What is Metaverse?
There doesn’t seem to be one definite answer. Companies have their own interpretations and implementations. Here’s our take on what the metaverse is and what companies like Microsoft, Nvidia, and Meta (formerly Facebook) are building.
Reading time: 4 mins | Published on: 1/10/2022
Metaverse: Definition and Etymology
met·a·verse /ˈmedəˌvərs/ noun COMPUTINGA virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.
The word ‘metaverse’ was coined by the American writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. Stephenson’s concept of the metaverse has become very popular and quite influential. Games like Quake and Immercenary, virtual reality worlds like Active Worlds and Second Life, and even Microsoft’s Xbox Live have all been influenced by Snow Crash. Actually, the book was a must-read for everyone on the Xbox development team.
Metaverse: Evolution of the Internet
Now that we’ve explored the word’s definition and etymology, let’s answer the ‘What is Metaverse?’ question. In simple terms, it’s the logical evolution of the internet. It’s a fully immersive and more natural way to interact with each other and with technology. Another way to explain the metaverse is as the reality’s digital twin of people, places, things, connections, etc.
We spend most of our wake time online anyway. That won’t change. What will change, though, will be our experience. We’ll be immersed in the metaverse, whether it is a virtual, an augmented reality, or a mixture of both. What we do and how we do it will be much more natural in the metaverse. And last but not least, we’ll be able to achieve much more in the metaverse than we can currently. Just imagine replacing the cumbersome ways we interact with technology now – keyboards, mouse devices, fingers(?!) – with voice, body movement, hand gestures, brain waves even. Evidently, the possibilities are endless.
The Big Tech’s Take
We’ve analyzed some of the most innovative companies that are currently building metaverse solutions. Also, we’ve included our own interpretation.
Simply Flows’ metaverse consists of virtual assistants to hire and train at a familiar office environment. The goal is to save businesses time and money by automating their mundane tasks. Join our Discord community to follow us and get rewards.
Microsoft focuses on extending their office products. They announced Mesh in March, 2021 as a mixed reality, cross-device remote collaboration platform. Integrating virtual and mixed reality into Microsoft Teams is a great first step to enabling people to collaborate, work, or socialize in an immersive and much more engaged way.
Meta’s implementation will be a fully immersive VR platform as an extension to Facebook. Their focus will remain on people’s connections and interactions. Hopefully, this time around, they manage to amplify truth and positivity.
NVIDIA showcases their 3D engine in the Omniverse, as they call it. They plan to bring all 3D design tools into their Omniverse. Additionally, fast rendering and instantaneous graphic updates will enable collaborations on immersive visualizations and real-time simulations.
The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Roblox are 3D games, where players can create their own mini games, assets, and avatars. Also, they provide their own payment systems utilizing blockchain, crypto, and NFT. These companies’ offerings stretch beyond just a game because people can learn, work, create, and socialize on their immersive platforms. In fact, some believe Roblox to be the first real-worlds implementation of a metaverse.
As we saw, there is a clear pattern in companies’ interpretation and implementation of a metaverse. Basically, each brand utilizes their expertise, extending their offering to a more intuitive and immersive experience. Not surprising, given that the web has been around for 33 years now and there isn’t much more it can offer.
To summarize, the metaverse holds a huge promise to change how we interact, work, and socialize. The technology is there, the need is there (further exacerbated by a 2-year pandemic), and the intent is there. All hype aside, there has never been a better time for making the metaverse leap.
To debunk some myths and confusion and to answer your questions, here’s a summary of what the metaverse is not.