Let me ask you this…. Are you a fan of VFX movies? Do you sometimes imagine yourself flying into space, using a lightning sword as a saviour, walking on water or engaging in a bullfight? If yes, then you belong to the world of Metaverse i.e. a world beyond reality.
In terms of technology, ‘Metaverse’ includes 3D virtual worlds focussing on social connection using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Basically, it is a combination of the digital and the physical world. Users can engage in activities such as gaming, socializing and business activities. Eg. The Facebook Metaverse is owned by the company founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
The rise in metaverse’s popularity and growth in the market has been immense. This concept was first introduced in 1992 in Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel called ‘Snow Crash’ where an online universe existed and people could use avatars to explore and escape from the problems of the real world.
Hardware- Metaverse can be accessed on computers and smartphones. Tools like AR glasses (Occulus), VR headsets, sensor and wired gloves are required for experiencing metaverse.
Software- There is no standardized technical specification for metaverse implementations; USD and gITP have been used to support the metaverse experience for the users.
Technologies that power Metaverse
Blockchain- Blockchain technology forms the bedrock of the metaverse as most of the applications run on blockchains. It provides a decentralization and transparency for the functioning of the metaverse. Blockchains basically collect and store information in groups, known as blocks, acting as a virtual ledger.
Cryptocurrency- The platforms on metaverse only accept crypto currencies. It is used to purchase resources such as NFTs, digital real estate and to make in-game purchases.
AR &VR- Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality engines create immersive and engaging three dimensional environments for the metaverse. As a result, users can hear, feel and interact with the virtual metaverse as if they are physically present in it.
Artificial Intelligence- It can help process data at lightning speed with the aid of machine learning techniques. AI algorithms are used to create unique outputs and insights for the metaverse environment.
3D Reconstruction- Using special 3D cameras and other technologies like 4K photography, 3D reconstruction helps create realistic and lifelike models to be used in the metaverse.
IOT (Internet of Things)- This is the system that connects the physical world to the internet through sensors and devices which possess a unique identifier and the ability to send or receive information automatically.
5G Technology- It facilitates faster data transfer and helps enable smoother experiences.
Popular Platforms of Metaverse
1) Hyperverse – Fan of Movies like Arrival, After Earth? You can experience space and go on missions into various galaxies on the hyperverse. It has a collection of planets and every user is called a voyager, a must for Sci-fi and astronomy enthusiasts.
2) Decentraland – A pioneer in metaverse technology, it was launched in 2020. It has a token Mana which lets you do all things on this platform.
3) Bloktopia- If real-estate, sky scrapers, excite you, then this platform is right for you. You can create artwork and play games.
4) Epic Games – If epic sagas interest you, you can use this metaverse to experience battles and use weapons virtually. The company that made the game, Battle Royale has extended its operations to music concerts and dance parties. Check out Fortnite’s Travis Scott’s concert.
5) Sandbox- Its token is SAND and is based on the Ethereum blockchain and is a decentralized NFT gaming metaverse.
Pros and Cons
· Cryptocurrencies, NFTs and play to earn games have made it the go-to place for the new generation users.
· Security and privacy issues are two areas that need to be addressed for metaverse to be successful.
Another factor to consider is that this technology is going to take us closer to machines and farther from human and emotional connect. Is it really worth using it? I may be averse to this idea, you are free to take your pick.
Meeting in the metaverse has been easy to achieve, but the real test of time will be to make staying and thriving here possible.
Only time will tell!