The Metaverse - Is this the future of the Internet or just hype?
The Internet is constantly evolving, and with each new version comes new opportunities for its users. We've all experienced firsthand how technology can change from viewing static web pages to participating in dynamic Web 2 content. The next step in this evolution is the Metaverse.
Although the idea of the metaverse has been around for some time, it has recently gained a lot of attention with the announcement of new initiatives by major technology companies like Facebook and Microsoft. More and more people are talking about this permanent shared virtual environment as they learn about its fascinating potential.
The Metaverse is a highly dynamic 3D virtual environment that can be used and immersed by multiple users. Users can create and use their own virtual characters or "avatars" to navigate the Metaverse and participate in activities such as trading real estate or visiting virtual versions of famous landmarks. The digital representations or "avatars" created by users have the same abilities as their human counterparts.
Companies can build metaverses in either a centralized or decentralized manner. However, with blockchain technology already being used in numerous industries, interest in a blockchain-powered metaverse has increased.
First, let's clarify what exactly is a metaverse? Because of its widespread appeal, the metaverse has been defined in numerous ways, reflecting the range of perspectives on the subject. It is easiest to think of the metaverse as a three-dimensional network powered by augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). There are a number of characteristics that define the Metaverse, but some of the most important are that it is permanent, autonomous, borderless, interoperable, and real-time.
What are the benefits of the Metaverse?
Facing the difficulties of working from home
All the problems associated with teleworking could be solved with the help of the Metaverse. It creates a digital space where supervisors can interact with workers (represented by avatars) and learn to understand their non-verbal signals and keep the human element of their interactions alive.
A useful resource for healthcare professionals
For physicians and medical staff whose location prevents them from seeing patients, the Metaverse is an invaluable resource. They can communicate with the patient in the Metaverse, a virtual environment, and learn about the patient's health status.
New dimensions of online gaming
Most popular games associated with the Metaverse today are still free, with an economic model built in that allows players to spend money on virtual goods. Thus, players can purchase assesoires for their avatars or virtual items. In this context, NFT technology is often brought into play to allow players to acquire unique items.
Create a platform for virtual tours
Experience new cultures and sights, but keep in mind that not everyone can afford to travel where they want. The Metaverse fills this gap by offering a virtual alternative to real-world travel. The Metaverse's fusion of augmented and virtual reality is currently creating an innovative virtual environment with a first-person perspective.
The advantages of the Metaverse
The metaverse is a topic that piques the curiosity of many. Both people interested in the ecosystem to construct business-specific products and people looking for ways to make quick money. The Metaverse satisfy the needs of both groups. Similar to how regular users can produce and share NFTs within the ecosystem, developers can do the same in the Metaverse. Metaversefans see a Creator's Economy emerging here. In other words, a virtual space in which people will be able to earn money by creating content.
The corporate flag is raised
Despite the fact that major technology companies are investing billions in the metaverse, many people expect a high return on investment. Microsoft, Nvidia, Meta, Autodesk, Google, Apple and many other tech giants are among the many companies pouring resources into the platform. Consulting firm McKinsey estimates that a whopping $170 billion will have been invested in the Metaverse by 2021. Even more optimistic institutions estimate that the market could reach $5 trillion by 2030. However, the numbers from Meta who have invested the most in the Metaverse look sobering at the moment.
Product managers who want to remain competitive should start learning about and preparing for the metaverse now, yet it's too early to tell whether these efforts will pay off in the short term. In any case, large companies control the underlying infrastructure, and despite the proliferation of new technologies, independent programmers lack the tools to produce the kind of immersive Metaverse experiences that would satisfy the vast majority of users.
Weak demand from customers
Since the Metaverse does not address pressing contemporary problems, it is unlikely to gain much popularity until more people become interested in it.
These obstacles hinder the development of this emerging industry and will likely doom many planned Metaverse projects. Let's put the Metaverse to the test and see if it really helps solve our problems. If the answers to these three questions are "yes," then there is hope.
Can we expect life simplification from the Metaverse?
The benefits of the Metaverse to our daily lives are probably somewhat overstated. Despite the fact that augmented and virtual reality have many exciting uses, especially as mixed reality evolves beyond gaming into additional disciplines and everyday conveniences.
In the early years of the Internet, its transformative impact was widely anticipated. Many people currently have difficulty imagining how the metaverse could change our lives for the better. Attending a live performance or conference online is not as exciting for many attendees as being there. Is it a gimmick, or does it not improve our lives in a meaningful way?
The potential for profound changes in human life and in the way we interact with technology when the metaverse becomes a reality is there. There are now many companies trying to develop such technology, but there is still a long way to go before people can travel to parallel universes.
The way we work, live, communicate, and travel will be affected by the metaverse. Your online persona may shift from one activity to the next, from gaming to work to socializing.
People's ability to connect with people who are different from them in terms of appearance or culture could improve. This is because they will have more opportunities in a simple way to share experiences with people from all over the world in virtual reality.