Wha Is The Metaverse?
The metaverse is an emerging concept for a future iteration of the internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe. While still largely conceptual, the metaverse aims to be a virtual world where people can interact, play, work and communicate in new immersive ways.
The key components that make up the metaverse include:
- Persistent virtual worlds: The metaverse consists of always-available 3D virtual environments that continue to exist and evolve even when you’re not actively using or viewing them. This persistence allows for more immersive social connections and gameplay.
- Shared spaces: Rather than isolated 3D environments, metaverse worlds are shared social spaces where users can interact with each other as virtual avatars. This allows for collaborative experiences like virtual work meetings, group gameplay, concerts and more.
- Interoperability: The metaverse aims to allow users to seamlessly move between different virtual worlds and take their avatars, identities, currency, items and more with them. This interoperability between worlds is enabled by blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
- Presence and embodiment: Users are represented in the metaverse by customizable virtual avatars. Advanced VR/AR hardware will help give users an increased sense of presence, embodiment and realism as their avatars.
Some real-world examples that demonstrate early metaverse concepts include virtual social spaces like VRChat, blockchain-based virtual worlds like Decentraland, and online games with 3D persistent environments like Fortnite. Brands are also starting to create their own branded metaverse experiences, such as Nike’s virtual world called Nikeland within the Roblox platform.
While still evolving, the metaverse aims to provide more immersive social connections online. It could transform how we interact for work, entertainment, socializing and more. But there are still challenges around privacy, safety and accessibility that must be considered as the metaverse continues to grow.