Updated: Mar 2
"Meta What?" My colleague had asked the first time the topic came up. "Is it a form of Second Life platform type thing? For those who do not know, the 3D platform Second Life, launched in 2003, uses avatars to instigate meetings and socialize with other users. Second Life may still exist, but it is not "the metaverse."
The technological world is kaleidoscopic by nature, and the Metaverse is capitalizing on this fluidity while staying ahead of emerging technology trends. From the eruption of the NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the blockchain stratum to Facebook rebranding to "Meta," and Microsoft also staking a claim, the Metaverse has entered the technological mainstream.
This week, we'll explore this technological trend and how it will affect us, particularly in NFTs.
What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse was coined from the adjunction of the Greek word 'meta,' which means 'beyond,' and the last syllable of 'universe, "verse,' which translates to 'beyond the universe.' Metaverse is a massively scaled blend of various technological elements or a digital "jacked-in" internet, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and video. Users can interact "live" within this digital world or universe. In his nine-part Metaverse Primer, Mathew Ball describes this nascent internet iteration as a "Platform for human leisure, labor, and existence at large" and a "quasi-successor state to the mobile internet."
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the newly named Meta (formerly Facebook), has been bullish on the Metaverse and extolled this novel and cutting-edge innovation.
"The next platform and medium will be more immersive, an embodied internet where you're in the experience, not just looking at it… Screens just don't convey the full range of human expressions and connections, instead of looking at a screen, you are going to be in these experiences," Zuckerberg had said last October after revealing the company's rebranding.
This concept is, in essence, an open standard that integrates interoperability and ubiquity - made possible by the possibility of teleporting. Teleporting? One may ask, "How is that going to work?!"
Let's gain a clearer insight on how all these would be possible - the operability of the Metaverse and how it relates to us.
How does the Metaverse work?
This real-time rendered 3D virtual world is touted to be a game-changer in creating a virtual doppelganger universe that unites people across the globe.
The Metaverse would integrate blockchain technology - for security, AR/VR devices, and Holograms in better-capturing emotions and reactions while synchronously translating them into avatar animations. Big companies like Microsoft, Apple, Sony's PlayStation, Meta (Facebook) Luxury fashion houses like Balenciaga are already making headways in the Metaverse development and adoption.
For Starters, this development would put realistic avatars to use. These avatars will be as familiar as profile pictures, but instead of static images, they will be living hyper-realistic 3D representations of you, your expressions, and your gestures. The metaverse avatars would be very personal and a typical representation of their owners while undergoing any enhancement or customization (hairstyle change, skin toning, make a virtual tattoo) recently experienced by its owner.
Beyond Avatars, there's also a home space, which you can design and finesse according to your taste, invite friends over, or even teleport from (interoperability).
Let's say that our metaverse avatars/holograms are at the forefront of every life experience and that VR/AR transports us to the Metaverse.
In the Metaverse, avatars and other metaverse project components function similarly to SSO credentials online (without the security aspect), granting users access to everything the world offers.
Creators and artists will connect with their audiences in new ways and bring them into these shared experiences. Rather than just the same-old conventional visual effects, new creator capabilities will bolster 3D objects that are highly responsive and pragmatically reactive, including a realistic sense of depth and occlusion. These developments would likely allow NFT projects to appeal to an even broader audience.
Metaverse is truly a revolutionary new technology that offers incredible capabilities to live out anything we want in virtual reality, thanks to 3D avatars. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Metaverse is slowly becoming historic. This prominence is especially with Generations Z'ers and Alpha tapping into its augmented gaming experience.
Depending on which school of thought you subscribe to, it's safe to say the future is expanding beyond anything we can imagine, and soon, the metaverse events won't just be a tool you can use but a necessity.
Imagine a world where your devices won't be the focal point of your attention, still, where your thoughts are reflected in the physical world. Instead of typing or tapping, you're going to be able to gesture with your hands or say a few words, and bingo! The virtual experiences occur! This is the Metaverse!.