What comes to mind when you hear the word “Metaverse”? Do you think of a video game set within a virtual city? Or do you think of a virtual world with cartoonish characters? Maybe, you feel the metaverse is a single digital world where people socialize.
The metaverse might seem like a broad phenomenon that might be complex to understand. However, simple facts about the metaverse will help you know its truth. This article will discuss some facts about the metaverse that you should know.
The metaverse is not a new concept
Many people did not learn about the metaverse until the covid-19 pandemic forced everyone to some form of virtual activities. Nevertheless, the metaverse and some of its technologies have been around for a while.
The word “Metaverse” came from Snow Crash, a cyberpunk novel released in 1992 by Neal Stephenson. The book described the metaverse as a virtual space where the novel characters can interact to escape the unpleasantness of their natural world.
Similarly, necessary technologies that can power the metaverse have existed for a few decades. For example, Morton Heilig designed the first virtual reality experience, The Sensorama, in 1957.
Eleven years later, Ivan Sutherland created the first head-mounted immersive display device. Ivan’s invention marked the beginning of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets.
Moreover, video gaming and the internet dates back to the 1950s. Furthermore, Satoshi Nakamoto invented the first blockchain network in 2008.
The metaverse will only result from future advancements to these technologies and not a new invention.
Gaming is only one function of the metaverse
Playing blockchain (play-to-earn) games and immersive VR games are just a few things you can do in the metaverse.
Blockchain games offer independent gaming atmospheres and asset ownership. Meanwhile, immersive VR games deliver simulated reality, including the feeling of touch in virtual spaces.
Accordingly, these games are part of the metaverse because they offer experiences like that of our natural world.
Due to the prevalence of games in the metaverse industry, people might conclude that it is all about playing online. However, playing games is just one of the things we can do in a virtual world. The metaverse can help us perform more important activities virtually. Consider the following:
- Organizations can set up offices and working spaces in the metaverse.
- Kids and college students can attend schools in shared online spaces
- Employee and amateur-level military training is possible within immersive virtual environments
- We can take practical classes and perform surgeries virtually.
- Virtual reality can help you know the size and features of items in an online shopping cart.
- Metaverse museums will help you understand history just like physical museums.
- Entertainers can take concerts, music shows, talent hunts, fashion parades, etc., to the metaverse.
VR and AR are expensive technologies
Virtual reality and augmented reality require dedicated devices commonly known as headsets. These headsets are made specifically to deliver fully-immersive digital experiences (VR headsets) and to display holograms or augmented experiences (AR glasses or headsets).
VR headsets are widely known today because of their use in video gaming. In contrast, many people have not seen a prevalent need for AR glasses. Despite the differences, both AR and VR devices are expensive and sometimes complex to set up.
For instance, the price of the standalone Meta Quest 2 headset is $300. Meanwhile, Valve Index is not a wireless device, yet it costs $1200.
Super-fast internet speed is essential
Although most people now enjoy a stable internet connection via 4G, the metaverse might require a faster cellular network which 5G provides.
As of 2020, about 80% of internet subscribers use a 4G internet connection. Meanwhile, Ericsson Mobility Report stated in 2021 that by 2027, half of these subscribers would transition to 5G.
The metaverse will feature high-quality graphics, sound, 3D environments, and haptic feedback systems. Metaverse users need a stable internet connection like 5G and a device with robust storage to access all these.
5G and other cutting-edge internet infrastructure need widespread usage for everyone to enjoy immersive virtual experiences.
Virtual worlds will be like the real world
Simulated environments will make the metaverse similar to the world in which we live. This article mentioned the various activities we can perform in virtual worlds. Undoubtedly, performing tasks effectively from the comfort of our home will make life easier.
Nonetheless, metaverse developers will need technologies that enable decentralized ownership to achieve an inclusive virtual environment.
As a result, blockchain technology will be essential to the metaverse. Blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) allow you to own any virtual item by providing a permanent record in an open ledger.
NFTs are the best form of digital asset ownership. When you own an NFT, it never leaves your wallet. In fact, nobody can cease your asset. Moreover, decentralized ownership will help to curb false asset sales or scam assets.
The virtual version of events will be a simulation of the actual events. Metaverse weddings will feature all the fun and excitement of a real wedding. Also, digital garments will fit your avatar as your clothes fit you.
With the help of haptic feedback systems in VR gloves, users can feel, touch, and even grab virtual items. Accordingly, it feels like reality when driving, typing, walking, running, or climbing in virtual worlds.
The metaverse cannot replace the natural world
The fact remains that despite immersive simulation of human reality, the metaverse cannot replace nature. Consequently, we cannot eat in virtual worlds. More so, no matter how fancy a dress looks on an avatar, the dress is not helpful for you here on earth. In addition, some delicate jobs require your physical presence.
As earlier noted, amateur-level trainings might be possible in virtual worlds.
For instance, military intelligence of powerful countries will not like to showcase secret war techniques online due to fear of internet malware.
Fact: You cannot enter virtual or augmented reality. It has to be a 3D representation or a holographic projection of you or a location.