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Posted by Dan Akister on 26-May-2022 09:47:16

Just what is “The Metaverse”?

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I’m sure we’ve all seen that Facebook has renamed its business group to “Meta”. In the same way that Google now sits under the umbrella of “Alphabet”. Both businesses have continued to develop their applications, but there’s been a real buzz around “ The Metaverse” recently, which Zuckerberg is billing as the new way for people to experience the internet from a social media perspective.

Web 3.0
As time moves on, the web continues to evolve. The first iteration of the internet was static pages, created by developers - and it wasn’t “dynamic” at all. This then led into Web 2.0 which was a post “.com bubble” environment of user generated content based around the rise of social media and cloud computing. The next phase of this will be Web 3.0. There are a great number of speculations as to what Web 3.0 will look like. Currently it seems that it’ll be based around blockchain technology with token economics outside of the centralised currencies of the countries of the world. It calls for a decentralised internet based on new technology that protects the privacy of users from large corporations like Facebook and Google.

Metaverse
Coming as an offshoot is “The Metaverse” which refers to a new way of experiencing social media and technology aligned with VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). Social media has evolved over time to be more connected for users, with much more being shared about people (such as biometric information and user behaviour). However, with Web 3.0 there should be an increase in user security and privacy. The Metaverse is a new channel by which data can be accumulated and new signup processes and user information shared. If you’re familiar with the movie “Ready Player One” the title character has an “avatar” in an online world, puts on a headset and has a universe of cyber possibilities to enjoy. It stretches from the physical into the fantastical, however The Metaverse’s function currently, is to conduct “in person” meetings and conferences as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic which limited people’s ability to meet up with one another.

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Limitations
There are concerns around the rollout of The Metaverse because of a number of software and hardware limitations. Server power is by far the biggest limitation to moving forward with it as it requires an almost incomparable amount of processing power to run the Metaverse in a fully rendered 3D environment with elements of interaction, as well as transferring the data of user motion and user decision in real time. The software itself is also highly complex because there needs to be limitations in place - users will need to have a designated framework because without AI in the background writing code as the software is running, coding would be very limited.

We’re probably some time away from this becoming a reality, but what we do know is that it’s taking a considerable amount of resources and will be a way for users to communicate and interact virtually in a web framework.

Topics: new technology, Metaverse, virtual reality, augmented reality

Dan Akister

Written by Dan Akister

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