These days the terms ‘NFT’ and ‘Metaverse’ are everywhere on the internet and in conversations among people. Despite that, many of us are still very much confused as to what the metaverse is and what the future of it entails.
What is the Metaverse?
It’s perhaps too broad a term to just define in a sentence so let’s break it down. There are a number of definitions of the word ‘meta’, one of which being ‘transcending’. As for ‘verse’ it’s taken from the word universe. Put the two of them together and you’ve got a word that basically coins ‘transcending universe’.
How I would describe the metaverse is perhaps futuristic internet with a god complex. It’s at ‘god complex level’ for now because it’s something so advanced and seemingly unattainable but then again, everything’s impossible until it becomes possible. To put things in perspective, the internet as it is today was something unfathomable 50 years ago. Should the metaverse become a reality, it’s going to greatly surpass the internet that we know and are familiar with. Think stepping into a sci-fi movie like ‘Ready Player One’ – virtual reality but worldwide.
How does the Metaverse affect me?
The metaverse is set to become a massive global network that’ll allow you to interact and connect with people halfway across the world through personalised avatars of yourselves. When interoperability is achieved, it’s going to change the way we work, play and perhaps even shop in the future.
There’s a really good chance that there will be a huge rise in the use of cryptocurrency as means of payment/income for many people and companies. The job-scape will continue to evolve, the types of jobs in demand will likely look a whole lot different from how it is now.
How soon will the Metaverse become a reality?
Tech giants like Facebook (now rebranded as Meta) and Microsoft invest heavily in the idea of a metaverse, but much of the vision is still just a vision. The technology required to make the metaverse a reality is very advanced to say the least but we do have some existing building blocks in place with components like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) systems.
To a certain extent, we’re actually already living in some form of a metaverse. It’s almost like how the internet first came to be, we’re at the very beginning of the metaverse before all the fancy upgrades and additional features.
Challenges of the Metaverse
When more of our lives are spent virtually, even more of our information and data will be digitized. There’s an increased risk of the use of deepfakes, hacking, harassment, misinformation and hate speech. All of that is currently happening with the internet, it’s just a matter of it being intensified. Then again, it’s associated with being more of a user problem although the platform for it got a lot bigger.
In the digital era we live in, it’s exciting to think about new possibilities and opportunities that will be brought about by having an actual metaverse. A concept in line with an evolved form of going about life virtually with state of the art technology minus the physical limitations. What a time to be alive.
Top Image from julien Tromeur