Will we be living in the Metaverse soon?

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If there is one technology term that you need to be onboard with this year, it's 'Metaverse'

  • First coined in the speculative fiction novel, Snow Crash, in 1992 by Neal Stephanson, the term ‘metaverse’ suddenly got a lot of mainstream coverage last year.
  • In a nutshell, metaverse is a digital virtual reality world where everything we do in real life has a virtual equivalent. This world can be accessed via computer games or through VR/AR headsets.
  • What really catapulted the term into mainstream conscience was Facebook’s decision to change its name to Meta. Mark Zuckerberg wants to make his tech empire a ‘metaverse company’.
  • Zuckerberg has promised to keep aside $10 billion annually for metaverse-related developments. Another big technology company, Microsoft, has also expressed interest.
  • Apart from the big names, Epic Games and Roblox are already operating at some level in the metaverse by offering virtual worlds for people to play and socialise with others.
  • In the early 2000s, there used to be a game called Second Life, which had a similar philosophy of offering players a chance to explore a virtual world and transact in virtual currency.
  • But Second Life lacked the sheer userbase volumes that social networks have these days. Plus the technology wasn’t as advanced when it came to online graphics.
  • While the future being presented by Facebook's Zuckerberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, may seem like this is the next chapter of the internet, things aren’t that simple.
  • The issues which are present in real life with regards to data privacy can be amplified in the metaverse with equipment like virtual reality headsets that monitor a lot more data points.
  • Facebook isn’t a company that’s well known for its data privacy practices. Will the metaverse be a borderless virtual space or Facebook’s version of it? The jury is still out on that.
  • In these stories we understand the basics of the metaverse, how technology companies are planning to cash on it, how long will it take to become mainstream and the problems with it.
Financial Times
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4 articles on this topic


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