what is metaverse

What is Metaverse?

  • Rojan
  • 12 minutes read
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It’s sometimes scary to read and learn about tech. When you go through any post, there’s all of this heavy jargon like blockchain, Web 3.0, NFTs, and now, metaverse. It’s one of those things that’s promised to change not just our web experience, but our reality.

Some people can’t wait for it while others are a bit scared of its implications. So, what is metaverse?

What Is Metaverse?

As you know, the word ‘meta’ means ‘beyond’, suggesting that the metaverse is a world beyond our current reality, a digital space that’s not “real”, but it certainly feels that way.
To make it clearer, let’s imagine you’re watching an animation on your TV or busy playing a video game on your console. Now, imagine you step inside the animation or the video game and become a character, AKA an avatar, in that virtual world.

That’s pretty much the crux of the metaverse experience. It lets you create a virtual avatar of yourself and interact with other people’s avatars in a world beyond your current reality. There, you can shop from your favorite clothing brand, sit at work meetings, hang out with friends, and so on.

People can get to this virtual world on computers, tablets, phones, and other devices. But to get the full immersing experience, you should use certain equipment, such as VR headsets, AR glasses, and so on.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality

Why Is the Metaverse Important?

So, you know what the metaverse is. But, what’s all the hype about? Is it really a hype? Or is there real potential in the metaverse? It’s important because:

It’ll Put the Power in People’s Hands

Whether it’s work, business, or society in general, we live in a world where decisions are made at the top of the pyramid. That’s not the case with the metaverse because instead of a centralized organization, the decision-making power is distributed among all those who have a stake in a platform.

For example, if you’re a member of a social media network or simply a website, you can vote on the key decisions about the future of that platform, which means that they cannot make any changes in the salary levels, algorithms, fees, and other things without your consent.

It’s a New Immersive Way to Experience the World

This is very important for the metaverse’s development because it will make online events more real and interesting. For example, in the metaverse age, If you’re a fan of a certain clothing brand, you can visit their digital hub rather than just following them on Facebook. Through that platform, you could fully experience brands through games, the release of new products, private events with celebs (or digital versions of those celebrities), and other things.

New-Immersive-Way-to-Experience-the-World

It’ll Make Interaction Easier

Everything that’s possible in the real world will also be available to us in the metaverse. Compared to Zoom calls or online chats, this way of staying in touch with loved ones across the world will be much more entertaining and immersive. We’ll have a more satisfying time buying online when we can see things in three dimensions rather than two. If you are studying remotely, you’ll pretty much have the same experience as if you were in the classroom. You get the picture.

It Takes Remote Work to Another Level

Metaverse could solve all the problems that come up with working from home. In a virtual world, supervisors can meet workers (their characters), talk to them, and keep the same level of contact as when they are in person. It can also make it easier to manage the workflow and even prevent security issues.

Of Course, It Helps Businesses

Yes, the metaverse is indeed the place where marketers can interact with their target demographics. Companies like Nike have already started their own digital realms, so this is already happening. One company, Vans, made a simulated skatepark on the Roblox game site. McDonald’s is reportedly gearing up to launch virtual restaurants where customers may socialize and have their meals delivered to their actual homes.

How Does the Metaverse Work?

The Metaverse is a virtual world where people can connect with other people and virtual worlds in real-time. Let’s break it down into its main parts so we can understand how it works.

Virtual realms: People can discover the digital places that make up the Metaverse. Think of these areas as huge spaces that are all linked to each other and each offers something distinct.

Avatars: The avatar is your character in the metaverse. It’s how people identify you and you identify others. You can shape the character as you like. More on that later.

Real-Time Communication: People can talk, text, or even use virtual hand motions to talk to one another in real-time. This social feature makes you feel more present in the Metaverse.

Transactions: You’ll have to use cryptocurrency, digital money, to buy or invest in any metaverse property. You can buy things in each Metaverse using its own in-game money. A few examples are Sandbox’s SAND, Theta Network’s THETA, and so on. There are places like Coinbase where people can trade their real money for crypto.

Testing AR & VR Mascot Designs

How To Join the Metaverse?

Going into the Metaverse is about finding new things and making connections. By following these steps, you can start your digital path, where the virtual world is always changing and giving you fresh possibilities. This is a general guide and the steps can vary with each metaverse platform.

Choose Your Platform

Pick out a place to enter the Metaverse first. Meta (formerly Facebook), Roblox, and Decentraland are all well-known sites that offer a range of activities. Pick one that fits your interests, whether they’re making friends, playing games, or buying metaverse property like real estate.

