What is Metaverse? Will Metaverse be successful?

The term ‘Metaverse’ is made up of two words ‘meta’ – a Greek word that means beyond and ‘verse’ – which comes from the word Universe. So basically it means, a world beyond the Universe. This word is used to refer to an artificial world.

What is Metaverse?

But anyway, Metaverse means an artificially created Universe. The internet can also be said to be a distinct universe, but when you go on the internet, it is mostly limited to a 2-D dimension world. Whether you are using your phone for operating apps or a computer for productivity, these are 2D screens.

But when Metaverse is talked about, it would be the world you can be completely inside it, in a 3rd dimension. Like when you watch a film, you wouldn’t be watching the film merely as a viewer. Instead, you would experience being in the film.

For example, you’re watching the American Independence event, you wouldn’t see the photo or video of it. Instead, you feel like you are sitting in the audience and watching John Adams addressing the Declaration of Independence. Or when you watch a cricket match on the television, it is 2 dimensions, but technically, if we use virtual reality, then you would get a 360-degree experience of watching the cricket match around you. It’ll try to create an experience that would make you feel as if you are present in the stadium.

Origin of Metaverse

The word ‘Metaverse’ was first used in the year 1992, in the science fiction book Snow Crash. The book is written by Neal Stephenson. In his novel, he talked about a dystopian world, where real-life has been destroyed, the outdoors wasn’t livable for humans anymore. So everyone lives confined to their buildings and rooms and spends their life in virtual reality. That virtual reality or the artificial world was referred to as Metaverse by him. And he showed metaverse in a negative light.

Also Read: Conclusion Of Technology During Lockdown

Metaverse to limelight

Metaverse was the most trending topic after Facebook decided to change its name to ‘Meta’ saying that they want to adopt the Metaverse. That they want to expand from being a social media company to a Metaverse company. And Mark Zukerberg defined the Metaverse in this manner:

“And you’re gonna be able to do almost anything you can imagine. Get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create, as well as entirely new categories that don’t fit how we think about computers and phones today.”

– Mark Zuckerberg, ceo, facebook

One thing is absolutely clear, the more you spend time in the Metaverse, the more data they would be able to collect on you and the more they earn.

Let’s see how the Metaverse is created

Various technologies are used here, to create the Metaverse.

1) Virtual Reality

This technology does already exists today. But to use this, you have to wear these heavy headsets. As claimed by many users, if you have them for more than a particular period, they start causing headaches, and motion sickness.

On top of it, the things that you can see in virtual reality now, the level of technology that we have today, is quite poor. The quality of animation that you see in these virtual reality games, the videos that you can see on there. Although it is something that would improve with time. It is also being hoped that these heavy headsets with the new technology equipped, would keep getting smaller and slimmer, and eventually, they’d be the size of normal glasses. If it gets as smaller as glasses then it would be easy for wearing and taking it off. Whether this would be possible, time will tell. 

2) Augmented Reality

It would mean that some artificial elements mixed with our real world. It wouldn’t be a complete Virtual Reality. An excellent example of it is the Pokémon GO mobile game. On it, you can use the smartphone to look at the real world around you, but when you look at it through the smartphone, you can see the artificial Pokémons in there. It seems like they mixed in the real world around you.

Another good example of it is the Google Glass which was released once upon a time. Remember? A product that was released and taken back without people finding out about it. But Google Glass had a huge hype around 2013-14. A type of glasses with which you could add virtual elements in the real world. When you look at the road in front of you, you can have a map at the corner of the glasses, you could take to someone through the camera, while looking in front of you, even while walking. But eventually, it lack privacy and got failed.

5G and High-Speed Internet required

Apart from this, having 5G technology in the metaverse is also talked about. If we’re to create a huge virtual world, we’d need to constantly upload and download a huge amount of data, for this, we’d need extremely high internet speeds. We’d need 5G. 

Role of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in Metaverse

Additionally, Blockchains and cryptocurrencies are also mentioned for the metaverse. When money would be spent to buy anything in the metaverse, the can’t be real money, of course, because everything is digital. So there would be a need for digital currency. This is where Cryptocurrencies play an important role. And because there’s a large number of transactions constantly, they’d need to keep secure. There would be a threat of hackers or the threat of data breaches too. To keep these secure, Blockchains might be used.  

Role of NFT in Metaverse

Apart from it, if you want to buy a land plot in the Metaverse, or some other property, or any asset in the metaverse, how should that be accomplished? It is said that it’ll be accomplished through NFTs. Non Fungible Tokens (NFT), is a token, that exists on the blockchain, and can prove the ownership of any digital asset. How would you prove that you own a particular digital land in the metaverse? An NFT will prove it. Nowadays, it is being used to buy or sell the ownership of memes. NFTs can be used to verify the tickets to a concert also. If someone holds a virtual concert in the metaverse, it is something that some singers have already done it.

