When the metaverse becomes more than a buzzword

The following is a guest post from Tri Pham, co-founder of KardiaChain and founder of Whydah.

Over the years, the evolution of the Internet has spawned many technologies, and the most recent and notable one is the Metaverse.

It was first introduced in the 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash” by author Neal Stephenson and is in common use today.

In late 2021, when Facebook announced its rebrand to Meta, it sparked heated discussions about what it stands for, whether it’s there yet, and most importantly, who owns it.

In addition to Facebook, major tech companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Niantic, Epic, Nvidia, Roblox, and Valve are developing the technology that will shape the future of the metaverse — virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and brain-computer interfaces ( BCI). In addition, projects such as Open Meta DAO encourage a concerted effort to create the Open Metaverse. NFTs, cryptocurrencies and blockchain should be an integral part of it.

The metaverse is a huge opportunity for individuals and businesses as it provides a new way to interact with customers.

Metaverse digital cyber world technology, man wearing VR virtual reality glasses playing AR augmented reality game and entertainment, futuristic lifestyle

Extended reality technologies

But what is the metaverse? Metaverse is a virtual world where users can seamlessly connect, communicate and transfer themselves and their products, services and goods across multiple digital sites. According to some, the metaverse is when our digital lives (online identities, experiences, relationships and assets) become more meaningfully integrated with our physical lives.

As we have seen, extended reality technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality are rapidly moving towards widespread adoption. VR and AR headsets are expected to surpass global game console deliveries in the coming years. Meta’s Oculus app recently ran the App Store over the past holiday, and is estimated to have sold 7 million headsets by 2021. This widespread consumer adoption of these technologies will provide entry points to the metaverse. †

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Accounting firm PwC estimates that virtual reality and augmented reality would improve the global economy by $1.5 trillion by 2030, from $46.5 billion in 2019.

These technologies allow us to overlay digital information about the real world, such as directions, menus, and even social media notifications. In the future, these technologies will provide an even richer experience, for example: joining the metaverse with an avatar that resembles you.

This is usually the game that serves as the first gateway to the metaverse. Virtual reality and augmented reality are already starting to change the way we interact with the metaverse, and that will quickly shift to other forms of gaming and then to other digital experiences.

Blockchain and crypto

Everything is digitizing fast, from money, fashion, art, real estate and experiences, especially after the coronavirus pandemic has kept people at home. Metaverse technologies are currently being used for collaboration purposes and to train employees in technical skills.

Even governments are building their own metaverse, with Seoul becoming the first major city to go full meta with its plans to create a “fully realized virtual ecosystem for all areas of city government, such as economy, culture, tourism, education, and civic education” . Services.”

The goal of the metaverse is to provide people with a virtual reality that goes beyond physical reality. Here, the impracticality and immutability of blockchain are essential factors for the wide adoption of virtual reality technology.

Blockchain is already playing a crucial role in the development of a digital economy. It enables cryptographically safe and protected transactions and fast confirmation of information.

Blockchain technology and crypto further contribute to the uniqueness of collectibles, digital proof of ownership in the metaverse, compatibility between different spaces, and users mastering the rules of dealing with the metaverse through governance.

As crypto and NFTs become mainstream, the metaverse presents a huge opportunity for the industry that has quickly embraced the virtual world with enthusiasm.

Overcome Challenges

While the Metaverse is a great tool for online gaming, virtual tours, and remote work, it also presents challenges. In addition to figuring out how to engage the five senses, confronting bullying in the real world as well. Moreover, spending countless hours in virtual reality causes users to become disoriented, and of course there are also risks of physical dangers.

The effort required to realize this vast, interconnected network of virtual spaces can also be significant. The price of reliable VR hardware is still high and many people still don’t have access to fast broadband connections.

Although people are optimistic about rapid development, there is still a lot to do in the technical field, so promising applications may not be just around the corner. We could see remarkable results by the end of this decade, but further progress may not take place for many decades to come.

Metaverse is mostly a buzzword at the moment, with some elements already seen in the NFT market, video games and VR chats. However, it is still in its infancy and can develop in different ways depending on research, innovation, investment and policy. Research reports estimate that it is expected to become a $700 billion market in this decade alone.

The metaverse represents new job opportunities as everyone from large corporations and start-ups is trying to get a slice of this emerging virtual world. It continues to evolve with companies working on realistic avatars and immersive virtual reality experiences. Blockchain can provide the required features including ownership, interoperability, decentralization, and security.

Over the next two decades, I expect many people to be involved with the metaverse every day. I think the best metaverse is one where everything is connected and integrated with online and offline experiences.

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