The Metaverse: Where Did It Come From and Where Is It Going?

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Metaverse

Neal Stephenson came up with the term “Metaverse” in his novel “Snow Crash” in 1992. The American writer visualized it as people using digital avatars to explore the online world and escape from the dystopian reality. 3 decades later, there have been significant developments and Web 3.0 is now mainstream. Today, tech companies, gaming conglomerates, and entertainment giants are investing billions of dollars in the metaverse. 

How will the metaverse evolve in the future? 

  • The physical and virtual worlds will interconnect. Hence, users can view real objects by wearing headsets powered by Virtual Reality (VR). 
  • The metaverse will trigger the growth of a digital economy where assets will be purchased and sold on blockchain-based marketplaces. 
  • There will be a balance between regulation and self-governance. Hence, the privacy and security of users will be upheld. 
  • As enterprise adoption increases, more preference is given to interoperability and decentralization. Therefore, users will have a similar identity in both the metaverse and the physical world.  
  • Amidst the need for digital transformation, attention will be on creating engaging content and offering a unique experience.
  • The future of metaverse is open. Thus, no centralized entity will own or control it. As brands look to cash in, the participation of creators is crucial to realize its full potential. 

Let us take a look at the current developments in the metaverse

Facebook (now Meta)

Users can create their own virtual worlds and build an immersive experience. They can interact and collaborate with fellow creators in Horizon Worlds. Intuitive tools help in establishing virtual spaces that are comfortable for everyone. 

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Meta Quest 2 is an advanced Virtual Reality (VR) headset that offers a one-of-a-kind experience to users. They can play games and use their virtual hands as touch controllers. Gamers can set up their own play area and establish boundaries. They can cast their headset by bringing friends into battle. 

Ray-Ban Stories are smart glasses that help users to capture photos and videos from a first-person perspective. It contains advanced features like automatic light adjustment, open-ear speakers, built-in microphones, a smart assistant, and a hyper-responsive touchpad. Meta will also utilize Broadcom Inc’s custom chips to develop its hardware. This will enable its devices to act as access points to the virtual world. 

Sony and Epic Games partnership 

Sony invested $1 billion in Epic Games in April 2022. It will focus on the virtual production of content and offer a digital experience for sports fans. Sony views metaverse as an emerging technology and wants to make a deep impact through entertainment and gaming. On the other hand, Epic Games wants to create virtual spaces for brands, creators, and players. 

Disney 

The entertainment giant considers the metaverse as the next generation of storytelling. Disney will focus on offering a realistic experience through digital characters in its theme parks. The physical and digital world will converge through smartphones and wearable devices. 

It also received a patent this year to create a theme park based on 3D virtual worlds. Users will experience the effect of a real-world ride through simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). Visitors can see holograms projected onto 3D objects of their favorite characters. Users need not wear clunky headsets to experience Augmented Reality (AR). 

Twitter

The microblogging platform introduced NFT profile pictures for users in January 2022. Hence, creators can showcase their work with ease. Twitter believes that NFTs act as a form of identity and self-expression. Currently, it supports ERC-721 and ERC-1155 collectibles and integration with wallets like Argent, MetaMask, Coinbase, Trust Wallet, Ledger Live, and Rainbow. Users can click the NFT collection, provenance, and verify the identity of the artist. Content creators and influencers on Twitter can receive payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). 

Conclusion

Currently, there is fierce competition in the metaverse. Enterprises across the world are looking to grab a slice of this multi-billion dollar opportunity. Moreover, the control over data and digital ownership of content will shift from centralized entities to individual users. The trends to watch out for will be Virtual Real Estate, Metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS), Virtual Showrooms, Avatar Guests, and Digital Shopping Malls. 

The future of the metaverse will depend on the integration of technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain. Thus, people will start engaging with extended reality in their daily lives. 

Want to be at the forefront of the Web 3.0 revolution? Transform the future of the Internet by diving into the metaverse now. 

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