Perhaps you’ve come across the word Metaverse unless you have been living under a rock these past several months.

Metaverse is a word being used and mentioned to describe the next iteration of the virtual and digital era. However, what exactly is the Metaverse?

Well, imagine a virtual world where people interact, shop, work, and live with others. All of these are done from the comfort of their chair or bed in the physical world. This is the Metaverse.

People consider the Metaverse the next evolution of the internet. It will take a lot of forms. This includes business meetings, online communities, and gaming.

It’s a place where people collaborate through an avatar or digital facsimile of themselves.

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse combines two ideas that have been around for many years – digital second life and virtual reality.

The popularity of Metaverse skyrocketed after Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO, revealed that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta.

Mark also spent around $10 billion on the Metaverse. He also virtually streamed this announcement at the Connect conference on October 28, 2021.

The Metaverse has sort of been around for several years now, especially if you strip it down to the essentials.

Second Life was the predecessor of the Metaverse. It’s an online virtual social platform released in 2003.

In Second Life, people can create avatars to socialize with other people. They can also sell and purchase virtual items from each other. This includes property, clothes, and more.

What’s the Origin of the Metaverse?

The word “Metaverse” is simply a combination of two words “meta” and “verse”.

The word “meta” is a Greek word. It’s a prefix that means beyond. On the other hand, the word “verse” is generated from the word “universe”.

The word “Metaverse” was first used in 1992 when Neal Stephenson released a novel called “Snow Crash”. He presented the Metaverse as the ultimate evolution of the internet in the book.

He describes it as a type of virtual reality where people can have virtual interaction that can have a direct influence on the real world as well.

The book sums up what the Metaverse is quite well. It is a physically permanent virtual space where there are gaming, digital social interactions, and virtual avatars among a lot of unique things that people associate with metaverse today.

Since the book’s release, a couple of other books, TV shows, and movies have dabbled with the idea to varying degrees.

The common concept in all is that the Metaverse is a virtual reality where people can do every single thing they do in real life. This depends on the advancement of technology.

When Will the Metaverse Arrive?

As Zuckerberg explained, the Metaverse technology is years away from being realized. However, he believes that the Metaverse will be completely available by the end of the decade.

The current technology and infrastructure are already excellent. However, they’ll need to develop further to support the Metaverse world that professionals expect.

According to an interview in November 2021 with Forbes, Nigel Green, founder, and CEO of deVere said that Facebook will hire around 10,000 people in the European Union to develop the Metaverse on a platform called Horizon World.

Is the Metaverse Important?

Believe it or not, the popularity of the Metaverse didn’t start with Zuckerberg’s interest in virtual reality.

Instead, it’s influenced by a huge variety of factors. A lot of people are getting more and more interested in avatar-based social gaming platforms.

In addition to that, the pandemic has driven people to look for new forms of real-time engagement. Furthermore, tech giants such as Meta, Google, Amazon, and Apple are all on the lookout for the next big thing after the smartphone.

Who Will Greatly Benefit from the Metaverse?

Remember that you’ll need AR glasses or VR headsets to access the Metaverse.

Thus, the companies that produce future VR and AR headsets are well-positioned to benefit from the metaverse. There’s a huge possibility that they will also enforce laws on it.

What About Mental Health, Privacy, and Security?

YouTube, Facebook, and other social media channels have been criticized for how they manage privacy concerns and misinformation, as well as how they influence the mental health of their users.

Unfortunately, all of these issues won’t go away in the Metaverse. However, they’ll very likely be dealt with in a completely different approach.

Hiring hundreds of thousands of moderators might not be the ideal way to prevent harassment and hatred in real-time contexts.

Also, geographical data gathered by headsets surveying the living rooms of the users produce a new set of privacy issues.

For both authorities and industry insiders, keeping these problems in mind from the beginning is crucial.

Facebook Metaverse

According to Facebook, the Metaverse is a set of virtual worlds where you can explore and create with other users who are not in the same physical space as you.

According to Zuckerberg, the Metaverse is the next chapter of the internet. He also claims that you can do almost anything you can imagine in the Metaverse.

This includes getting together with family and friends, creating, shopping, playing, learning, working, as well as totally new experiences that do not really fit how we think about phones or computers today.

In this world, you can instantly teleport holograms. You can visit anywhere you like.

New economic systems, based on NFTs and cryptocurrencies, will allow people to sell and purchase services and goods in the Metaverse.

What Will Happen in the Future?

Whether the Metaverse takes a century or a decade to develop, immersive hardware will greatly play a huge part in popularizing it.

Because of this, the race to produce AR glasses amongst Microsoft, Snap, Apple, and Meta is extremely vital.

The company that wins this competition won’t win the metaverse. However, they will have a huge home-field advantage for years to come.

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