Metaverse is the link between the physical world and digital life, the world of avatars, and the next generation of the Internet. Join this article to learn about this exciting and inevitable world.
Remember Heavy Rain? The unique Quantum Dream game released for the PlayStation 3 in 2010 depicts the mysterious story of the origami serial murder case in which the killer used rainwater to drown his victims. One of the four main characters in the game was an FBI agent named Norman Jayden, who was sent to assist local police in investigating the case.
If you remember, Norman had special smoked glasses that were much more capable of blocking the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Called ARI (acronym Augmented Reality), the glasses helped Norman wonderfully search the crime scene and analyze evidence.
When Norman wore these glasses, he could change the look of his work environment and imagine himself in the middle of a forest or even the planet Mars, instead of staring at the dull, dull walls.
The world Norman saw through his augmented reality glasses was a metaphor; An alternative digital reality in which people work, play, study, shop and socialize and no longer need to connect to the Internet; Because they are always “online” in this world. Name it whatever you want; Metaverse, the world of mirrors, virtual reality, magic, or space internet. But one thing is certain: Metaverse is on its way and is set to make a dramatic change in human lifestyle.
What is Metaverse?
Matthew Ball, an investor and former head of strategy at Amazon Studios, describes Metaverse with seven characteristics: Metaverse is always active and “bright”; It is experienced life and in real-time; Can host any size audience; It has a very dynamic and unique economy; Spread across digital and physical platforms and worlds; It is possible to transfer digital assets across these platforms; Experiences and content are created by users and large companies.
In other words, Metaverse is a vast network of ever-active virtual environments in which people can interact with each other and with digital objects around them in the form of avatars or augmented reality glasses; It is a combination of immersive virtual reality, multiplayer online role-playing games, and web browsing.
Metaverse is the successor to the today’s Internet.
Metaverse is a compound word consisting of meta meaning “beyond” and universe meaning “world” and can be translated as “beyond the world”. The term was first used in the 1992 science fiction book “Snow Crash” by Neil Stephenson. The American author used the word metaverse to describe a virtual world in which the protagonist socializes, buys, and even defeats real-world enemies in the form of his avatar. Of course, the very concept of a world similar to Metaverse before this book became famous in 1984 with the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson.
When we turn on the lights or open the refrigerator door, we know that it is the electricity that turns them on, but we usually do not think about how it works. Similarly, it will be AI, sensors, and communications between the robot and the “electric current” device that power the metaverse. In the distant future, or perhaps closer than we think, our physical world will become an infinitely large amount of data that can be processed by a computer, clicked on, or brushed through, and searched like a Google search. In this world, there will be new relationships and ways to move and create content, and we will create new words and even architecture to host our digital version and the digital world around us.
This is the new convergence between the digital world and the physical world based on 5G and 6G Internet, quantum computing, and graphene processors, and our view of this world will be through the lenses of our virtual reality glasses.
If you still have a hard time imagining metaverse, the following concept video from Adobe paints a very exciting vision of the future of human life in this world:
Metaverse, which many describe as the successor to the Internet today, is not just a single destination that everyone is going to one day enter, but a complex network of millions of destinations, hundreds of profiles, and dozens of browsers. According to Pim de Witt, founder, and CEO of Medal Video Clip Sharing Platform:
The Internet is a vast array of protocols, technologies, cables, and languages, as well as devices for accessing it and content and communication experiences. Metaverse will be the same.
3 Key Concepts of Metaverse
When talking about metaverse, it is important to be familiar with three key concepts: presence, interoperability, and standardization.
- “Presence” is the feeling of being in cyberspace in a real and tangible way with other people. The results of decades of research have shown that the quality of online interactions improves by creating a sense of real presence in this space. This sense of presence is also created through virtual reality technologies such as screens that are placed on the head.
- The second key concept that differentiates Metaverse from our current Internet experience is “interactivity.” Interactivity means that we at Metawares can travel from one destination to another, while carrying all of our digital assets, including avatars and collected virtual items. For example, you can use the rifle shell you bought in Counter-Strike, in Fortnite, or give it to your friends via Facebook. Or, for example, you can drive a car that you designed in a Rocket League game or even a Porsche website in a Rolex game.
- The third concept is “standardization”, which enables interoperability between platforms and services across Metaverse. The standards set for Metaverse allow its widespread use around the world. International organizations such as the metaverse Open Interactivity Group define these standards.
Benefits of living in Metaverse
Metaverse is a situation that is supposed to replace the current Internet and offer all its content to users, but with much fewer access restrictions. Current online platforms allow users to move somewhat freely within the same range for each service, but limit cross-platform interoperability; For example, you are free to create anything you like in Minecraft, but you cannot transfer what you have created in Minecraft to Fortnite. MetaVers, meanwhile, allows users to generate content of their choice on any platform and distribute it freely throughout the digital world.
