Do you remember "Second Life"? Back in 2003, it felt like the virtual frontier, a land of pixelated dreams where you could build a second identity, own a digital island and dance to electronic music with pixelated strangers. But Second Life faded, and the "metaverse" became a whisper of the tech industry, a futuristic vision gathering dust on the shelves of concepts.
Fast forward to 2021. Mark Zuckerberg renames Facebook to Meta, putting metaverse endeavors in the spotlight. Suddenly everyone is talking about persistent, immersive virtual worlds. But wait a minute, isn't the metaverse supposed to be the future? So is it already here or just another technical mirage shimmering on the horizon?
Is the Metverse already here? Does nobody know? The truth, as always, is somewhat more nuanced. There is no single, unified metaverse, but a constellation of virtual experiences that push the boundaries of interaction and immersion. Let's put the hype aside and get to the bottom of it.
You may know Roblox and Fortnite? With over 200 million monthly users, these persistent online worlds blur the lines between gaming and social interaction. Users create avatars, build structures and participate in social activities, creating a foundation for metaverse-like experiences.
Virtual reality glasses such as Meta Quest 3 or the Apple Vision Pro immerse users in fully immersive experiences, while Augmented Reality (AR) virtual elements into the real world. While acceptance is still growing, early adopters are exploring virtual concerts, art galleries and even remote workspaces in these immersive formats.
Platforms like Discord offer persistent online communities with voice chat and spatial audio that can foster a sense of presence and connection. Discord offers a degree of presence and connection with its combination of persistent online communities, voice chat and spatial audio, reminiscent of aspects of the metaverse. However, Discord lacks the immersive 3D experience and full integration of virtual and augmented realities that are key features of a comprehensive metaverse.
Most blogs focus on the "big players" like Meta and Microsoft, but the metaverse is more than just a corporate vision. There are some hidden corners to discover here:
It is important to note that such forecasts are often optimistic and may depend on various factors such as technological breakthroughs, market acceptance and regulatory developments. Therefore, some caution is advised when relying on these figures, as the actual development of the market may vary. Let's take a look:
So is the metaverse already there? That depends on your definition. A unified, utopian virtual world? Not yet. But the building blocks are scattered across the digital landscape, waiting to be put together. It's an evolving ecosystem, a mesh of VR experiences, social platforms, user-generated content and specialized learning experiences that harness the power of immersion for deeper learning. The metaverse may not be fully in place yet, but its beginnings are undeniably there, showing us the potential to transform our interactions, experiences and perhaps even our understanding of reality itself
Are you interested in developing a virtual reality or 360° application? You may still have questions about budget and implementation. Feel free to contact me.
I am looking forward to you
Clarence Dadson CEO Design4real