The Metaverse – What Is It and Why Should You Care?
The term metaverse has been bandied about on the Internet and in science fiction circles since the 1990s, but what exactly does it mean? Is it going to be a real place like the real world? If so, when can I go there? The answers to these questions aren’t as simple as you might think. Let’s take a look at what the metaverse is, where it comes from, and why you should care about it in our increasingly digital world.
What Is the Metaverse, Exactly?
The metaverse is a concept that has been around for decades, with its roots in the novel Snow Crash. The metaverse is an internet-like virtual space where you can do anything you want to, be anyone you want to be, and live any type of life you want to. All people need to get access to the metaverse is a headset, or in more advanced cases, glasses which allow you access. By wearing these headsets or glasses and entering this virtual space, one can not only communicate virtually with others but also experience things as if they were real–such as flying over a city or fighting against dragons with other players.
Seriously, What Does “Metaverse” Mean?
The word metaverse derives from a combination of the prefix meta, meaning change or after, and universe, meaning the whole of everything that exists. Put together, metaverse means: the universe which exists in or relates to a superset (of another universe).
In short, Metaverse is an amalgamation of alternate realities in which users are able to interact with one another; it is a form of virtual reality.
There are many potential uses for a metaverse: education, business, leisure, entertainment, and socializing. A case study of shared space where users can build communities or host events will be discussed below.
Why Does the Metaverse Involve Holograms?
The Metaverse, a concept popularized by Neal Stephenson in his book Snow Crash, imagines a virtual reality environment that we can interact with through the use of technology. Many ideas from the book have been adopted into real life projects, like Oculus Rift, which is currently being developed for VR headsets. The Metaverse in Snow Crash also had many components of Holograms involved to make it seem more lifelike. In the future, Holograms could be one way we all communicate with each other–probably at first over an internet connection via our computers or smartphones and then in augmented reality so that those with visual impairments are not left out. One day Holograms may be the ultimate communication tool because of how realistic they can appear while conveying such emotional messages.
What’s the Metaverse Like Right Now?
I think it’s fair to say that people are finally starting to get what the Metaverse is about. For example, many experts in the virtual reality field have proclaimed that we’re already living in a full-fledged version of the Metaverse. And even though we’re not quite there yet, I think there’s no doubt that the Metaverse is coming whether you like it or not.
On top of that, VR industry insiders predict that 80 million users will be living in virtual worlds by 2020. That’s double or even triple today’s numbers, which means we’re talking about hundreds of millions of people who are going to be experiencing life inside a fully immersive, three-dimensional space at some point over the next four years.
Even though we’re not quite there yet, I think there’s no doubt that we’re going to experience something like a true Metaverse in our lifetimes.
How to Get Started
First, be aware that it’s not easy to get started in the Metaverse. With tons of products out there, it can be hard to determine which ones will be the best for you. Even then, they all have different levels of time commitment. Here are some suggestions that might work for you:
– Engaging in group discussions with other users
– Creating your own avatars
– Asking your friends what they use and why
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