What Is the Metaverse?
What Are Metaverse Key Characteristics?
What is the metaverse? What is the best metaverse platform? To understand it, it is necessary to know metaverse key characteristics.
It should be available all the time, without pauses and reboots.
Exist synchronously for everyone and change in real time.
Grant access to an unlimited number of users.
Provide an internal economy: in the online world, people are able not only to spend, but also to earn money.
Unite the real and virtual worlds, to become an addition to reality.
Combine data from any internal applications. If you buy a track in one online store, you can listen to it while being in another virtual space, for example, in a game.
Enable all people, authors, creators to create content in any possible form within a single virtual world.
The metaverse is most often explained as a voluminous virtual world that complements reality. But there is a high probability that its two-dimensional formats will also exist, as many applications now have mobile and desktop versions.
Plunging into the metaverse, a person receives direct control over his avatar, after which he can perform all possible actions in a pre-created immersive digital reality. In the future, the use of the metaverse will allow people to instantly organize meetings with loved ones, visit any place on the planet (both fictional and real), and even create personal locations based on the personal preferences of users.
In the metaverse, it will be possible to conduct any life activity (from doing office work to attending concerts of your favorite music artists). Moving between different objects in many cases will be carried out instantly, which will save a lot of time and effectively combine many activities.
It will be possible to transfer physical objects to the metaverse (to digitize them). And the missing things (for example, clothes or furniture) can always be purchased or received as a gift from the developers of the corresponding digital content. Immersion in the metaverse will allow you to organize a good rest for free or get access to special opportunities at minimal cost.
What Is the Metaverse Origin?
For the first time the term "metaverse" was used in the novel of the famous science fiction writer. In this book, the metaverse was presented as a three-dimensional virtual reality inhabited by digital images of real people. It was the virtual metaverse described in this book that became the prototype for the creation of virtual worlds in other books, films and games. It also became the basis used to form the characteristics and principles of the existence of metaverses in their modern representation.
The first metaverse created was only available to PC users. In addition, it did not have the most realistic graphics, which did not affect the popularity of the project in the best way. And although the idea of the creators was excellent, and the implementation was at a decent level, the popularity of the metaverse began to decline over time. The same applies to lesser known similar projects.
Perhaps this is where attempts to create similar worlds and develop the theme of the metaverse would have ended, if not for the decisions of some large companies to bring the implementation of the concept of the metaverse to a new level. Almost simultaneously, several companies began developing glasses, helmets and other specialized devices that provide access to virtual and augmented reality. Of course, similar products were produced before, including back in the 20th century, but then they served for less global purposes that had nothing to do with virtual reality (for example, the first models of such glasses were intended to create the illusion of 3D graphics in the first 2D games).
More modern devices were created specifically for the purpose of projecting virtual images into reality or, conversely, for the full immersion of users in small virtual locations for a specific purpose. It was this stage of development that made it possible to talk not just about creating avatars in computer games and social networks, but about a partial combination of real and virtual worlds, albeit on a limited scale.
With the development of these technologies and the popularization of blockchain technology, leading engineers and programmers received the necessary tools to create metaverses in their modern sense. According to many enthusiasts, ideal metaverses should unite the physical and virtual worlds at a completely new level – make it possible to transfer any objects to virtuality, create a two-sided economy, and most importantly, ensure decentralization of control.
Naturally, at first there will be no talk of decentralization of management, since the very first metaverses will be controlled (secretly or openly) by the organizations that created them. However, over time, perhaps, the concept of a common metaverse will be developed, accessible to every person and not controlled by specific people or organizations. When this will happen and whether it will happen at all is unknown. But the idea is there, which means that there will definitely be attempts to implement it.
Also popular (and more realistic) is the point of view about creating a large number of local metverses and connecting them with special “bridges”, but it will probably take a lot of time to fully implement such a technology. Although the main thing is that there is a clear goal. And there are sure to be ways to achieve it.
The prospects for using the metaverse are really impressive. And although many solutions still exist only in the form of theory, the scientific departments of large companies are actively working on their implementation. Surprisingly, some of the mentioned features are already available (within the local metaverses), and everything else is planned to be organized within 10-15 years.
At the moment, many organizations are working on the creation of separate metaverses – both famous and not so. Most experts believe that they will represent the first full-fledged metaverses, and this opinion has a logical basis. First, these companies have a long history of developing ancillary solutions to ensure the full functioning of the metaverse, with some individual functions that will later become part of the functionality of the metaverse already available for testing. Secondly, they have sufficient financial resources to sponsor relevant projects, as well as the reputation of organizations that can translate existing ideas in the best possible way. Therefore, the expectations of Internet users regarding the metaverses are primarily associated with these companies.
Corporate executives understand that the metaverse is not just a sign of an improvement of existing methods of communication, but also a significant step in the development of the socialization of the population and the promotion of all kinds of products – physical and digital.
Hundreds of thousands of specialists are already working on the creation of local metaverses.Tens of billions of dollars are allocated to improve technology.
What Does an Ideal Metaverse Look Like?
