Basically, even experts don’t really agree on what the Metaverse actually is. But there is a lot of technology in it, everyone agrees. But unlike data cloud, smartphones or smart home systems, it is difficult for users to see the benefits at first. Technology geeks try to explain the Metaverse in three different ways.
He plunged into the world of digital technologies in the fall of 2021, because Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg introduced him to the Metaverse here. At the same time, the group itself has been renamed “Meta”, so perhaps every newbie at the moment will be the first to suggest the direction of the Metaverse with Facebook. A smart move that will dramatically change the future of social networking and our daily lives. In his presentation, Zuckerberg spoke extensively about the diverse possibilities of a new world, where users can travel as their avatar, explore landscapes and cities or meet friends and family. Even if they actually live at the other end of the world, for example. To make all this possible, a combination of virtual reality technology with a headset and glasses must be used. Then the Meta provides the actual world to be discovered, and the avatars fill it with life. And partly with their lives from the real world, because by connecting everyday apps, like WhatsApp, avatars must also receive messages from the here and now in the metaverse.
Zuckerberg’s strategic move is a reaction to the fact that the number of users on the Facebook platform is currently declining for the first time. Instagram is also having a hard time proving itself against TikTok otherwise it is as if people are saturated with classic social media. So something new is needed to survive in the market. And that’s why Zuckerberg is planning higher, bigger, and farther. But it is important to watch the time. Nothing but promising announcements so far. Users all over the world are waiting for the true beginning of the universe and should be fed with relevant news soon before they lose their appetite for the idea.
At the beginning of the year, Kaufland announced, “We’re getting started in the Metaverse.” But wait a minute – where do you start if the goal isn’t there yet? Admittedly, no one knew this for sure at first. But when Coca-Cola, Nike, or Gucci talk about the Metaverse, they don’t mean Mark Zuckerberg’s professed world. You are talking about a digital platform where your own products are available by default and can be tested there in the gaming world.
And now it’s really interesting: because it is already possible to buy private digital sets that are not available in the real world. Are you buying a limited edition handbag? Get the only pair of sneakers in a certain color combination? Everything is possible and everything is a real investment. Because just as in reality, the supply determines the price. Collectibles are also traded digitally at sometimes shocking prices. And we have a cryptocurrency link. Because even though you can’t pay with coins and bills in the Metaverse, the coin has been around for a long time. Bitcoin and Co, which originated as a digital currency, is now used in this digital world – powered by new payment methods such as metaverse coins. So this payment method perfectly complements offers with digitally tradable goods, called NFTs. Or to be more precise: an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a type of non-tamper-proof title registered in the blockchain. Some applications and providers are already working with exactly the blockchain, where digital properties can be bought and sold.
metaverse “does not exist yet”
Anyone who hasn’t heard of Matthew Ball will definitely do so in the context of the Metaverse. Because the Silicon Valley investor already published a script called “The Metaverse: What It Is, Where To Find It, and Who Will Build It” in January 2020 and has continued to do so for nine more parts last year. In it, Ball explains his vision of the metaverse, which he sees as a “successor to the mobile internet,” and also presents several ideas that could soon become a reality. According to his ideas, the metaverse can be described as follows:
- The system is self-contained and represents a virtual world consisting of the factors of the virtual economy and society. Almost everyone can participate here.
- Similar to our world, the economy is represented by services and products, but only by default. However, trade can be carried out just as we know it from our lives.
- Metaverse only works with virtual and augmented reality
- Different worlds can form a large metaverse. Users can easily switch between worlds and take their belongings with them. Like to move on the ground.
- In the Metaverse, buildings and rooms can exist just as they would in everyday life. From the living room of the house to the office complex, nature has to be able to survive. However, there are no limits to creativity, and entirely new worlds can also be created.
- The working Metaverse will not exist and operate for several years into the future.
- The Metaverse will be implemented in our daily lives gradually and will not happen on an ad hoc basis.
First Look: Metaverse Apps
From play to work to communication – apps are already available today that should guide us in the direction of the Metaverse. But many of them haven’t really matured yet, which is why there’s currently hope for “Horizon” apps from Meta subsidiary Oculos. These consist of “Horizon Workrooms”, “Horizon Venues” and “Horizon Worlds”. These are the primary applications Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse can be used with. With “Horizon Worlds” it will be possible to create your own games and play them with friends. At the moment, this can only be used in the USA and Canada by VR goers over the age of 18. Even here there are problems at the moment. So it is still important to be patient.
The situation is different with Horizon Workrooms, because one’s workplace can be digitally recreated for later use by default. You can then start with the help of virtual reality glasses. Remote connections can be used to display your own screen in the metaverse in the virtual workplace. And now it’s getting a little scary: where consoles are usually required to run a metaworld, with Horizon Workrooms you simply have to hold your hands together in front of a headset. Then the glasses recognize them and reflect them individually in the workrooms.
Other Metaverse apps are currently on the rise, but they are still in the testing stages or in the market, but with rather bad stagnation. What is really working today are some applications in the field of “games”, where adventures with robots and colorful creatures can be experienced in meta-worlds. In some cases, economic activities and investments can be carried out here. As a basis for this, it is necessary to use proprietary financial metaverse applications, which enable metacoins, cryptocurrencies, and a list of NFTs.
How big are the question marks in your head now? Probably not much smaller than it was at the beginning of this text. And this is exactly where the difficulty of the Metaverse lies, because at the moment it is nothing more than a vision of the future that we know only to some extent from various other contexts. Computer games, for example, that allow you to create your own avatar to complete tasks, is the first comparison that makes the idea a little easier for us. Or cryptocurrency, which is already playing a role in our time. Just like digital certificates, which have a certain value and are already circulating online today. Connect all of these things and develop them into a bigger, even better, more awesome universe – that’s what the Metaverse is all about. Of course, the idea of combining the advantages of the real and digital world in one platform is attractive. As we switch between live and virtual broadcasting today, for example in real business meetings paired with digitally connected colleagues from other cities or countries, we will soon all be able to sit together at a table in a new world. Or anyone who arranges to meet friends online today to play games can sit together in the future on the simulated sofa almost at home and fight opponents side by side. But even then there is still a long way to go. And for all of us, there is just too much imagination to unleash.
The Metaverse looks promising – a world where nothing is impossible and you can be wherever you want and with whomever you want. But the real metaverse is still just a vision, because apart from the first methods, prototypes and testing stages, the universe is far from mature for the general public. Although trading in cryptocurrency and NFT is already possible today, the road to a truly digital economy is still long and arduous. On the other hand, Horizon Workrooms really give first impressions of the digital workplace field.