Read more: Navigating Metaverse Platforms

Create Your Avatar

Your digital persona can finally come to life when you’ve decided on a platform. In the virtual world, make a character that looks like you. You can change its look, from wigs to clothes, to make it your own.

Explore Virtual Spaces

Start looking around! You can move around the world, go to virtual places, and talk to other people. Learn about the platform’s benefits and the different things you can do on it, like going to virtual events, playing games, or making friends.

Connect with Others

Talking to other people is what the Metaverse is all about. Start conversations, join virtual get-togethers, or work on projects with other people to stay in touch with old friends or meet new ones. Your Metaverse experience gets better as you connect with other people.

Get Some Currency

If buying and selling things is possible on the metaverse, you’ll need some digital currency to get by in the virtual world. The exact currency can be different for each platform, but in general, you need to use your real cash to get the currency from a crypto exchange like Binance.

Metaverse Technologies

There are some fundamental technologies behind the scenes to help create an interconnected and immersive digital realm where you can socialize, work, play, and own any metaverse property. Here are the most popular ones which may sound familiar:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It’s not fun if you feel like you’re interacting with robots. The experience becomes lifelike when you feel that characters can think and act on their own. This is exactly what AI does by helping robots Chatbots and virtual characters can engage users in lifelike conversations. Imagine having AI-driven companions or assistants, enhancing the social aspect of the virtual world.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a secure way to make sure that in the Metaverse, things you own, like special clothes or tools, really belong to you. It’s basically a book that records every transaction exactly as it is, with no ability to change or manipulate the details. It’s like having a digital certificate to say, “This is mine!”

Augmented Reality (AR)

AR basically lets you add another layer to your current reality. It’s like having magic glasses or using your phone to see virtual things right where you are. The biggest example is Pokemon Go characters which can pop up anywhere around you. It’s like they are invisible and the only way to detect them is through your phone or AR glasses.

AR plays a vital role in blending the physical and digital realms in the Metaverse. Devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens overlay holographic images onto your surroundings. As AR develops in the metaverse, digital information may become more integrated into our daily lives.

pokemongo-superJumbo

How Virtual Reality and Metaverse Relate to Each Other

All of the above technologies play a big part in the metaverse experience, but Virtual Reality (VR) takes it to another level. VR is basically your gateway into the metaverse where everything shifts from 2D (like a TV display) into a 3D experience.

People who use VR can enter a virtual world that they can see in all directions. In this world, they can see beautiful scenery, discover vast unknown territories, and go to events like virtual concerts, ceremonies, and a lot more. With VR equipment like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, people can connect with a virtual universe as if they were there.

People who use VR can make their own characters, which are digital versions of themselves, and wander around the metaverse. They can also make digital things like 3D models and videos and share them with others.

Of course, there are some metaverses that allow you to enter without VR and just watch from the monitor, but that’s only half of the fun. Because it makes it harder to tell the difference between the actual and digital realms, virtual reality is essential to creating a more realistic experience overall.

Where Is the Metaverse Used

The Metaverse is gradually seeping into various aspects of our lives, offering new ways to socialize, work, play, and learn. As technology advances, its applications are likely to expand even further.

Gaming

Gaming is a major metaverse application. People can collaborate and immerse themselves in games like Roblox and Fortnite, which let players explore huge realms and talk to one another in real-time. Players may interact with one another in real-time via avatars, which greatly improves the social component. The metaverse changes the way games are played by combining the real and the virtual worlds. It gives people from all over the world a place to meet and play engaging adventures.

Fortnite

Work and Collaboration

In the metaverse, there are more ways to work than just Zoom talks. Visualization software like Spatial or Microsoft Mesh lets coworkers work on projects during virtual meetings as if they were in the same room. This not only makes things run more smoothly, but it also makes people feel more present and involved. The metaverse is changing the way we work by letting teams that are spread out around the world work together easily.

Education

Immersive learning can happen in virtual classes in the Metaverse. Students can learn about past events, do science projects, or even go to museums online. It’s an exciting change from the way schools have always done things. With tools like Engagte, students can learn about past events, do virtual projects, or improve their language skills in a three-dimensional space.

NFTs and Metaverse

NFTs stand for Non-Fungible Tokens. Non-fungible means something that you can’t replicate or replace. So, when you buy an NFT, you’re the only one in the world with that unique asset. One of the most famous NFTs is Jack Dorsey’s first-ever Tweet.

