What is Metaverse? What’s it going to be used for?

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Meta, formerly Facebook, is working on an AR and VR technology called Metaverse. Here are the details…

Facebook has been talking about the Metaverse project throughout the year. The company even announced that it was willing to lose a large sum of money to fulfill its objectives. As you know, the social media giant announced yesterday that it changed its corporate name to Meta as an assurance of these words.

With its new identity, Meta defines Metaverse as “a new universe where interconnected virtual experiences will merge using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies”. Many companies have already started talking and commenting on this topic. So what exactly is Metaverse? For what purpose will it be used?

What exactly is Metaverse?

Metaverse offers the opportunity to make the virtual world a more social environment. It is said that all the actions that can be done in real life can also be done in the virtual world. In a decade or so, if the Metaverse can be realized, it’s likely to be very different from what the developers now think.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in his Founder’s Letter, describes the Metaverse as an embodied internet realm that can be experienced, not just looked at. He then exemplifies this as a hologram that will instantly teleport you to an event you might be at the office without going to work, an event planned with friends or a family event with your family.

We’ve seen a lot of movies where technology like this is the subject. Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, and the Wachowskis’ The Matrix are examples of these virtual digital worlds. Those with extensive knowledge of internet history will also remember Second Life, which promised the same technology 18 years ago.

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By also acquiring Oculus, Meta paved the way for furthering its work in the virtual space with this step. We can say that Metaverse is one click more than Zoom, but it requires some expensive VR equipment to use it.

Alexandru Voica, Meta’s Head of Technology Communications in Europe, used the current video call as an example of a version that Metaverse hopes could develop. He said that this 2D meeting is better than talking on the phone, but it cannot be compared to being side by side. He added that Metaverse is not to support real-world connections, but will make virtual experiences more realistic.

With the effect of the pandemic period, millions of people have made working remotely a necessity. From the beginning of 2020, Mark Zuckerberg has made it easier to work remotely with the developments of VR and AR technologies that he aims for in the “Next Decade” project. These studies had begun before the effects of the pandemic.

Matthew Ball, CEO of Epyllion Co, writes an article about what the Metaverse is from 2020. Initially, Ball stated that Metaverse will pave the way for potential workers, people who make money from the virtual world, to participate in the economy. In particular, he cited the sale of advanced accounts in MMO games with real-world money as an example.

With current developments, Ball says the Metaverse will offer a unique data collaboration. For example, he claims that a weapon obtained in Counter-Strike will offer a free transfer of data, such as converting it into a costume in Fortnite. However, this seems unlikely given the losses that the side’s gaming firms will achieve.

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Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, is positive about the idea of a cross-data transfer in some way. In an interview with the New York Times this July, Sweeney cited the creation of a data tunnel between Roblox and Fortnite. During this cross-data sharing, IP addresses are crucial to metaverse’s success, Voica said.

Last September, the Washington Post interviewed Sima Sistani, co-founder of Houseparty and now working for Epic Games. He said Metaverse would replace social media, which completely covers our free time. Unlike now, when people share photos and posts and update status, Sistani believes the next generation could be fully collaborative with each other online.

Who will the Metaverse belong to?

As the developers working on Metaverse have made clear, this platform will not be owned by just one person or company. Instead, we hope it will take on the task that the internet currently does, by creating a virtual network infrastructure that anyone can use.

Projects like Decentraland, which has its virtual environment, work on this principle as its economy is already running on Ethereum’s blockchain. As The New York Times announced earlier this year, the Decentraland marketplace has already announced that real-world brokers are buying virtual real estate packages.

Decentraland has art shows and casinos where it operates even now. All of these have the potential to be connected to digital commerce. This contradicts the potential of the digital world that Metaverse can support. The popular culture definitions of the Metaverse cannot be characterized as very positive in terms of sociability. It looks more like a symptom of impending collapse.

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Now Meta is very confident that he will spend his fortune for the Metaverse over the next few years. Projects like Decentraland also offer a clue as to how a virtual economy would work. However, none of them give tangible results about the possibilities that Meteverse will offer us. Other companies, such as Meta, are trying to contribute to this issue without knowing what the result is yet.

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