Yes, you read it correctly. Did you also think that Facebook renaming itself as Meta is an effort by the tech giant to claim it? Or to acquire a lead on building Metaverse. There must be a lot of unanswered questions which we seek to shed light on. This time the article will elaborate on what is metaverse, meta meaning as described by Facebook, challenges of Facebook Metaverse, metaverse champions, and how are it being built.
What is Metaverse?
The metaverse meaning is a technological spell that seeks to cast gaming, businesses, shopping, and socialization all on digital media. It is said to be the future of the tech world further blurring the lines between hardware, software, and real-life experiences.
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Online gaming is one of the first and foremost examples where users can create their digital avatars and interact with other players.
Real-world Use Cases
Metaverse is a concept born out of science fiction. Metaverse meaning to loosen the borders between different yet similar concepts like augmented reality, virtual reality, and of course, the real world. Now that we have gone through the meta definition, it is a perfect time to introduce you to the popular metaverse examples. For your reference:-
One of the first few metaverse examples that come to our minds is the online video games including PUBG and Fortnite, Somnium Space, a virtual real estate and trade building application, and IMVU, a 3D social network.
Online video games including PUBG and Fortnite are created using multiple interfaces that keep the users involved while they look for firearms and artillery. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, popularly called PUBG is a video game that allows multiple players on an unknown island and hunt for artillery, bullets, bombs, and firearms.
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The secured area is minimized as time goes by, compelling the players to move with the pace of urgency. The person who is alive till the end wins the game.
(Image Source: https://epicgames.com/)
Fortnite is a video game with three different versions. It gained global attention when it announced a concert series spread over three weeks with singers like Travis Scott and Marshmello. The purpose of the series was to utilize Fortnite as a virtual space where artists can hold concerts without any intervention.
2. Somnium Space
(Image Source: https://somniumspace.com/)
Somnium Space is constructed on blockchain technology and uses its currency for trading properties called Somnium Cubes. Somnium space is a real estate platform that deals in buying. And selling of virtual real estate. The sale of virtual properties generates funding and the digital spaces are used for virtual events, e-commerce, gaming, and networking.
(Image Source: https://www.kinguin.net/)
The acronym stands for In My Virtual Universe. IMVU is another social networking platform that is one of the few metaverse examples currently available in the Google Play Store and Apple Store. The platform uses 3D Avatars to interact with other users, visit digital stores, and create new products.
Key Tech Terms To Understand The Metaverse
The following is a list of terms that are commonly used while talking about what is metaverse.
1. Assisted Reality
It refers to the technological development that empowers users to view and interact with a screen without using their hands. For instance, RealWear devices operated by voice commands are perfect examples of assisted reality.
2. Augmented Reality
It is a blend of real-world images as well as computer-generated images. It is a popular feature used by several businesses to enhance their customer experience as it uses the real-world backdrop and adds computer-generated images to the view. For instance, marketers use this to show how their products would look in a particular setting.
Meatspace is the term used for real life as opposed to digital or virtual space.
4. Mixed Reality
As the term suggests, mixed reality is used to describe a setting that is a combination of the real world and digital objects. Users can interact with both real and digital.
The generic definition of the multiverse is that of the existence of multiple universes independently. Concerning the field of technology, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and gaming spaces like PUB G and Fortnite are all examples of multiverses. Metaverse is said to bring all multiverses in one space.
Why Does It Matter?
If at all we consider metaverse to be the successor of the “internet”, this itself speaks a lot about its importance in the world. Its development will lead to the emergence of new products, companies as well as services as it has the capabilities of managing all operations including content creation, privacy concerns, hiring, and identity verification among others.
Metaverse is going to be that disruptive technology that will bring changes to consumer spending, hiring “virtual labor” and monetizing the digital economy, for example- Gold Farming.
Building The Metaverse
For this technology to operate, it has to be advanced and accurate more than what the Internet already offers. For instance, some video games have elements of a metaverse which makes them unique. One of the features that they share is real-time interactions and a higher degree of accuracy.
Thus, Meta will require an even complex and broader set of standards and protocols to ensure the smooth operation of real-life synchronous experiences and increased interoperability.
The web today is built on open standards, whereas a majority of it is proprietary and closed. For instance, multinational companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google use similar technologies and find it hard to transition into one another due to proprietary and other restrictions.
Metaverse is about “openness” and interoperability, however, it is going to hit the current industry concerns around data privacy, code evolution, transactions, and censorship.
It would also have an enormous effect on communications in general, online tax records, and many other issues that we are facing today as part of cyber activities. Thus, building a metaverse will take a long time for it to be competitive and consistent enough as opposed to the internet.
Which Companies Are Building The Metaverse?
