Facebook announced yesterday that it will employ 10,000 people in Europe to develop the so-called “metaverse”, otherwise considered the future of the Internet, according to the BBC.
What exactly is metaverse?
To a stranger, it may seem like a manipulated version of Virtual Reality (VR), but some people think metaverse could be the future of the internet.
In fact, it is believed that metaverse will be for virtual reality what currently represents the smartphone for the first bizarre mobile phones of the ’80s.
Instead of being on a computer, in metaverse you can use a headset to access a virtual world that connects all kinds of digital environments.
Unlike the current virtual reality, which is mainly used for games, this virtual world can be used for almost anything, for work, games, concerts, trips to the cinema, or just to go out.
Most people imagine that you would have a 3D avatar, a representation of yourself while using it. But since it is still just an idea, there is no single definition for metaversen.
However, there is tremendous meta-enthusiasm among wealthy investors and big tech companies and no one wants to be left behind if it turns out to be the future of the internet.
Why is Facebook involved?
Facebook has made building metaverse one of its top priorities. He has invested heavily in virtual reality through Oculus headphones making them cheaper than rivals, perhaps even at a loss, according to some analysts.
It is also building VR applications for society and the workplace, including those that interact with the real world.
Who else is interested in metaverse?
Sweeney, head of Epic Games (which produces Fortnite), has spoken at length about his metaverse aspirations.
Multiplayer online games have shared interactive worlds for decades. They are not metavers, but they have some ideas in common.
Other games are also approaching a meta-concept.
Roblox, for example, is a platform for thousands of individual games linked to the largest ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Unity, a 3D development platform, is investing in “digital twins”, digital copies of the real world, while graphics company Nvidia is building Omniverse, which it describes as a platform for connecting 3D virtual worlds.
So everything has to do with games?
Jo! While there are so many ideas of what can be meta-intrusive, most views see human social interaction as the essence of action.
Facebook, for example, has launched a VR dating app called Workplace and a social space called Horizons, both of which use their own virtual avatar systems.
Does technology still exist?
VR has come a long way in recent years, with high-end headphones that can stimulate the human eye to see in 3D as the player moves through a virtual world.
An explosion of interest in NFTs, which could provide a way to reliably find ownership of digital assets, could show how a virtual economy would work.
And more advanced digital worlds will need better, more stable and more mobile connectivity, something that can be solved with the launch of 5G.
For now, however, everything is in the early stages.
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