What is Metaverse and how does it work?

Ever since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, discussions and debates on what Metaverse is has been doing the rounds.

A few days ago, an NFT-based metaverse real estate company named Metaverse Group bought a parcel of land on a virtual real estate platform known as Decentraland for USD 2.43 million. It was the highest ever quantity spent so far for virtual real estate.

Metaverse has immediately become a major trending topic, even though the concept has been around for close to a few decades.

Nonetheless, the reply to “what is metaverse?” will not be simple. This is because there is no such thing as a metaverse as of now, and no one knows what it will be in the future.

“The Metaverse is a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which might be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with a person sense of presence, and with continuity of data, comparable to identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments,” defines venture capitalist Matthew Ball in the foreword of his outstanding nine-part essay on metaverse — The Metaverse Primer.

Calling the metaverse a “quasi-successor state to the mobile internet”, he writes, “the Metaverse will not fundamentally change the internet, but instead build upon and iteratively transform it.”

Because Metaverse is continually growing, there may be each possibility that it will be much grander and more immersive by the time it turns into a reality than how it is being imagined today.

The word “metaverse” is a portmanteau of words “meta-” and “verse”. The word “meta” is a prefix of Greek-origin meaning “beyond” while “verse” comes from the word “universe”.

It was first used in literature by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 dystopian novel Snow Crash. In the book, the metaverse is introduced as the final word evolution of the internet — a kind of virtual reality where any virtual interaction can have a direct impact on the real world too.

The book pretty much sums up what the metaverse is. It’s a physically persistent virtual house where there are virtual avatars, digital social interactions, and gaming among many distinctive things that we affiliate with metaverse today. Snow Crash additionally underlines how the metaverse in the story affects developments within the real world of the protagonist, together with a conspiracy that turns folks, whose brains are connected to the virtual world, insane.

Because the launch of the book, several other books, films and television shows have dabbled with the concept to various degrees, together with Steven Spielberg’s well-appreciated film Ready Player One (2018), which was adapted from Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the identical name.

The common thread in all is that the metaverse is a virtual reality whereby, relying on the advancement of the era, people will be able to do everything they do in real life.

What’s Facebook’s concept of metaverse?

On 28 October 2021, Facebook announced that it has rebranded itself as Meta Platforms Inc., or Meta for short — a name it caretotally picked to capitalise early on what will be the inevitable future of human connectivity and, maybe, of life itself.

“The defining quality of the metaverse will be a sense of presence — like you might be right there with one other individual or in one other place. Feeling actually present with another person is the final word dream of social technology. That is why we are targeted on building this,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his Founder’s Letter following the announcement.

Zuckerberg showed a world that can be defined as a a lot higher level of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). In the virtual house of the metaverse, everything individuals do in the real world is replicated.

A VR headset, or any other wearable gadget specifically designed for the aim, will function as a gateway into this world.

Facebook’s concept of metaverse contains virtual avatars of individuals taking part in games, holding meetings, attending workshops, exercising, studying and socialising besides all kinds of activities that can be completed in reality.

A larger and far grander metaverse may be extrapolated from this idea. It is, nonetheless, noteworthy that Zuckerberg believes it could take round 10 years for the metaverse to turn out to be mainstream. To think about it, that’s a brief time.

Anybody else on it?

Microsoft is one other main Big Tech player attempting to build a metaverse. Its idea is called Mesh. One in every of its most fascinating features is what the company calls “Holoportation”. Merely put, its customers will be able to project their holographic selves to different users.

Its virtual and augmented realities can be greatest skilled with HoloLens gadgets — a unique gadget which can make the expertise of ‘Holoportation’ altogether different. However, Mesh can be accessed through VR headsets, mobile phones, tablets or PCs.

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