The Future of Immersive Metaverse and Goals Behind
If you are Online enough in recent days, you must have run into the term "Metaverse" quite often. Naturally, you became curious if you are not familiar with the concept. Endorsements from the big brands and the steps taken by the tech giants only made you more curious. Now, you might be asking yourself questions like, what exactly is Metaverse? What is the future of an immersive Metaverse experience? What are the aims of such a monumental project? Should you be invested in it or not? If these are your concerns, dread not. We are here to guide you through the whole process of the future of an immersive Metaverse and the goals behind it.
What is Metaverse or Immersive Metaverse?
The Co-founder and CEO of Facebook give us a glimpse of what Metaverse can be when talking about their visions for Metaverse. He said,
"We'll be able to feel present, like we're right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are."
Many of us are still confused about the concept of the Metaverse. For those, Meta means virtual and verse is taken from the end of the Universe. Together they are called Metaverse or Virtual World. You can think of it as a Mirror world where you will have much more control over the decisions. Metaverse is an Augmented Reality where you can feel flawless virtual stories and it will be capable of learning and storing new information about every aspect of life.
What can be the future of an Immersive Metaverse?
Ready or not Metaverse is here to stay. It should not come to us as a surprise as we are seeing the rise of VR technologies along with SaaS developments and Cloud-based development trends. Based on the concept of Metaverse and the way it is progressing, it is safe to assume that the possibility is endless. Metaverse is capable of reaching every aspect of our daily life. According to Statista,
"The global augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) market is forecast to reach 30.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, rising to close to 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2024."
Think, where do businesses advertise? The answer is wherever the customers are. Traditionally, we used to see Ads on flyers, newspapers and TV. But now most of the Ads we run into are on social media platforms. So, what is likely happen when we are starting to synergize with Metaverse? It is going to be like exploring uncharted territory with endless possibilities for businesses in the Metaverse.
Imagine, never having to get stuck in traffic and being late for an important meeting. Yes, this will be a reality with Metaverse. You will finally be able to be as focused as you wanted to be without dealing with unrelated fusses like unexpected incidents on the road or running out of supplies when you need them the most. This instant access is sure to increase productivity greatly.
In the geek world, we jokingly say that "the safest place to hide is on the second page of the google search result page". Though we joke around with the concept but ask yourself when was the last time you went there to look for something? There are billions of search results for a single search query but only a handful is shown to you to serve you best. A similar concept might be true for Metaverse. If you don't see them you will not be able to consider them. It is going to be critical for businesses to have a strong presence inside of realized Metaverse. Progressive businesses are sure to take advantage of the situation before we start integrating with the Metaverse.
How are Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) integrating with Metaverse?
Metaverse is not something unique to Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality. Rather, Metaverse is a beautiful combination of Social media platforms, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), Online Gaming and Blockchain technology. Based on the concept of an Immersive Metaverse, the synergy between the elements will create a place for the users to interact in virtual parallel reality. An element like Augmented reality or AR is going to be responsible for providing sensory responses li
ke vision, sound and even feel. While another element called Virtual Reality (VR) will provide focus on enhancing fictional reality and visual stimulation. Metaverse expert Matthew Ball says,
"The full vision of the Metaverse is decades away. It requires extraordinary technical advancements (we are far from being able to produce shared, persistent simulations that millions of users synchronized in real-time), and perhaps regulatory involvement too. In addition, it will require overhauls in business policies, and changes to consumer behavior."
The truth of the matter is, we do not yet possess the technology we need to create an immersive metaverse. However, it is not slowing down progressive brands and tech giants in their pursuit to get their first. We already have a framework to build on and it is just a matter of time before we actually have it in our grasp.
Facebook, Meta and other existing/new social media in Metaverse:
Metaverse is already trending in recent days and Facebook manages to spread the fever to a new all-time high with their announcement of Meta. The CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg declared in the public Founders Letter,
"From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won't need a Facebook account to use our other services. As our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for."
We are already in the age of Social Media and when the biggest chain of social media platforms declares something like this, a storm is sure to follow. Facebook also talks about reforming the whole concept of connecting people. The new identity Meta aims to take the first step to integrating metaverse with the current social media platforms. Meta will be a stand-alone platform that will be an addition to the existing corresponding brands like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and Facebook itself.
