Is Metaverse Going to Replace the Internet?

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg announced the Facebook rebranding to “Meta” and the company’s plan to enter into the metaverse era, the internet is going crazy around metaverse. We see debates around how metaverse is going to change the internet, the competition among tech giants around metaverse, and similar other elements. But is it just a misconception that metaverse will replace the internet or is it a reality? Let’s clear it out in this blog.

Metaverse – A Quick Overview

You can call metaverse a life within a virtual world driven by ultrafast internet and multiple digital technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), live streaming, cryptocurrency, and many more. It is being assumed that metaverse technology will let users use digital personalized avatars to remotely interact with family and friends in real-time, do virtual meetings, go to concerts, do shopping, play games, and be part of similar other activities.

The Hollywood movie “Ready Player One” is one excellent example to imagine what metaverse might look like, but don’t consider it the ultimate target of the metaverse. It is true that metaverse can completely change our gaming experience, but one of the main objectives of the metaverse is to shift people’s interaction via 2D video calls to virtual real-time 3D meetups.

Where Metaverse Technology Stands Currently?

Metaverse is just a fancy concept currently and it will take years if not decades to develop a realistic version of it. As per Mark Zuckerberg, there are still 5-10 years for metaverse to become a mainstream technology. However, no one can project the release date currently. It is because metaverse depends on an interconnected network of services/technologies, so it is challenging for any single company to achieve all that in a short timeframe.

Currently, we can see some early adopters of the metaverse in games like Fortnite and Roblox or other VR products, but gradually we will see more enhancements or early versions of the metaverse. In short, with every passing year, we are going close to witnessing a new era of the internet-driven by immersive technologies.

Metaverse Enhances the Internet not Replaces It

Now that we know what metaverse is and where it stands today, let’s clear out our confusion around metaverse and the internet. If you think metaverse as shown in Ready Player One movie, then you might assume that it is a replacement of the internet. However, the metaverse is meant to “enhance/expand” the internet capabilities not replace the internet. In fact, the metaverse is only achievable with the ultrafast internet.

The below table will further clarify how metaverse enhances the internet:

InternetMetaverse
Computers / Tablets / SmartphonesVirtual Reality (VR) / Extended Reality (XR)
2D Screens using Touch or MouseNatural UI/UX
Profile Pic / User IDPersonalized Digital Avatar / Universal ID
Software Applications / WebsitesVirtual Experiences
Text, Audios, Videos, or ImagesEverything oriented in 3D
Live StreamingLife Streaming
In-App PurchasesCrypto / NFT

In simple words, you will still be able to do normal things on the internet the way you can do today. However, when you will use VR headsets or glasses, you will be able to elevate your internet usage experience.

Technologies Needed to Access the Metaverse

Metaverse will be an interconnected system of immersive technologies and services that will make a virtual world feature-rich. Think of it with the smartphone example. You are able to do a lot of things via your smartphone because different technologies and services are interconnected with that single device. The same is applied to the metaverse and that’s also the main reason why metaverse is not achieved till now.

The main technologies or devices required to access the metaverse are as follow:

  • Immersive devices that support virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR), and similar other environments.
  • Ultrafast internet to stream and access content and other services in real-time.
  • Digital wallets (cryptocurrency wallets) to perform transactions across digital services in the metaverse.

There might be some other technologies required, but the above ones will be the crucial ones.

Current Competition in the Metaverse

There is massive competition going on among the tech giants to be the first ones to offer metaverse services. Its market size as of 2020 was $47.69 billion, and it is projected to expand up to $814.2 billion by 2028. Meta alone is spending $10 billion in metaverse research and development in 2021.

Metaverse is believed to be the next big thing after “smartphones”, which is justifiable too considering the growing interest of people in avatar-based gaming apps, such as Fortnite and Roblox. In fact, Fortnite managed to generate a revenue of $9 billion just in the first two years. Owing to that, every tech giant, such as Meta, Microsoft, Sony, Google, Apple, and others, wants to succeed in this race and grab the early attention of consumers and investors.