Virtual reality concerts are the concept. In it, they get up on a digital stage and perform, and you see them as animated figures and see them perform. It can be used there as well. Last year in September, singer Arianna did this by virtually performing in Fortnite. 

Estimation of Metaverse to be successful?

Although all these technologies exist individually on a basic level, combining them, and creating a true metaverse will take a lot of time.

Mark Zuckerberg estimates that it would take about 5 to 10 years, for the key features of Metaverse to become a part of the mainstream. Several experts believe that it would take decades before something akin to the metaverse could become so popular, that majority of people would be using it.

Will Metaverse be successful?

Many people believe that metaverse is inevitable. It is bound to happen someday. The next thing after the internet would be the Metaverse. But a critical question arises here, will this metaverse be successful? Is there a demand for it? Does anyone want it? And it is a very interesting question. Because if you look at the technologies like Google Glass, there were a lot of efforts put into making it popular around 2014. Many celebrities went around wearing it, it was handed out to influencers, people made tech reviews of it, showing how cool they were.

But eventually, the Google Glass was a flop. There were many reasons for the lack of response. One of the reasons was that they had a battery life of 3 hours only. And another was the privacy concern due to the inbuilt camera. Instead of using Google Glass, an individual may use  Google Maps for navigation through smartphone or video call features to get connect with friends. In short, they didn’t have any feature that the people truly needed.

Something similar can be said about the Metaverse too. It is very cool to try it for the first time, seeing how you can sit in a 3D virtual environment and communicate with others, having 3D meetings, but realistically, why would you go through so much trouble? Everyone needs to put on the glasses, and call everyone else on the 3D setup. It is rather easier to simply take out the phone and get on a normal video call. It is much easier to do so. Who would go through with preparing for all of it? It’s the same thing as meeting up with friends, You can meet them actually in real life, but even if you want to meet virtually, have a video call with them, or talk to them via messaging. Is there something extra this special 3D world offer?

The technology that is the most popular among people, is the easiest to use. And provides a clear benefit to the user. If that’s not the case, then it would be very difficult for technology to become mainstream. Another example of it was the 3D glasses. There was a time when 3D became the trend. Every other film that was released was in 3D, there are many released now as well, but the time when 3D TVs were very popular too. People wanted to have a 3D TV in their homes.

It sounds very cool, to have a 3D TV. But realistically, it was bothersome, to put on glasses for watching TV. No one wants to put in so much effort. Things should be kept simple. Only the simple things would be successful. If you have the simple option of simply turning on the TV to watch it, you wouldn’t care about 3D. Additionally eye strain and headache while wearing the 3D glasses is another case.

The most important point of criticism is perhaps more significant, Do we want to distance ourselves from real life so much that we forget how to live reality? That we spend all our lives in this fake artificial world. If this virtual world becomes so addictive and immersive, somewhere or the other, people will stop worrying about the real world. It is truly dystopian and will be very depressing. 

Data and Privacy Theft by Facebook’s Metaverse

The last point is specific to Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. The threat to privacy and data theft. You are tracked on Facebook by all possible means. The exact pixel you click, the content that you like, the accounts you follow, based on it, you are shown similar content. This creates bubbles. You remain in your bubble. You are shown only the things that you like. Because of this, what eventually happens is that we witness stress and even riots in the real world. Polarisation of people takes place.

One Man or Company will Rule the World

And because Mark Zuckerberg talks about creating the metaverse, this same thing will increase 10 or 100 times. Because they want you to work in the metaverse, talk to your friends, every movement would be tracked. Each word that you utter, they will track it to sell ads. You will be shown things that you like.

You can imagine the same thing on a much bigger scale. think how dangerous it would be. On top of it, when such a virtual world is being created, a new type of universe, by one company. Think how the owner of that universe would be Mark Zuckerberg. In the real world, there is no such owner at least.

Mark Zuckerberg would become the literal God of the metaverse if he gets control over everything. If the metaverse truly becomes successful, suppose 60% of the world’s population starts using it, and they start doing everything in the metaverse, think about the level of power with that one person or company, that would own the majority shares in the metaverse. It is very unethical and highly dangerous. 

What is your opinion on the metaverse? Will you be part of the metaverse if it becomes successful? Do share your opinion in the comment and feedback about this article.

Founder and Chief Editor of Network Herald. A passionate Blogger, Content Writer from Mumbai. Loves to cover every current affair in terms of technology. He writes about the how-to guides, tips and tricks, top list articles.

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