One of the latest buzz words in the tech industry is metaverse where everybody wants to join the bandwagon. The name of Facebook was changed to ‘Meta’ from Metaverse thereby generating an interest in the market. Yet, many are still unclear on what the idea represents. Is it just another name for augmented reality, or a different virtual universe altogether where people can connect?
What is the origin of “Metaverse”?
The word “metaverse” was first used in Snow Crash, a dystopian science fiction novel by famous author Neil Stephenson published in 1992 where it is used to portray a continuous, shared 3D virtual universe with easy teleportation.
The concept of a shared virtual universe has been also explored in video games such as World of Warcraft, Minecraft etc. where players interact with one another with gameplay. The gameplay experience of such games is getting more and more ‘real’ as the gaming technology, system processing power, and graphic quality improves.
So, metaverse is the rebranded virtual reality?
Metaverse today is a place where virtual, physical and augmented realities converge to provide a ‘real’ experience in the online world in different areas of life such as professional work, education, shopping etc.
Why is the metaverse important ?
Metaverse as an idea has matured from just being limited to the tech industry and is now being implemented across various industries and aspects of life.
Virtual Spaces and the Metaverse:
Covid has forced companies to transform from physical working spaces into remote work. The improved employee satisfaction of remote work has made many corporate houses realize about the time and money their employees were wasting in commuting and renting. Thus, many companies have decided to go permanently remote or a hybrid structure. This transformation has been aided by metaverse technology which provides a virtual office space and saves the employees from attending the cumbersome video calls in front of their system the whole day.
You can dress as you like, attend virtual conference rooms for quick meetings, take guidance from your seniors, and interact freely with office colleagues, thereby experiencing all the benefits of a physical office space without leaving the comfort of your home. Corporate such as Microsoft are planning to move their virtual meetings to a virtual reality space.
Educating in the Metaverse:
Higher education in the world was already facing a challenge due to high debt and expensive loans. Augmented reality apps in education this has led to decline in millennia’s opting for major courses and premier colleges and preferring specialized courses. Covid has accelerated the decline as it forced the education institutions to go virtual. Now, many ed-tech companies and institutions are adopting online courses and offering complete distance learning programs. Such programs are aided by the metaverse technology.
You can visit the ‘rooms’ of the professors for queries, collaborate with batch mates, visit labs and virtual classrooms and get a complete comprehensive university experience in an online education program.
Metaverse Shopping Platform
An augmented reality in retail experience will usher in a new era of brand engagement and customer experience. It will drastically change the shopping experience in sectors which involve physical presences such as clothing, real estate etc. Stores in the metaverse will be a reflection of physical stores.
The number of choices that could be accessed through virtual reality surpasses the choices you get in a physical brick and mortar store. With enhanced digitization, payments will be made by digital wallets, UPI transfer and customer data will be used to provide an even enhanced shopping experience and offers to customers by the companies.
Meta(Erstwhile facebook) is now working towards opening the facebook stores created by the users in the metaverse.
Metaverse The Future of Entertainment:
Many celebrities are embracing the virtual space and there are virtual concerts and festivals on metaverse. This provides vast economic opportunities as celebrities will be able to reach out to fans from all across the world in a completely new way.
Artists can also release NFTs to protect the copyright of their art and make decent money from their work. Recently, famous Indian singer Daler Mehandi had a virtual concert for his fans in the metaverse.
Investing In The Metaverse:
There are various avenues for investment in the metaverse such as virtual ‘real estate’ which provides ‘land’ in the metaverse as an investment. As the metaverse is free from boundations of physical topography and distances, a real estate investment in the virtual world provides a plethora of opportunities.
As per many reports, the investment opportunities in the metaverse are of the value of USD 1 trillion $.
Gaming in the Metaverse:
The gaming industry was already steadfast in their work to provide a ‘real’ experience to the players but Metaverse has accelerated the development. With improved processing powers in systems, better graphic guards and audio qualities, the industry has been able to adapt to modern times and provide a completely immersive experience.
One of the premier examples is Roblon which provides a multiplayer gaming platform to kids and enables them to play with their friends. It has a variety of games that are steadily becoming popular.
Metaverse is the future which will drastically impact all the aspects of life such as education, shopping, entertainment, work etc. The market is expected to grow by around 40 % CAGR by 2030. All new entrants and leading players will try to capitalize and work on growing their business in this sector. Metaverse is an amalgamation of virtual, augmented and physical reality that transcends the challenges faced by physical distances.