What started as merely a wild imagination of Neil Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash in 1992 is becoming a reality today. Metaverse offers us a 3D virtual world where our online avatars can have a parallel life similar to the real world.
It is not just a concept of building a virtual world rather a shift in our interaction with technology. Metaverse is the complete renovation of what the internet looks like today. The virtual world will enable interoperability between different platforms.
The interoperability will be such that you can take your virtual assets from one platform to the other without any hassle. Metaverse in the true sense will be a world where you can enter the virtual office to work and exit from the building to go to a nearby club to party with your friends.
All these will happen without changing the platform, economy or online avatar. Metaverse will be a live and synchronized virtual world available to everyone anytime.
The Current Scenario Of Metaverse
Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and all other big tech companies are running to get a piece of the pie. Facebook has come up with Horizon Workrooms where you can collaborate with your colleagues and work in a virtual office.
Similarly, Microsoft has built Mesh as an upgrade to Microsoft teams. It is a 3D virtual office giving employees a more real office like experience in the digital world.
Along with virtual offices, tech companies and developers are building their own virtual worlds. Decentraland, Sandbox, Fortnite, Axie Infinity and others have their own virtual world. These were originally gaming platforms that expanded their boundaries to enter into metaverse space.
Each platform has its own economy and framework where you can play games, buy real estate and NFTs, attend parties, concerts, fashion shows and much more.
Daler Mehndi has become India’s first singer to perform a concert on Metaverse. On the occasion of India’s 73rd Republic day, Daler Mehndi inaugurated the Indian music industry’s entry to the metaverse. Over 20 million people logged in to be a part of the concert.
Hollywood singers like Ariana Grande, Marshmallow, Travis Scoot and others have already performed in virtual concerts.
After rebranding its name to Meta, the company poured $10 billion into its Reality Labs to develop metaverse technologies, software, VR and AR headsets. The CEO, Mark Zuckerberg believes that VR headsets will become as common as smartphones.
Nivida Omniverse is a platform to connect several 3D virtual worlds to form a shared universe. It is proving helpful for companies to connect with skilled engineers, developers and creators to collaborate for product development.
With so much already happening in the metaverse space, the pandemic was the catalyst to the reaction. The new normal calls for highly advanced technologies to enable virtual offices, classrooms, concerts, exhibitions, webinars, parties and socializing. The pandemic created a demand in the tech industry for more efficient and more real life like interactions.
However, your online avatar cannot attend a meeting in his virtual office in Mesh and go straight to Ariana Grande’s concert in Fortnite. Every platform has its own virtual world which is not joined up yet. A disintegrated metaverse fails its very basic feature of interoperability.
The infrastructure and the technologies we have today cannot support metaverse. We need more advanced VR sets, faster internet, top-notch IoT, AI, VR and 3D reconstruction to enable a more real life-like experience in the metaverse.
Key Technologies That Will Power Advanced Metaverse
The metaverse that you are witnessing today is in its baby stage. For a more advanced metaverse, you will need stellar technologies, cutting-edge AI, IoT and 3D reconstruction and ultrafast internet.
To enable real life-like experience there should not be any lag in your and your avatar’s actions. Any latency in the transmission will not feel real. For zero lags you will need an ultrafast internet connection. Not only the network but also the protocols of the network needs to be more refined keeping the latency in mind.
Jerry Heinz says we need massive data centres and high-speed broadband networks to support metaverse. He also adds that the real challenge is at the foundational levels. He is the co-founder of Ball Metaverse Research Partners.
Here are the top technologies that will assist and empower the development of Metaverse.
Blockchain network is the technology behind metaverse that will build its foundations. It is the technology that enables a secure, transparent and decentralized economy in the virtual world. The interoperability, transfer of digital assets and proof of ownership through NFTs in the metaverse is also possible because of the blockchain technology.
In the coming times, blockchain and metaverse could develop to enable the transfer of cryptocurrencies in the virtual world. People can get actual jobs in the metaverse and get paid in cryptocurrencies.
Moreover, these cryptocurrencies and NFTs enable a decentralized economy in the metaverse enabling people to invest in virtual assets and properties. The best thing is that your investment in the metaverse is safe, real and valuable as in the physical world.
Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality
The combined technology of VR and AR will give us more engaging, interactive and real experiences in the metaverse.
AR amplifies the digital visual elements making it more immersive and more real like the physical world. VR helps to build a digital environment that the users can feel through VR headsets and sensors.
The technologies of AR and VR together will build a virtual world similar to the physical world. What you see today is merely the basic level of technology. As technology advances people in metaverse can get a more refined virtual environment that feels more real. With physical stimulation, you can feel and interact in the virtual world. The amazing thing is that all the actions on the metaverse would feel as if it’s happening in the real world.
For a highly engaging and interactive metaverse experience, companies need to invest in VR and AR equipment.
You do not realize that Artificial Intelligence is all around us. From Alexa to facial recognition software, strategy planning and trading bots, AI is ruling the tech world.
AI can process large chunks of data in less time. It is also capable to receive and react to data with accuracy. When the applications of AI is combined with ML, the algorithms acquire the ability to process data like humans. It can analyse the present data and learn from historical data to give unique outputs.
AI in metaverse can be used to make the virtual world more interactive. It can help develop NPCs into metaverse that will react to their environment. NPCs are non-player characters in the games which responds when the players interact with them. the NPCs react as per the codes and algorithms fed to them.
Similarly, developers are exploring the possibilities of incorporating AI to refine the placement of NPCs in 3D spaces.
NPCs in the virtual world can be used to do a specific task in the virtual world. Moreover, unlike a human user, an NPC can attend to millions of people at the same time. Also according to its program, it can converse in different languages making it easier for people to use it.
To construct a virtual world close to the real world, you need advanced 3D reconstruction software. With the help of this technology, you can build 3D elements in the metaverse like flats, apartments and houses.
Several real estate companies have adopted 3D reconstruction to give their buyers a tour of the flat before buying it. In the coming years, you can see several real estate companies making a replica of their properties in the metaverse. It will help the buyers get a real experience of the property before making a decision. The most fascinating thing would be that you wouldn’t have to step one foot outside of your room to visit properties in future.
3D reconstruction will help to build more realistic and natural-looking digital elements. It can also create virtual replicas of physical objects. The interactive experience on metaverse will become rich and realistic. It will help in building a parallel virtual world that seems closer to reality.
How Long Will It Take To Build A Virtual World?
Considering the massive upgradation the technologies require, a matured metaverse is not possible in near future. However, it is good its development has started and tech companies are dedicated to making it a reality.
We need to revamp the base and build an infrastructure for metaverse to sustain. Metaverse isn’t only limited to games, offices and concerts. Like Narnia, it’s a parallel world running alongside the real world.
A virtual world where real people can have a second life to interact and live as they want. However, it will be as real as the physical world with decentralized crypto and NFT driven economy that has real value in the human world.