Since the rebranding of Facebook as Meta in October 2021, metaverse has become the hot topic of discussion.
Both Facebook and Microsoft are laying claims on the new abstruse notion, and it may look as if the metaverse is a creation of Meta’s ambition, but that’s nothing of the sort.
Where Did the Metaverse’s Concept Originate?
The emanation of the term ‘metaverse’ is from a dystopian cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, written by Neal Stephenson in 1992. In this novel, the writer envisaged realistic avatars who met in virtual reality environments (VREs) like 3D buildings.
What exactly is Metaverse?
The term Metaverse is the portmanteau, coined from the combination of two words – ‘meta’ meaning beyond and the universe. Latterly, people have started using Metaverse and Web 3.0 interchangeably. Though both terms have the same vision of an improved internet, they cannot be commingled.
Metaverse is a broad term that is not confined to a certain type of technology. On the contrary, it’s a combination of multiple technologies, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, and eye-tracking technology for a rich immersive user experience mirroring the real world.
A metaverse can be referred to as an interoperable network of 3D virtual worlds permitting a greater intersection of the digital and physical world in socialization, productivity, shopping, economy, and entertainment.
Properties of Metaverse
To give you better insight into what exactly a metaverse is, we’ve listed down the properties of the metaverse.
- Cross-platform accessibility.
- Massively Scalable
- Real-time rendering
- Integrated network of 3D virtual worlds
- Personalized digital avatars
- Connection with real-world economic systems
- Sense of presence
- Data Continuity
- Unlimited number of users
When will we witness Metaverse?
To a certain degree, metaverse already exists in games. For example, Fortnite – an online shooter game, contains some aspects of the metaverse. As there already exist many proto-metaverses, the actual question should be: When will we witness the ultimate metaverse?
According to the CEO of the Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, metaverse will take five to ten years to become mainstream. However, it is expected that the grand metaverse will be here much sooner as basic metaverse rudiments are already in order.
Existing Features of Metaverse
Though metaverse is yet to become mainstream, some of its features already exist.
Some examples of existing proto-metaverses are given as follows:
- Ultra-fast broadband speeds
- Virtual reality headsets
- Persistent online worlds
All these aspects of metaverse are up and running, albeit some may not be accessible to everyone.
Who owns Metaverse?
Just like no one owns the Internet, no individual company or person owns the Metaverse. Nevertheless, there will be successful players like Microsoft, Meta, Roblox, Unity, Epic Games, AWS, Decentraland, and many more who will continue to spend billions of dollars to make the sci-fi dream a reality and wield control over metaverse.
One thing that everyone should acknowledge is that Metaverse will not just be a grand virtual experience, but a better and advanced version of the Internet. With its expansion, metaverse will create a hyper-real alternative world for you to coevolve in.