Talk is making the rounds of something called the Metaverse. This was fuelled further when Facebook rebranded to Meta as its new identity.
Many that have heard of the Metaverse hardly know about it and are filled with scattered illusions of what it is. In this article, I take time to introduce you to the Metaverse.
Communication has evolved among humans and if one goes down memory lane, we started off with merely shouting and talking to one another, then got to using drums to convey messages across villages with different sounds denoting different expectations. The beat on the drum calling for celebration was different from one calling for war. We graduated through various modes until computers came into being.
The entry of computers led to the creation of the internet. This started off with basic exchange of text which with the entry of phones and cameras led to a more visual internet. The improvements in connectivity propelled video to the forefront. I recall at the turn of this century connectivity was such a luxury that one could hardly watch a video online. Today, it is the norm. We have migrated from Desktop to Web to Phones and from Text to Photos to Video. If you thought we had reached the end of the line, you are wrong.
Already the digital space is becoming a crucial piece of our lives than ever before. Many wake up to read Whatsapp messages, check out Twitter and Facebook or even pass their free time on Instagram and Pinterest. Teenagers are mad with Discord (I know you are wondering what this is), online meetings and studies through Zoom have become the norm. Contracts are being sealed online. Work is being done remotely but delivered in real time, entertainment has gone online etc.
Human as we are, we always want more. We can be able to experience the internet much more than it offers us currently and this has defined the next generation which is being called the Metaverse.
The Metaverse is a digital space inhabited by digital representations of people, places and things. It is a new version or vision of the internet. The metaverse is a place that eventually we are able to get into in order to work, communicate and share with others. It is an internet we can interact with like we do physically.
Simply put, a Metaverse is a digital space represented by digital representations of people, places, and things. In other words, it’s a “digital world” with real people represented by digital objects.
Imagine the following being done remotely within a 3D environment:
1 – Attending a class with students from all over the world where you interact with them the way you have always done in your physical classrooms. You sit together, turn and chat and even check out what your colleague is writing in their notebook while the lecture is ongoing.
2 – Gathering with your long time buddies to watch a premier league match of your favourite teams at midnight without leaving your homes.
3 – Creating your online house or office and designing it the way you feel best. You even have the ability to protect it from illegal intrusion and only invited people access it.
4 – You dress the ideal way you like from head to toe.
5 – You plan to import a car from Japan and want to first have a feel of it or inspect it inside out before paying for it.
6 – Your child is presenting a very important paper at a university miles away and you get to be part of the audience attending with the possibility of giving him/her a pep talk just before they kick off.
7 – You want to monitor your farm and be sure work is going on as planned hence the need to walk through with the farm manager
8 – You are a tour operator and offer visits to the game parks to check out the rare animals like the Mountain Gorillas.
9 – You set up a shop that sells your merchandise and interested clients can even touch and feel the products.
10 – You want to run your own TV show without having to rely on the traditional media companies.
11 – You want to check on your parents that are far distanced from you and establish how they are actually doing.
12 – A company holds job interviews
13 – Innovation hubs having online offices for their innovators
On this list, add all the things you engage in currently physically and I guarantee you as sure as night follows day, the metaverse is leading us there to do the same digitally. You won’t only stare at the screen like you do now but also be inside all your online experiences like shopping, playing games, chatting, fighting, debating, pursuing your documentation from a government agency etc.
Then you ask, what equipment do I need to access the metaverse?
You already have the internet.
You already have data connections
You already have a computer or phone
Add Virtual Reality headsets or Augmented Reality glasses depending on what you plan to engage in.
The full range of what you need is likely to keep changing as new uses of the metaverse are implemented. Take the example of the need to exercise sensory feelings. You might want to buy a particular shirt online but want to be sure that it has the kind of texture you desire. Using additional gadgets like specialised hand gloves that are Augmented Reality compliant, you will be able to achieve your need.
Still confused? Fear not. The journey of comprehending the metaverse has just begun. We do not even know the full extent of its possibilities. In subsequent articles, I hope to shed light on more areas like your digital personality called an Avatar, how you will purchase real estate in the metaverse, the emergence of crypto-currencies as the preferred choice for trade on the metaverse and many more.
What questions or propositions do you have? Feel free to share