All about the Metaverse

Nowadays there is a lot of talk about Metaverse and that is why I have written this article to publicize what it is about and solve some doubts that many people have consulted me. And it is that in the future we will have a parallel life within the Metaverse. Even Facebook has changed its name to Meta as a demonstration of the strong commitment of Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of the popular social network, to get into the race and to be the first to control this virtual universe.

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What is the Metaverse and why has it become such a great target for tech companies?

The term is made up of the word 'meta', which comes from the Greek 'beyond', and of 'verse' or 'universe'. It is a neologism that refers to the concept of three-dimensional, persistent and interconnected spaces that in the future will be accessible to all.

It will be the evolution of the current internet, fueled by immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

The Metaverse is a virtual world, one to which we will connect using a series of devices that will make us think that we are really inside it, interacting with all its elements. It will be like really teleporting to a totally new world through virtual reality glasses and other accessories that will allow us to interact with it.

Virtual worlds are nothing new, and there are a lot of them, especially in the video game industry. You create yourself a character or avatar, and you enter that world to live adventures through your computer. However, the Metaverse does not seek to be a fantasy world, but rather a kind

The origin of the term is attributed to the American science fiction writer Neal Stephenson. In his novel 'Snow Crash', published in 1992, he describes a collective virtual space that humans experience as an extension of the real world. They are convergent and complementary universes.

Facebook (now, Meta) has launched the announcement of its medium and long-term strategy, but there are many other companies that have pivoted towards the development of technologies that allow the Metaverse to become a reality. And companies run to be the first to implement it. Nvidia, manufacturer of chips and semiconductors, is working on a platform that allows connecting these virtual worlds called Omniverse. Microsoft wants to revolutionize work habits and relationships with Mesh, which is a complement to the current Teams that will be launched next year and that will allow us to use avatars in our meetings, among other improvements.

Cutting-edge video game companies like Epic Games, the company behind the popular game Fortnite, have raised $ 1 billion dollars (USD) from investors to help their long-term plans to build the Metaverse. Investor platform Roblox is another company to consider, which has described its vision of the Metaverse as a place where "people can come together within millions of three-dimensional experiences to learn, work, play, create and socialize."

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What will the Metaverse offer in the future?

Facebook hopes that the Metaverse can offer as many opportunities as the real physical world, with the possibility of creating our own businesses in it. Imagine being able to walk through the main streets of the city of Munich, and being able to converse with the virtual avatars of other people, who have opened some shops and offer us to be able to try on and buy for example virtual clothes, a virtual car, or a virtual apartment.

It can also have practical applications, such as business meetings where everyone shares a virtual office by connecting from home, and they don't even have to worry about getting ready for the meeting. It does not matter if you are in your pajamas and disheveled, what other people will see will be your avatar, your virtual character.

A Metaverse could also have its own economy, with some type of virtual currency that we can buy with our real money, or earn in some way within the interactions it offers. Perhaps jobs can even be created. "What does your nephew work on? He's the manager of a virtual store in the Metaverse." This would imply the development of a payment system to use in the Metaverse, for example; get some brand tennis shoes for our avatar, or through a cryptocurrency system. This technology already exists and consists of ensuring the origin and authorship of a virtual good through a chain of blocks, known as 'blockchain'.

Today the internet network is controlled by social networks that we access from different devices. We interact with more people virtually than physically. Well, the Metaverse would be to take one more step to narrow the physical and virtual worlds, mixing them both in a new universe managed by the company that manages to establish it.

What must the companies that drive the Metaverse solve?

Currently, the Metaverse is just a concept that is beginning to be built. But it remains to be seen if other companies join in the effort to create the technologies that make it possible, since the technologies that can make this concept a reality are not yet available. We don't have virtual reality devices that really make us move as if we were within that universe realistically. All the infrastructure is also missing in terms of design. It is an entire ecosystem that you want to create, but there are still no cities, no streets, only some virtual rooms that are being used for the first tests.

The objective of Facebook is very clear, which wants to bring the Metaverse to its business model, based on using personal data to sell targeted advertising. "Ads will continue to be an important part of strategy on the social media side of what we do, and they will likely continue to be a significant part of the Metaverse as well," Zuckerberg said in the firm's latest earnings call.

In any case, any breakthrough is always subject to controversy. The management of privacy is the great risk of this technology. And nothing has been said about the risks of personal data security and what it takes to create Avatars in various virtual realities, where legal, economic, social and cultural issues intervene.

In summary; In the history of humanity, all social, technological and evolutionary changes have revolutionized personal, family, work, cultural and leisure behaviors. At present in all areas of life and technology have been integrated and to understand it we must be aware of our emotions towards it because, after all, we are emotional human beings. For this reason, developers should not forget that people are key in the transformation process of this new initiative.

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