Metaverse and its impact on the digital future

Page 1 of 2

When the company, formerly known as Facebook, announced plans to change its name to Meta in October, it said the move would better reflect its intent to “bring life back to the Metaverse and help people connect and create communities to find businesses and build businesses.”

This radical change by one of the most valuable companies in the world has sparked all kinds of comments and speculation, giving rise to as many questions as the answers. Key questions include: What exactly is the metaverse and why is Facebook focusing its future on this space now?

David Tove, executive director of the Batten Institute and expert on emerging technologies and digital experiences, answered questions about the fledgling wave.

What is the metaverse as you understand the current Facebook project?

David Tove: To understand the concept of a “metaverse”, it can help to first think of a common virtual space: from the chat room to games like Minecraft and Fortnite. While these spaces vary in terms of the richness of the virtual experience – text, audio, video, visual details, sense of space, actions one can perform, etc., they all provide the opportunity for multiple, if not millions, of people at once to connect in an online environment.

When Facebook, now a meta, refers to the metaverse, it goes a few steps ahead. Meta’s vision of this metaverse appears to have been inspired by the perceived immersive experience when the word was coined in the book Neal Stephenson Snow Crash nearly 30 years ago. However, the structure of the platform – and more importantly who runs it – is different.

See also  Welcome to Tinderverse: Tinder CEO talks about mtavers and virtual currency.

The metaverse experience aims to be highly immersive, giving you the feeling of being somewhere else through the fusion of augmented reality and virtual reality. In contrast to virtual worlds like Minecraft, Fortnite, and Metaverse in Snow Crash, which are owned by a single company, Zuckerberg and other tech leaders describe an Internet-like platform — a basic, enabling infrastructure that is not owned and operated by any single company.

Instead, the metaverse can be made possible through a set of ground rules and a wide range of technologies that allow a variety of devices and software to connect and create these shared experiences, just as the set of mostly invisible protocols to the user that enables the Internet, with which we today use a number of of services.

In other words, this platform will not be the metaverse of the meta. Instead, companies like Meta will run shared experiences on a planet among thousands, if not millions, of other virtual destinations in the larger Metaverse.

Virtual reality has been touted as the “next big thing” for decades. Is there any reason to believe that we might be heading toward greater acceptance?

David Tove: Much like artificial intelligence, which is slowly evolving, virtual reality as a real-world experience has been on the rise for a very long time. Stereograms provided three-dimensional experiences in the mid-18th century, first with drawings and later with photographs. Hollywood experimented with immersive films like Sensorama in the 1960s. The Air Force funded the development of 3D flight simulators in the 1970s. Ironically, one of the first virtual reality glasses developed and sold in the late 1980s was called the EyePhone.

See also  SKYRIM BOARD GAME // starts in 2021 on Gamefound

Lately, I think there are signs that we’re moving towards more interest in these immersive experiences and the technology that’s enabled them since 2000. Fortnite alone registered 100 million new users in the one-year period between Spring 2019 and Spring 2020, bringing the total number of registered users to 350. million. For comparison: Second Life, the virtual world launched in 2002, took four years to reach just one million registered users. Second Life’s user base was about 0.08 percent of the total Internet users in 2006, while the Fortnite user base was over 8 percent of the connected world in 2020.

If Fortnite were a travel destination, it would be one of the most popular on the planet. For comparison: 145 million visitors were counted in China in 2019, and about 80 million in the United States. However, Fortnite users do not have to leave their homes to travel.

What are the barriers to entering the Metaverse? Don’t we all need at least some new hardware?

David Tove: Technology may no longer be the biggest obstacle to experiences in immersive virtual environments. These first experiences are actually made possible by a device most of us already own: a smartphone. Phone makers are already building augmented reality capabilities into new devices. Plus, you can fit most smartphones launched in the past few years into a headset – which costs $50 or less – and enjoy a pretty decent virtual reality experience.

In my opinion, the biggest obstacles for Metaverse to scale described by companies like Meta are more social, if not social and political, than technical. Technical obstacles are likely to be overcome over time, while social problems become more severe over time. This social obstacle – the community of interest groups that can agree on how things should work – was the same challenge the early Internet faced.

See also  Astronomy Day: The Planetarium invites you on a virtual tour and exhibition

For example, in the 1980s, there were several information networks – ARPANET, CSNET, BITNET, and then NSFNET – that formed together and became part of the precursor to the modern Internet. These networks consist not only of different basic structures and standards, but also of different communities of people. Had these communities not found a way to connect with each other – both technically and personally – we might not have the Internet that we have today.

Nearly 40 years later, the potential AC-influenced community of stakeholders is not only much larger in population and more global from day one, but also a non-trivial patchwork of nation-states and huge private corporations.

The South Korean government established its own “Metaverse Alliance” in May this year, which now includes more than 200 institutions in the country. In August, Nvidia launched its “Omniverse” initiative, in which the graphics processor and system-on-chip manufacturer gather their own ideas about the technologies required for an open and scalable VR platform.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top