What is Meta-verse?
Metaverse started to become popular when Neal Stephenson used the term “metaverse” in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. It was mentioned to refer to a 3D virtual world inhabited by avatars of real people. Many science fiction media picked up the metaverse-like systems concept from Snow Crash. Still today, Stephenson’s book has been the most referenced point for metaverse supporters, as well as Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One.
In Snow Crash’s metaverse, Stephenson has shown a humorous corporation-dominated future America by telling a story of a person who is a master hacker who involves in katana fights at a virtual nightclub. Ready Player One’s virtual world named the OASIS to purely represent and imply the terms, and Cline portrays it as an almost ideal source of distraction in a horrible future.
Earlier in science fiction stories and media, the concept was tried to explain, an idea was put up to people, a topic to imagine over but now moving forward from fictional stories, samples of the metaverse are now tried to bring outside the television, trying to make it more realistic especially now that the concept is coming into gaming platform and real companies are incorporating the concept in their companies.
According to Matthew Ball, author of the extensive Metaverse Primer:
“The Metaverse is an expansive network of persistent, real-time rendered 3D worlds and simulations that support continuity of identity, objects, history, payments, and entitlements, and can be experienced synchronously by an effectively unlimited number of users, each with an individual sense of presence.”
How does Metaverse work?
Augmented reality involves visual elements, sound, and other sensory stimuli onto a real-world setting to let the user experience places, or do several activities as they would have done on Earth. In comparison, virtual reality is completely simulated and brings fictional realities almost in real life. VR comprises a headset device, and users control the system.
Metaverse is a merge of the prefix “meta”, meaning beyond, and “universe”.
It is a virtual world made with similar features to earth where land, buildings, avatars, and even names can be purchased and sold by using mostly cryptocurrency. In these worlds, people can wander around with friends, enter buildings, buy goods and services, and attend events, as in real life.
The concept became more famous during the pandemic as lockdown measures and work-from-home policies pushed more people online for both business and pleasure.
Metaverse could include workplace tools, games, and community platforms.
The concept required blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and non-fungible tokens. This way new kind of decentralized digital asset can be built, owned, and monetized.
BLOCKCHAIN – it is a database that can be shared across a network of computers. These records can’t be changed easily and thus ensure that every data remains the same throughout the copies of the database. It is used to underpin cyber-currencies.
NON-FUNGIBLE TOKENS (NFTs) – these are virtual assets used for the growth in the metaverse.
it can be said that they are collectibles having intrinsic value because of their cultural significance, while others treat them as an investment, speculating on rising prices.
The metaverse has two distinct types of platforms:
FIRST – this step includes the blockchain-based metaverse, use of NFTs, and cryptocurrencies.
SECOND – this involves the creation of virtual worlds in the multiverse for virtual meetings for business or recreation. This section includes the companies with gaming platforms and several other companies which are building the metaverse platform:
ROBLOX, MICROSOFT, FACEBOOK, NVIDIA, UNITY, SNAP, AUTODESK, TENCENT, EPIC GAMES & AMAZON.
Why did Mark Zuckerberg decide to rebrand Facebook to Meta?
Mark Zuckerberg roughly mentions that the business got two different segments. One segment belonging to social apps and another for future platforms and metaverse do not belong to any of the segments. The metaverse represents both future platforms and social experiences.
So they wanted to have a new brand identity, the high-level brand identity depends on Facebook, the social media brand. And increasingly we’re doing more than that. They believe themselves to be a technology company that builds technology to help people connect with other people by taking a unique step by building technologies to enhance interaction with people.
The Facebook Company wants to have a single identity or account system like other Google, Apple but the Facebook company is confused with being a brand of social media app, which is creating a problem. The image of Facebook being a social media confuses people when they think of using the Facebook account to sign in to Quest, people get confused whether they are using a corporate account or social media account. Even after people have used Facebook accounts to log into sites, people worry if their access to the sites or device will differ if they deactivate or delete their Facebook accounts. People also worry if they log in with WhatsApp or Instagram, whether their data will get exchanged or shared over. For this, they thought to have a company that will associate with all different types of products other than any specific product. These requirements were already in the company’s conversation for months to years by now.
Metaverse is expanded to every industry. They now want to establish a relationship with different companies, creators, and developers. Metaverse will basically help the interest users not only wander in their minds but could allow them to wander around and be present in it, in the content. The user can perform several types of activities together with people which was not possible with the 2D app or webpage like dancing, exercises, etc.
According to Mark Zuckerberg from The Verge interview, metaverse delivers the clearest form of presence. According to him, the multiverse will be accessible from computers, AR, VR, mobile devices, and gaming consoles. Metaverse will help in creating an environment not only for gamers but also as a social platform. These devices will help the user to access 3D videos and experiences. This is what Facebook wants to uplift and focuses on bringing to people. It wants to bring the technology that will be used for experiencing the 3D and technology university and push ahead of the metaverse vision.
Basically, with the change of company name to Meta, it wants to show, represent its growing ambition towards metaverse.
Facebook has already mentioned having meetings for their VR devices and talking about generating employment opportunities in Europe.
It can be seen that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram will be seen under the same parent company.
Impact of Meta, formerly known as Facebook Company, along with the concept of the metaverse, on the future of IT.
It can be said that metaverse is a medium of contact which has been enhanced with the help of technologies. Now, to perform any action, there is a screen between us and we can’t be physically present in any location or time due to the fact that we have been interacting with tools that are based on 2D features. Metaverse will help people to be present anywhere they want to in a 3D setting. This 3D concept will be brought into people’s lives with the help of metaverse supporting devices.
Now that Facebook has declared to be noticed by being a Meta company first and not Facebook, it plans on investing in the technologies and devices that will help in accessing metaverse like VR, AR, and even to some extent computers, mobile phones. Although these devices need to be able to be updated to be accessible.
This would in fact require a separate team of developers, creators and therefore, will have a different type of storage requirement, retrieving and sending information process which needs attention.
The introduction of the metaverse concept will affect every type of industry since it would involve every type of industry as metaverse includes virtual worlds. A person can access the world by putting on the glasses and can virtually meet, play or work. Although it is under lots of speculations, it is also in the news that metaverse may also include shopping malls, social interaction, etc.
There is no particular metaverse, every company is expected to have a different metaverse due to being separate companies.
However, the companies try to improve our experience it is necessary to see how safe are we, our data, and much privacy and security will be taken. It is necessary to be first aware of the concept than trying to have the experience without any idea which can land the person on its either good or bad side.
Metaverse is a 3D environment but over the internet which needs to be accessed with devices. The activities done in the metaverse world will have permanent effects due to synchronization. Although there are questions regarding privacy, how will the privacy be maintained? Since people are not aware, misinformation could spread. There are examples of metaverse workplaces such as Facebook’s Horizon and Microsoft Mesh. For this, companies need to have their own operating spaces within the metaverse.