Recently there was a word that took the world by storm: Metaverse. It is a concept that has been brought to our attention by big companies from Silicon Valley like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. The buzz started, but also the doubts… what is this Metaverse? How does it work? How does it affect users all around the world?
What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse makes reference to a virtual world. People will connect to this virtual world using devices that will make them feel that they are physically in that place and not only being there, they will also be able to interact with other users, just like visiting an actual place.
To summarize, Metaverse will be a place where humans through devices will be able to interact socially and also economically, but instead of being there, you will be an avatar in cyberspace.
Where does this come from?
Now that you know what is the metaverse, the next logical question is, where does this originate? To answer this question, we have to go back to 1992, where an American writer named Neal Stephenson described a collective virtual space in his novel Snow Crash. This space is convergent with real life.
The author establishes the existence of this virtual space as an urban environment developed along a 100-meter-wide road, that runs around the whole circumference of the earth. People connect to this space using terminals located in lenses, to use avatars to move along this road as avatars.
Coming back to 2022, there’s a lot of questions that people want to be answered. The main one is: How is this going to work? So far, we know there will be lenses to connect and immerse into that virtual world. There will be sensors that will register physical movement and facial expressions.
Regarding the avatars, there will be total freedom to create them. There will also be freedom to create our personal environment, whether it is our business or our rooms.
As for the economy, the metaverse can have their economy, with their own virtual coin, interchangeable for real money. It will be also possible to create jobs and listings.
The Metaverse run.
All big companies want to be the first ones to release their own metaverse. Facebook is working really hard to be the first. They showed their intentions when they changed the name of the company to Meta. So far, they are leading the way and looking for partners that want to paddle together to inaugurate the META metaverse. Meta will need partners both in software since they will need to develop the platform, integrations, smart contracts, but they also will need hardware development for the lenses and the sensors.
Possible applications for the Metaverse
There are different possible applications that could happen in the Metaverse. Let’s see some of them.
- Digital cafe in the metaverse.
When thinking about how could a digital coffee could work, we need to ask the question: why do you go to a café? To get a coffee. So, you need to be physically in a place where you can be served a Coffee. People could go to a place, where they could pair their lenses and devices to the wireless network of the cafe. Then they start acting with their avatars to with others and with the environment, the virtual café can be located in a plain room, that will become an amazing virtual place. You will also have an amazing coffee, what else you could ask for?
- Digital Hotel in the metaverse
In this case, let’s say you could have a pod hotel, that kind of hotel is very popular in Japan. It’s just a simple compartment where you can fit a person laying down in some sort of bunk. Once the person is on their pod; they can pair their Metaverse devices and start experimenting with the full experience of a luxurious room using their avatar.
In this way, you could experience a new different experience than the regular and plain pod hotel. Also, it will be possible to accommodate more people since the space will be used more efficiently. All of this while being laid on your pod space.
There is something close to a Metaverse experience in existence today. There is a restaurant in Ibiza called Sublimotion, where you sit at the table and there’s a lot of projections that can make you feel you are in another place or another environment, there’s also different lighting effects, smells, wind for a complete sensorial experience. However, this comes at a high price tag: $2.300 per person.
Now, imagine making the experience more immersive using your lenses and sensors adapted to the Metaverse, your imagination is the limit!
The doubts of the Metaverse.
After all of this, even more, questions are raised.
Will this just be a game? While most people could think of this as a game, the truth is that it will be way more than that. You will be able to have virtual spaces for a business, smart contracts to do transactions, and electronic currencies that will be convertible to real-world money. So, this will be more than just a game. As scary as it could sound, it could be as a second life… or even an extension to your real self.
Another question is Do I need to participate in this Metaverse? The truth is, nobody can force anybody to do anything so, NO! But there will be a lot of possibilities within the platform that it might not be a good idea to stay out of the loop.
The Metaverse is something that is being taken seriously by specific participants. For example, Barbados, a small island in the Caribbean, has jumped into this and wants to be the first nation to have a digital embassy in the Metaverse. They are even planning to offer electronic visas for their Metaverse with teleporters to move avatars to their virtual worlds.
This is where the future is going… and it’s just starting!