What is the Metaverse: We all went through the Covid-19 lockdown and isolation protocols which bought forward unwelcome effects to the psychological health of many. For a few months, human interaction in person became a thing of the past. For many, phone calls and texts remained the only source of interaction with others.
Jobs became frustrating as in most cases there was a need to meet co-workers in the same space. The hybrid model of work did help, but not much as it bought along with several disadvantages!
One such company that has taken up this challenge has been the social media giant Meta. In this article, we will take a closer look at what is the metaverse, what we can accomplish with it and everything in-between. Keep reading to find out!
What Is The Metaverse?
In simple words, the metaverse is internet 2.0. In fact, it is like an alternate world, within ours, where we can play outdoor games at home, travel to places without vehicles, attend school, buy land, earn money, be at our workplace while in our homes at the same time, and even cheat death!
The metaverse is an immersive experience that pulls a person into an augmented reality that is more engaging. It is an online world that can be designed according to a person’s imagination and it works with the help of the internet, augmented reality(AR) and virtual reality(VR). Many of us thought that it would take a couple of decades for such a thing to come into existence, but it is already here!
Does The Metaverse Already Exist?
This might sound too good to be real, but you would understand it if you’ve played motion games, watched 3D and 4D movies or have used VR gear. The metaverse does not exist, but games offer the closest metaverse-like experience.
Social media apps that we use today help us to text, call, and upload photos and videos. The metaverse wants to take this to another level, wherein, people will have their avatars that will meet in chat rooms and the experience is getting real day by day.
The History Of The Metaverse: Rewind To 1989
Why Would An Average Joe Like You And Me Use Metaverse?
While it is relatively new, the Metaverse has to keep people engaged so that they keep coming back. People come together to play games and to socialize, but there is more to it than that. There is no doubt that the metaverse and all of its applications will have a massive effect on the daily lives of people. Here are some of the things that people can do on the metaverse:
There are about 90,000 and 1,66,464 pieces of land available on Decentraland and SandBox. Decentraland and Sandbox both are Ethereum based virtual worlds where one can play games, interact with people and build environments. People can buy land on it and even start a business. They can build buildings to live in. In fact, anything that you do in the physical world can be done on the metaverse.
If there are businesses on the metaverse, there will be jobs as well. The metaverse will revolutionize the way we work. We don’t have to commute for 2 to 4 hours each day to reach the office, our hologram can reach there instantly and presentations can get a lot more immersive with the help of AR and VR technology.
There will be a major impact on education as well. During lockdowns, students could study at home, but classes weren’t very real. With the metaverse, students can meet their friends, the whole class and the teachers can be in one classroom with the help of their hologram or avatar and students can play games just like they would on a school’s playground. This could also include a tour of the universe or looking at dinosaurs in the first person, thereby making teaching and learning easier.
Gaming And Entertainment
You must be aware of games like Axie Infinity, Pokemon Go, Decentraland and more. You must be aware of how these games are different from other online games. But, did you know that concerts are being held in the metaverse? These industries are going to evolve and get more and more real.
Eventually, users will have bodysuits with sensors. So, if you’re in a chatroom and shake your hands with someone, both of you will feel it as if it is real. The holograms or the avatars will do it and you will perceive it from the sensors on your bodysuit. There will be drastic changes in the way we interact with people.
Extended life (Cheating Death)
One might spend 8 to 10 hours or more on a day-to-day basis and one’s actions and words will be recorded. They can be used to make a copy of one’s brain, and their avatar will live on, even if one dies in the real world. Other people can talk to this avatar and feel as if the person never died.
Tech Giants And The Metaverse
Big tech giants are already trying to lead the way when we look at the future. However, even smaller players are participating in the development of the metaverse with the help of decentralized aspects of blockchain.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is one of the loudest voices in creating a unified metaverse. For this the company has come up with the Diem stablecoin project. Zuckerberg has explicitly mentioned plans to use the metaverse to support remote work and fetch more opportunities for people. Facebook (Meta) owns social media apps like Instagram and WhatsApp and cryptocurrencies giving it a good start to combine all of this into one.
Microsoft, Apple and Google are also working on the creation of the metaverse. Microsoft’s Mesh for Microsoft Teams makes it possible to hold meetings in virtual reality. Facebook’s Horizon workrooms also do the same. These workrooms exist on Facebook’s Horizon Worlds.
