Getting to Know the Booming Metaverse

Getting to Know the Booming Metaverse

Faculty of Computer and Engineering – The term “metaverse” is not new, but recently there has been a surge in its popularity and speculation about what it means in practice. The concept of the metaverse is intriguing and likely to be with us for some time. It’s a concept worth understanding, even if you are critical of the future proposed by its advocates.

Terms like “internet” and “cyberspace” have been associated with places we access through screens. They do not fully capture the seamless integration of the internet with virtual reality (such as 3D game worlds or virtual cities) and augmented reality (such as navigation overlays or Pokemon GO). These old terms do not capture the new social connections, real experiences, and economic behaviors that arise with the expansion into this virtual world. For instance, the Grand Plan integrates virtual reflections of our world with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and real estate markets.

“Metaverse,” coined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash,” has a more romantic appeal. Authors have a habit of identifying trends that need naming: “Cyberspace” came from William Gibson’s 1982 novel; “robot” originated from Karel Čapek’s 1920 play.

What can be done in the Metaverse? You can do things like attend virtual concerts, go on online trips, view or create artworks, and try on or purchase digital clothing. The Metaverse can also be a game-changer for remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of seeing colleagues in video call boxes, employees can join them in a virtual office. Facebook has launched a meeting app for companies, called Horizon Workrooms, to be used with its Oculus VR headset.

For those who can afford it, users will be able to move between virtual worlds created by different companies. The idea of a metaverse trend might help us manage our society more productively. Shared standards and protocols that bring different virtual worlds and augmented reality into one open metaverse could help people collaborate and reduce duplicated efforts.

The internet has been very successful in connecting people worldwide and serves as a modern Library of Alexandria, storing vast amounts of knowledge. However, it has also increased the privatization of public spaces, invited advertising into every corner of our lives, tied us to a handful of giant companies stronger than many nations, and caused the virtual world to consume the physical world through environmental destruction.

The core idea of the metaverse, by shifting more of our lives to common platforms, extends these issues to a deeper level.




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