Since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, the topics and discussions regarding Metaverse suddenly becomes a hot and trending one. With Facebook and Microsoft both taking claims on the Metaverse race, we should embrace whatever the outcome may be.
Answering the question of What is Metaverse is not that simple for any of us right now. Why? because as of now there is still no solid shape of what a Metaverse looks like, and no one knows for sure what it will become in the future.
Nevertheless, we can still guess and predict what Metaverse would be by analyzing what top technology companies are doing lately. So what is Metaverse? and why it’s such a hot topic nowadays?
What is Metaverse
“The Metaverse is a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence, and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments,” defines venture capitalist Matthew Ball in the foreword of his outstanding nine-part essay on Metaverse — The Metaverse Primer.
Metaverse is not a fundamental replacement of the internet, instead, it will build upon it and iteratively transform it. Right now Metaverse is under constant development and changes in its practice. Because of that, there’s no doubt that there is a possibility that it will be much more fascinating, more immersive, and grander than how we could imagine it today.
When did the first Metaverse term come from?
Online communities have existed since the mid-1980s due to the popularity of the internet. It expanded even more with the coming of chatrooms, AOL instant messenger, and some of the first social media sites.
Most experts says that Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash may be the first place where metaverse term comes from. Though people see a more recent inspiration in Earnest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One. Looking back, we can tell that the term metaverse is not exactly new.
The book does a pretty well job summing up what metaverse is. It said that the metaverse is a virtual space where there are virtual avatars, digital social interactions, and other unique things that we might associate with metaverse today.
In Snow Crash, the metaverse is also underlined to affect developments in the real world of the protagonist. But it went on to tell the story that it can turn people who are connected to the virtual world insane. Since the release of Stephenson’s Snow Crash novel, there are several other books, films, and tv shows that came out. In their own version of the metaverse, they all add their own concept of metaverse to a varying degree.
The common thread for all of these books, films, etc. That metaverse is a virtual reality where people can do everything they do in real life inside the metaverse.
The Facebook idea of Metaverse
We all remember when the news came out saying Facebook has rebranded itself as Meta Platform Inc. back on 28 October 2021. Meta Platforms Inc. or Meta for short is a name that Facebook carefully picked to capitalize their place on the predicted future of human connectivity.
Following the announcement, the then Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the following in his Founder’s Letter “The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this,”
After that, Zuckerberg takes a step further and gives millions around the world a sneak peek of what metaverse could be in the future. He gives a good visual representation on a 77-minute video that you can watch down below.
In this video, we can see a world as a higher level of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) blend. In the metaverse virtual space, everything we can do in the real world, we can do it there too.
The only technology that exists today to fit this virtual space idea is a VR headset. Well, there could be other gadgets coming up in the future that may fit as a gateway to the virtual space world.
Though it’s very cool to see how Meta could look like in practice today, in reality, a larger and much grander metaverse can be born from this idea.
The Microsoft way
The leading software enterprise too has its idea of how a metaverse could work. Just like Facebook, they are developing a mix of Extended Reality (XR) with its undergoing development applications Microsoft Mesh platform.
Here Microsoft combines the real world with augmented reality and virtual reality to create the metaverse. Earlier, Microsoft has shown off its plan to bring mixed-reality and virtual avatars as soon as 2022 into its Microsoft Teams.
While Facebook (or Meta) may talk about the metaverse a lot, they cannot legally “own” the Metaverse. If so, it’s like saying that Facebook (or Meta) owns the internet, which in no way or another would be right.
The metaverse is a new ground of unknown technology. Now, it’s a race to see who brings just the perfect value in the fastest time possible.
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