“If dreams could be sold, what would you buy?” This is how virtual reality (VR) was first introduced to the masses (according to my research) on television – believe it or not, in 1991.
Virtual reality has suffered from many limitations, and although it has been embraced by a number of geeks, it has not really been able to bridge the technology adoption gap (referred to in Crossing chasm by Geoffrey Moore, 1991). This was mainly due to the obvious challenges of computing power, limitations in data storage, price of hardware, and software complexity making it difficult for the masses to adopt it.
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I remember one thing in particular (besides the weight of goggles): how quickly I got seasick.
However, after the initial hype, virtual and augmented reality (AR) progressed quietly, during the occasional immersion. Several attempts have been made in the field of VR, such as Facebook’s attempt with the acquisition of Oculus VR.
In augmented reality, Google Glass generated a lot of excitement, as did others, like Microsoft’s HoloLens, but again, they weren’t able to live up to the masses’ expectations and died quietly, once again leaving the field for geeks. Even Second Life last year gave up its attempt at virtual reality.
There appears to be a renewed effort in the air, probably moved by the fact that due to COVID-19, many people have been restricted from home and working remotely. In addition, there was a constant flow of funds into this space. It remains to be seen if the chasm of VR and AR can be skipped this time. If so, it could be because metaviruses have appeared.
There are some words you’ve never heard before and when you hear them for the first time – bam! From that moment on, you hear it every day and read it everywhere. “Metaverse” is such a word. The metaverse is rising rapidly in the hype cycle. That’s probably because the big guns think it’s time to work it all out, which makes you think the metaverse might be the next big thing after AI in the last decade. For example, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg told his employees earlier this year, “Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring true meaning to life.”
While definitions are still evolving as to what the metaverse really is, the phrase was first coined snow crash, Neil Stevenson’s 1992 science fiction novel. Refers to the convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space. I like to think of the metaverse simply as the data scientist. As with our real world, humanity remains in ignorance about most of its secrets (think of Spock’s words in Star Trek: “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it”), and we’re about to explore it. AR and VR are only the first glimpses we see.
With the renewed interest, the pioneers start a new gold rush – this time the pioneers are technologists, innovators and artists. What will help these pioneers claim a stake in the metaverse – and defend it against piracy – is progress in digital rights management. For the first time, mature blockchains will be available to protect intellectual property rights, similar to the trend to store non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Ethereum.
Also, cryptocurrencies will make life easier to trade within the metaverse – either with the most likely suspects like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Cardano or new coins emerging that are particularly suited to metaverses.
The result is a digital artifact created in (or for) the metaverse, protected and sold using advances made in blockchain and NFTs. This means that the metaverse will have the option of building an economy on par with the one in the physical world. I can hear you saying, “But Second Life already had a currency called Linden Dollars.” True, but it was only purchasable and could only be spent with Linden Lab.
So having a digital currency that can cross the border between our world and the metaverse will undoubtedly raise the stakes and, surely, trigger all kinds of new projects. Where startups might create the equivalent of small planets where you can entertain yourself if you have the money, the big digital natives are more likely to create their own Milky Way — or even a galaxy — in the metaverse. (If you’ve ever watched ready player one, You will understand what I indicated.)
But before doing that, the metaverse has to grow, just as it did with the Internet in the early 1990s. Based on the initial excitement, AR and VR initiatives are likely to be dominant.
The obvious candidates for early-stage success are gaming companies, such as Epic, that push boundaries with Fortnite and host events like digital concerts (most recently the Ariana Grande concert). E-commerce and retail will follow suit. New companies like The Fabricant, which creates unique digital clothing for your avatar, may be next. But B2C companies won’t be the only ones trying to understand how to exploit the metaverse; There is also a huge role there for the B2B industry.
What does the Metaverse look like?
What the real metaverse will look like in the end, no one knows. But I imagine that one day we might enter the metaverse through neural connections (like the ones described in Tad Williams’ science fiction series). elselands). elusive? I do not think so; After all, these types of links are now being explored by Elon Musk’s Neuralink. If you’ve watched a video where a neuron implanted monkey plays ping-pong, you know that this far-fetched sci-fi idea is seriously close to reality. However, what may make or break metavir will be its ability to capture data from its surroundings and even the biosphere.