Tech companies say that in the near future, the familiar Internet will become irrelevant, and will be replaced by the metaverse. In the summer, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was going to start building the Metaverse. A few months later, the company changed its name to Meta. Apart from Zuckerberg, the idea of the metaverse came to the minds of Microsoft’s developers. The company is going to bring Xbox games to the Metaverse and create a meta version of the Teams messenger. But what is the Metaverse and how it will change the world – we will tell you in this article.
What is the Metaverse
Not so long ago, computers were considered a luxury item and not all people had them in their homes. However, progress does not stand still. Today, almost the entire population of the Earth, with the exception of individual continents and countries, uses this technology. Although computers are considered a relatively young invention, they are also overshadowed by progress. PCs have been replaced by smartphones and all kinds of consoles. It is much more convenient to carry everything you need in one small device that fits in your pocket than to move around with the same laptop. With the development of the Internet, the emergence of social networks was only a matter of time. Man is a social being who needs to keep in touch with other people. This is how one of the most popular social networks of our time, Facebook, was born. However, engineers and science fiction writers cannot stop at this either, because they need to go forward and develop technologies. Thus, the idea of the Metaverse was born. The metaverse should be the next stage in the evolution of computer technology. Everything that exists in computers and gadgets: social networks, instant messengers, websites, games and applications will merge into a “single organism” and will exist in one place that has no boundaries – in the virtual world. The virtual world itself will flow smoothly and become a continuation of the real one. Mark Zuckerberg describes the Metaverse as a place where “the internet becomes reality. There you don’t have to look at the Internet through the screen, because you can be in it. ” It’s like an extra dimension that you can get into by wearing special glasses and a headset. A person who enters the Metaverse becomes a three-dimensional avatar, what exactly and what he will be, the user himself decides.
Let’s imagine a city map in 2D, where the districts are platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. To move between areas, the user needs to leave one and enter another, but in the same plane. The Metaverse is a three-dimensional evolution of this space. Everything will be around the user, and he becomes a direct participant. The digital world exists as a separate one, which is located behind the screen of a smartphone or computer. The metaverse will fundamentally change this concept. People who have to fly to different cities and countries every day to meet with business partners will find it much easier to put on a VR headset and switch between online rooms to discuss any details.
As for the very concept of the Metaverse. For the first time it sounded in the literary work of Neil Stevenson “Avalanche”. In the book, The Metaverse was a 3D virtual reality that swept the entire world. In this world, people worked and spent all their free time. So, the main character, in real life, was a pizza delivery man, and in virtual life – a ninja hacker.
This novel was able to popularize the word “avatar” and the phenomenon of the virtual world.
How the idea was born
In April 2020, during the global lockdown, people were deprived of the opportunity to attend social events, go to cinemas, and go to concerts. The entertainment industry began to collapse. And although all concerts were canceled, one was able to take place and he made a splash with over 180,000 spectators. All the action took place in the computer game Fortnite, and the main star of the concert was the popular rapper Travis Scott. Viewers were players who could look at the rapper’s large 3D avatar and listen to live performances of the tracks. The show was exciting. As in the real world, when people go to a concert, many want to stand out from the crowd with their looks. Online viewers put on colorful and bright clothes, buy all sorts of accessories. At Travis’ concert, nothing changed. Viewers bought skins for avatars and other digital goods. As a result, Travis Scott was able to earn about $ 20 million at such a concert.
It was this moment that became a turning point and gave impetus to the tech giants.
Over time, Facebook is rebranding, along with Instagram and WhatsApp. The new name of the company appears – Meta. The move was needed to place the company at the center of the Internet revolution.
As mentioned earlier, Zuckerberg sees the concept of the Metaverse as follows: the user puts on special VR glasses with a headset and is immersed in virtual reality. The leader in the VR technology market today is Oculus, which, unsurprisingly, is owned by Facebook (Meta).
Evolution of the Metaverse
On the video game market, the function of buying and selling various skins and inventory for characters has appeared for a long time. In addition, you can meet with other players. But all this happened for fiat, today many things are sold in the form of NFT. Celebrities have also begun to enter the emerging world of NFT. Not so long ago, director Quentin Tarantino put up for sale a part of the script for the film “Pulp Fiction”, which was not included in the final version of the picture. Some NFTs can be tied to real world items. In addition, fashion shows already exist. However, everything is not there as people are used to seeing, where the model walks on the catwalk and demonstrates the designer’s collection. All actions take place in the virtual world, where avatars are used instead of models. The segment leader is the Dutch brand The Fabrican. They only create digital clothing for avatars in the meta universe. Everything is on sale in the form of NFT.
In the virtual world, the user can do whatever he wants with himself. For example, put on a burning jacket and not feel burns.
But it wasn’t just fashion houses that started supporting the NFT space, big apparel brands like Nike started selling things as non-fungible tokens.
However, NFT is not the only way to make money in the Metaverse. There is a game called Axie, where players earn between $ 500 and $ 800 a month fighting and leveling characters.
In addition, the Metaverse can change the education system. Having put on glasses, you can find yourself even in the times of the Roman Empire and see how everything happened there. Therefore, traditional universities may begin to give way to the Metaverses.
Humanity is ready to move into the virtual world, since there are about 3.2 billion players. They will all happily enter the Metaverse. The equipment is being improved and soon there will be smart glasses that will not bring discomfort in the virtual world.
The covid pandemic has changed our lives. Many people now work remotely and can do it while wearing their pajamas. Previously, I had to travel to other countries for negotiations several times a day. In the Metaverse, this can be done while sitting in your apartment and changing virtual rooms.
However, there are also downsides, such as social divides. If a person spends a lot of time on the Internet, then this can have a bad effect on the mental state.
But the fact that this is a tremendous technology that will change our lives is inevitable. The way people interact, communicate and work will also change. In the next decade, alternate reality will become our new reality.
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