Unlike the current Internet, Metaver users will experience changes made by other users in real-time. If a user makes any changes to Metawares, it is a permanent change and is immediately visible to everyone. Continuity and interoperability allow users to maintain their online identities and experiences across Metavserse, unlike the Internet. This means that in Metaverse, users no longer need to have a separate profile on Twitter, a character in Fortnite, and a Reddit account, but can only be real on all of these platforms. This continuity of identity will be a key factor in shaping the way content is purchased and consumed by Metaverse users.
In Metaverse, an avatar can be present on all platforms.
Thanks to Metaverse, we no longer need to be in the real world to work in the physical environment; Rather, our workplace will be in the same Metaverse. Virtual reality glasses and Metaverse environment are made together and in the near future, these glasses will have many applications in the workplace.
For example, these glasses can be used for authentication, remembering the names of colleagues, departments, and projects that you have worked with before, and generally as a remote window into offices, manufacturing facilities, and packaging factories around the world. Virtual reality glasses can replace smartphones and laptops. Digital images, tactile feedback, biometric sensors, and audio playback and recording are all features of life in Metaverse, and machine vision will be an important part of this world.
AR glasses can also help people on their first day of work by showing the work process in as much detail as possible. In a world where “distance” is fast becoming a habit, AR glasses can turn our home into a workplace, our workplace into a playground, and our lives into creative, colorful expressions of who we are.
Access to the virtual world through these glasses also allows companies to rethink their products or even their brand in innovative ways; Accelerate business processes and test their virtual version before producing and distributing the product. Researchers and medical professionals can also use artificial intelligence to try out new treatments without compromising the health of patients or even animals.
Metaverse and the world of Games
For many, video games are the pioneers of Metaverse. Games such as Roblox, Fortnite, and Animal Crossing, in which gamers can build their own world, including some Metaverse features.
When Epic went into developing Fortnite in 2017, it had no intention of creating Metawares. But what was then described as a castle defense game in which gamers battled zombies became an international phenomenon exactly a year later.
With millions of gamers flocking to Fortnite Battle Royale, something like “The Hunger Games,” the company quickly began adding social features to the game, such as voice chats and dance parties. According to Epic, the company’s fortune from Fortnite has totaled more than $ 9 billion in 2018 and 2019, and this huge fortune comes from the money gamers have spent on completely virtual items such as superhero costumes or banana suits for their characters. Has earned.
For many, video games are the pioneers of Metaverse
Now Epic does not refer to Fortnite only as an interactive experience but as a meta-metric. The concerts of famous singers, which are held on the Fortnite platform, attract millions of gamers.
The Roblox game, in which independent developers design popular children’s games, is perhaps the closest and broadest perspective to the future Metaverse.
According to the company’s revenue report, in the first quarter of 2021, gamers spent nearly 10 billion hours playing on this platform, and more than 42 million users logged in daily. Gamers also spent $652 million to buy the virtual currency of the platform called Robox, which can be used to buy hats, weapons, balloons, and other digital items for their characters.
David Bazowski, founder and CEO of Roblox, says the company even holds business meetings on the platform.
Just as letters, telegraphs, telephones, messages, and videos are tools for teamwork, we believe that Roblex and Metaverse join them as essential tools for business communication. Finally, one day we may even be able to shop at Roblox.
Millions of games are created on Roblox every year, and a large portion of the revenue from the sale of digital items and upgrades goes to developers. There have been cases where young actors have become millionaires in this way.
But it should be noted that platforms such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roeblocks are not Metawares in themselves, but only destinations in Metawares. In the future, as Metawares arrives, there will be millions of such destinations just like the websites on the Internet today.
According to Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic,
Metaverse is not an app story with a list of different titles for downloading games and applications. At Metaverse, you and your friends with your digital appearance and assets can go from place to place and have completely different experiences, while still maintaining your connections on social media.
He also said that it is possible that one day there will be a “tunnel” between platforms such as Roblox and Fortnite through which gamers can move characters and game items between the two games.
Metaverse and the world of movies and series
Maybe there is a long time left until the realization of Metaverse and maybe seeing such a day will not reach the life of any of us; But you can experience aspects of what is supposed to be part of the reality of human life in the future, right now in games like Fortnite, or watch a conceptual image of Metaverse in movies and TV series.
Undoubtedly, Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player No. 1” is arguably the most popular of all the films that portray an aspect of Metaverse. In fact, many people suggest this movie to explain Metaverse; However, in this film, we see that the control of this whole virtual world is in the hands of only one company, while in real Metaverse, we will see a completely decentralized world and no company or institution can rule in this world.
