You may have heard the word “metaverse” floating around lately. Whether it be online or in the news. The word is currently popular among the tech, business, and finance industries. In his 1992 novel Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson coined the phrase to describe a virtual environment that was widely used in his envisioned future, a 21st-century dystopia. The metaverse is a virtual-reality universe presented in Snow Crash as a planet-encircling market where virtual real estate can be purchased and sold, and where VR (Virtual Reality) goggle-wearing users inhabit 3D avatars of their own design. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, recently changed the company’s name to Meta, and will start to focus on building the metaverse space.
So, what exactly is the metaverse? Virtual reality, which is characterized by persistent virtual environments that exist even when you’re not playing, and augmented reality, which blends features of the digital and physical worlds, are two technologies that make up the metaverse. It does not, however, necessitate that those areas be only accessible through VR or AR (Augmented Reality). Your computer, game console, and even phone can be used to access this virtual world. The metaverse also refers to a digital economy in which users can design, buy, and sell products. It also lets you move virtual objects like clothes or cars from one platform to another, under the more idealized conceptions of the metaverse. Most platforms already feature virtual avatars and inventories that are bound to a single platform, but a metaverse might allow you to establish a persona that you can take with you wherever you go, making it as easy as copying your profile image from one social network to another.
The limitations of the metaverse: However, there are several limitations that may be unavoidable. Cloud infrastructure, software tools, platforms, applications, user-generated content, and hardware will all be driving forces in the metaverse. The tech industry will have to continue developing cloud infrastructure in order to hold this type of platform. When tech giants such as Microsoft and Meta (Facebook) presented fictitious renderings of their future ideas, they usually skip over how humans will interact with the metaverse. VR headsets are still large and awkward, and most individuals get motion sickness or physical pain from wearing them for extended periods of time. Augmented reality glasses face a similar dilemma. It is next to impossible to wear these types of technology in public, and not look like a giant nerd. The price of this equipment is also a contributing factor for the limits of making the metaverse a reality.
The Future of the Metaverse: For some, the metaverse provides new work opportunities, as huge corporations and start-ups compete for a piece of the rapidly expanding virtual world. For others, it might mean more immersing meetings or new training opportunities. Workplaces that utilize services from some of the big tech companies might get new capabilities sooner than they think, and they might not even require virtual reality to get them. However, experts say that working exclusively in the metaverse is improbable in the near future, at least based on current technologies and constraints. Anthony Georgiades, a founder of Pastel, a platform that provides blockchain infrastructure, which includes metaverse applications, believes that widespread acceptance of virtual reality will take several years. “It’s critical for businesses not to jump from zero to one hundred,” he remarked. “This may not be appropriate for everyone.”