Metaverse has become the buzzword that has taken the tech industry by storm. The term ‘Metaverse’ was initially coined by Neal Stephenson’s seminal 1992 cyberpunk novel, Snow Crash. In the book Snow Crash, Metaverse is described as a shared imaginary place for the public available on the internet and projected onto virtual reality goggles. Metaverse gained a lot of traction when Mark Zuckerberg revealed his plans to change Facebook’s company name to Meta.
Metaverse is a theoretical iteration of the internet full of virtual and augmented reality experiences. Many tech leaders have described it as an online world where people can use their digital avatars to work, play, shop, and much more.
People can even interact in multiple ways and do things only possible in the digital world. In its essence, Metaverse is about offering real-world experiences in the digital world.
Why did Facebook rebrand itself to Meta?
Even before Mark announced the rebranding, he was very vocal about changing how people perceived the company. He wanted Facebook to be known not just as a social media company but a Metaverse company.
Facebook has previously spent millions on VR and AR research and has acquired VR companies such as Oculus. But now, the company has fully committed itself to building the Metaverse no matter how many years it will take.
According to Zuckerberg, “Metaverse is a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. You can think of it as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at it. We believe it is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.”
What’s possible in Metaverse?
The metaverse concept is similar to films like Ready Player One, where people use VR headsets to enter the digital world. In Metaverse, you would be able to do amazing things that you couldn’t do before. These include impossible things such as walking on the moon, touring famous landmarks, working in virtual offices, etc.
All of this will be possible from the comfort of your home. Fortunately, a lot of these things are somewhat possible with current VR technology. However, the Metaverse is limited to VR and relates to any real event taking place in the digital world. One famous example is Fortnite’s virtual concerts with notable artists such as Ariana Grande, Marshmello, Travis Scott, etc.
Metaverse will become an intersection point for many technologies such as AR/VR, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, NFTs, cryptocurrency, etc. Its emergence is partly related to Covid-19 as the pandemic pushed everyone at home into their computer and mobile screens.
Many tech companies, starting with Facebook, jumped onto the Metaverse bandwagon to fill the demand for real-world-like interactions in digital spaces. This is great for VR and AR enthusiasts; however, it will take a while for Metaverse to develop fully and be accepted by the general public.
There’s also a chance for all this hype to die out after a few years, just like it has on previous occasions due to the tech industry constantly changing its direction. So let’s wait and see how the Metaverse develops.