With that in mind, watching this movie is a good starting point for understanding Metaverse and user experiences in virtual reality. Other films and series that feature aspects of Metaverse include Minority Report (2002), Avatar (2009), The Matrix (1992), Iron Man (2008), Upload (2020), Black Mirror, Altered Carbon, and Animation. Ralph is a saboteur.
Metaverse and Blockchain
Metaverse is a view of a decentralized world that is controlled and shaped by its users and citizens, not a governmental or international institution. These citizens also need a platform and currency to buy and sell their digital products, which will be based on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Companies such as Decentraland and The Sandbox have now created virtual worlds in which gamers can use cryptocurrencies to create structures such as amusement parks and even make money from them.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) also play a key role in meta-transformation, giving people full ownership of characters, items collected in the game, and even their virtual pitch. For example, NFT, a virtual plot of land in Decentraland, recently sold for nearly $1 million, making it one of the biggest-selling tokens to date.
In Metaverse Blockchain is responsible for the security of transactions and users’ identities
There are no governments or regulators in Metaverse, and it is the job of blockchain technology to ensure the security of transactions and users’ identities. In addition, NFT tokens allow Metaverse users to own their own custom items, just like in the real world, and move them from platform to platform; In Metaverse, for example, you can sell a piece of land you bought in Decentraland and use the money to buy a weapon in Fortnite.
In the meantime, the cryptocurrencies will be considered as the only legal currency used in Metaverse and will draw the roadmap for the formation of the economic structure of Metaverse. Of course, this transformational economy is already taking shape; Some companies are already auctioning off their brand NFTs worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Arthur Madrid, CEO, and founder of The Sandbox points to the willingness of people to pay large sums for digital assets in games, and says gamers have already spent millions of dollars buying these items; Items that do not exist externally and their value is defined only in the virtual world.
I think converting these assets to NFT and creating an NFT-based economy will add a new layer to the current digital economy.
How far are we from realizing the real Metaverse?
To some, we are already living in a kind of metaverse; Because a large part of our lives has become completely digital. But there is probably a lot of time left to see in the real world a metaphor for the size of “Ready Player 1”; Because there are still some obstacles to the realization of the metaverse. The biggest obstacle is hardware limitations. At present, the World Wide Web and computing capabilities around the world are not yet able to support a stable digital world that can host millions of users simultaneously and instantly. Even if this level of network and computing power is available, such energy consumption would pose many problems for both power grids and the environment.
Metaverse may be realized in the distant future; But it is inevitable
In cases where there is the necessary technology to create metaverse, it is necessary to make extensive cultural changes to encourage more people to use MetaVers. According to Thrive Analytics and ARTillery Intelligence in 2020, while the highest quality virtual reality and augmented reality technology is available to the American community, less than 20% of them have turned to VR headsets.
Another big problem is the realization of interoperability, which is one of the three main pillars of metaverse. Currently, even metaverse pioneers such as Fortnite do not allow gamers to transfer content created on this platform to another platform. In order for interoperability to be truly established, companies that own these platforms need to relinquish some control over the content and user experience of their players.
Despite these problems, the metaverse is likely to be unavoidable; Future users, however, may refer to it only as of the Internet. The point here is that no button is going to be pressed to transition from the Internet age to Metavars; Rather, the transcendental comes into being and encompasses us. Just as no one noticed the transition from the first generation to the second generation, the development of Metavars will occur naturally with the wider presence of people in the virtual world and the greater connection of their identities to virtual life.
On the other hand, the technology giants are also trying to prepare their users for life in Metavars sooner than their competitors. Among them, Facebook’s position on Metavars has made a lot of noise. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg recently said he plans to use the social network to build Metavars. He said he expects people to see Facebook in the future not as a social network but as a transformational company. In his view, Metavars is “a virtual environment in which you can be with different people in digital spaces. It is a visualized Internet that you are inside, not just looking at it from the outside. “We believe that Metaverse is set to replace mobile internet.”
There will be no noticeable change between before and after Metaverse
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also talked about his plans to create Metavers. In a speech at Microsoft Inspire this year, he described Metavars as “a new layer of infrastructure” in which “the digital and physical worlds come together.”
Matthew Ball, former head of strategy at Amazon Studios, describes Metavars not as a virtual world, but as a “mobile Internet successor”; It is a framework for a highly connected and online life. According to him, “there will be no sudden and obvious change between before and after Metavars. “Instead, Metavars gradually emerges by integrating different products, services and capabilities.”
Although games such as Roblex and Fortnite are often referred to as the pioneers of Meta-transformation, the most important pioneer of Meta-transformation is the Internet itself. If we consider the Internet as a video tour of an apartment that has a glimpse of each room, the metatarsal will be the apartment itself. It is true that we have not lived in this apartment yet, but we have signed the lease for a long time.
What do you think about Metavars? Is the arrival of such a day inevitable and will Metaverse help improve the quality of human life?