The phrase “Metaverse” is the newest buzzword in the IT sector, so much so that one of the most well-known online platforms is rebranding to show its adoption of this futuristic concept. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just announced that his company’s name would be now changed to Meta Platforms Inc., or Meta for short.
The 37-year-old Facebook founder has previously stated that the firm will “successfully move from people perceiving us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.” So, what exactly is this new World for which Facebook is batting? Here’s all you need to know.
What is Metaverse?
The Greek prefix “meta” signifies “beyond, after, or over.” So, Metaverse, a combination of “meta” and “universe,” would denote a location beyond the World or universe as we know it, one that exists in the virtual realm yet seems just as natural.
However, the notion is not novel. I am sure you’ve watched movies like Matrix or Real Player One. In that case, you’ll understand what I’m talking about: a virtual reality realm that individuals can enter and access using a gadget or device. Consider a video game, such as Fifa or Minecraft. The player uses instructions and buttons to control a character or events on the screen. What if, instead of sitting at the console and watching the game unfold on the screen, the player could be within the game, engaging not as a spectator but as a character immersed within it?
While gaming businesses have made the initial forays into the Metaverse, the virtual World imagined by the tech titans will be more comprehensive, including everything from the office to leisure.
What can you do in the Metaverse?
It’s a notion of an online environment in which individuals may interact with one another, cooperate, and communicate electronically without having to be in the same physical area. For example, you may be in New Delhi, and your family could be in Kolkata, yet you could have a meal at the same table. It’s like Zoom or Google Meet on a much larger scale. Rather than gazing at a screen, you’d be able to view your family members across the table.
The potential of virtual reality is enormous, particularly from a commercial standpoint. What about being able to try on the dress you selected online before placing an order? Or how about really getting inside the automobile you wish to test drive while sitting in your living room? The Metaverse might also be a game-changer for the work-from-home shift amid the coronavirus epidemic. Employees might join coworkers in a virtual workplace instead of viewing them on a video call grid.
The VR, or virtual reality, headset looks to be the gadget of choice for the Metaverse at the outset, at least according to Facebook. And, following its acquisition of Oculus VR for USD 2 billion in 2014, Facebook already has its in-house product – the Oculus VR headset.
Horizon Workrooms, a meeting software for businesses that work with Facebook’s Oculus VR headsets, has received mixed reviews thus far. The headsets cost USD 300 or more, placing many people out of reach of the Metaverse’s most cutting-edge experiences. Users who can afford it will flit between virtual worlds established by different corporations using their avatars.
Key Tech Terms you need to know related to Metaverse
Some of these words are used synonymously. Some experiences combine several realities; for example, Horizon Workrooms need an Oculus Quest 2 headset to join a virtual meeting, but colleagues may also participate via video conference.
This term refers to any technology that lets a person view a screen and interact with it using hands-free controls. This category includes Realwear devices.
This technique uses the actual environment as the backdrop and augments it with computer-generated pictures. Retailers use this to demonstrate how a new couch might appear in a customer’s living room.
This is the physical World in which we spend the majority of our time.
This word refers to an objective world perspective that includes virtual items that seem and behave like real ones. Users can interact with both virtual and physical objects.
The broad concept of this phrase refers to several different worlds that operate independently of one another. In the context of technology/internet/social media, this includes Facebook, Minecraft, Instagram, Twitch, Roblox, Fortnite, Discord, and other virtual social media and gaming platforms where people socialise, play, and shop. In principle, the Metaverse might unite all of these multiverses.
This is an immersive experience that necessitates the use of a headset. There are VR games that transport gamers to new realms and training sessions in real life.