Internet technology has continuously evolved and transformed since the time it began, from static websites to the Web 2.0 stage. And now Metaverse comes next in the line of internet advancement level.
Even Though the term “Metaverse” has existed for over a decade, its popularity has recently increased during pandemic situations.
People had to start remote working, attending meetings from home, avoiding in-person meetings, and ultimately adapting to the digital mode of communication.
Due to these situations, the virtual world has seen a rise in AI and its immense possibilities. One is Metaverse, a highly interactive three-dimensional world where people can interact. They do so in the form of avatars, trade properties in the form of digital assets, and experience things. Like being in a different city or flying in the sky even if they are their home.
But there's more to the word “Metaverse,” like how it works. And what makes it different from the present time of internet technology. We will also discuss what it brings to our plates and the benefits soon.
What is Metaverse?
Today, if you'll go on searching for “What is Metaverse?” You'll end up finding countless definitions. But here's the collective meaning you need to know.
The Metaverse word combines two words, “Meta,” which means beyond or after, and “Verse,” which means Universe.
The virtual space solely focused on social connections will merge the physical and digital reality for a better user experience.
You may have heard “Metaverse” in science fiction as a hypothetical version of the Internet. And that it is a universal virtual world where the public can interact with each other. They do so in the form of their digital avatars, trade properties, and conduct business.
This whole world of Metaverse will come into facilitation by using virtual and augmented reality headsets.
Practically, the Metaverse is the introduction of virtual reality to give a brand new experience to the people. It allows them to interact with each other in physical form even if they are miles apart. Further, it also offers a marketplace platform to engage in commercial activity.
Let’s understand with an example
After the COVID-19 pandemic had we realized the importance of socializing, meeting in person, and the benefits of working from the office. All the shopping malls, gatherings, office meetups, and other events — shut off.
Although, with technological advancements, we can attend meetings, work remotely, and interact with our family and friends through audio and video calls. But we missed the essence of each other's presence and working in an office environment, which would have been even more beneficial.
Now imagine you are at your home, but you need to attend a meeting in an office in another country just right at the moment. Can you fly to another country in a minute and be present there? No. But Imagine if you could be there in a meeting sitting with others or giving your presentation physically even when you are in another country.
Yes, this is possible now in Metaverse. All you need is a VR headset to augment reality around you virtually. With technological advancements, Metaverse's virtual world is as close to the real world as you can touch and feel things.
What is the difference between Metaverse and the Internet?
Since the Internet came into existence in 1983, It has been the stepping stone for technological advancements, which have now come to the creation of the Metaverse.
As we know, the Internet is intangible, something we can't see. And that it exists as a network of millions of computers, servers, and other electronic devices. The Internet enables us to share files, communicate, use social media sites, browse websites, perform sales, and buy goods and services. On a larger scale, it is all happening in 2D format.
Metaverse is the next evolution of the Internet in the 3D virtual world, enabling us to see and feel things in virtual reality with the help of VR headsets on our mobiles, desktops, and laptops. However, Metaverse will require a higher speed of the Internet and much more space for downloading the files than is necessary for the Internet.
Metaverse will be famous for various reasons, including business meetings, online communities, gaming, and trading with people in the virtual world in the form of avatars. There will be digital currencies for trading in the form of NFT.
Will the Metaverse replace the Internet?
Short answer? No.
Long answer. Read on!
So, starting with why people are asking whether “Metaverse will replace the Internet or not.” It is probably because we see artificial technology taking a new turn every day and that newer ones are replacing the older ones.
But the question remains intact. Let us explain! “The Internet is a network of servers via which we can communicate and connect with websites. And we require these same networks for Metaverse to exist.”
As we know it, Metaverse will change the way we look at the Internet. As the world is evolving and so is technology, Metaverse will be much more immersive than the Internet, as It will open the endless opportunities of the 3D world compared to the current 2D web environment.
No, It Won't Replace The Internet. But…
There will be much more opportunities and evolved participation among humans. If you like to do shopping but from the comfort of your home, In the world of Metaverse, you can opt for that where you can walk down the store, feel things and buy; all this will happen while you are at home.
While on the Internet, as per the current situation, you can buy things through the catalog given in the app, but you can't see or feel it physically.
Right now, we have Google Meetup, Hangout, Zoom Calls, and many other apps through which we can connect with people visually.
