By 2026, a quarter of people will spend at least an hour a day in the meta-universe, according to a study by Gartner. Experts predict that users will visit the virtual offices, classrooms, and stores, build digital homes, and even buy land.
The concept of a metaverse attracted attention after Facebook changed its name to Meta in 2021 and announced a major investment in the idea. Then Microsoft, Epic Games, Roblox, and other corporations announced the creation of their meta universes. And maybe one day those who enjoy gambling at PlayAmo 36 will be able to access its own metaverse.
That’s why there is so much buzz about it, how it will change the world and people’s lives, and when it will become reality.
The metaverse is a space where physical, augmented, and virtual reality merge.
One of the first mentions of the meta world appeared in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash. In the book, it was cyberspace, which embodied the next stage in the development of the Internet. You could live in it, store in it, search for information, build-up areas, and look at almost anything you wanted using an avatar. Virtual reality helmets, goggles, and other paraphernalia were used to stay online at all times.
The book and the term itself came to mind after Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement in July 2021. At that time, he announced Facebook’s plans to create its own meta world, and later renamed the company Meta and announced the beginning of the development of the idea.
Of course, this metaverse will be different from the worlds presented in books and movies with a cyberpunk plot, but the concept is very similar. According to Mark Zuckerberg, it will look like you’re not just surfing the Internet, but you’re right there.
The meta world is a digital space that combines the physical, augmented, and virtual realities. It is a progressive virtual world in which you can do almost the same things as in real life, but with enhanced capabilities.
Sophisticated technology helps to create a single space in multiple realities. Once in this world, a person becomes a three-dimensional avatar and experiences the full range of sensations, and returns to normal reality as a hologram.
How the Metaverse Works
Entering the Metaverse is similar to going online, but with the addition of immersiveness. To enter the virtual world and get the full experience, you need virtual (VR) or augmented (AR) reality helmets, tactile gloves, and suits.
In his interview with The Verge, Mark Zuckerberg said that the meta-universe will run on VR headsets, mobile devices, and game consoles. According to him, users will be able to experience things that two-dimensional apps don’t, such as the presence of people.
Communication and interaction in the meta-universe will be possible with the help of avatars. The workplace will also change – Horizon Workroom service will help equip it according to your tastes. The same applies to the virtual home – you can buy a ready-made apartment and furnish it with various digital objects.
It looks something like this: a user creates an avatar, gives it a specific appearance, and then from his or her virtual home goes to work in the virtual office, where he or she meets the avatars of his or her colleagues. Physically, they can be anywhere: lying in their favorite sweatpants on the couch or in shorts on a beach in Sri Lanka.
Now companies interested in the field are developing devices to more fully immerse themselves in the world of the meta-universe. Meta claimed to be working on a high-quality virtual reality headset, the Project Cambria VR helmet. It will be able to recognize facial expressions, read moods, understand the direction of the gaze, and form an augmented reality in front of a person’s eyes.
The company is also going to present augmented reality glasses under the working name Project Nazare. They will be equipped with a holographic display, projector, chips, cameras, sensors, and speakers.
However, in February of this year, it became known that Meta disbanded the team of 300 developers who worked on a universal operating system for virtual and augmented reality devices. The company chose to limit some of the costs associated with this project.
Another example of an augmented reality immersion assistant is Microsoft’s Hololens AR headset. It tracks a person’s gaze and hand movements to overlay virtual images and icons. This allows you to create scenarios of use – the glasses tell you how to navigate, identify objects and interact with the ordinary world in a virtual manner.