Metaphysics is a well-known and broad branch of philosophy. It is a combination of the Greek words meta, which means “beyond,” and physics, which means “physical world”. There is another word, Metaverse, that has gained enormous popularity in recent years. Metaverse means “beyond the universe,” just as Metaphysics does. There has recently been much discussion about the Metaverse. The event of one of the largest tech companies, Facebook, changing its name to Meta is the reason for Metaverse’s recent massive popularity.
It is mostly cited that “Metaverse” was coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash.”
In the novel, he imagined lifelike avatars meeting in realistic 3D buildings and other virtual reality scenarios. Virtual Reality in the novel allows the user to immerse himself in the Metaverse fully. The goal of virtual reality technology is to provide an immersive virtual experience using a combination of physical technology and software to create an immersive and digital environment that gives the impression that you are in another location. You get the belief that your mind is in the Metaverse when you’re in a virtual setting.
What is Metaverse?
There’s no commonly agreed-upon definition of a true metaverse. In simplest terms, it’s an upgraded version of the internet.
The Metaverse is a digital and interactive information realm that is indefinitely big, persistent, and digital. The Metaverse is limitless because we can contribute knowledge to it on a constant basis, and it is persistent because it exists even when we are not interacting with it. Also sometimes known as web3, the Metaverse is a progression of the existing internet.
Users will be able to “live” within a digital environment and interact with other users in the metaverse realm, which is a blend of many aspects.
Facebook (recently changed into Meta), which is one of the key players in this field, describes Metaverse as:
“The ‘metaverse’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who are not in the same physical space as you.”
The Metaverse isn’t necessarily a stable collection of characteristics. It’s a utopian term for a future digital world that feels more physically connected to our lives.
Imagine Metaverse as an integrated representation of the internet that you can interact with instead of just gazing at it. Avatars can traverse cyberspace as people do in the real world.
Avatars are three-dimensional models of players. You can construct personalized avatars in the Metaverse, which can have any physical attributes and personality you wish. Your avatar may communicate with other players and the platform. Allowing You to speak with people on the other side of the world as if they’re in the very same room.
Metaverse and Virtual Reality
It’s important to understand that while the Metaverse has VR features, not all VR systems are part of it. The Metaverse is a shared virtual realm that people can access through the internet. The main distinction is that, although current virtual worlds are restricted in size, the Metaverse appears to offer infinite access to the internet. Users would be able to do nearly whatever they desire in the Metaverse, rather than being constrained to a small range of functions as they are in present VR apps. For example, in Metaverse, people may play soccer together and then walk into the café for a drink, watch a movie, or even go shopping in the middle of the game.
The Metaverse has three main features: presence, interoperability, and standardization.
Presence refers to the feeling of truly existing in a virtual world with virtual others.
The capacity of virtual objects, such as avatars and digital products, to travel between virtual places is known as interoperability.
Standardization enables platforms and services to interoperate across the Metaverse. For mass-media technologies to be widely adopted, common technological standards are crucial.
As a leading player in the Metaverse, Facebook is heavily investing in virtual reality. In an interview, Mark Zuckerberg explained that the Metaverse encompasses both non-immersive platforms like today’s social media as well as immersive 3D media technologies such as virtual reality and that it will be used both for work and for play. However, Facebook isn’t the only firm putting a lot of money into the Metaverse.
Microsoft announced in May that it is “uniquely positioned” with a stack of AI and mixed reality capabilities to allow businesses to start developing “metaverse apps immediately.” Several game firms, notably Epic Games, which owns Fortnite, have created simulation software and virtual reality services for a metaverse.
Examples of Metaverse
“Ready Player One,” a 2018 sci-fi film, gives a peek at what many technology companies predict could be the internet’s next big thing, Metaverse.
Second Life, an alt-reality computer game in which you control an avatar and can do anything you want — like purchase a house or get married — was released in 2003 and is one of the most well-known Metaverse examples.
ROBLOX CEO David Baszucki coyly conveyed that “some people refer to what we’re building as the Metaverse.”
Tim Sweeney, Fortnite’s CEO, has made overt references to developing Fortnite as more than just a game in recent years. The Rift Tour Ariana Grande concert in Fortnite has so far been one of the most popular concerts in the game.”
Horizon, Facebook’s enlarged virtual reality realm, is likewise aiming for the Metaverse (currently in beta). Horizon is a “social experience where you can explore, play, and create with others in virtual reality,” according to Facebook.
Metaverse: Internet’s next station?
The Metaverse doesn’t exist right now, and there’s no definite date for when it will appear.
In terms of how long it would take to create a true metaverse, which fully replicates real life, there is no indication of whether it is possible. The first constraint is most likely the requisite core technology. The Metaverse will require AI, full-body gear, sophisticated headphones, and robust cloud connectivity, which will take several years to develop. Metaverse probably won’t be like a magic wand that will change everything as soon as it comes into existence. The Metaverse is more likely to manifest in various services throughout time. Individuals and enterprises, on the other hand, have a huge potential.
Whether Metaverse becomes a reality tomorrow or in another decade, IT/ICT-based markets and products will play a key part in its growth.
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