As discussed in the previous section, metaverse, as a successor of the internet is expected to be consistent and interoperable and therefore would require a complex structure. Apart from that, building a metaverse would require technological resources, ambition, and experts from the computational industry.
But as it is said to be the next big thing in the tech industry, all major companies want to claim a stake in its development including gaming platforms that have gone as far as declaring metaverse champions.
The top 10 metaverse company in this race are-:
- Facebook Inc.
- Nvidia Corporation
- Amazon Com Inc.
- Apple Inc.
- Microsoft Corp.
- Roblox Corp.
- Unity Software Inc.
- Google LLC
- Sea Ltd.
- Autodesk Inc.
Other than the above-stated companies, Samsung, Adobe, Disney, Alibaba, and PayPal are also involved in staking a claim to Metaverse. Facebook and Roblox have already begun claiming their stake in the building of Metaverse. Facebook changed its name to Meta which we are going to discuss in detail in the later section of this article.
Roblox Corp is a gaming platform that allows users to create games and play those created by fellow gamers. Like Facebook, the online gaming platform declared its intention of creating Roblox Metaverse where its users will have the freedom to work, socialize, create and play with fellow users in a 3D setting.
In Roblox Metaverse, users will have the ability to switch to different modes of communication, for instance, from voice to text or video for that matter.To promote metaverse among its users, Roblox organized an event for Roblox metaverse champions called ‘Spring Hunt’ as a rebrand for their yearly event of egg hunting. The winners of the quest that continues for a month are declared as Roblox Metaverse champions.
What Are The Barriers To The Growth Of Metaverse?
One of the first and foremost barriers to the growth of metaverse is that virtual reality and augmented reality are not yet fully developed, and even after that, users will have to learn their operations, maintenance procedures, and how to repair them.
Companies have to work harder as they are going to sell it, they have to make sure that customers are using it properly.
The demand for cloud engineers is increasing but it is not met due to various factors including unequal employment opportunities, increased demand for experts in the computational field, and a broad network to keep it running.
What Are The Legal Concerns?
The major concerns that lie ahead of adopting metaverse are data security and monitoring the flow of communication. Metaverse is different from the internet in terms of its accuracy and enhanced interoperability.
Interoperability means exchanging information between software and computer systems. This could be a major barrier for metaverse as it is going to be harder for companies to protect data from any misuse.
Is The Metaverse Same As The Virtual Reality?
Metaverse is a constructed digital reality intended to be an advanced version of the internet in terms of its accuracy and consistency with the real world.
On the other hand, virtual reality is a part of the greater concept that ‘metaverse’ is. Metaverse is a virtual environment built using technologies like VR, augmented reality, and other sensory inputs used to create a ‘fictional setting closest to real life.
Facebook Becomes Meta
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Metaverse is the next big thing in the technological industry, Therefore, all major companies would like to stake their claims and exercise an important role in building it. In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg declared that Facebook will now be called meta, hinting at a stronger claim.
Many have called it the beginning of a new era called Facebook Metaverse. It is a strategic move to gather everybody’s attention towards Metaverse and also Facebook claiming “Meta”. The meta meaning as put forth by the Facebook founder is-
A persistent, synchronous environment where we can be together, which I think is probably going to resemble some kind of a hybrid between the social platforms that we see today, but an environment where you’re embodied in it.
Zuckerberg talked about Metaverse’s properties like interoperability, accuracy, and openness that would contribute to its success in the world.
How Much Is Facebook Spending On The Metaverse?
Facebook plans to invest $150 million which includes training people who are involved in building the metaverse and subsidizing devices that customers will use while accessing the Meta.
Although it is a huge amount looking at Facebook’s profits and revenue generated from its other controlled platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, it is evident that it can afford $150 million. Facebook declared its intentions of investing hundreds of dollars for the building of Facebook Metaverse.
Will Facebook Succeed?
It is hard to ascertain whether Facebook will succeed or not because Metaverse is a new concept that is not yet in existence but Facebook has a lot more on its plate that might hamper its journey of building Metaverse.
For instance, the social media giant is still embroiled in paper leaks related to data flow and cybercrime. Such things make it hard for Facebook to launch any new product, they canceled the launch of Instagram kids due to the controversy surrounding Haugen Leaks.
However, Facebook has the computational talent and resources needed to build a complex structure like Metaverse.
The building of Metaverse is going to take a long time, nearly a decade, due to its complex structure. Apart from that, there are other issues related to data exchange and privacy concerns between companies that have to be taken into consideration.
This technology is all about ‘openness’ and creating a virtual world that is very close to reality. Hence, there is bound to affect the IT industry, governments, and businesses involved in data exchange.
We hope this article gave you an insight on what is Metaverse, its basic components, and which is metaverse company that seeks to acquire a claim over it and metaverse champions.