Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, and Mark Zuckerberg CEOs of universally popular tech giants Microsoft, Google, and Facebook believe metaverse to be the internet’s future. Discussing metaverse is somewhat akin to talking about an idea whose time has not yet come-like debates about the internet in the 70s. Practically no one had any idea about how the internet (which was in its infancy in the 70s) would influence our everyday life.
The concept of the metaverse, in sharp contrast to discreet debates about the internet’s emergence, has generated plenty of promotional propaganda. All this hype and hoopla surrounding metaverse gained currency especially after Apple’s recent iOS update (an app that prevents ads from following you) slashed Facebook’s revenues.
So, What Is Behind the Hype Surrounding Metaverse?
Trying to comprehend what metaverse means is very much like trying to solve Sudoku puzzles. What appears easy to solve turns out to be diabolically difficult when you start attempting to crack it. To put things in perspective metaverse is simply not a single specific technology type but more of an extensive and dynamic paradigm technological shift.
And there’s a high likelihood of the terminology (metaverse) becoming archaic sooner or later (even if the core meaning goes mainstream) though it seems very improbable and unrealistic right now. The technologies that constitute metaverse, by and large, may integrate AR and virtual reality, incorporating specific facets of physical and digital realms. Nevertheless, that doesn’t necessarily imply that you’d be able to access those worlds only through AR or virtual reality.
You can transform your smartphone, game console, tab, or your PC into a metaverse device for accessing the worlds of ‘virtual’ and ‘augmented’ realities. The metaverse can also double up as a digital economy offering you free rein to fashion products and services and also deal in them. And at the cost of being more optimistic, you can transfer your virtual goods (cars or apparel) to other platforms.
Currently, you can share your Facebook profile picture with other social media platforms but metaverse may enable you to devise a personality that’ll be interoperable. At the moment it can be excruciatingly hard to expound how interoperability in metaverse will play out in the days to come. If the above scenario is elucidated to you, you’ll be like “But that situation already exists, doesn’t it?”
There’s more to metaverse than just putting on your HTC Vibe VR headset for immersing yourself in the virtual reality world. Just as Google is all about the internet but not vice-versa, the metaverse is not just about spending time in VR but its scope extends much beyond. Alternatively, it’d not be out of place to mention that just as Google creates components of the internet, Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) is constructing metaverse sections.
Facebook rebranded itself as Meta so that it could take the lead in the new world in its new avatar. And Microsoft is also gearing up to make forays in the metaverse, and create waves. Several other recognized firms and companies including but not limited to Roblox, Unity, and Nvidia are doing their bit to create a substructure or network that’ll evolve into the metaverse of the future.
And it’s exactly at this juncture where arguments and debates involving the metaverse come to a standstill and become deadlocked. Despite our knowledge about the companies focusing on the technology (or should we say technologies) and a faint idea about its status-quo, we’re still unable to define it explicitly.
Metaverse Entails Holograms But Why?
The early days of the internet witnessed a succession of technological developments such as the connecting of one webpage with another. These practical attributes served as the templates which were thereafter utilized for creating intangible elements involving the internet like automated social networks, apps, and websites. And those core aspects also embraced the concrete linkages essential for making the most of the internet despite not being intrinsic components, such as a mouse, keyboard, and display.
And quite like the internet, the metaverse comes with some basic constituents such as motion-tracking doodads capable of identifying the direction of one’s eyesight. Though these technological innovations have a futuristic feel to them they’re not without their constraints or drawbacks. One glaring limitation of these new-fangled technologies is their inability to demonstrate the modus-operandi of our interaction with the metaverse.
We still don’t have affordable virtual reality headsets that can be worn for long periods without experiencing physical discomfort or motion sickness. AR Smart Glasses (ARSGs) also haven’t evolved to the extent where we can carry them around in public without appearing like weirdos. To date, the best headway that tech firms have perfected concerning metaverse is engineering technology from whole fabric like the holographic female in Meta.
However, in reality, it’s well-nigh impossible to replicate that feat in real-time, even if you exploit the state-of-the-art version of contemporary technology. And the tendency to treat these realistic lacunae as inconspicuous leaves us with more questions than answers about which facets surrounding the different metaverse ideations will materialize.
How the Metaverse Looks Like At Present?
In trying to elucidate and illustrate how metaverse will evolve into the internet of the future, you’ve to first clarify its present status, and that’s where the contradiction lies. The ‘massively multiple player online videogames (MMOs)’ provides you with a full-scale template of how an obvious virtual world looks like. However, you’d have to introduce a novel element or an innovative aspect if you’re to project the existing MMOs’ virtual worlds as the metaverse aka the ‘future internet’.
Fictional narratives such as Ready Player One and Snow Crash (that introduced the term ‘metaverse’) portraying a perfect VR world coupled with HUDs (heads-up displays) and holograms best exemplify a realistic metaverse. The virtual reality world expounded by these fantastic stories is the closest thing resembling an unprecedented metaverse that the tech giants would prefer to promote. And for demystifying and popularizing the metaverse model this kind of hard sell is as crucial as all other forms of propaganda.
So, it’s hardly surprising that merchants dealing in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) exploiting blockchain technology, which offers a sense of ownership, are warming up to the metaverse concept. If and when metaverse starts to take hold on a widespread basis then the cryptographic tokens might become as fungible (interchangeable) as blockchain cryptocurrencies.
Though NFTs have been scathingly criticized for boosting up carbon footprint levels and further degrading the environment, they hold a lot of promise for the digital future. Since most of us would be tempted to draw a parallel between the early days of the internet and the embryonic metaverse, it’s crucial to be mindful of this situation. We cannot simply assume that like the internet (which now plays an indispensable role in our daily existence), metaverse per se will progress smoothly.
Contextually speaking there’s no reason to believe that virtual reality and AR will be as ubiquitous and pervasive as present-day smartphones. It can be reasonably conjectured that the evolving metaverse will be mostly restricted to digital illustrations or smart VR games shortly.
If you are excited about the VR world and love trying VR games then you should try out XGS VRCADE. The platform lets you rent gaming stations for both individual and group gamers.
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