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What Exactly Is The Metaverse And Why Is It Gaining Popularity?

There have been many articles and conversations lately about the Metaverse. There is a great deal of interest in the term globally and everyone wants to know what does metaverse mean,  and how it works. If you are one of those who are curious to explore more about the metaverse and the various aspects associated with it, this article is for you. 

In the Metaverse, immersive virtual worlds, virtual reality, and augmented reality are used to create a futuristic version of the internet. It’s not ready yet, but the idea is to allow people to work, play, converse, learn, shop, and more, through one unified virtual environment.

Metaverse differs from the social-based web2 and even the hypothetical decentralized web3 where visitors can find information through websites and communicate using Zoom and Discord. The concept would be built around an immersive virtual world or worlds, where each user is represented by their own avatar. 

What is the Metaverse? 

Virtual worlds are connected by the metaverse, which is a network of 3D virtual worlds for interacting with each other. Essentially, it creates spaces that mimic the real world, by using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), blockchain, and social media concepts. 

Games, meetings, and shopping are all part of this virtual world. 

You need a headset to access Metaverse, after which you can connect to the virtual reality interface.

The Metaverse History

The term Metaverse was coined by Neal Stephenson around 30 years ago in a science fiction novel – Snow Crash.

In his novel, he imagined lifelike avatars interacting in virtual reality environments such as realistic 3D buildings. 

Eventually, Metaverse will bring together new digital experiences that will enable billions of people to work, play, collaborate, and socialize in entirely new ways.

“The metaverse is considered the next evolution of the internet.”

What exactly can you do in the Metaverse?

The Metaverse enables users to dive into a digital universe via VR headsets, interact with friends and strangers, play games, interact with virtual characters, learn new things, shop for both physical and virtual goods, etc. Basically, users will have the access to do just about everything they currently use the internet for.

This Metaverse will be a large network of interactive 3D worlds, where you will be able to move freely between them for work, play, and everything else.

Why Metaverse is not the same as the Internet?

There are billions of computers, millions of servers, and other electronic devices on the internet. The internet provides users with the means to communicate, view and interact with websites, and buy and sell goods and services. Resultantly, a number of services have been born out of the internet which is leading to the creation of the metaverse.

In contrast to the internet, the metaverse builds upon it, not competes with it. Using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), social media and digital currencies, users traverse the metaverse, a virtual world that mimics aspects of the physical world. The internet is a tool that people ‘browse’. However, it is also possible for people to ‘live’ in the metaverse to a certain extent.

VR v/s Metaverse

Virtual reality is a pivotal component of the Metaverse, on account of its ability to facilitate immersive experiences. It is most likely that the interaction with the Metaverse will be achieved through the medium of computers and phones, or other variety of means. However, the experience of the Metaverse will be created around augmented reality or virtual reality.

Commerce in the Metaverse

The metaverse offers a wealth of investment opportunities, from metaverse stocks and cryptocurrencies to metaverse NFTs and even metaverse land. Virtual real estate can also be purchased through a metaverse platform such as The Sandbox or Decentraland. During these transactions, cryptocurrencies are used as payment and ownership is logged on a blockchain as NFT transfers.

How does one make money in the Metaverse?

Metaverse users can design 3D assets for others, create VR games, organize events with paid tickets, rent, or sell property to make money.

Role of NFTs in the Metaverse?

In the metaverse, non fungible tokens (NFTs) will play an important role. Using the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrencies, NFTs are secure digital assets. But rather than currency, NFTs can represent artistic work, songs, or digital properties. The metaverse allows NFT owners to buy and sell a digital deed or proof of ownership.

A virtual real estate company called Metaverse Properties now allows users to purchase and rent property across a number of metaverse virtual worlds. Among the spaces on offer are conference and commercial spaces, art galleries, family homes, and hangout spots.

As Metaverse Properties offers digital goods, established brick-and-mortar companies are also taking advantage of the metaverse.

How close are we to the arrival of Metaverse?

It has been possible to engage in virtual worlds for many years, but a true metaverse that allows for lifelike interaction is still many years away. Nevertheless, most virtual meetings are predicted to move from two-dimensional square boxes to the metaverse within the next two to three years. In such futuristic meetings, participants will appear in their digital avatars and engage with other avatars (participants) in a 3D space created specifically for business purposes.

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Metaverse popularity is growing everyday. Many of the world’s largest tech companies are vying to control the future of the Metaverse or tap into valuable virtual markets. These companies include Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Walmart, etc. Facebook has actually renamed itself ‘Meta’ in order to indicate its focus on developing the Metaverse. Soon, governments may also undertake activities that expand their reach into the metaverse. 

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