NFTs are like the cool, one-of-a-kind keys to any private metaverse property. Picture this: you’re playing a virtual game with a unique sword—and that sword could represent an NFT. It’s not just any sword; everyone knows it’s yours. The Metaverse and NFTs work well together because of this unique digital ownership.

So, you walk around the Metaverse with your custom avatar, dressed in NFT clothes or driving NFT cars. They’re not just in-game objects; they’re signs of your style and individuality. Players can look at these digital gems, wish they had them, or even trade for them.

The link between NFTs and the Metaverse is more than just a pretty picture. Owning NFTs of virtual land can make you a real estate mogul in the digital world. After an NFT verifies your virtual property, it becomes a part of the Metaverse environment. It’s like having a piece of the online world.

Metaverse Companies

So, now you know far more about the metaverse, its importance, applications, and underlying technologies. But, you may wonder, who are the big players in this sector?

Meta

Meta is a behemoth in the Metaverse, building a platform for people to meet, play games, and do business online. You can change how your virtual space looks, talk to other people, learn, shop, and discover a huge digital world. Their goal is that “in the next decade, it will reach a billion people”.

Roblox

Roblox is one of the biggest gaming metaverses out there. People can make and play games on it, like a playground. It’s more than just a place to play games; it’s a world where dreams come true. Both kids and adults can make their own games, which encourages imagination and gets people to communicate. It already has tens of millions of active daily users.

Decentraland

Decentraland is all about buying and selling virtual homes. The virtual real estate market is open for you to buy, build, and sell. It’s one of a kind, and your online home feels as real as it can. There are also a lot of creative options.

Second Life

Many look to Second Life, which debuted in 2003, as the metaverse’s genesis platform. Through custom characters and realistic settings, it lets users engage with a simulated world. It’s literally a “second life” where people can talk to each other and make houses, items, and animations.

The Sandbox

Users can build, own, and make money off of their own games on the Sandbox platform. Users can create and share their own games in this virtual environment, adding to the rich and growing Metaverse. Plus, like Decentraland, you can use your LAND tokens to buy real estate.

Metaverse: Potential Challenges

So, it’s safe to say that there’s huge potential in the metaverse. But, to tap into that potential, we need to overcome some big challenges, otherwise we’ll be dealing with a double-edged sword.

Laws & Regulations

The metaverse is a digital space where you can do things like buy something and check it out, just like in the real world. But, it’s still an uncharted territory with lots of question marks over laws, rights, policies, and governance. Plus, as the space grows, the regulations must also keep up.

Data Security

For the metaverse to develop and grow, its foundation must be solid. Users will not feel comfortable investing time or money into a virtual environment unless reliability and safety are guaranteed. Unfortunately, security breaches do occur from time to time and need immediate attention to restore trust.

Ownership

The demand for digital assets and tokens is increasing as more and more people acquire digital assets and NFT artwork. Almost anybody may buy and possess digital assets in the metaverse, but there are two big problems with that: first, how to verify who owns what, and second, how to give producers of digital products ownership rights.

Access for All

Many organizations are working to make sure the Metaverse is available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay or where they live. This involves making sure that software solutions and VR equipment are user-friendly and cheap. Right now, the prices are too high.

Latest Metaverse News and Trends

As we step into 2024, the Metaverse evolves, offering exciting possibilities for users to navigate an increasingly sophisticated and interconnected digital world. There’ve been exciting developments, including:

VR Headsets with Eye Tracking and Haptic Feedback

New VR headsets go beyond visuals, adding eye tracking for more realistic interactions and haptic feedback for touch sensations. This way, you can feel and touch things like you do in the real world, making the virtual experience even more lifelike.

VR-Headsets-with-Eye-Tracking-and-Haptic-Feedback

Photorealism

Modern avatar tech brings photorealism to the Metaverse. Realistic facial emotions and body moves are now reflected in avatars, making them more real and personal. This has completely changed how people show themselves in digital places.

AR and VR Adoption

Both AR and VR are seeing exponential rises in popularity. Better hardware and software make AR and VR apps easier to use and more fun, which leads to more people using them for work and entertainment.

Metaverse Marketing

This is huge to both businesses and customers because using the metaverse, a company can allow customers to experience the product through VR. Plus, using AR, people can superimpose an item (like furniture) onto their living room and see how it looks before deciding to buy. With this, customers can test before buying and businesses can let the product do all the talking.

Read more: Metaverse Marketing

In fact

Many businesses like IKEA, Nike, and Hyundai use their brands and mascots in the metaverse to connect with their target audience on a deeper level. It takes marketing to a whole new level and gives them a big competitive edge.
If you’re interested, you can get in touch with our experts and see if we can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.

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