Some consider that Meta will lead this race, but nothing can be said currently. Meta is good at marketing metaverse, but Apple is also silently working on its AR wearable which is believed to be available in the market by the end of next year. Similarly, Nvidia is leading the race in AI chips crucial for immersive technologies, while Microsoft is also investing aggressively in research around metaverse. So, the global heat around metaverse is warming up gradually, and it’s worth watching who will win the race.

Wrapping Up

Metaverse is indeed a game-changer, offering a virtual world experience we could just imagine currently. Although it is not going to replace the internet, just the way we use and interact with the internet will change or enhance. So, hold tight for the next few more years till we start seeing some realistic versions of the metaverse.

What is the Metaverse – Is It for Business or Just Gaming?

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.

2. Business

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.

3. Shopping

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.

4. Entertainment

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

The Internet of Senses — An Emerging Consumer Trend 2030

Today, being with people who are miles apart, translating a menu from a foreign language using your camera, or watching out for the traffic when you’re on the road isn’t novel anymore. People are used to what extended reality has to offer, but the technology does not stand still. The experiences are expected to become richer, more captivating, and involve all our senses, not just vision and hearing. The digital and physical worlds are merging, and that’s called the Internet of Senses.    

What Does the Internet of Senses mean?

The Internet of Senses is a novel and rapidly-developing technology that augments our senses beyond the boundaries of our bodies. It implies combining various technologies, including visual, audio, and haptic, to deliver new, digital sensory experiences similar to those we encounter in real life. 

The IoS gives people augmented vision, hearing, touch, and smell. The technology allows blending multi-sensory digital experience with actual physical surroundings. In this way, we can interact with people, robots, and devices as if they were right in front of us. 

With the help of this innovative technology, the companies could deliver groundbreaking solutions, such as immersive communication or sustainable vacations in VR. A bunch of businesses are already looking for specialists who are capable of coming up with such products. 

So, hiring skilled programmers now is a forward-looking decision that can give you an upper hand in a couple of years. Developers in Ukraine are considered talented and reliable and will surely give your company a competitive advantage because they stay on the same page with the industry trends.  

How Can People Benefit from the Internet of Senses?

The IoS is the next level of digitalization that is expected to reshape many industries. Hyper-fast connectivity and advanced automation are a must for the solutions that will be emerging in a new sensory world. 

Although IoS is mostly used for commercial purposes, like allowing people to smell perfumes before purchasing them on e-Commerce websites, the technology is also applicable for other areas. For example, people with allergies or those that have lost the ability to taste flavors due to various diseases can taste them again with the help of the IoS.

These are just some examples of how IoS is anticipated to be applied in the future:

Thoughts accessible via technology

Many people believe that in 2030, it will be possible for us to reply to short messages using only thoughts. The boundary between “thinking and doing” will be blurred, making way for the new market dedicated to devices. 

For example, when having AR glasses on, a person has to think about a specific destination, like a grocery shop. After that, it will show an individual the way to get to the location and where to find the products one has on the shopping list. 

Touch and merged digital reality

An array of consumers expects to be able to touch anything digitally. For example, they believe they might partake in a Formula 1 race, experiencing all the feelings the drivers have. These include vibrations, smells, and sounds. The same goes for concerts, meaning you can both hear the music and feel the bass on your skin. 

Holographic communication

This means communicating with people as if they were sitting just next to you. The increased presence will be achieved with holographs that behave just like a real person you’re chatting with or with avatars. These aren’t limited by sound and images, involving taste and smell too. For instance, they can digitally convey the taste and smell of coffee.

Sensational services

It is anticipated that the multi-sensory experience will allow us to immerse ourselves in another place or historical period. The entertainment industry will be significantly altered, bringing exceptional experiences in gaming and cinematic areas. Workstations and workplaces will be contrasting to those we have now, and people won’t have to be actually present at the office or other facilities presenting only virtually in their working life.  

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the technologies are now proving more solutions that can be applied in every industry. The future is just around the corner, so it’s fair to say that the way we perceive our routine is about to face drastic changes.