What is the Metaverse?
Besides sounding cool, what the Metaverse relates to is a concept, that up until recently was quite vague. In short, it is the combination of several technologies and methodologies that will be able to seamlessly and virtually connect all of us.
This connection is a lot more than simply WhatsApp messaging across the globe, or being able to play video games online anytime anywhere. These were precursors to the next technological evolutionary phase of our existence.
That may sound scarier or more ominous than intended. The concept of the Metaverse is a good thing. It will be able to enhance how we live and work in our day to day, and how we are able to interact with each other in this post-pandemic world. At the same time, it’s meant to bring back the connection we used to be able to feel when it came to social interaction with one another.
What kind of technology will I see in this Metaverse?
Just like we weren’t able to fathom what the dawn of the internet age would become today, or how we have instant communication devices in the palm of our hand, the Metaverse is only an assumption of where we want to go.
With that said, there’s a way to glimpse at the initial potential of the Metaverse with some existing technologies. It will definitely push the current possibilities of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality past its existing capabilities into something new and wonderful.
Augmented reality as the everyday
Many companies are pushing ahead with making the actual real-world augmentable as the new normal, where what we see with the naked eye and through augmented receptors will be very different.
We may be able to stroll down New York City through different timelines throughout its history, seeing how it became the city it is today. Or we will be able to turn ordinary places into extraordinary locations filled with unique characters and alternate stories.
There’s a strong educational component here where we’ll be able to look at something through augmented reality, and it will provide us with accurate information of whatever we’re looking at, whether it be a historical landmark or a pretty flower.
Virtual Reality Worlds
As has been popularized by Hollywood in several movies, the concept of being able to interact with virtual reality with our own computer-generated “avatars” is going past the concept phase and getting to be more of a reality every day.
With major tech companies from Facebook (now Meta) to Apple stating they’re going to be working towards this brave new digital world. The concept also removes the restrictions on where one lives. As you’ll be able to access this from anywhere in the world, and bring your avatar, its inventory, items, and content with you wherever you are, without the need for centralized or even cloud-based computing.
Ok — What does this mean for businesses?
Well, that’s the beauty of it in a sense. We live on a beautiful and vast planet with a robust globally linked economy. With the possibilities of the metaverse, we can create virtually unlimited instances of vastly different lands and planets. The economy itself can be both replicated and interconnected with the real world, enabling numerous opportunities, that again, do not have any geo-restrictions, as long as you’re able to connect and ‘plug in’.
We see and hear this nearly on a daily basis with the rise and establishment of cryptocurrencies. Once considered a niche area, cryptocurrencies are the heralds of a borderless and digital economy, where goods and services rendered can be paid without any geopolitical issues and minimal restrictive regulations.
It eventually can help us steer and navigate this new metaverse and not have to centralize the financial aspect, which, to some, has been a major pain point of global economics.
As cryptocurrencies start getting a modicum of acceptance and regulation by governments across the globe, they’re going to continue to lay down the groundwork for a financial system that will be prepared for the metaverse.
We’re already seeing how this type of technology has not only been able to create valuable digital currencies but at the same time worked on bringing digital artworks and other objects into Nonfungible tokens or NFTs, all helping to help the new types of economies that will arise from this.
When it comes to existing businesses, they too have a place in this new metaverse, no matter how analog or traditional they may seem. The metaverse will be there to enhance the social global community.
However, it will also be another channel and avenue for advertising, shopping through digital boutique stores, and opening up numerous new job types and positions to help maintain this.
Globalized Virtual work and education spaces
This was already starting to slowly happen in some types of formats where companies such as Coursera were able to connect fantastic courses and professors towards a global audience. Just as the same way with video communication and collaboration tools, the typical office has been completely eliminated.
The possibility of the metaverse will help gear us towards a completely new way of handling both education and work, and we’ll be throwing away those monitors for good one day. It’s about changing the sitting in front of our laptop situation to one where we’re able to virtually communicate through VR systems and actually interact with each other. One company in San Diego, CA dk3studios offers virtual reality services to help get more local businesses on the Metaverse.
This will be a complete rework of how education will be perceived as well as how people get trained for certain types of jobs.
Imagine being able to be trained as a forklift operator without having to be on a job site. While having the virtual simulation with multiple points of data help you get trained faster and in a safer environment. This goes for all types of analog-related training, where we can learn how to do anything in predefined training simulators.
When it comes to the corporate workspace, we’ll have offices and boardrooms that can be handled from the comfort of our own home, yet visually represent what a boardroom would look like. It starts to seamlessly integrate the physical and real world, even having us going back to ‘water cooler conversations’ in this virtual setting.
What comes next?
As many companies and countries are getting on board with this new norm that technology was gearing us towards, there seems to be a big widespread acceptance of this, so now it’s only a matter of time for us to observe each iteration that comes out.
Each iteration itself is also an opportunity for anyone to get involved from a business perspective, as the metaverse is here to stay. It’s not meant to be a replacement of what our lives are like today, but to simply help bring a level of the enhancement so that those pain points in our lives can be eliminated.
Pain points like economic limitations, geographic limitations, educational limitations, and so on can easily be reduced or removed with the onset of this metaverse that aims to break down borders and bring a globally democratized collective.
It’s exciting and exhilarating in multiple ways, and even with all of its potential, there’s a consensus of how it will be able to bring many more positive changes than potential negative influences.