Tag Archives: internet

The Metaverse – What is it?

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

James Wire
Business and Technology Consultant
Blog: https://wirejames.com

Stifling Economic Progress – Uganda can do better

Stifling is defined as, making one feel constrained or oppressed. Other terms for it are: Suffocating, Stagnant, Breathless, Unventilated and Confined. Today, I could say, “The Government of Uganda is stifling the basic survival of its economically active population.”

It is a known fact that jobs are hard to come by in this country and people have been encouraged to seek opportunities through self employment. Never mind the fact that those parroting this talk are belching daily on unfairly spent tax payers money.

As a business owner, for the last 21 years I have always encouraged my staff to set up alternative income generating ventures to insulate themselves from the very unpredictable economic environment we face as a nation. I am sure what I am talking about is best appreciated or understood by those who either are lacking jobs, self employed or have been hit by job loss. For a regular salaried and pensionable person, you could as well take this as a rant of frustration.

The growth of technology especially the internet has helped open up numerous avenues to facilitate multitudes of Ugandans get economically active. What the likes of WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have done to revolutionise the business setup of this economy can never be underestimated. We might have kicked off using social media for gossip but that is no longer the case.

Social media has become a business highway for the many micro entrepreneurs trying to earn in order to fulfil their dreams. Many are buying and selling simple items like shoes, clothes, food, household items, spare parts, among others using social media. Others are selling services like writing articles/blogs, marketing, offering counselling, business support, monitoring, proposal writing, managing payments etc. The list is endless.

The nation might have been faced with a security threat that necessitated some level of drastic actions to avert but not to the extent of shutting down the internet in its entirety like it was done on the 13th of January 2021, a day to the nationwide elections.

You do not seal yourself in a vacuum just because you don’t want to breathe in toxic air. While there was a concern by the powers that be whose priority was regime preservation, it shouldn’t come at the cost of impoverishing the rest of society. Many of us do not earn regular salaries and our income on a daily basis is what makes us exist.

A colleague that I once worked with currently running an online electronics sales platform called me up two days back and his tone was way unlike him. It had this defeatist feel about it and when he told me how the internet shutdown due to elections had grossly affected him, I could feel it. He then asked me what organisations like The Internet Society of Uganda, The ICT Association of Uganda, National Information Technology Authority – Uganda have to say about this.

No sooner had I got off the call, than two others I know shared their frustration of believing in Uganda as their place of choice to chase their dreams of technological revolution. I nearly cried because I have been through this kind of frustration before and seeing it recur is simply a pointer to a gross sad state of affairs.

We are reeling from the effects of Covid-19 that have greatly diminished our incomes. As we mutate with the hope of guaranteeing our survival, those meant to steer the ship called Uganda are simply out of touch with reality. They may be able to comfortably pay school fees for their children anywhere in the world but that doesn’t mean that we all can even pay school fees with ease in local neighbourhood schools. Some people can’t even pay rent, let alone feed families simply because an income of a paltry UGX 20,000/= daily has been put to a halt.

For a fully fledged minister to come up and start threatening Ugandans using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) with arrest is simply a sign of a thought process in limbo. Hon. Peter Ogwang, as the State Minister for the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, you have alot on your hands than run around like Tom chasing Jerry in the cartoon Tom & Jerry.

People simply want to survive, that’s why they use the VPN. Unfortunately some quarters are obsessed with viewing the VPN from political lenses while the majority of us are viewing it with economic lenses. Allow us breathe.

In my mother tongue, Lunyole, we have a saying that loosely translates to; When you press the nose hard enough, it ends up bleeding. Don’t make us bleed. Enough is enough. Allow us fend for our families the best way we can, after all, the responsibility of promoting business growth among the locals has been discarded in preference for foreigners.

Time is usually the best teacher. Repressive moves especially when misguided have a way of bouncing back to the sender. We all need a country that makes us happy and proud of being a part of it.

God Bless Uganda. I Love Uganda. For God and my country.

James Wire

Technology and Business Consultant

Twitter – @wirejames 

Email – lunghabo [at] gmail.com

The Wire Perspective – http://wirejames.com