The Metaverse. The term is still so new that most people, even experienced crypto investors, are having a little trouble wrapping their three-dimensionally trained brains around it. But indeed, the metaverse can almost be considered a fourth digital dimension that has gone untapped until now.
But make no mistake, the metaverse “idea” has been at play for some time. So much so that businesses like Exult (and soon Meta which is formerly know as Facebook) are places where you can maintain a personalized digital existence in the metaverse by purchasing digital property, recreating your own history, meeting up with historical figures like DaVinci and Jesus, and potentially living forever (no joke).
Decentralized crypto is the driving force behind the metaverse. In fact, Exults’ headquarters is constructed on the Ethereum blockchain and it’s a place where, at base, you can construct art galleries, build stores, erect buildings, homes, and so much more.
According to a new article from a newspaper devoted to all things in and around the metaverse, at the heart of this new network is an “always-on virtual world” where lots of individuals can interact with each other along with digital objects. At the same time, people represent themselves using an avatar (virtual representation).
That said, you might think of the metaverse as a mixture of immersive virtual reality, internet communication, and multi-layered online role-playing activities or games, if you will. This has led to some tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg to believe that living in the metaverse can be something that will go from science fiction to absolute reality.
In fact, the metaverse just might replace the internet one day, the same way digital books and online music streaming is replacing bookstores and records stores, respectively.
Metaverse is a term that’s derived from combining the words “meta,” which loosely translated means transcendence, and verse which is a referral to the “cosmos.” Fiction author Neal Stephenson is credited with having coined the term “virtual world” in his 1992 science fiction novel, “Snow Crash.” In the novel, his main character, Hiro Protagonist, shops, socializes, and does battle with flesh-and-blood enemies via his avatar.
To quote the book, “The notion comes before the phrase.” In turn, lots of tech engineers have come to believe that the “notion” that was once thought to be science fiction, may one day be the reality that replaces the internet as we know it and live it on a daily basis.
Presently, this is merely a concept, but high-tech corporations like Facebook (now Meta, go figure), are said to be looking forward to creating a digital, crypto powered, blockchain based framework for a vast range of online pursuits that include work, study, play, commerce, and much more.
Three Metaverse Fundamentals
According to the experts, the metaverse is made up of three main fundamental characteristics: presence, interoperability, and standards.
Presence refers to the sensation of physically living in a virtual space along with other real, virtual people. Studies are said to prove that having “a strong feeling of one’s own physical presence” gets better with the accuracy and quality of digital conversation. You can allegedly achieve this realistic presence via the utilization of reality-based virtual technology such as “head-mounted displays.
Interoperability means you can move smoothly between virtual locations and even eras utilizing the same virtual tools such as avatars and digital items as you would use in a real-world setting. Programs such as ReadyPlayerMe allows players to build their own unique avatar that they can then use in hundreds of virtual environments. This is made possible by blockchain tech, upon which decentralized cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are built.
The standardization part of the metaverse equation will make it possible for services and platforms to communicate with one another throughout the meta-sphere. Say the experts, common high tech standards are considered essential for the broad use of mass media operations that range from the printing press to the digital book.
There exist several international organizations such as Interoperability Group and Open Metaverse that have been placed in charge of developing the new standards for the metaverse.
What the Metaverse Means
Experts seem to agree that if the metaverse is to replace the internet, its construction must benefit humanity and global commerce in ways the world wide web has yet to achieve. With its massive investment in virtual reality, Zuckerberg and his Meta will play a significant role in its development.
The Facebook baron believes the metaverse will include non-immersive platforms like contemporary social media along with 3D virtual reality tech. It will be used for both work, entertainment, and education. One wonders if it will also inevitably be used for collecting massive amounts of individual data.
One thing is for certain, the metaverse is coming and the sooner you dive in, the better.