In this article, you will learn what the metaverse is when it will arrive, what its characteristics are and which companies are investing the most to make it real.
Web 3.0 brings endless possibilities to humanity and recent proof of this is Mark Zuckerberg’s intention to focus his efforts on creating a metaverse. Although it seems simple and for some “superficial”, rebranding the Facebook brand to Meta is evidence of the new north that the technology giant wants to pursue.
Additionally, other companies have been working on creating metaverses long before. Decentraland and The Sandbox are just a few examples. Both projects have raised huge amounts of investment money to lead the metaverse race.
However, no matter how much is being talked about, the term is still somewhat confusing for some, so we decided to clarify the most common doubts and we will start with the most relevant… what is the metaverse?
What is the Metaverse?
The term Metaverse was coined in 1992 by science fiction author Neal Stephenson, in his Snow Crash. There it was described as an all-encompassing digital world, where realistic avatars come together in a 3D reality that exists parallel to the real world.
The metaverse aims to enable people to play, work, travel, interact, and do just about anything online; so that it feels real even if you are hundreds of miles away.
Over the years, important milestones have been reached that bring us closer to the metaverse, such as high-speed internet, sensors, virtual reality, and augmented reality; although games like Fornite and Minecraft do not seek to emulate reality, their online interactivity allows us to see the scope of a virtual universe.
When will the metaverses arrive?
No one has the correct answer, however, an estimate could be made based on when all the variables that would give the metaverse full life would be developed.
For Mark Zuckerberg, the estimated time is 10 years. For Melanie Subin, consulting director of the Future Today Institute, in 2030 a large number of people will be involved with the metaverse in some way. Either because they will go online to fulfill their work or educational obligations, or because they will be completely submerged most of the time.
However, for the line between the real and the virtual to be completely blurred, the necessary technology has yet to be developed, and for Subin, this will not happen in 50 years.
Matthew Ball, author of The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything; assures that there will not be a specific moment in which the metaverse is created, since it “will slowly emerge over time as different products, services and capabilities are integrated and merged.”
Characteristics of the Metaverse
To further understand what the metaverse is, it is essential to know what its other characteristics are:
- Unlimited 3D spaces that are rendered in real-time, where users can move freely as avatars.
- Users can create virtual rooms that other users can freely access across devices and systems.
- Virtual reality glasses, virtual assistants, intelligent/voice user interfaces, neural chips, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and artificial neural networks.
- Compatible virtual and real currencies come together to form a unified economy for digital and physical spaces.
Now that you know what the metaverse is, you understand that there are many opportunities and this means one thing: A lot of money.
Online multiplayer platforms like Fortnite managed to have about 350 million active users per month and generate more than 5 billion dollars. Can you imagine the amount of money big brands could make in a fully immersive metaverse?
It is for this reason that different competitors want to break through and lead the race of the metaverses; either because they develop from hardware, such as virtual reality glasses, to infrastructure to store all the information that could make a metaverse more real.
Among the most prominent competitors we find:
- Meta (Before Facebook)
- AWS (Amazon web services)
- epic games
The metaverse is not just a promising new space for users. As you already know, different companies want a part of the profits and that is why they are investing significant sums of money.
The coronavirus crisis has demonstrated the flexibility with which a “connected world” can react in circumstances where contact is not an option.
To this, we must add the live analysis of user data, online purchases, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin that come with the promise of new marketing strategies; including the ability to expand customer groups, build brand visibility and engage directly with customers around the world.
Additionally, the possibilities will be virtually endless for marketing. The advertising campaigns will be amazing! Largely because digital social spaces will not be limited to applications, web addresses, or interfaces such as mobile phones and laptops.
What do NFTs have to do with metaverses?
NFTs will give metaverse users the ability to validate ownership of their belongings. For example, if the Nike brand decides to release a limited collection of sneakers for its buyers to use in the metaverse, it will be through a smart contract that it can be validated that it is an original product. (It will be the same as the real world, where you can get original products or replicas)
Conclusion: What is the metaverse?
In the future we will find different metaverses, created by different developers; however, what is expected is that these will be interoperable, making a single metaverse exist.
It will not be an easy task, because apart from having to develop the necessary technology for the experience to be vivid, the platforms must be able to allow users to “migrate their belongings” between one virtual universe and another.
We hope that now that you know what the metaverse is, you will think of business opportunities to exploit all the possibilities that the future brings.