Last updated on November 2, 2021
What is Meta? The dictionary meaning of the word Meta, is beyond. But beyond what? Beyond what we can do on internet today. Beyond what we do on Social Media. Beyond the VR & AR we use today. Beyond the Universe! This is the next revolution on internet with virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space.
Meta is derived from the word “Metaverse”. Metaverse is combination of “Meta” and “verse” from the word Universe, meaning beyond the universe. Do you know who coined this word Metaverse and when? The word “Metaverse” was coined in Neal Stephenson’s Novel – Snow Crash. This book, a science fiction was published in the year 1992. The Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. In 29 years this is on the verge of reality.
How the technologies changed the way we express ourselves on social media? Do you remember, how desktops were used to send messages and those boring emails, text messages and snake game on 2G networks and mobiles without cameras? With the enhancement in technologies people have the power to connect and express themselves more naturally. The social media started interaction with text messages and as the mobile phones were upgraded with cameras and 2G upgraded to 4G, the internet became more visual and mobile. As the connections got faster, video became a richer way to share experiences. We’ve from text to photos to video. But is this the end of the line? Won’t we get bored in next few years just looking at the screen and not experiencing it? What’s Next?
The next platform, Metaverse, will be more immersive, an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, and not just looking at it.
What are the key tech terms I need to know to understand the Metaverse? You will find that some of these terms are used interchangeably.
Assisted Reality: Any technology that allows a person to view a screen and use hands-free controls to interact with it. Realwear devices fit in this category.
Augmented Reality: This technology uses the real world as the setting and adds computer-generated images to this view. Retailers use this to show how a new recliner would look in a customer’s living room.
Meatspace: This is the physical world where most of us spend most of our time.
Mixed reality: This term describes a view of the real world with the addition of virtual objects that look and act like real objects. Users can interact with both virtual objects and real ones.
Multiverse: The general definition of this term refers to many distinct universes operating independently of each other. In a tech/internet/social media context, this is Facebook, Minecraft, Instagram, Twitch, or all the virtual social media and gaming places, where people socialize, play and shop. In theoretically, the metaverse could bring all these multiverses into one place.
Virtual reality: This is an immersive experience that requires a headset. There are VR games that take users to different worlds as well as training sessions that are set in the real world.
So what are the features of Metaverse? What else can I do on this platform? How it will give me an experience, an immersive experience? It will be a feeling of presence – like you are right there with another person or in another place. You will feel that you are truly present with another person. You’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine, such as get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create, as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today.
So what are you thinking now? What you want to do on this platform? Teleport yourself to your dream location? Go back to future? Yes, you will be able to do so by teleporting yourself as a hologram. You can be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to have take some guidance on life. You can roam around in the parallel world, buy goods with virtual currencies, and meet your friends and relatives in this world. It will not stop here. In the advanced version of this technology it will make you feel like touching and smelling things.
Any idea, how Metaverse will work? Metaverse will work just like you login to your social media account over internet. Ideally, you won’t need a headset in the Metaverse at some point in the future when that iteration arrives. In 2021, you need an Oculus Quest 2, a Rift S or a Sony PlayStation VR or a HTC Vive to play virtual reality games. If you need to take a training class in virtual reality or augmented reality, you’ll need Microsoft’s HoloLens or one of Lenovo’s headsets.
You must have a virtual reality headset to interact with object like you normally would. The only difference will be, instead of seeing images on screen they would be projected on to your eyes making it feel like you are in virtual world.
Will I be able to use my other social media accounts? What will happen to all my social media apps? Nothing will change for you. Yes, having a Metaverse name will not affect your Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram accounts. You will be able to use all these social media platforms as before with your login id and password. May be, in the near future there will be a single sign-in.
What are some real world applications? Training is one of the more common use cases. Gaming and Entertainment will be the first industries to offer virtual reality experiences for customers, while manufacturing and healthcare have been among the first to incorporate mixed reality and augmented reality experiences for employees. In the present scenario collaborating on projects at work consist of a conference room meeting or you send out memos and people report back to you individually. The Metaverse will allow us to collaborate on the same project from various locations or time zones, by being digitally besides the co-workers.
Other than Meta, are there any companies building the Metaverse? The Metaverse will need a massive technological infrastructure, ranging from compute power to Edge Computing to 3D imaging to content to finance and commerce systems. And, as the metaverse is seen as the next iteration of the internet, every company that has an internet presence will want to stake a claim in the Metaverse as well. Some of the listed companies who are working on Metaverse are: Nvidia, Meta, Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Roblox Corporation, Unity Software Inc., Snap, Inc., Autodesk Inc., Amazon Com Inc., Tencent Holdings Ltd, and Sea Ltd.
Will there be any ill effect of Metaverse? What are the dangers to Metaverse? Everything has its two sides and same goes with Metaverse too. Even before the arrival of Metaverse, there are different debates, the biggest issue being digital privacy. The platforms on which Metaverse are being built will be able to control our lives, personal data and our personal conversations by the proprietary companies. This control will be so high that it has never happened before.
Virtual reality is the best place to practice difficult conversations at work, a company’s virtual reality approach could end the debate over working from home vs. at the office. There are always resource limitations, from human instructors to physical spaces. If one can create a training environment in a VR environment, we no longer need a 1,000 or 10,000 square feet facility. Training in virtual reality environments always made sense for certain specialized jobs in healthcare, aviation and the military. During a year of remote work, the pandemic has caused many organizations to re-evaluate virtual reality platforms as a way to support remote work. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.
MORE TO COME ABOUT THE PARALLEL UNIVERSE…STAY TUNED