METAVERSE

WHAT IS METAVERSE?

There has been a lot of hustle about the METAVERSE since Facebook announced its shift from the company name “Facebook” to “Meta”! The word METAVERSE is a combination of two words: meta and universe. The English term “meta” translates to “more than” or “beyond”. So, metaverse literally translates to a universe that exists beyond the actual universe/ world.

Metaverse is a digital platform that merges the virtual and real worlds for blockchain technology and allows users to create new value units. It is basically a superset of virtual reality, augmented reality and the internet to give to its users an immersive experience and a full control to build upon and create their own virtual worlds.

The concept of Metaverse is very similar to the concept of a parallel universe, i.e., a virtual universe that runs parallely with the actual universe that we all are a part of. But in addition to experiencing this metaverse, users can purchase and sell actual real-life entities on this digital platform.

First, let us understand the existence of this metaverse.

Imagine that, just by wearing a set of glasses, you are able to get into your homespace. You enter your room and you see that all of the things are just as you left them this morning. The coffee mug lying on the table beside a file you have to submit in a few days’ time. Your bed is made well with all the cushions fluffy. And along with this, it is still 6 AM in the morning and you get to the window of your room to get a look at the most beautiful sunrise you’ve seen in a while. You see all sorts of butterflies and birds flying about. You are at peace. And just where you wanted to be.

The Metaverse will have you get into the internet, rather than on it. Through these glasses, you will be able to see the aspects of both the physical and made-up world created virtually. These glasses (technically known as VR headsets) will have an inspiring view of what you find the most incredible. And this is the beauty of a Metaverse.

WHY METAVERSE?

The main objective of Metaverse was creating connections among people, to make the interaction of the humans over the internet more immersive and multi-dimensional. In the metaverse, humans interact with each other in computer programs and games in a 3D virtual environment, creating a new realm by combining virtual and augmented reality. This happens when the users create their own avatar or identity in this virtual environment and enter the metaverse. The metaverse has opened up a whole new perspective of how things worked traditionally.

  1. Live out your fantasies: You could be slaying your enemies with guns or be part of one of your favourite series, movie or books’s plots. You could be in the wizard world or in the pirate’s age. 
  2. Comfort of expression: In the metaverse, you will be able to express yourself as you want. Because of this, we think that one of the best use cases of the Metaverse will be online dating. Suppose you meet a woman named Lily on one of the dating applications. Since you live far off, you decide to meet virtually. A simple video chat would be a good option. But a date in one of the cafes in the Metaverse would be a better option. Here, both of you would be able to see each other in your comfort zones and get to know each other at a much more intimate level than through a video chat. You would be able to have a realistic conversation in a virtual space because you will be able to read each other’s body language and facial expressions in a better manner. In the metaverse, you would be able see each other as if you were in real life. You would be as near to reality as possible. 
  3. Be how you want to be: The metaverse lets you create avatars. This means that you can create yourself an avatar that you wanted in real life. The avatars combined with the amount of choices you will get within the metaverse, will allow you to not feel constrained by the body that you were born into. In real life, you could be someone with a severe disability, tied to a wheelchair his whole life. But in the metaverse, you could be cycling up and down the mountains or surfing one of the nastiest seas on a board.
  4. Be where you want to be: Rather than getting stuck in traffic or getting stuck at home on a New Year’s because no flights are available, you will be able to join your office colleagues for conferences or your family for a beautiful winter break. This is because in the metaverse, each person will have his own space and can design his space according to his own aesthetics and then just invite people to appear into it. You could be at two places at the same time! You could be enjoying the universe with your family and appear at your friends’ party in the metaverse! This could be equivalent to real-time teleportation. For instance, if you (dwelling in the USA) want to catch up with your friends for a reunion in Greece, but the airline tickets are not available, you can simply do a metaverse reunion. All the members of your group can arrange a time and a metaverse space where you all would like to meet. With the help of Virtual and Augmented Realities, you all will be able to enjoy the party even when you are far away. You will be able to see each other, talk, read each other’s facial expressions and play games with the help of this technology. Other than the physical touch, every aspect of everyone’s existence will co-relate and form a virtual world where you will be together.
  5. Expanding your horizons: In the metaverse, you will be able to learn about things not by reading or googling them, but by actually touching them or even closely looking at them. This will help you get information that you need in a more visual and interactive way. You will be able to experience living with the dinosaurs or as kings and queens.
  6. Increased productivity: The metaverse will provide us with a vast amount of information, that too in such a way that our brain will be able to comprehend it quite easily. This means we will understand better and manage time in a much better way; while being in an environment that is the most suitable for us. Our optimum environment: be it secluded on an island, or with your friends and colleagues in the office. This will enhance our efficiency and productivity.
  7. Full Control of environment: In the metaverse, the users will be able to control their environment fully. Apart from the regular gestures and voice commands, the users will be able to do things with the help of their minds. With the help of EMG devices (these devices can detect and intercept the signals in your nerves), you only have to think it through and make it happen! 
  8. New economy: The metaverse is becoming a huge digital market where anyone could be the seller or the purchaser. Metaverse is coming up with spaces where you could go shopping. For instance, you enter a shop for clothing accessories. The shop is like a regular accessory shop with a lot of necklaces and earrings and belts and purses hung all around the place for the customers to try and buy. You will be able to try and see how it looks on you. And as you make the payment using virtual money, all the items you purchased will be shipped to you in the real world. So, you could buy real merchandise with the help of cryptocurrencies in the metaverse.

