The Metaverse is a 3D virtual world where people can interact and perform all kinds of activities, from work and shopping to leisure, using personalized avatars. Although the concept is considered “the next chapter of the Internet”, the idea of developing immersive virtual environments is not new, and in the 2000s he was already considered for games such as Habbo and Second Life. was Nonetheless, when Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta, and revealed that the company’s main goal from then on was to build the Metaverse, the term was announced by 2021. It became popular only in 1999.
But Meta isn’t the only company interested in developing 3D universes. Big technology companies such as Microsoft and Roblox are also investing heavily to acquire pieces of this next phase of the World Wide Web. In the next line, Techidence explains in detail what it is and how the metaverse works. This will let you learn all about the virtual universe that promises to be the future of the Internet.
However, it cannot be said that the metaverse proposed by large companies will become a reality. Many other technologies need to evolve in order to develop the vision. See below for details.
- What is the Metaverse?
- When was the metaverse born?
- How does the metaverse work and what can it do?
- How to enter the Metaverse?
- Do I need glasses to use the Metaverse?
- What is the relationship between the Metaverse and the NFT and cryptocurrency markets?
- How to buy land in the metaverse?
- What companies are investing in the Metaverse?
- Is the Metaverse the future of the internet?
1. What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a virtual universe where people can interact with each other through personalized avatars. It is a kind of immersive 3D internet, conceived where communication, leisure and business exist in an interoperable way. It’s a parallel world to the physical world we live in. Several other technologies are involved in the operation of the Metaverse, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and cryptocurrencies.
2. When was the Metaverse born?
It became popular in 2021, but when Facebook changed its name to Meta, the term Metaverse first appeared in the science fiction book “Snow Crash” published by American author Neal Stephenson in 1992. bottom. In this book, characters use the digital world to escape a dystopian reality.
Outside of the book, the concept is also not new. The idea of this 3D universe was already being explored in games before the theme became so compelling. This is the case for the games Second Life and Habbo. Both found success in his 2000s by offering immersive experiences in virtual worlds.
3. How does the metaverse work and what can I do in it?
In the press release announcing the move from Facebook to Meta, Mark Zuckerberg explained what the Metaverse will enable:
“You can get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create, and pretty much anything you can imagine. You can have a whole new experience that doesn’t apply to you,” said the executive.
Zuckerberg’s speech reveals that the Metaverse will be an environment where users can recreate their lives in the physical world, including everyday activities like going to church. This is already happening in Brazil. The Baptist Church of Lagoinha was the first church to join the platform and host an online service called LagoVerso.
Companies are also looking to ensure their participation in the digital universe. In March 2022, the first Metaverse Fashion Week will be held. At the event, brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana presented his 3D fashion show, offering an immersive shopping experience with 2D products. The idea was to do a kind of test drive between the world of fashion and the metaverse.
4. How to enter the metaverse?
Conceived by Meta, the Metaverse is still in development, but other platforms already let you enter immersive 3D environments. This is the case for Second Life games that follow suggestions very similar to Mark Zuckerberg’s ideas. Created in 2003, the game is meant to be an extension of the real world, allowing you to go to the movies, join a music club, and do other activities aimed at socializing between users. .
There’s also The Sandbox, a multiplayer game with a strong focus on crafting and exploration, very similar to Minecraft. There you can buy land and create buildings, mazes and other types of constructions. The difference between the platforms is that each has its own token called his SAND. Used in any kind of negotiation between users in the 3D universe.
Another way to have an immersive experience is Decentraland. Founded in 2017, the platform is considered the largest metaverse project today and is accessible through a web browser. Decentraland is hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, so its economy is powered by this cryptocurrency. Users can also invest in her NFTs and buy land.
5. Do I need glasses to use the Metaverse?
You don’t need to have virtual reality glasses to explore and interact with the metaverse, but equipment can help improve the user experience. Wearing glasses makes you feel as if you are in a virtual environment, giving you a deeper sense of immersion.