According to many people, who define metaverses, the ideal virtual reality should have the following features:
Fast switching between worlds. All users of the metaverse should be able to switch between the physical and virtual worlds at any time and without any difficulty. In addition, when any person is in the virtual universe, he must have access to digital analogues of his things and to important opportunities available in the physical world.
Continuous live operation. The metaverse must function constantly – without pauses and periodic reboots. At the same time, any progress in the metaverse must be saved instantly and without distortion.
Only in this situation in the metaverse will it be possible to do any usual business, continuously gaining experience, and most importantly, without worrying about the possible loss of the progress made (regardless of the nature of this very progress).
Infinity. Ideally, the metaverse should accommodate the inhabitants of the planet with a huge supply (as an option, be able to expand the territory indefinitely). With the expectation that each person has his own housing, and the company – at least one representative office. As a result, the metaverse must be huge, and the equipment responsible for its uninterrupted functioning must withstand the corresponding loads (primarily in terms of information processing speed).
Special features. In terms of available options, the metaverse must exceed the usual capabilities of humanity. First of all, this concerns technologies (we are talking about the implementation of fantastic projects, whose implementation in the real world is impossible).
Secondly, we are talking about creating special conditions for interaction with the outside world – from instantaneous movement between locations (teleportation) to the possibility of changing the perception of certain objects (a short-term sensation of acceleration, the option to expand space, etc.)
Diversity. According to many optimists, the metaverse will include an almost vast virtual world in which there will be a place for many locations, some of which will be a kind of small metaverses. There is a place for everything – for personal residential areas (each person has a personal home), large sports complexes, dance clubs and many other locations for various purposes. All this can be visited for free or for a nominal fee – depending on the laws of the metaverse and the policies of property owners.
Also, all kinds of administrative and commercial organizations will be presented in the metaverse, thanks to which it will be possible to solve many issues directly in virtuality. Play areas will be located separately. It is likely that each such zone will be a full-fledged game world with its own rules and features of immersion.
General laws. All users of the metaverse will be required to comply with specific rules aimed at ensuring the safety of these very users and creating conditions for their comfortable pastime on the territory of virtual worlds. At the same time, this is not about limiting the freedom of people, but about maintaining order in all corners of the metaverse, as well as creating the same conditions for spending time for all users of the metaverse.
Thoughtful economy. The real and digital worlds should have a simple common bilateral economy (including a common or freely convertible currency).The deposit and withdrawal of money must be carried out at a stable exchange rate (in case different currencies are used in reality and virtuality). The pricing policy should be clear and understandable, and the prices for digital products should be as affordable as possible for all users. The function of buying virtual things in reality should also be implemented and vice versa. And most importantly, you need to realize the possibility of trading in virtual real estate, as well as the option of starting a business and investing in interesting projects. The creation of any morally acceptable experience and its sale should also be accessible to every digital content creator.
Free movement of objects. Anything purchased or digitized by the user of the metaverse must be available anywhere in the virtual space. That is, if a person orders branded clothes, he will get the right to be in it anywhere. If he buys a car, he will be able to use it not only to move along the roads of a virtual city, but also in the corresponding game locations.
In other words, the ideal metaverse (in the minds of many people) is a full-fledged union of the real and virtual worlds, consisting of a large number of locations for different purposes.
At the same time, the virtual world will be an enlarged and improved copy of the real world, due to which it will open many interesting opportunities for its “inhabitants”. An important feature of the metaverse will be the ability to enter the virtual space using different devices.
For surface immersion, most likely, ordinary glasses (helmets) of virtual reality will be used. For a full immersion – special capsules or their analogues.
How Feasible Is the Idea of Creating an Ideal Metaverse?
The complexity of implementing such an idea in the near future is due to a number of factors. What is a metaverse company? First, in recent years, a number of companies have managed to create only small local metaverses (or rather, locations) with very limited functionality. Moreover, each development company acts, in fact, alone (no one is in a hurry to share achievements with competitors), which obviously does not speed up the development process. This means that it is too early to talk about creating a full-fledged virtual world, equally accessible to all users and with the same opportunities for all visitors.
Secondly, the issue of control is very important. It is hard to believe that in the future large organizations will not want to control all processes in the metaverse (especially economic ones) and profit from any user actions. It's not even worth talking about confidentiality. All information will be with the creators of the VR headsets. As for the general laws for everyone, you yourself understand, there will be the same picture as in the real world. At least in the early stages of creating a common metaverse. Yes, there may be problems with the economy in this regard.
In fact, in order to create an ideal metaverse, it is necessary first of all to unite all interested parties and partners with this idea, which is practically impossible at the moment because of many challenges. It is clear that all large companies are engaged in the implementation of the idea of the metaverse, first of all, for the sake of obtaining significant profits – through the sale of products, embedding media advertising and other sources of income. Therefore, it is clearly premature to talk about the implementation of the previously listed principles. It is not certain that such ideas will be implemented at all. And if they do, then at least in a few decades. And then only in a situation where corporations agree on joint activities, and in fact such a situation at the moment does not look very realistic.