What is the Metaverse, what possibilities does it offer and when will it be real?

What is the Metaverse, what possibilities does it offer and when will it be real?
We are going to try to explain to you what exactly the Metaverse is, that concept of the virtual world that Facebook or Google, Nvidia and Microsoft are deciding to bet on to such an extent that Facebook has changed the name of their company to Meta. It is not any kind of new concept, and we have already seen flirtations with him in the literary and cinematographic world, with films like 'Ready Player One' or 'The Substitutes'.

In Engadget Basics we are going to try to explain it in the simplest way possible. Thus, we can all have a rough idea of ​​what exactly this metaverse is. In addition, we will also try to tell you some of the possibilities that it is going to offer, and give you an idea of ​​how much is missing and what is needed for this concept to become a reality.

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What is the metaverse

What is the metaverse

The Metaverse is a virtual world, one to which we will connect using a series of devices that will make us think that we are really inside it, interacting with all its elements. It will be like really teleporting to a totally new world through virtual reality glasses and other accessories that will allow us to interact with it.

Virtual worlds are nothing new, and there are a lot of them, especially in the video game industry. You create a character or avatar for yourself, and you enter that world to live adventures through your computer. However, the metaverse does not seek to be a fantasy world, but a kind of alternate reality in which we can do the same things we do today outside the home, but without leaving the room.
The term metaverse comes from a 1992 novel called 'Snow Crash', and is a term that has taken hold to describe visions of three-dimensional or virtual workspaces. This metaverse, therefore, signifies a virtual world in which we can interact, and that has been created to resemble an external reality.

As for the precise concept of metaverse that Facebook and other companies are betting on. The idea would be to create a parallel and completely virtual universe, which we can access with virtual reality and augmented reality devices, so that we can interact with each other within it, and from the outside with the content that we have inside.

The key to this metaverse is that it can be totally immersive, or at least much more than what virtual reality is today. Yes, we will have glasses that are possibly similar to the current ones to immerse ourselves in it, but also sensors that record our physical movements so that our avatar within that metaverse does exactly the same.

It also stays to make the devices we use can interpret our facial expressions so that our avatar in the metaverse can recreate us, and that way the rest of the people with whom we are interacting can understand how we feel. Come on, let body language also be part of these virtual interactions.

Another of the main ideas of the metaverse is that we have total freedom of creation, both to make our avatar similar to our physical person and to give it a different appearance, and also to create the environment and our businesses and rooms to our liking.
Think about what the Internet is like now. It is full of virtual communities, social networks that we access from different devices. We interact with more people virtually than physically. Well, the metaverse would be to take one more step to narrow the physical and virtual worlds, mixing them both in a new universe managed by the company that manages to impose its metaverse.

What the metaverse can offer

What the metaverse can offer

The metaverse can offer us the next great evolutionary leap on the Internet... or come to nothing because it fails. It is still very early, and companies like Facebook are only beginning to create the infrastructures and the first concepts that lead to a future where there are devices capable of taking us to it. Therefore, it is more of a concept, a blank canvas, than a reality that we can connect to today.
In his vision, Facebook hopes that the metaverse can offer as many opportunities as the real physical world, with the possibility of creating our own businesses in it. Imagine being able to walk through the streets of the Washington city, and being able to chat with the virtual avatars of other people, who have opened some stores and offer us to be able to try on and buy virtual clothes, a virtual car, or a virtual apartment.

It can also have practical applications, such as work meetings where everyone shares a virtual office by connecting from home, and they don't even have to worry about getting ready for the meeting. It does not matter if you are in pajamas or disheveled, what the rest of the people will see will be your avatar, your virtual character.

A metaverse could also have its own economy, with some type of virtual currency that we can buy with our real money, or earn in some way within the interactions it offers. Perhaps jobs can even be created. "What does your nephew work on? He's the manager of a virtual store in the metaverse."

facebook meta

And finally, looking for something closer and more humane, it will also allow us to interact with people who are physically far away in a more realistic way, looking into our virtual eyes and our gestures reproduced by the sensors of the virtual reality helmet that we wear. We can talk to each other, we can walk through virtual worlds, and it will not matter where we connect from. We can even express how we really feel that we are, and not how we are physically.
Obviously, Facebook's hope is that the metaverse that prevails is its own, because other companies will almost certainly propose others. Then they will be the ones who control and benefit from everything, the economy and all the businesses that are carried out within.

Hopefully the metaverse is full of micropayments as well. For example, paying to change our avatar's clothes in the same way that we pay for our clothes. And starting to think seriously, maybe paying for being able to perform certain intimate actions with other people, for being able to use certain materials when creating something within the metaverse, and I don't know. Paying for more things than we pay today.

In any case, these are assumptions. Today the metaverse is a concept, an idea, and a blank canvas. It will have many possibilities, but everything will depend on the will that there is to create it, the path that is followed to do it, and how accessible it is for everyone. Because that is another key, that we can all enjoy it.

When will the metaverse be real

When will the metaverse be real

Currently, the metaverse is just a concept that is beginning to be built. The Meta company, formerly known as Facebook, has presented the idea and announces heavy investments to make it real. But it remains to be seen whether other companies will join in the effort to create the technologies that make it possible.
Because we still don't have the technologies that can make that concept real. We don't have virtual reality devices that really make us move as if we were within that universe realistically. All the infrastructure is also missing in terms of design. It is a universe that you want to create, but it still does not have regions, streets or anything, only some virtual rooms that are being used for the first tests.

During the next few years we will see how new devices are launched that seek to connect us with this new virtual reality. The idea is that in the future they will be very complete and affordable, but until that is real, they may not yet allow great interactions and are quite expensive.

Therefore, we are still a long way from being able to connect all of us to a metaverse in which to interact. We still have to develop that virtual universe, and also develop the technology that makes it possible for us to connect to it. It is also necessary to make that technology, where it exists, affordable for all.
However, during the next few years you may hear and read about this metaverse often, as it is to be expected that several companies will begin to develop everything necessary to connect to it. It is an interesting concept and full of business possibilities for companies, so little by little we will see how it is shaped.

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