Introduction to Facebook Metaverse:
Metaverse is the latest buzzword in the market. Since Facebook rebranded as Meta in late October 2021, the Metaverse has become popular everywhere. It has become the potential next best thing after the internet. The word Metaverse was coined by Neil Stephenson in 1992 in his book Snow Crash. The book Snow Crash is part of the CryptoPunk sci-fi pop culture. Neal Stephenson, already in 1992, painted this world where people could move to virtual reality and live in this virtual reality part of their lives and have relationships. They have all the social interactions in the Metaverse. Stephenson envisioned Metaverse as a future successor of the internet. The word Metaverse means beyond the universe; it is like a second universe.
Facebook’s Metaverse is a new virtual planet and has a bunch of functionalities associated with it. The user can go to a party with their friends, launch a new world version of currencies, and start new businesses on that planet. The Metaverse promises the people a second life where they can interact, meet, shop, party, and even build a house of their own. According to Wikipedia, the definition of a Metaverse is as follows “the metaverse is a hypothesized iteration of the internet supporting persistent online 3D virtual”. The user will be able to own his/her digital identity and assets in the Metaverse.
Metaverse is cyberspace where reality meets imagination. The characters will be real human beings, but their world is entirely fictional. This virtual world will be made up of virtual elements that parallel real life. Several tech heavyweights such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Disney are behind this new concept of virtual worlds. Facebook wants to become the leader in this technology. The Governments are also showing they’re towards the Metaverse. In 2021 the South Korean government announced the creation of a national metaverse alliance that will bring different virtual worlds under one umbrella. Barbados is planning to set up an embassy in the Metaverse. They tied up with the crypto-backed virtual world to set up a digital diplomatic mission. In the United States, the city of Santa Monica partnered with the metaverse company to launch a digital version of Santa Monica. In this digital version, the players can win rewards by collecting items hidden at various locations in the city. Metaverse is no more an experiment by tech geeks; it is becoming an inevitable alternative to reality.
Understanding the concept of Metaverse
Metaverse is a virtual world that fuses different digital technologies such as social networks, virtual reality, and video conferencing. Facebook’s Metaverse is the 4D version of our current internet, and it needs a critical mass of interconnected technologies. The technologies include virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), blockchain technologies, brain-computer interfaces, and internet infrastructure. Virtual reality (VR) simulates lifelike situations. The key devices used in this VR technology are VR headsets, full-body haptic suits, and VR gloves. AI helps create metaverse assets such as characters, landscapes, buildings, and character routines.AR is an experience where designers enhance parts of a user’s physical world with computer-generated input. AR contact lenses and AR glasses could be used to augment the world and facilitate virtual assistance with the help of sophisticated AI. Blockchain technology would be an ideal currency for felicitating quick and secure digital transactions in a decentralized metaverse. A Blockchain is a shared, distributed, immutable, public ledger of a continuously growing and updated list of transactions. Brain-Computer interfaces will allow controlling avatars, various objects, and digital transactions with human brain signals. Several companies such as Neuralink, NextMind, and Neurable are developing brain-computer interfaces. High internet speed and bandwidth are very much needed for the Metaverse to operate. The internet technologies such as 5G and 6G will enable highly high frequencies in the millimeter-wave spectrum.
Metaverse: The Virtual Universe
Facebook’s Metaverse is the future of digital business and provides vast opportunities for investors. Some of the key areas are product placement & advertising, sponsorship of events & concerts, remote working, games, and improving business operations. The world’s biggest fashion companies have experimented with making virtual clothing that people’s avatars can wear in metaverse environments. The potential of this emerging technology is limitless Musicians can do virtual concerts within these platforms for example millions of people watched the singer Ariana Grande’s virtual performance in the year 2021. The accelerated interest in the Metaverse can be seen because of the Covid-19 pandemic as more people started working and going to school remotely. There is a significant growth in realistic online interactions after this pandemic. Video games such as Fortnite and Roblox allow users to create and interact with each other online. South Korean theme park Lotte world adventure was opened in the Metaverse in 2021. Users can experience classic attractions such as landmark magic castles and thrill rides in this park.
Metaverse and Cloud Computing
According to my research for understanding the Metaverse, I believe that it will b a boon for cloud computing. To support a virtual reality universe, storage and computing will be used extensively. With performance as the central objective, remote cloud-based computers will be a game-changer.
While some of the infrastructures will be built on private data centers and managed services, most of them will be public cloud providers: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google Cloud Platform are the top contenders. They are providing pay-as-you-go models and also subscription models. As we already know how to build these models, cloud professionals will be highly demanded.
Metaverse can potentially change the world for the better, but it can also overstep its purpose. It can become a tool for predators to commit crimes online and get away from it. It can become a dangerous, unhealthy escape from reality. As we are living in strange times, our need for social interaction is being denied stopping a deadly virus. We are relying on technologies to fill the void. More and more Metaverse applications to various systems are bound to be developed and implemented across the world. It will have a positive impact on the Global Economy and provide a lot of opportunities to people and organizations skilled in metaverse technologies.
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