the world to brainstorm together. And achieve an extraordinary level of creativity and innovation together.
It will affect organizations as:
- It will allow all corporate executives’ training sessions to lift from 2D to the 3D immersive experience.
- Brainstorming together in such an environment will increase productivity and maintain mental health.
- The attrition rate, i.e. the rate at which employees leave and join an organization will go down because of such comfort. And hence will save money, time, and energy for the organization.
Web1 was referred to as read-only web. It was a blog space of information, where users were allowed to browse and read the information.
Web2 was referred to as user-generated content. It established a two-way communication where users can interact, i.e. participatory culture and interoperability for end users. But the power and data were centralized with few organizations.
Web3 has now entered and appeared as the next generation of the internet. The Web3 has just begun and there are many more to come.
Metaverse is a part of Web3. The important thing about Web3 is that now users have the ownership and they will decide what they have to do with their data. The three major things users need today are Autonomy (sense of ownership), competence, and community. And Web3 fulfills all these needs.
Possibilities in Metaverse that feels unreal:
- Experiences: It gives experiences that allow you to live your fantasies.
- Expression: It will provide users with the freedom to express themselves in the way they want through those 3D avatars.
- Teleportation: Travelling from one place to another virtually. It sounds similar to Doremon’s anywhere door.
- Knowledge: Humans have moved from reading books to browsing to gain information and now interact with the objects by themselves.
- Productivity: Efficient time utility will lead to higher productivity than before. After moving from pen, to keyboard, and now to voice, gesture and just thinking about will make things work.
For Metaverse being accessible to all will undergo major technological breakthroughs. There are different domains to be worked upon like displays, audio, input, haptics, hand tracking, eye tracking, mixed reality, sensors, graphics, computer visions, avatars, perceptual science, AI, and many more.
Any new technology that becomes successful enters the market only when the following four entities are aligned and functional:
- The technology of access: Here, good quality gadgets like Oculus, etc.
- Network to connect: We need internet connectivity with a speed of 120-150 MBPS to access Metaverse fluently.
- Creators: We need companies that will design the world, games, objects, etc for the metaverse. For now, we have companies like Epic Games, Nike, and H&M which have already opened stores in the virtual world.
- Service Platform: Here, we have companies that are coming up with their version of Metaverse such as Facebook (now known as Meta), NVIDIA, Microsoft, etc.
Hence, after understanding all these factors it will hardly take a decade to come alive and soon we all will be able to experience it.
The other side of the coin
There’s a famous saying, “When you’re not paying for the product, then you’re the product.”
Metaverse is providing you with meaning through shops, businesses, meeting friends, celebrity meet, instant news, and instant pleasure and hence reduces patience and self-consciousness. And according to today’s version of the internet, people are unconsciously scrolling their fingers through various social media handles. Then the next version of the internet will hold the next level of disadvantages.
It is turning out to be a place of escapism from the real world. For example, for the whole day, people will look the way they want to be looked, but then at the end of the day, they have to face what is real. And that can be tough to accept.
Let’s point out some negative aspects of the next version of the Internet:
- Data: Whatever you will do in this metaverse is going to be watched upon. Hence human behavior will become more and more predictive.
- Reality: Organizations are focused on making the virtual world feel more and more real. So, what will differentiate the actual real-world from a man-made virtual world?
- Affect on the real world: Centralized organizations already show you what they want you to watch. And now these decentralized organizations will give you the power to form your surrounding as they want you to form. But resulting in distancing people away from each other and from the real world.
- Affect on mental health: It will become a means to provide you with a sense of instant gratification. And if this instant feedback turned into a habit then the word ‘patience’ will never exist.
What we need to understand is how the organizations are going to get benefitted. Organizations will find a way to keep their users more and more engaged within these platforms to make more money out of it. To understand this flip side more clearly, I recommend you to watch a Netflix documentary named, “The Social dilemma”. According to the calculations for the year 2021, researcher says that an average person spends 5 to 6 hours on their phone and another 4 hours on their computer. That is, almost double the time you spend in the real world is engaged in the virtual world.
Some important aspects out of concern remain unanswered, like- After Metaverse
- Why would a person travel in the real world to meet someone if they can do the same by being at their place?
- What will happen to social life in the real world like meeting and greeting each other on various festive, events, occasions?
- Why a person would feel grateful for what they are born with if they have the power to change themselves as they want?
Thus, Metaverses feels like connecting people virtually by distancing them physically.
Resources to know more about Metaverse and its effect on human behavior:
1). Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
2). 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
3). Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
4). The Metaverse: Buying Virtual Land, NFTs, VR, Web3 & Preparing For the Next Big Thing! by Terry Winters
5). Snow Crash: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
Therefore summing up the whole content, Metaverse is a digital world that would lift people to extreme levels. And by saying extreme, I mean both extremes- positive and negative. All these aspects hold their importance. And whether these concerns are true or not can be decided only after its arrival.
So, get ready to witness an upcoming revolution- Metaverse.
Thanks for reading.