MAJOR METAVERSE PROJECTS

  1. Decentraland: Decentraland is a decentralised virtual world similar to Second Life. The users can purchase and build land plots; wander around and interact with other users like in the real world. The landscape includes everything from static 3D scenery to interactive objects, buildings, art, games, or even massive events like a concert. The land in decentraland has a specific amount of space and is divided into parcels of 16×16 sq meter, each of which is an NFT. It was created initially for content creators who want to engage outside the real world. The native token that fuels the economy of decentraland is called MANA. 
  2. Decentral games: The games played in Decentraland are called decentral games. It is a metaverse event host and a gaming platform that uses the play-to-earn model to engage people in and out of the gaming industry. It consists of games in the virtual casinos which include games like poker, black jack, and slot machines among a few. These games will also give the users a benefit in both the real and virtual world by the exchange of money and other wearable merchandise. It also has features where users can lend out ice NFTs to others and get a passive income with the help of this. 
  3. The sandbox: The sandbox is another one of the major projects under the concept of metaverse. The users develop, construct, purchase and sell digital items; which makes it similar to the game- minecraft. It was one of the first to bring collaborative gaming into the digital sector. 
  4. Axie infinity: It is a trading game in which users choir, breed, grow, combat and trade axies (NFT based creatures). It kind of blends pokemon with crypto kitties. It is similar to how people play games the way they used to play card games in the physical world.
  5. Vempire ddao: It is a decentralised autonomous platform whose main aim is to keep the metaverse away from big corporates who would make it into a money-making factor and forget its purpose of origin. 

PROBLEMS WITH THE METAVERSE

There are a few things which will create problems in the metaverse. 

  1. Human tendency: It is compelling and convincing to think that the metaverse will provide us humans with everything that we need and just the way we want it. But all these experiences of living some other life, the life that you could only imagine for yourself, is in reality, only going to make things worse. We are humans and we need to sleep, eat healthy and be with someone who could comfort us at our worst. We might get all kinds of experiences that we want from the metaverse, but while doing all of that, we might lose complete touch on how to socialise in and maintain relations in the real world. We will be able to experience the highs of the immersive shared experiences; but at the same time, the security attacks and harassment will also become more threatening and closer to our human form. This kind of technology might take up our entire lives into it and become a need rather than serve its original purpose. We will need it because all our friends will be there, because we will need it for work productivity and because the metaverse will be our version of reality. This will mess up human feelings of achievements and failures; happiness and depression; anger and relief. And this could be catastrophic. 
  2. Data: No centralised server holds information on your identity in the metaverse world, you will hence have to create an identity on the blockchain. This means that the data on the metaverse won’t be a digital reflection of the memories or photographs we want to share, but the data will be our digital selves. Everything we do in the metaverse (which inturn affects our life in the real world) will all be available to everyone in the metaverse. This will require a lot of trust to be put in the metaverse regarding data integrity, confidentiality and security. 
  3. The difference between the two universes: Living in the fantasy world, the user might completely lose touch with what actually is real! He will see, listen and understand only the things that he wants to. In simple terms, the user would be surrendering the control of his entire sense of reality to the other party. 

 

Reference video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgJwPco3wew

vaidehi

Vaidehi has done her B.Tech in Computer Engineering. Vaidehi is fond of singing, reading. She is also a foodie.
Vaidehi Shah – Intern at GlobalVox | Posted on: December 03, 2021