Horizon Worlds by Meta is a virtual social experience, where users can build immersive experiences, connect with people all over the world, play games, attend meetings, and travel to places, seat belts not required! Microsoft has good hardware capabilities and this might give it a competitive advantage, but we’re yet to know.
India too is not lagging behind and has a massive role to play in leading the metaverse revolution. Indian IT firms are gearing up to tap the opportunities in the metaverse. Indian companies like Hyperlink Infosystems, TCS(Tata Consultancy Services), Infosys, Zensar Technologies, Capgemini India Pvt Limited, HCL Technologies and HData Systems are working hard to build the Metaverse.
They work on technologies like blockchain, IoT(Internet of Things), AI(Artificial Intelligence), VR(Virtual Reality), Cloud Solutions, Data Science, Digital Supply Chains and more.
It is expected that India will have the largest app developer base in the world by 2024, and it already has one of the largest sport AR developer communities. The metaverse is not going to get built by one company, as such, but it will require many companies with millions of creators and entrepreneurs. India provides a huge foundation for the metaverse.
Pros And Cons Of The Metaverse
The Metaverse and what it aims to become is no doubt a very exciting prospect. It is all set to revolutionize many things but like almost every innovation there are always two sides to the coin. With the Metaverse, there are many pros but also an equal number of cons
On the bright side, the metaverse
- Brings people together.
- Is innovative
- It enhances learning and work.
- Makes everything more enjoyable and interesting.
The Ugly Side
- It can be addictive and lead to over simulation.
- Metaverse is time-consuming, as in, it makes you lose a track of time.
- It is detrimental to physical and mental fitness.
- It overstimulates your senses and cuts you off from real nature and the real world.
Cryptocurrencies And The Metaverse
Cryptocurrencies can be a great fit for the metaverse. Full-fledged virtual economies can come into existence with the help of utility tokens and virtual collectibles (NFTs). Blockchain technology will help to make governance reliable and transparent.
People are earning liveable income with the help of metaverse-like applications and cryptocurrencies. Axie Infinity is one such play-to-earn game that many users play to support their income. SecondLife, Fortnite and Decentraland also mix virtual reality and blockchain. The metaverse will connect the financial, virtual and physical worlds and give us access to anything at the click of a button.
Blockchain developers take influence from video games while working. Gamification is common in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and GameFi. Cryptocurrencies and NFT’s will act as stores of value and financial instruments in the digital infrastructure of the metaverse. The use of NFTs is so versatile that they can be used to create digital real estate or even digital art.
Some of the top metaverse coins by market capitalization are Decentraland, Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, Theta Network, Gala and Enjin Coin. The key aspects of cryptocurrencies and blockchain that suit the metaverse are:
Digital Proof Of Ownership
Cryptocurrency transactions instantly prove ownership of activity or an asset on the blockchain and make one accountable. Cryptocurrency wallets are robust and secure methods for establishing a digital identity and proof of ownership.
Original and unique pieces of art are being sold. People have spent several thousands of dollars to own the first tweet in history, GIFs and more. NFTs are Non Fungible Tokens, they are unique and irreplaceable. They cannot be copied or forged.
Transfer Of Value
If people are buying land and conducting business activities, then transactions have to happen securely. Users will need a reliable currency if they spend large amounts of time in the metaverse. Native tokens of the respective Metaverse are used for this purpose.
Crypto wallets are open to anyone around the world on public blockchains and users need not pay money or provide details as they do to banks in the real world. Some examples of Crypto wallets are Metamask, Coinbase Wallet, Phantom and many more.
Polkadot (DOT) and Avalanche (AVAX) are enabling the creation of custom blockchains that we can use to interact with each other. Interoperability between Blockchains will help to connect multiple projects on different blockchains seamlessly.
The metaverse hasn’t come into existence, but there are several Metaverse like experiences. It is the next big thing for the internet. Its impact on our lives will depend on how we use it. In the initial stages, there might be glitches, just like what happens with other inventions, but things will improve.
People might want to invest in cryptocurrencies after reading this article, but we suggest that you may invest in cryptocurrencies at your own risk. Though the government of India hasn’t banned cryptocurrencies yet, they are pretty risky.
The metaverse will change the way we live and we should definitely adopt it in certain areas of life. But, we must understand that there is a real world and nature exists and we’ve got to stay connected to it and not harm it. That’s all for today’s reading, folks. We hope to see you around, until next time!