The idea of metaverse has been circulating around for many decades, but thanks to the tech giants that it has become a topic of discussion and a massive field of research. Meta (formerly Facebook), Microsoft, Sony, Google, and other tech giants are spending billions in achieving the so-called virtual world. So, what is the metaverse, and is it just for enhancing the gaming experience? Let’s look into all of that in this blog.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is an amalgam of “meta” and “verse”. Meta is a prefix that implies “beyond”, while verse implies “universe”. So, metaverse means a combination of multiple 3D worlds where a digital version (avatar) of a person can move and interact with others. Metaverse is also dubbed as the future of the internet, as it acts as a gateway to a virtual world where people can have virtual meetings, watch concerts, work on projects, play games, etc.
The easiest way to understand how metaverse intends to work is by watching some related movies, such as The Matrix, Ready Player One, or Minority Report. The virtual world that metaverse has to offer will be accessible by high-tech gadgets, such as VR headsets or glasses. So, the key to achieving metaverse technology is to succeed in developing interconnected immersive technologies, which we will see happening in the next few years.
Is Metaverse For Business or Gaming?
This is the misconception that is circulating around ever since Meta started marketing metaverse. Gamers are promoting metaverse as the new era of gaming experience, while businesses or tech people are promoting metaverse as a way for people to interact with each other more conveniently.
Horizon Workrooms concept by Oculus (a Meta-owned VR headsets manufacturer) shows a virtual meeting experience where participants located at different locations are able to join the same virtual room for a meeting using VR headsets. Not just that, they could even use virtual whiteboards or their own keyboard or computer to have a better team discussion. In fact, its beta version is even available for free for Oculus Quest users.
So, one thing we can clear from Horizon Workrooms is that metaverse is not just confined to gaming. It acts as a gateway for people to experience real-world activities in a virtual way. Some of the capabilities of Metaverse are as follow:
1. Virtual Interaction
One of the main goals of the metaverse is to turn our 2D video or live streaming into 3D virtual lifestreaming. It will let us communicate and interact with our family, friends, and colleagues in a way that we feel being physically present there (using personalized avatars). We could attend or host events, celebrate birthdays or other parties, all while being thousands of miles away.
Another revolutionary change metaverse intends to bring is in the business sector. Currently, Zoom, Teams, or similar other apps empowers teams to collaborate effectively. But metaverse will make them have those meetings in a virtual room, just like we discussed above in Horizon Workrooms. Moreover, metaverse will elevate other business processes, such as project design stimulations, etc. Other than smoothening business operations, metaverse will also give more business opportunities to software firms to develop products for the digital world and reach out to millions of users.
Metaverse will give a whole new shopping experience to the users. From one place, they will be able to do shopping both for the virtual world (like avatar costumes) and the physical world. They will even be able to try out clothes or test out accessories before placing the order.
Metaverse will be full of entertainment madness. It will provide a more immersive gaming experience where gamers can feel like they are in the game. Moreover, movie premieres, music festivals, sporting events, and many other similar entertainment activities can have the presence of an unlimited number of users. Similarly, people who cannot afford to travel or have busy work life will be able to go to the places they want virtually.
To sum up, the metaverse is like an all-in-one package that is meant both for business and gaming.
Features of Metaverse
Some of the main features of metaverse we will experience include:
- Seamless Movement: Metaverse will make it seamless to move between different components virtually, such as concerts, games, shops. In short, you can move around the whole virtual world and do all kinds of activities virtually in your personalized digital avatar.
- Always Live: Metaverse itself and the objects in it will always remain live and accessible in real-time. Just like the real world, nothing will stop or pause even when the user logs out.
- Globe Presence: Metaverse will connect the whole world together. Millions of users no matter from where they are logged in will be able to join events, concerts, etc.
- Customization: A user identity will be its personalized costume, which could be customized. For example, you can change your outfit to a formal dress code for attending a business meeting or change it into a cool dude for a concert or party.
In short, metaverse combines the physical and the virtual world. So, we can just imagine how feature-rich it is going to be.
How to Try Metaverse Today?
Unfortunately, the metaverse we are imagining or what the internet is making us imagine still requires years of research and development. However, there are some early adaptors of metaverse (mostly in the gaming industry) that can give you a glimpse of it. For example, you can try out a digital avatar-based gaming experience in Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, Trove, and similar others.
If you want to experience it from the corporate angle, then the free beta version of Horizon Workrooms with Oculus Quest is one possible choice. Overall, whatever experience you can have with metaverse today is just a small portion of what you will experience once the tech giants manage to build the actual metaverse they have made us imagine.
Tech enthusiasts cannot wait to see metaverse in real action. It is a life within the internet that is going to change the way we interact with the digital world. Massive developments are underway and it is expected that soon we will be able to experience some early versions of the metaverse.