What Is Metaverse? (Simple and Detailed Guide)
The term metaverse has become the favourite buzzword of 2022. And this is making people ask the same question: What is metaverse?
Since Mark Zuckerberg announced that they will be a metaverse first company, and changed the name of the company from Facebook to Metaverse Platforms, the internet has been teeming with questions and articles related to the platform.
But the truth is, it is hard to find a solid answer about what metaverse is. There are a lot of speculations and news about the potential of the platform, but no real information.
In this article, we will try to give you a quick rundown on what is metaverse, and its current situation.
- Metaverse is a term that was first used by Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash.
- Metaverse refers to technologies and platforms that enable people to experience and socialize in a virtual space from the first-person perspective.
- Right now, certain technologies or platforms can be considered a primitive version of the metaverse, but something we can truly consider a metaverse is not out yet.
- Metaverse can create its economy, and we will most likely see a metaverse based real-estate industry.
- Blockchain and NFT technologies will most likely be present in the metaverse.
- Metaverse has the potential to change the way we experience ecommerce.
1. What Is Metaverse?
If you have been wondering about what is metaverse, then sadly there is no quick answer. But we can start explaining from the beginning:
The term metaverse was first coined by Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash. In his world, the Metaverse was a virtual reality that people could experience as programmable avatars.
Stephenson’s metaverse was an urban environment developed along a 100-meter wide road named the Street. The world itself was a large, spherical, featureless planet.
In the real world metaverse is a complicated name. Right now, we don’t know what it will exactly refer to, as the real technologies that will be the building blocks of the future metaverse are still not clear, and we don’t know the shape it will take. It could refer to social media platforms that can be experienced in first-person, or as Mark Zuckerberg claims it, it can be an embodied internet.
In short, there is no clear metaverse yet. It is a term used to describe a potential virtual space that can be a social media platform or a new version of the internet. And the answer to the question “What is metaverse?” might change in the future.
2. How Will The Metaverse Affect Us?
Metaverse can change our lives in a variety of ways. Or it can be a term that will be forgotten in the future. It all depends on how the platform itself will be developed, and how well it will be adopted by the people.
When talking about future technology, we can only make assumptions. So there are a lot of possible outcomes.
Here are a few of them:
- Metaverse can become a new version of the internet. A virtual space where people can socialize, learn, research, or even work.
- Metaverse can be a supplementary technology to the internet. Where people can log in to simulate face-to-face connections.
- Metaverse can turn out to be a social media platform we can experience in first-person.
- Or it can turn into a buzz that never gets fully adopted by the general public.
Metaverse doesn’t necessarily need to become a new replacement to the internet or social media platforms to be considered a successful technology. It can just be a tool we use to stimulate face-to-face interactions or meetings. There are various future applications, and the definition of metaverse will possibly change in the future depending on how the general public adopts it.
3. When Will Metaverse Arrive?
As we have stated above, the metaverse is not ready yet. Some VR experiences can be seen as primitive metaverse technologies, or some digital platforms/games that can be seen as non-VR, metaverse-like simulations (games like Second Life). But none of them is at a level where they can replace social media platforms or the internet.
Right now there are several platforms in development that are seen as possible metaverses.
Facebook announced that they will be focusing on developing a metaverse and the first commercially available version is expected to be released in 2022. Horizon Worlds developed by Meta Platforms can be seen as a prototype for future metaverses, but many of the virtual reality features announced remain to be developed.
Microsoft acquired AltspaceVR in 2017 and has since implemented several features that we might expect from a metaverse. Such as adding virtual reality meetings into Microsoft Teams.
4. Metaverse And E-Commerce
Metaverse can be a revolutionary tool that changes human interaction forever, or it could just be a new cool technology to supplement our existing digital infrastructure.
But no matter which shape it takes, there will always be a commercial aspect to this technology. Companies are investing large sums of money to develop a working metaverse, and they wouldn’t be doing it if there was no potential monetary gain.
Ecommerce can take a variety of forms in the metaverse. There could be ecommerce stores where you could visit and experience as you would a physical store. You might be able to buy different products for your metaverse avatar, decorative items for your virtual property, as well as normal, non-virtual products.
5. Virtual Property
Virtual property is also an aspect we will need to consider. If the metaverse turns out to be a virtual reality with finite space, then there will be a market for digital real estate. People could buy, sell and rent space in this reality.
There is a real possibility of the metaverse becoming an almost second reality. A space where people run businesses, showcase digital or advertise their businesses could easily create a virtual real estate market.
Who knows, maybe we will see the days where “virtual real estate agent” becomes a trending career.
6. Blockchain And Metaverse
There are a lot of ways blockchain technology can be implemented into the metaverse. Any comment we make on this issue again will be a speculation, but we can expect:
- A blockchain-based cryptocurrency to become the currency of virtual reality.
- All artworks in the metaverse to be NFTs.
- Transactions and property to be authenticated with blockchain technology.
Metaverse is not here yet, but when it comes, it might change how we perceive the digital world fundamentally. Or it could just be a buzz that comes and doesn’t change anything.
In any case, we will see virtual reality-based technologies more in the near future. Ecommerce stores have already started to offer virtual experiences to shoppers, and VR games are gaining traction.
A VR internet or social media which could connect all these elements could be the true metaverse.
If you were asking “what is metaverse?”, we hope that our article managed to answer that question!
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