With Mark Zuckerberg’s renaming of Facebook to “Meta”, the Metaverse was on the agenda again. So, what is the meaning of Metaverse?
What is Metaverse?
It can be defined as a ‘digital world’ where the real and virtual worlds merge with science fiction.
In such a ‘world’, people can switch to different electronic devices and communicate in a virtual environment. In this case, you do not need to connect to a computer.
According to Facebook, which has invested in this field, Metaverse has the potential to make it possible to reach creative, social, and economic opportunities.
Actually, for now, there is no single agreed definition for the Metaverse, as this is just an idea.
How to Build a Virtual Universe?
Metaverse is a combination of ‘meta’ meaning ‘beyond our consciousness and the suffix ‘verse’ borrowed from the word universe.
Neal Stephenson, a science fiction writer, used this term in his 1992 novel ‘Snow Crash’ to name the virtual world where Hiro, the protagonist of the story, socializes, goes shopping, and defeats his real-world enemies via an avatar. In fact, the concept was introduced before Snow Crash and first made known as ‘Cyberspace’ in William Gibson’s groundbreaking 1984 novel Neuromancer.
The Metaverse has three basic dimensions: presence, interoperability, and standardization.
Presence is actually the feeling of being with others in a virtual environment, in a virtual situation. Decades of research reveal that this sense of virtual incarnation improves the quality of online interactions. This feeling is achieved with head-mounted digital displays and similar virtual reality technologies.
Interoperability means being able to seamlessly travel between sandboxes that contain the same virtual assets, such as avatars and digital elements. ReadyPlayerMe allows people to create an avatar that they can use in hundreds of different virtual environments, including Zoom meetings, via apps like Animaze.
However, blockchain technologies such as cryptocurrencies and immutable tokens facilitate the transfer of digital goods across virtual borders.
Standardization is what enables platforms and services to work together across the Metaverse. As with all mass communication technologies, from printing to messaging, common technological standards must exist for it to be widely accepted. ‘Open Metaverse Interoperability Group’ set these standards.
Why has the Metaverse Become So Popular?
In the digital world and augmented reality (augmented reality), some trends emerge every few years, but they usually fade after a short time. But right now, there’s a lot of excitement about the Metaverse among wealthy investors and big tech companies. If the internet as it is said has a future, no one wants to be left behind.
In addition, there is a feeling that technology is suitable for this system for the first time, especially with the developments in VR (virtual reality) technology in computer games and the inter-device connectivity feature approaching the required levels.
Who Else, Besides Facebook, is Interested in Metaverse Technology?
Sweeney, President of Fortnite developer Epic Games, has also been talking about his enthusiasm for metaverse technology for a long time.
Multiplayer sandbox games have shared interactive worlds for decades. These don’t count as metaverses, but they have some common ideas.
In recent years, Fortnite has expanded its product range and brought activities such as concerts and brand events to its digital world.
Roblox, for example, is a platform where thousands of individual games connect to a wider ecosystem.
On the other hand, Unity, the 3D development platform, is investing in “digital twins” in digital copies of the real world, while graphics company Nvidia is developing a platform that connects 3D virtual worlds, called “Omniverse”.
You can read a new about this concept; Why is Facebook betting big on it?
To sum up, Metaverse, as we mentioned before, is just a developing idea right now. We will see together what developments will take place in the future.