Since the inception of the internet, millions of lives have gradually embraced an ever-increasing digital lifestyle. Intercommunications that were not so long ago exclusively available in physical spaces- social interactions, collaborative business, and shopping can now be effortlessly carried out online. Initiated as a conceptual term in 1992 by renowned Sci-Fi writer Neal Stephenson in his novel ‘Snow Crash,’ the Metaverse is a highly-interactive virtual 3D space that is now set to revolutionize the real world as we know it.
Understanding the Concept
While there isn’t a particular technology underpinning the Metaverse, the prominent technologies that will drive it forwards would probably include cryptocurrencies, blockchain, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, there isn’t a singular definition of the concept; it would be convenient to think about the Metaverse as a virtual space that emulates the physics of the real world, leveraging the cutting edge offerings of AI and VR to drive vivid interactive experiences among multiple digital avatars (users) and their virtual environments.
Transforming the business landscape through tech optics and breakthroughs
As envisioned by global tech pioneers such as Microsoft, Facebook, Epic Games, and Decentraland, the Metaverse aims to equip tech users with similar yet distinctive capabilities that could have immense implications on the world of business. It would promote high-touch interactions for remote users, customers, and employees alike. Professionals are now empowered to conduct face-to-face meetings from their current locations.
Customers are now free to explore locations, sample novel products, and even evaluate customizations without physically commuting to a store. Additionally, the Metaverse has opened up a whole new world of exciting business opportunities to be explored by defying the laws of physical reality.
For instance, leading automobile manufacturers have created a subset of the Metaverse known as the ‘Auto-Motor-Verse’ to establish virtually-accessible digital 3D replicas of their state-of-the-art factories. Such virtual spaces allow employees to collaboratively assess adjustments, modifications, and production lines in the planning stages. Similarly, manufacturers are also offering test drives of their concept cars and models that have been newly launched, offering interested customers a sneak peek into the vehicle’s driving experience, interiors, features, and HUDs.
Future of the Metaverse
As the Metaverse concept begins to incorporate Web 3.0 technology, driven by blockchain technologies such as Cryptos and NFTs, the future of the Metaverse would be very similar to the real world in several aspects and could gradually replace real-world activities such as frequent commutes.
Certain metaverse NFT vendors have released their own NFTs to be leveraged across multiple metaverses to purchase products such as footwear and clothing. Moreover, the ever-increasing number of NFT users also recognize the investment prospects in virtual lands on games by selling and renting them for a lucrative rate. Individuals with minimal interest in Metaverse but view the domain as a financially-yielding platform could invest in equities of the enterprises that are well-placed in the concept. The future of the Metaverse could also be an essential contributing factor toward the exponential growth of the virtual economy, a domain that substantially depends on virtual worlds and video games where disruptions are minimal.
As such, creators and users stand to gain a great deal, which can increase if NFTs are incorporated into in-game assets to decentralize the virtual economy. The Metaverse of the future hinges on the idea of functioning openly, devoid of significant interruptions from corporations or communities, since creators from diverse geographies would be participating with an increasing number of brands looking to establish their outlets on the broader Metaverse similar to the internet currently.
(Ankit Saraiya, Director, Techno Electric & Head of Data Center Vertical. Views are personal)