What it is about?

The metaverse, according to Mark Zuckerberg or Satya Nadella, is the future of the Internet

December 30, 2021, 10:00 a.m.

Last modification: December 30, 2021, 10:19 AM

While it’s only been a few months since the rebranding of Facebook, the discourse around the metaverse has already taken off. Photo: Bloomberg

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While it’s only been a few months since the rebranding of Facebook, the discourse around the metaverse has already taken off. Photo: Bloomberg

To a certain extent, discussing what the Metaverse means is like discussing what the internet meant in the 1970s.

At the time, a new medium was in sight, but no one knew exactly what it would look like until it happened.

The internet has come a long way since Tim Berners-Lee co-invented the WWW (the World Wide Web) in 1989. However, since it was not an end product, its evolution has continued. And obviously what we mean by the Internet today is very different from what was initially conceptualized.

Lately, we were first introduced to the word metaverse after Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, in an effort to reflect the company’s ambitions with the metaverse.

And all of a sudden, there’s a wave of talk, speculation, and prediction regarding the Metaverse.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse, according to Mark Zuckerberg or Satya Nadella, is the future of the Internet.

“The next platform and medium will be an even more immersive and embodied internet where you will be in the experience, not just watching it, and we call that the metaverse,” Zuckerberg said after revealing the rebranding. of the company.

Soon after, Microsoft also unveiled its take on the metaverse. CEO Satya Nadella said in a video on Twitter:

“The Metaverse not only transforms the way we view the world, but also the way we participate in it. As the digital and physical worlds come together, we create a whole new layer of platform, which is the Metaverse. “

The term “metaverse” is often attributed to Near Stephenson’s dystopian science fiction novel, Snow Crash (1992). The author imagined the interaction of realistic 3D avatars in virtual realities.

The term metaverse, however, is ambiguous and does not refer to a single type of technology. Rather, it is in a broad way of how we use and engage with some of modern technology.

For starters, the Metaverse is a universe that only exists on the Internet – 0 and 1 in computers – and you can access the place with VR headsets.

You could call it cyberspace or virtual world or digital world. Just like in our universe, we exist physically, in the metaverse, we can exist virtually.

Infographic: SCT

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Infographic: SCT

Infographic: SCT

Moreover, in the world of virtual reality, there is not a single “metaverse” that exists. There are several virtual realities built by different tech companies.

For example, Facebook’s Horizon Worlds and Microsoft’s Mesh are independent of each other. Horizon Worlds and Mesh are separate virtual reality platforms.

In addition to this, the metaverse is a focal point for emerging technologies such as AI, VR, AR, blockchain technology and its digital currencies, and NFTs. In fact, all of these technologies are gearing up to power the metaverse.

Thus, the term metaverse has become a sort of global name for “virtual universe” and its associated technology, such as AR, VR, AI, crypto, etc.

What’s going on now?

The idea of ​​virtual reality or augmented reality is not something new. Likewise, the Metaverse isn’t science fiction, and it’s not even new.

What’s new is the renewed attention Facebook has led among other big, cutting-edge technologies trying to reflect its ambitions in the metaverse.

While it’s only been a few months since the rebranding of Facebook, the discourse around the metaverse has already taken off.

We already get a glimpse of what a metaverse might look like in Mark Zuckerberg’s short promo video.

As Meta CEO Zuckerberg predicted, it will take five to ten years for major Metaverse features to become mainstream.

While many features of the Metaverse now exist, from VR headsets to a permanent online virtual presence, they are not yet universal. Being expensive, the technologies behind the concept are not widely available to average consumers.

It’s like the early days of the Internet. And just like the Internet, it will continue to evolve. As the Metaverse grows and evolves, it will provide you with a hyper-real alternate reality.

An important distinction from what Zuckerberg envisions with the Meta rebranding is the centralization of all VR platforms.

The notion of a centralized virtual environment, of a “place”, which coexists with the real world has become popular this year. Then again, a universe where all digital worlds connect and interact is always a thing of the future.

What does the future hold?

A glimpse of the metaverse can already be seen in online game worlds like Fortnite, Minecraft, or Roblox. Millions of people play virtual social games like Roblox and Fortnite every day.

In these open world games, human-like avatars build houses, work, buy stuff, and do just about everything we humans do.

Supporters of the Metaverse envision its users to work, play, and stay connected with friends, family and colleagues. People would participate in concerts, office meetings and virtual trips.

Meta imagines a virtual world in which virtual reality headsets are used to link digital avatars for business, travel or leisure. Additionally, Zuckerberg believes it could replace the Internet or that it is the future of the Internet.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies based on blockchain technology have sparked a resurgence of interest in digital ownership, making persistent virtual experiences more common.

Steven Speilberg’s 2017 film “Ready Player One” is probably the closest example of the metaverse. Set in a dystopian world, the protagonist, who lives in Ohio like everyone else of his time, finds meaning in his life in the Metaverse.

Their mundane existence is boring and mired in trouble. The Oasis – that’s what the movie’s metaverse is called – gives a chance to escape reality.

What could be the impact of such a metaverse in our real world?

Let’s see what the protagonist of the film has to say about his time:

“Except to eat, sleep and go to the bathroom, whatever people want to do, they do in OASIS. And since everyone is here, this is where we meet. This is where we are. we make friends. “

In another time, he said, “This is a place where the limits of reality are your own imagination. You can do anything, go anywhere. Like the vacation planet. Ride a 50ft monstrous wave. in Hawaii. You can ski the pyramids. You can climb Mount Everest with Batman. People come to OASIS for all they can do, but they stay for all they can be. “

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