Epic Games, which is best known as the developer of the widely-acclaimed video game Fortnite, recently announced that it had raised around $1 billion to support its metaverse vision. If you keep yourself updated with the latest tech craze, you have probably heard the term 'metaverse' a lot. But what is metaverse, to be exact? Let's find out below!
What is Metaverse?
When you search for the term 'metaverse,' you will find an array of definitions. The metaverse can be easily described as a virtual universe that is the twin of our actual world. It is the universe where everyone can exist in the form of a digital human, which is popularly known as an avatar. Much like in the real world, people in the metaverse can socialize, play, work, and do many activities using their avatars. It's a shared place that is always available for anyone and won't vanish into thin air the moment you have finished accessing them.
The virtual experience of metaverse itself is created by combining numerous advanced technology inventions. These include eye-tracking, augmented reality, and virtual reality. If you consider yourself a pro-gamer, you have probably known that the digital worlds that exist within Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox are the OG metaverse.
Top Metaverse Use Cases You Shouldn’t Miss Out
Will There Be a Metaverse or Multiple Metaverses?
There is currently no definite answer to that question. The metaverse standards have yet to exist, and more and more tech companies of all sizes are pushing to build the basis. Suppose giant tech companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Facebook desire a single metaverse. In that case, that requires them to first agree on how they will collaborate.
The concept of a unified metaverse that can cater to services from various companies recalls the early internet's ideological goals. However, it will eventually lead to nothing but a mere dream when the founding firms discover the amount of make money in metaverse that could be earned digitally.
Analysts predict that the metaverse will emerge as a bunch of platforms competing with each other like in the early days of messaging apps. Standards will evolve over time, and the ones that will mature in the long run are always the big companies backed up with compatible technology.
What Will It be Like in the Metaverse?
Now that you already know the answer to the query of what is metaverse, probably another question of what is it like in this virtual world conjures up in your mind. The content within the metaverse is still a mystery to many people. You probably noticed some exciting elements for those of you who have explored this 360-degree virtual world.
The metaverse has a wide variety of elements where people can have their own highly customizable 3D avatars, which they can utilize to do various activities. These include meeting up with friends, taking part in various virtual events, and even conducting transactions of digital assets that most likely will be stored on a blockchain network.
Purchasing and selling digital properties may sound a bit absurd to some people. Yet knowing how the Canadian firm Tokens.com has invested around $2.5 million on digital real estate has proven that bets on such assets have already begun.
Gamers encounter a more straightforward experience in the OG metaverse, such as Fortnite and Roblox. While the games may not be as immersive as Mark Zuckerberg's idea of the metaverse, they offer users a practical experience of what to expect.
Do I Need Equipment?
You may be wondering how one could enter the metaverse by this point. What kind of equipment is required? Do you need VR for the metaverse? The best answer to these questions is that it depends on the metaverse where you would like to go.
To enter the Facebook metaverse, you will only need to equip yourself with an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset that will cost you at least $300. Yet it doesn't require any game console or PC to enter the virtual world. Other gears manufactured by Sony, HP, HTC, and Valve are compatible with PlayStation 4/5 and supported PCs.
A couple of tech giants, including Microsoft, come with their own AR headsets with more advanced features that will cost you a high sum of money. Qualcomm and some other corporations are also working on ways for AR smart glasses that are compatible with smartphones. While it sounds so futuristic, most of the uses are still experimental.
However, suppose you get into the existing virtual universes like Minecraft and Roblox. In that case, you won't need any of the goggles above. You need to have a supported smartphone, tablet, or computer. Indeed, you won't get that experience of the 360-degree world. Yet, the appeal of these platforms suffices to satisfy your thirst for what metaverse is like.
Where Did the Idea Come From?
The term 'metaverse' was first coined by Neal Stephenson in the novel Snow Crash, published in 1992. The book tells about a pizza delivery man who hangs around in an online virtual world. This concept was upgraded in the 2011's novel Ready Player One. The novel tells about people in a metaverse called Oasis, which later inspired Facebook to launch their Oculus Rift.
Beyond the fiction realm, a metaverse was first introduced by an American tech company Linden Lab through their virtual world Second Life. This metaverse was launched in 2003 and has successfully attracted various prominent corporations, from automobile to computer makers. The popularity of Second Life today is slowly faded, but this virtual world remains in existence.
Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, and the likes are types of games that have also been widely identified as metaverses. Even Epic Games' Fortnite has organized a number of virtual music concerts that elevated the popularity of the already popular game.
So, what is metaverse again? It can be easily described as a virtual world where people can perform lifelike interactions using specific equipment. While the idea of this digital universe has been around for a decade, its future remains unforeseeable. No one knows, not even experts, can predict how long it takes to actualize a metaverse that genuinely mimics our actual world fully. After all, people still need to rethink what it actually means to mingle in a 360-degree virtual world.