The concept of the Metaverse is something not many people can say they fully understand. To some, it is a group of social media companies owned by Mark Zukerberg while to some, it is the technology that will eventually turn to destroy the human race and lead to the apocalypse. Ever since Facebook rebranded itself to Meta and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced their new futuristic venture of ‘Metaverse’, the tech world has been engaged in the hot discussions and debates of what this Metaverse is and how it is going to change the internet forever.
In this article, we will discuss what the Metaverse is, why it is important, some of the current trends, and what we might expect for Metaverse development in 2022.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection, however, it does not exist… yet. It is intended as an interconnected digital world that interacts with the real world which consists of elements like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR), and social media.
The metaverse opens a whole new universe. Telepresence within a virtual environment is what it is essentially all about. This means that by logging into the metaverse, people can get the impression of being somewhere else which means without a physical presence, you can still be there where you want to be digitally.
It is like in the movies where you see a real-time holograph of someone attending a meeting or going to a dance or even fighting. Time and space will no longer be a problem when the metaverse is fully developed.
WHY IS THE METAVERSE IMPORTANT?
The Metaverse is concerned with people’s interactions with one another and the spaces they create. It is a virtual layer that creates a sense of place and connects people in a variety of situations. It will, in the end, change the way we think about physical location and provide people with opportunities and connections no matter where they are.
Its applications in the fields of education, medicine, gaming, social functions, immersive movie experiences, job training, manufacturing, and international collaboration are endless. Imagine architects working on designs from the comfort of their own homes, or an acting student attending a Julliard class from anywhere in the world.
In a Metaverse boardroom, remote workers will be able to interact with their colleagues as they would in a physical office. So they get to enjoy the full benefits of working from home which include eliminating the commute and having more time to spend with family and friends, without missing the communal feeling of being in the office.
The Impact of the Metaverse
It is impossible to talk about new technology without being concerned about how it will affect our day to day experiences as people. With technology this big, we need to look at how it will affect major industries of the world.
The metaverse is expected to have a close relationship with the real-world economy, eventually becoming an extension of it. This may rely on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as the foundation for value creation to some extent. A non-transferable token (NFT) is a claim of ownership for a single, non-transferable digital asset stored on a blockchain. If NFTs become a widely used tool for trading such goods, they may speed up the adoption of XR ecosystems as places where people can combine aspects of the digital economy with their offline lives.
In the fashion industry, clothing companies are now launching their own NFT collections for use in the Metaverse. In the multiplayer blockchain game Blankos Block Party, Burberry recently released an NFT collection. In September 2021, Dolce & Gabbana debuted their latest “Collezione Genesi” FW2021 collection for Metaverse. On Opensea, Adidas has just released an NFT collection in collaboration with the NFT industry’s behemoth, Bored Ape Yacht Club.
In the entertainment industry, you can give the impression of being at a live event, such as a concert, by wearing a headset and using a few movement sensors. Companies like Beemup now make hardware and software that allows you to fully immerse yourself in such events and feel as if you were on stage. Some pop music superstars have already begun casting their fully 3D online concerts! , for example, Ariana Grande’s Fortnight virtual concert that was held in August 2021.
In the art industry, the Metaverse allows for better display and use of digital art, hence, it leverages the value of non-fungible tokens.
There is barely an industry in existence that the metaverse won’t revolutionalize. Metaverse’s goal is to create a virtual reality world that is just as engaging as the real one. The first step is to digitize the economy, which will result in a slew of new job opportunities.
These positions will include everything from creating digital assets to designing and engineering. Users will be able to design and build in-world structures such as offices, factories, and shopping malls. This will result in the creation of a wide range of new jobs, particularly in the high-tech sector. Virtual and augmented reality jobs will be the next big thing.
The metaverse in 2022
As Facebook parent Meta, Apple, Google and Microsoft prepare to release new hardware and software services in what has so far been a niche market for early adopters, 2022 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for “the metaverse”.
The metaverse may be accessed through a smartphone for the time being, but backers claim that it will eventually be experienced through advanced virtual reality or augmented reality headsets.
Meta has announced that it will release Project Cambria, a new virtual reality headset, this year. According to Facebook, the device will include hardware that improves “mixed reality,” which involves using cameras on the outside of a VR headset to pipe the real world into the viewer. Meta claims that face and eye tracking will be included, making the device more responsive to the user’s commands.
Apple is laying the groundwork for a significant new product category. Lidar sensors, which can measure how far away an object is — critical for location-based applications — are included in Apple’s newer iPhones. ARkit, a piece of software included with recent iPhones and iPads, allows developers to create apps that use the iPhone’s sensors for precise room mapping and localization.
These technological building blocks are laying the groundwork for an entirely new product, which is expected to be an Apple-designed high-end headset that combines virtual reality and augmented reality and could be released this year.
Apple, unlike Meta, does not discuss new hardware until it is ready to be revealed. When Apple does release a headset, it is likely to shake up the entire market and provide a new approach for many challengers, similar to what the iPhone and Apple Watch did for smartphones and smartwatches, respectively.
Although it doesn’t have as many products or publicly announced technologies as its competitors, there are signs that Google is getting serious about augmented reality again.
In 2020, Google acquired North, a well-funded start-up developing lightweight AR glasses that were a spiritual successor to Google Glass in terms of functionality. According to a post shared by senior director Mark Lucovsky in December, Google now has a new team focused on operating systems for augmented reality.
Microsoft is putting a lot of money into cloud services, which will serve as the glue for virtual worlds that will be released to the public this year.
Mesh, which was announced in March and allows software developers to create apps that allow multiple devices to share the same digital reality, was announced in March 2021. Mesh is similar to a video call, but it uses three-dimensional holograms. When Microsoft bought AltspaceVR in 2017, it laid the groundwork for this push.
This year, these metaverse software features will be released. Mesh will be integrated into Microsoft’s Teams video conferencing app later this year.
In the blockchain industry, everyone wants to be first to the party, to be ahead of the curve. In 2022, with the release of the first of the Metaverses, expect a lot of noise. Everyone has a reason to be excited about the Metaverse and its endless possibilities: believers, investors, users, and gamers.
While Metaverse development is still in its early stages, the one-world concept will start to have an impact in 2022. With NFT Art adorning virtual homes, virtual lands will be treated with the same care as real lands. Users will devote the same attention to their virtual personas as they do to their social media profiles. Without the constraints of geography, people will begin to ponder the true meaning of life.
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