While at the moment, we do not have one shared metaverse, corporate positions are working to build it. The metaverse would come in a variety of forms, including games, online communities, and work meetings, in which individuals cooperate through digital facsimiles or avatars of themselves. The metaverse is a fusion of several elements of technology, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and video, in which users live in a digital universe. The metaverse draws upon a broad set of disparate technologies, including VR platforms, games, machine learning, blockchain, 3D graphics, digital currencies, sensors, and (in some cases) VR-enabled headsets.
In general, a metaverse is a network of digital worlds, which can incorporate any combination of technologies, from VR to AR to blockchain. In a metaverse, users navigate virtual worlds that simulate aspects of the physical world using technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence, social media, and digital currencies. These worlds are accessible via virtual reality headsets: users traverse the metaverse using eye movements, haptic controllers, or voice commands. To see a metaverse in action, we can look to popular multiplayer VR games like Rec Room or Horizon Worlds, in which participants use avatars to interact with one another and manipulate their surroundings.
In broad terms, technologies making up a metaverse may include VR–characterized by persistent virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you are not playing–as well as augmented reality, which blends aspects of digital and physical worlds. Wikipedia defines the term metaverse as collective virtual shared spaces created through a confluence of physically-enhanced virtual and physically-permanent physical realities, including the sum total of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the Internet. The term metaverse is a portmanteau of the prefixes meta (meaning “beyond”) and universe; the term is commonly used to describe a conception of the next iteration of the Internet, consisting of persistent, shared, three-dimensional virtual spaces connected in the perceived virtual universe.
Neal Stephenson famously coined the term metaverse in his 1992 novel The Snow Crash, in which he referred to a virtual world in three dimensions, inhabited by avatars of real humans. Author Neal Stephenson is credited with coining the term metaverse , in his 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, in which he imagined realistically-looking avatars meeting each other inside of real-life, three-dimensional buildings and other VR environments. In his 1992 novel Snow Crash, a metaverse is a virtual reality world portrayed as a market-like environment around the Earth in which virtual properties could be bought and sold, and where users wearing virtual reality glasses inhabit 3D avatars, the shape of which they have freedom of choice.
NFTs, which have been fetishized by crypto enthusiasts, snake-oil salesmen, scheming executives, and (bizarrely) a section of the art world in the past year or so, may make it possible to own virtual objects and real estate in the metaverse. If you think that the metaverse should not be owned by a few corporations, then there are emerging technologies that can foster a less-centralized virtual world, such as cryptos and non-fungible or NFTs. A number of smaller startups are working on metaverse technologies as well. The Polygonal Mind firm, for example, is building a system called CryptoAvatars, which allows individuals to purchase three-dimensional avatars in NFTs, then use them in several virtual worlds.
A virtual world, such as Fortnites aspects, which could be accessed via PC, gaming consoles, or even phones, might become a metaverse. A metaverse focused around AR would not be an entirely new digital world: It would overlap with the physical one. The idea that we will live much of our lives in a virtual space — a metaverse idea — is an old science-fiction concept, one that has always been couched in terms of dystopian, frightening outcomes for mankind, rather than as an intelligent breakthrough for a social media company. In fact, using virtual worlds as an alternative to real, physical reality is a central notion in Zuckerbergs metaverse idea, and it is an idea that is particularly faulty.
Zuckerberg is flat out wrong that people will be wearing virtual reality glasses all day, living entirely within a virtual space, for their jobs. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is not alone in latching onto the radical vision of us going to work, seeking fun, and connecting with one another, not in the physical world, but in a virtual reality. People like Tim Sweeney (CEO, publisher Epic) Fortnite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg often says that he is only building a single part of a bigger, connected metaverse, akin to individual social networks on the Internet.
A vision of the next phase in the evolution of the internet, a metaverse refers to the digital worlds where people will congregate for work, play, and relaxation. The description is so broad that many say that a metaverse already exists in the digital worlds Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite, which enable players to congregate in two-dimensional environments. Hangouts and world-building games such as Roblox and Minecraft are all being lumped in with discussions about what a metaverse is or will be.
Essentially, a metaverse is a world of infinite, connected virtual communities in which people can meet, work, and play, using VR headsets, AR glasses, smartphone apps, or other devices. It also will encompass other aspects of online life, such as shopping and social media, according to Victoria Petrock, an analyst who tracks emerging technologies. Right now, most platforms have virtual identities, avatars and inventories tied to just one platform, but a metaverse could let you build an avatar you can carry with you anywhere, the same way you might copy a profile picture from one social media site to the next. While Zuckerberg has suggested the metaverse would include both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality, Zuckerbergs seemed obsessed with the virtual reality portion; I think this has led to a misdirection of his predictions.