A look at the game-changing nature of the metaverse, how it works, and its applications.
You must have heard of the metaverse. People and companies define it in various ways. Generally speaking, you can view it as a network of 3D virtual worlds within which users interact with each other.
In the first five months of 2022, more than USD 120 billion was invested in metaverse technology and infrastructure, according to McKinsey. It has the potential to generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030.
It seems clear that the metaverse has the potential to change the way we play, learn, advertise, communicate, shop, and more.
Also read, The Ultimate Guide To Buying Land In The Metaverse
The metaverse concept can be traced back to science fiction. In their novels, writers such as William Gibson and Neal Stephenson imagined virtual universes that humans could explore.
Tech companies started exploring this concept for practical applications. A notable example is Second Life, an online multimedia platform launched in 2003 by Linden Lab. In this virtual 3D world, people create avatars to interact with other users.
Another example is Roblox, the online game platform released in 2006. Players can create games, play with others, and buy and sell virtual items online.
Then, there was Pokemon Go, which combined virtual and real-world activities. And Fortnite, a Massively Multiplayer Online game.
The next step in its evolution came in 2021 when Facebook renamed itself Meta. It aimed to bring the metaverse to life by helping people connect, find communities, and grow businesses.
In the same year, Microsoft released Mesh, a real-time collaboration platform. Mesh seeks to provide training and communication tools for businesses and consumers.
With the introduction of new and affordable hardware and software, many companies are joining the metaverse bandwagon.
You may be wondering how to access the metaverse and how it works. To answer that you need to understand the components of the metaverse.
How to enter the metaverse? You can do this via your mobile phone or computer. You will need an advanced graphics card, a fast processor, and a speedy internet connection.
This means of access will provide you with a 2D experience. To experience the full potential of the metaverse, you need a Virtual Reality (VR) headset. Most headsets have sensors to track your field of vision and screens for stereoscopic displays.
VR gloves, masks, and shoes are also mainstream. This equipment provides haptic feedback to navigate a virtual world.
You don't need specialized software to access the metaverse. Most platforms are hosted online. Some of them are free to use. You can subscribe to other platforms in the same way as with other software in the cloud.
For gaming, the platform software lets you create an avatar, which is your virtual identity. The software also lets you create your spaces and games. Some examples are Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite.
For business, platforms allow you to download software for specific needs. One example is Mesh for Microsoft Teams. This is a virtual meeting space with animated avatars.
For transactions, you will need to download a crypto wallet to your mobile or desktop. A crypto wallet allows you to allow you to send, receive, and spend cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Some popular wallets are Coinbase and Metamask.
We've already covered some use cases of the metaverse, such as games and business meetings. Here are some more applications.
The metaverse is poised to impact the economy and society significantly.
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