By the way, it’s important to point out that the metaverse and virtual reality are not synonymous. Virtual reality is the art of creating a simulation of an environment using a computer system to imitate reality and “fool” the human senses.
Metaverse, on the other hand, is a unified virtual space where people can connect. Virtual reality enables and enhances experiences in the metaverse. It’s part of the digital universe, but not all of it. Building the metaverse relies on many other technologies, such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
6. What is the relationship between the Metaverse and the NFT and cryptocurrency markets?
NFTs are a type of digital certificate established via blockchain that give uniqueness and uniqueness to digital assets. The acronym comes from “Non-fungible Token”. The metaverse can use NFTs to provide users with controlled access to various platforms. They are therefore the key to entry and passage into the virtual universe.
Blockchain-based games such as The Sandbox use NFTs extensively. In this game, players use non-fungible tokens to sell, for example, virtual real estate to other players. The metaverse allows users to perform this type of transaction and other types of transactions.
Imagine you have an avatar in the metaverse and want to use your free time to watch movies. Then go to the cinema and buy movie tickets. After the movie, I go to the bookstore and buy a book. Tickets, like books and other items, are paid for in cryptocurrencies.
7. How to buy land in the metaverse?
Metaverse lands are virtual lands. Platforms that facilitate immersive 3D experiences allow users to purchase pieces of the environment to build whatever they want, as long as they stay within the standards set by the company. The space is completely virtual and hosted on the blockchain, making it an NFT.
Just like in real life, land in the metaverse is subject to real estate speculation. This is why many users are starting to invest in virtual land. Brands are also keeping an eye on the land. For them, buying a plot in the Metaverse also means buying advertising space, much like social networks do today.
To buy land in the Metaverse, you need to create a virtual wallet and buy cryptocurrencies. The most common ones are Ethereum (ETH), MANA, and SAND (a sandbox cryptocurrency). First, it’s important to note the currencies accepted by your platform of choice.
Once this is done, simply visit the respective marketplace, select the lot you wish to buy, register your digital wallet, and purchase. The games Decentraland and The Sandbox have marketplaces where you can buy virtual land directly from the platform.
8. What companies are investing in the metaverse?
Various companies have invested in the Metaverse. For example, Facebook’s change of name to Meta indicates that building virtual worlds is the company’s main future goal. The company had already announced a US$50 million investment to build a “holistic and empowering” technology focused on the metaverse.
However, it’s important to note that the Metaverse is not a Meta-specific project. For example, Microsoft announced that it is working on Microsoft Mesh. The digital universe integrates with the manufacturer’s other products, including Microsoft Teams. The idea is to allow the user to join virtual meetings with her 3D avatar.
Roblox, Epic Games, NVIDIA, and Decentraland are just a few names among the tech giants investing to play a major role in what is being called the “next stage of the Internet.”
9. Is the Metaverse the future of the Internet?
Many technologies will need to evolve to make the metaverse idea a reality. For example, 5G internet must be made more accessible, as 4G connectivity cannot sustain the data flow of virtual and augmented reality platforms accessed by a large number of users simultaneously. Similarly, home PCs need to have greater computing power so that everyone can access the metaverse.
The key point, however, concerns the binomial of privacy and security. Experts fear that devices used to connect the real world to the Metaverse, similar to mobile phones, collect data from users and help Meta and other large corporations misuse this information. doing.
For example, the Meta Quest Pro virtual reality headset is already known to use cameras to estimate the user’s gaze direction and “personalize the experience.” Meta said the goal is to improve the device user’s experience, but the technology could also be used to customize advertising within the Metaverse. It’s worth noting that the company has been involved in several privacy scandals. The most famous is Cambridge Analytica, which also influences election campaigns.
So the Metaverse has the potential to be the “next chapter of the Internet”, but I don’t know if it will ever become a reality. If so, it will only happen in the next few years when the technologies needed to develop virtual universes become more mature and accessible.
It’s also worth mentioning that the changes brought about by the metaverse will require greater preparation by the market, consumers, and investors. No matter how much new possibilities and capabilities this virtual universe opens up, it will never replace the real world.