But in Metaverse, one can be physically present and still be at home. One can attend the lectures, consult the doctor at home and probably get to see the surgery to provide comfort and make the decision.
Now the thing is, planning all these technological advancements will take a little more time in terms of expansion to new hardware, internet speed, storage capacity, etc.
The Metaverse is a different corner of the Internet that has evolved from it to improve our experience and quality of life.
In conclusion, Metaverse is in no way competing against the “Internet.” In fact, It acts as the building foundation for Metaverse. People can browse through websites on the Internet, but Metaverse is something where people can live to some extent.
Origin of the Metaverse concept
A 1992 novel “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson mentions the word “Metaverse” for the first time. The story in the novel goes about the pandemic in a dystopian society (recall something?).
In the story, Neal Stephenson described the Metaverse as a computer-generated virtual world where users can interact with each other using personalized avatars. Since then, the Metaverse gets mention in many movies and books, a fully digitalized and automated world.
It was an idea from the world of fiction and movies that finally started taking place in reality with the help of AI. And in the coming future, the Metaverse will be in huge demand due to its near-to-reality experience and another reason people are shifting to web3.0.
What are the purpose and benefits of Metaverse?
Virtual reality has recently gained much popularity due to its unconventional possibilities. Companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Steam, and Oculus have already begun working on their vision of Metaverse for virtual space, games, and VR headsets.
Keep in mind that when we talk about the Metaverse, it's not the doorway to the gaming world only, but the goal is to create the next level of the Internet where people from all age groups can benefit.
The Metaverse's impact on society will be a game-changer compared to our current technology. To our notice, the Internet has progressed from text-based technology to visual media (images and videos). And now it's being traversed into VR and AR for the next level of immersion. Amongst many advancements, Metaverse is purposely designed for:
- Virtual meetings
- Real-time gatherings in games
- Live-streamed events
- Doctor's consultation from our home
- Taking a walk in the park. Or going near the ocean to feel the environment even when you are at home
- Snapchat filters to try the new looks
- Opticals and eyeglass brands to enable trying on glasses virtually
These examples make us even more curious to look up to the Metaverse for all it has to offer us. However, higher user input, new experiences, and better visuals are in demand for all this to come true.
The hype about the Metaverse also signifies that activities performed in separate environments can also be performed in the Metaverse, for example:
- Shopping for outfits and accessories for online avatars
- Purchasing digital land and constructing virtual homes
- Participating in a virtual social experience
- Shopping in virtual stores
- Attending lectures and classes in virtual classrooms
- Buying digital art and assets in the form of NFTs
- Digital human interaction for business interactions, customer service, and onboarding of employees.
So if we see, the Metaverse is not limited to any specific area or activity. However, since it is still in its beginning phase, the Metaverse is set to expand its horizon in wide areas of work and study, advertisements, live interactions, trading and owning properties, and many more unexplored areas.
Benefits of Metaverse
- Minimizing remote work challenges: Metaverse comes with the ability to surpass all the existing challenges of remote working situations. As the Metaverse provides a virtual space for businesses and organizations, it will become easy for managers to interact with employees in-person, read their body language, and go through the presentation. Moreover, problems like improper working hours and any other theft can also be looked after in a virtual office.
- Tools for the Healthcare industry: Doctors and patients are bound to geographical limitations in the healthcare industry. This problem can be tackled easily in the virtual space in the Metaverse.
- Advancements in the business industry: Industries and organizations can deliver a more immersive experience. They don't need the brick-and-mortar store, as the Metaverse will provide the online store and framework.
- Virtual tour experience: While we are at home, we often think of going on a tour. However, this is not always possible for everyone. Metaverse can take you to visit places virtually. Further with the combined technology of AR and VR, you can get close to a real experience.
The purpose and benefit of the Metaverse are closely linked to our evolving environment.
There is much more to Metaverse. We are still on the verge of exploring the possibilities and changes that will come with it. If concluded, Metaverse is a virtual open space created with technological advancements to provide virtually enhanced reality.
The idea behind Metaverse is such that it is physically persistent and provides enhanced immersive experiences. In the current situation, we are in the web 2.0 stage, whereas Metaverse is considered in the web 3.0 stage.
We are moving towards more advanced technology of the internet. Activities are being performed in isolated environments, like shopping, buying properties, and traveling, will now be possible in the Metaverse. In virtual space! People would trade property digitally, using digital currencies, and participate in virtual gatherings also.