"Metaverse" is a word that is used all over the world.
On Tuesday, Microsoft said the "metaverse" was a reason why it bought Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. The deal would help build the "metaverse." Facebook rebranded itself Meta by its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in an attempt to claim ownership of the metaverse, a notion for a three-dimensional version of the internet that several companies are developing. An additional $1 billion in cash has been made available by Epic Games to aid in the development of its long-term vision for the Metaverse. In the past, Google has worked on metaverse technology. Besides that, Apple is working on its own related devices, too! Other announce that they are developing a metaverse include the games Active Worlds,The Palace, and Fortnite.
It's not clear what the metaverse is, and is it even real. Here are the things you need to know.
A metaverse is a group of 3D virtual worlds that are all connected by social networking. People who write about futurism and science fiction say that the Internet could one day be a single, universal virtual world that is made possible by virtual and augmented reality glasses. Non-fungible tokens, virtual reality headsets, and cryptocurrencies you own that makes you are part of the metaversal experience.
The term "metaverse" comes from the 1992 science fiction book Snow Crash, written by Neal Stephenson, who used the words "meta" and "universe" together to make the word. Then Ernest Cline's novel, "Ready Player One," expanded on the idea. Metaverses have been made for people to use, like virtual worlds like Second Life. Some metaverses combine virtual and real world and make use of virtual economies. Demand for more immersion means that metaverse development is often linked to the development of virtual reality technology.
In the past, the term has been used as a buzzword to exaggerate the progress of different technologies and projects for public relations purposes. Privacy, addiction, and safety are issues in metaverses that become challenges with social media and video games as a whole.
The metaverse, according to Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist who has written extensively on the subject, is the fourth wave of computing, following mainframe computing, personal computing, and mobile computing.
Metaverses can be accessed with general-purpose computers and smartphones, as well as with augmented reality (AR), mixed reality, virtual reality (VR), and virtual world technologies, such as the Holodeck.
VR technology has slowed down the development of metaverses and the adoption of them by a lot of people. Having to balance the cost and design of a project has led to a lack of mobility and high-quality graphics in the past. Lightweight wireless headsets haven't been able to meet the pixel density needed for immersive visuals, while more powerful headsets are usually wired and bulky. As of 2022, VR headsets for consumers can cost anywhere from $300 to $3500. This makes it hard for people to use the technology on a large scale.
Current hardware development is focused on improving VR headsets, sensors, and haptic technology to make the experience more realistic and make it more fun.
A common technical specification for metaverse implementations has not been widely adopted, and existing implementations rely heavily on proprietary technologies. Metaverse development is plagued by interoperability issues coming from privacy and transparency concerns. Several standardization attempts for virtual space have been undertaken.
Philip Rosedale, the creator of Second Life, characterized metaverses as a three-dimensional Internet with real people in a January 2022 interview with Wired.
The Pixar-created Universal Scene Description is a standard for 3D computer graphics interchange that is supported by Blender, Apple's Scenekit, and Autodesk 3ds Max. It was announced by NVIDIA in 2021 that they would be using the USD for their metaverse development tools.
Virtual and augmented reality devices and experiences can be accessed using the OpenXR standard, which is free and open source. For Microsoft's HoloLens 2 and Meta Platforms' Oculus Quest, and Valve's SteamVR, it has been adopted.
For the metaverse, what does Activision Blizzard create?
There isn't a lot of, to be honest.
Online games by Activision Blizzard are notable for allowing players to establish communities within the virtual worlds they inhabit. Gamers in Blizzard's 2004 MMORPG World of Warcraft collaborated online in order to finish missions and equip their virtual characters with better weapons and armor.
Despite this, the corporation has not yet experimented with VR. However, it has yet to release a virtual reality game for personal computers or gaming consoles.
For the metaverse, what does Microsoft want to build?
Microsoft's work on the metaverse is still in its infancy at this point.
Software giant Microsoft spent several years developing a $3,500 holographic headset called HoloLens, with the goal of making it useful for corporations and government organizations. Devices like this one are part of the future metaverse, according to some technologists.
Xbox, the company's second-most popular gaming system after the Sony PlayStation, is also made by Microsoft. Contrary to Sony's position in virtual reality gaming, the Xbox has remained noticeably silent.
Selling Virtual Goods
A virtual product is a digital depiction of a physical object. A virtual product may be a virtual depiction of a real product, or it may be a virtual product that exists exclusively in the virtual world. While these things may not be “real” in the way we generally believe reality to be, they are plenty real enough for real people to be spending real money on them.
For many businesses, the benefits of virtual products are self-evident. Buying a virtual high-end Ferrari to get an advantage in a racing simulator is easy to envisage. An expensive suit worn in a virtual setting provides the same benefits as one worn in the physical world.
Imagining how Taco Bell might use virtual products. Chalupa Supreme's advantages don't seem to transition well into a virtual world. Despite this, they were able to create and sell virtual things worth thousands in the last month.
The point is straightforward. With real-world things, it's likely possible to create and sell the same products using virtual means. The value of these things will only rise as we move toward an immersive multiverse.