“We’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are.” – Mark Zuckerberg
What better time to introduce a new technological era than while the Coronavirus is still alive and kicking? Here’s all you need to know about the future of the Metaverse:
What is it?
The Metaverse is a fully developed virtual environment that generates a mirror image of the real world. It will introduce a new era of social interaction, education, employment, currency; rebuilding a virtual option of everything that we have in the physical world.
Does it exist yet?
Yes and no. The Metaverse as a concept is real and the technology required to make it a reality is within reach, but it’s still a long way from the finish line (approximately 10 years). Some would classify games like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox as the most advanced pieces of the Metaverse currently available. To clarify, they are not the Metaverse themselves; but like Facebook is to the Internet, Fortnite is to the Metaverse. Thanks to significant technological advancements over the last decade, the Metaverse is closer than ever to becoming a reality.
When was the Metaverse first thought of?
The Metaverse was first thought of way before it became possible. In his 1992 novel, Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson invented the word “Metaverse.” He used it to describe a 3D virtual environment where avatars made up the population. Soon came Second Life, which took this concept and transformed it into an online game where anyone could create their own avatar and live another life through them. Since then, this game genre has grown in popularity, assisting in the idea of a more immersive Metaverse.
Who can access the Metaverse?
Ideally anyone who can access VR or AR technology will be able to get the full experience of the Metaverse. Goggles appear to be the most popular choice considering that the virtual environment is designed to be entirely immersive. However, a phone or computer will likely suffice for those who don’t have goggles.
What is the ultimate goal?
The ultimate objective of the Metaverse is to bring the digital and physical worlds closer together. By mimicking the things we see in the physical world, the Metaverse will open up the ability to explore new locations for everyone. This way people who are physically limited or are unable to participate in certain activities will be able to do those things in the Metaverse.
The expansion of online businesses is another intention of the Metaverse. More individuals are turning to cryptocurrency as technology becomes more prevalent in our daily lives. In the near future, individuals will be able to make a living in the virtual world because of this.
Are there any possible risks?
Since the thought of a completely virtual world is so new and intrigues so many people, the risks of this change have not been a concern to many. But, as we all know, there is no advancement in technology without risks. As we immerse ourselves in the Metaverse, we will undoubtedly confront several dangers.
In terms of privacy, all of our information will be transferred from paper to the digital world, and anyone with exceptional hacking skills will be a danger to our new reality. Violations of our personal data, identity theft, and fraud could become rampant.
In terms of how this will affect us as social and cognitive humans, well… have you ever seen Wall-E? There seem to be some risks in terms of AI and advanced technology, but as I said earlier that is still far away. Where the Metaverse will be in 10 years is a mystery, but for now it is a speck on the horizon.