What Exactly Is The Metaverse?
The metaverse is a concept of an artificial, virtual universe that is being depicted as the future of the Internet. It is a virtual space where people can interact, socialize, work, play, and in short do everything that can be done in real life. While at present, the internet is a two – dimensional space, the metaverse would be three-dimensional, which would provide the feeling of actually being present inside the virtual world, along with other people. Some of the main technologies that Metaverse is based on are virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), blockchain and cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence. In the metaverse, people would be able to connect with others via their digital avatars, which are bots that resemble humans created by artificial intelligence-based technology.
Communication Inside The Metaverse
Recently, Facebook has rebranded itself as Meta, moving its focus on the metaverse. The term “metaverse” was coined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash released in 1992, in which the author speaks of a 3D virtual world where people could interact with each other in the form of avatars. The metaverse can be explored using wearable technology such as Virtual Reality headsets, mobile, gaming consoles, computers, etc. People using the metaverse would gradually feel more immersed in the artificial world, than in the real world. In the metaverse, people would be represented by their avatars, which can be bots or virtual agents, and the avatars can hang out with others and can even do things together. Communication inside the metaverse would be more efficient than video conferencing because an avatar can turn its head to look at another person and can also initiate a conversation with someone else’s avatar by walking over and sitting next to that person.
Features Of The Metaverse
- The construct of the metaverse can be reshaped by adding new virtual buildings and other objects and the changes remain intact the next time it is visited.
- People can own properties inside the metaverse and can also buy virtual land by paying in cryptocurrencies.
- Similar to social media, the metaverse depends on user-generated content, as in the personal stories and creations of the users.
- The metaverse exists in real-time and uses virtual or augmented-reality technology to cover immersive environments.
- The concept of the metaverse is starting to introduce Web3 technology through blockchain technology like NFTs and Cryptos.
- The main feature of the metaverse, which is, in other terms, a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality, is to enable users to build social connections in a virtual space, changing means of interaction and communication using technologies.
- On the other hand, the two pillars of the metaverse namely augmented reality and virtual reality provide an immersive and engaging 3D experience. While AR or augmented reality transforms the real world using visual characters and elements and can be accessed on any smartphone, VR or virtual reality provides a computerized environment that can be explored using VR headsets, sensors, etc.
Advantages And Disadvantages
Whether the metaverse is beneficial for our future or it will have negative impacts on our lives, is highly debatable. Seen as the next step for humanity after the internet, some also believe that it might have more negative effects than positive ones.
- The foremost advantage of the metaverse is that it surpasses geographical boundaries.
- Once inside the virtual world, physical location doesn’t hold any relevance. Anyone can find and meet people with identical interests from the safety of their home.
- Experiences inside the metaverse are highly immersive which allows both personal and business endeavors.
- The metaverse is likely to provide new and better business opportunities as consumers can see and hold a product and also feel it. This would provide consumers with a better user experience benefiting both businesses and consumers.
- There would be significant improvements to online learning as with the metaverse, people from all around the world will be able to contribute information and study together, irrespective of the physical location of the classroom.
- But on the other hand, the metaverse is a new concept, and at present, it doesn’t have strong cybersecurity levels and hence is highly vulnerable to illegal activities such as fraud, cyberattacks, etc.
- As a result of bringing people from all across the world together into such an immersive experience, metaverse might pose a threat to the cultural diversity present in the world.
- People might feel detached from the real world and disconnected from their immediate society as a result of spending more and more time on the metaverse, which would eventually increase addiction risks.