The internet changed our lives and the world as a whole. And apparently, it’s time for an upgrade. If you need a crash course on the metaverse, this new version of our online lives, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about the web’s next phase.
If you’ve been part of the discourse surrounding the online world’s direction, you know that the metaverse will bring about the internet’s second iteration. Well, truth of the matter is, it’s already here.
The way we interact with each other on the web, how we work, and how we do our daily lives is all about to change.
To help you make sense of this brave new digital world, we’re bringing you everything you need to know about the metaverse. Let’s see what the future holds, shall we?
What is the Metaverse?
The internet will slowly but surely evolve into a shared and connected virtual world where you can work, shop, connect, play, and create in immersive 3D spaces. At least, this is what most technologists are expecting.
It’ll be a major computing platform as transformative to society and industry as the mobile phone was once, incorporating AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality) and 3D avatars.
The term metaverse is nothing new, originally stemming from Sci-Fi author Neal Stephenson and his 1992 novel Snow Crash. In the novel, people escape their dystopian reality by joining the online world with their digital avatars. Does this concept seem familiar? That’s because it’s already started becoming our reality.
As venture capitalist and analyst Matthew Ball wrote in his article about the metaverse, “rough outlines of future solutions are often understood and, in a sense, agreed upon well in advance of the technical capacity to produce them.“ Think George Orwell predicting mass surveillance systems in 1949 with his novel 1984, or 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke predicting tablets 30 years before their release.
We all have a rough outline in our heads about the metaverse’s future form thanks to Hollywood and the entertainment industry. Still, it’s impossible to predict how everything will fall into place.
Ready Player One is one iteration that comes up more in discussions than others. If you’ve seen this movie you already know how Hollywood imagines the metaverse.
It’ll be a more intertwined, enhanced version of the internet. Imagine a shared, virtual parallel universe that cannot be shut off. In this new universe, our digital avatars will roam freely while our “meat suits” stay put in the physical world with VR goggles on their heads.
Though it seems decades away, and all this is still forming, there are metaverses you can join already.
What parts of the metaverse exist already?
We know that the Metaverse would revolutionise not just the digital world, but the physical one too. How we work, buy, and socialise could all change. And the race towards dominating this new world became the newest macro-goal for the world’s tech giants.
Video games like Fortnite and Roblox can both be considered parts of the metaverse. In these online universes, players hang out, create, play, and attend events as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
In The Sandbox (an up and running virtual metaverse where Snoop Dogg builds his own interactive world) there’s a surge to buy virtual land already. The most affordable piece of land sells for $15,179 at the time of writing.
Naturally, the biggest fish in the pond seems to be Facebook, which changed its parent company name to Meta lately. Mark Zuckerberg describes the metaverse as “the internet that you’re inside of, rather than just looking at.” Their expanded VR world, Horizon is still in beta, aiming to create “a social experience where you can explore, play, and create with others in VR.”
All this, on one hand, shows Facebook’s mammoth move away from social media and towards a new digital frontier. On the other hand, it signals a starting point in the Metaverse age. Giant tech companies like Nvidia, Sony, and Microsoft are all betting on this new universe, hoping it will help them grow and save them vast amounts of money in the future.
Where's the Metaverse headed? How can you join?
At the moment, technology simply does not yet exist to power a digital universe where millions of people interact in a shared, synchronous experience.
To see where the metaverse can go, it’s worth taking a look at Seoul, and the city’s efforts to become the first metaverse city.
Their “Metaverse 120 Centre” opening in 2023 will offer consultations and civil service, currently available only through the Seoul City Hall. What’s more, the city’s leading festivals such as the Seoul Lantern Festival will also be held in the metaverse.
Imagine multiple cities, game universes and other online worlds connected together as one. You might be wondering how all this will formulate and how you’ll be able to take part in it.
The good news is, you won’t necessarily need a VR headset to enter and interact with the metaverse. PCs, just like smartphones and mobile networks provide an entry. This means that you can use your technology at hand to join.
Yet again, the technology building up the metaverse will be complex. These next-gen technologies will shape it (most probably):
- XR (Extended Reality) – VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) both fall into this category. There simply cannot be a metaverse without these technologies creating spatialised content like 3D models, audio, and other multimedia.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) – It will help to augment our metaverse experience, and improve how we communicate and understand others and the space we’re in with context-rich information.
- IoE (Internet of Everything) – To power the metaverse, there needs to be connectivity between devices and a flow of data feeding the entire system.
- Digital Humans – New and improved Siris and Alexas could turn the immersion in the metaverse up a notch. These NPCs could provide information and make our experience more comfortable as digital butlers.
- Neural Interfaces – The ones being developed right now like Neuralink will be enablers for XR, allowing you to control aspects of your experience with your nervous system.
Another aspect worth mentioning is currency.
We don’t have to introduce cryptocurrencies, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and blockchain already. These technologies and exchangeable tokens will make virtual trading possible in the metaverse, and even allow you to move your virtual goods and money between metaverses. So you might buy a sneaker for your avatar in Roblox, and be able to wear it in Fortnite, too.
Are you excited about the metaverse?
If you’re thrilled to see where our online world is headed, and you feel inclined not only to experience, but also shape it, consider learning to code. Our future is digital, and those who can code will build it.
In our live, mentor-led full-stack development course you can learn 4 to 6 programming languages and gather inevitable soft skills, to become a professional developer in a year, and start creating the digital solutions of the future. We even help you land your first tech job.
You don’t need special skills or a tech background to start. Just bring you logic and curiosity, and get immersed in the world of software development.
If you have any questions, reach out! We’re always happy to hear from you.