Now, what does it mean for the users? We are used to the concept of having a profile picture on every social platform we go to. What if, instead of a profile picture you get a fully customizable life-like virtual avatar of yourself. Yes, that is what Zuckerberg promised in the Founders Letter as well. Want to communicate with someone? Forget, texting or calling. Invite them directly to your virtual place where you will be able to communicate face to face on Metaverse. This will come equipped with real-time exact facial expressions and body language inputs from the users.
In recent times. It is hard to find someone who never experienced online shopping. With today's technology, we can see the pictures, videos and contents of the item before we make an online purchase. Imagine, being able to have a realistic virtual trial of the item before making the purchase. Lost? Let's see an example to get a better understanding. Gucci already held a virtual exhibition event on Roblox called GucciGarden. They let the users walk around various themed rooms as a mannequin-like avatar whereas Gucci let the users try out virtual clothing and accessories. Imagine, how accurate the details will be when the same thing happens in a life-like metaverse. You will never shop the way you are today. It will be like handpicking your groceries minus the hassle of actually going to the supermarket.
Current Technology and Integration to Metaverse
Though, A fully realized immersive Metaverse is not here yet. But the building blocks are making headways. We have already seen high-end headsets are capable of tricking our eyes into seeing 3D when playing games in a virtual world. This is why Oculus Quest 2 was so popular in 2020. So, the continuous development of VR and AR technologies is going to be a crucial element for the concept of Metaverse.
Next, on our list is another key player called Blockchain Technology. There is a high probability of adopting Blockchain technology in a realized Metaverse. As Blockchain is not bound by a central authority and is trusted among the users, it will boom inside of the Metaverse. Smart contracts can be created to standardize the payment policy which will not be bound by any Central Bank. Experts are baffled by the growth rate of Blockchain technology. Per Statista,
"Forecasts suggest that global blockchain technology revenues will experience massive growth in the coming years, with the market expected to climb to over 39 billion U.S. dollars in size by 2025. The financial sector has been one of the quickest to invest in blockchain, with over 60 percent of the technology's market value concentrated in this field."
Another key aspect can be Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). NFTs can easily provide a reliable system to check ownership of digital goods. they are expected to make a strong presence in Metaverse through property registry. NFTs and Blockchain technologies are already getting adopted by progressive brands to create a solid foundation in the digital world. For example, the partnership between the beer brand Stella Artois and Zed Run. Zed Run is a blockchain technology-powered online platform for breeding, racing and trading NFT horses. In a campaign, Stella Artois auctioned off 50 bundles of branded NFTs. Each bundle came with a digital racehorse and a custom skin for the horse. Stella Artois is known for sponsoring top horse races in real life. They felt that the customers expect them to have a presence in the digital world. They are planning on going heavy into the metaverse with a similar mindset.
Now comes the internet speed issue. How are we supposed to do all these with the limited bandwidth we are getting? How will it integrate into devices like mobile, PCs, Mac, IOS, etc? This is a very big obstacle for the tech companies investing heavily in metaverse research. Although we are hearing good things about 5G technologies. When the world starts adapting to the new standard of internet speed, this issue will be fixed to some extent.
Last on our list but certainly not the least, is the security issues inside metaverse. Data is always sensitive and data privacy is extremely important. People today are very conscious about their data online. We are already struggling to enforce a proper data law with the current level of technology we possess. The stakes will be much higher inside a metaverse as you will be sharing information like brain signals to an AI. We are not even comfortable sharing what is in our minds with the people nearest to us. Intensive research and transparency are required for metaverse to be safe for the users. Proper security protocol must be implemented by the owners of the metaverse. Proper policing technology against malicious data abuse is yet to be invented as well.
As we are reaching the end of today's discussion, what are the take-aways? We are still far from creating an immersive metaverse. Many issues like technology, integration, ease of use, security are yet to be addressed. But it is not stopping tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Roblox, Amazon, NVidia, etc. from intensively researching to make it a reality. Big progressive brands have also joined in on the hype, and we can see a lot of virtual events and sponsorships from them in recent days. It is just a matter of time before we reach there and start adapting to the Metaverse reality. Metaverse will surely be the next and most convenient version of the internet. It is only natural for the people to invest themselves where there is the most benefit. Don't think that Metaverse will just be another part of the digital economy. It has the potential to be its very own quasi-independent economy worldwide. These phenomena are capable of reweaving and reshaping what we call normal today.