Short and sweet, the low-down on the Metaverse without the hype.
What is the metaverse?
It is an immersive and engaging digital experience.
The metaverse adds a 3-dimensional component to standard web experiences, so you can navigate in 3 dimensions, thereby making it a more natural experience.
You access the metaverse using the internet and Virtual Reality headsets or Augmented Reality on a phone or tablet and sometimes through a browser, an app.
Spaces in the metaverse are created by companies, like digital twins of their office buildings or of museums and towns.
Regular people can also create their own spaces on websites like Spatial.IO or Decentraland.
One is generally represented by a 3d avatar. You can create one avatar that you reuse in multiple Metaverse applications using ReadyPlayerMe. Your avatar can perform actions that are supported in whatever space you are in.
What is the potential of the metaverse?
- Companies can host online meetings in a more immersive style using 3d virtual reality technologies
- Regular people can host meetups in the metaverse.
- Artists can engage with people online by hosting events for more immersive online viewing.
- Digital assets like NTF’s can be added to enhance and enrich the experience. This increases the e-commerce opportunity of the metaverse.
- Online gaming in shared 3d worlds where users can generate their own content and participate in a sophisticated economy like Roblox
Problems with the Metaverse
- You need a device like a headset, a smartphone or a PC to participate.
- The metaverse is not one cohesive universe, one set of linked digital experiences, but a concept of spatial experiences creating a new kind of digital reality for participants.
- The metaverse depends on attractive content created by companies and individual contributors, essentially sticky content to attract people
- Interaction is still fairly clunky and doesn’t yet feel natural
- There is no shared reality, practically speaking, except virtual shared experiences via a device
Web 3.0 is the semantic web, a format of content with metadata to allow it to be machine interpretable. It might be used for the metaverse in the future.
Blockchain and the metaverse
Is the blockchain needed for the metaverse? Many definitions of the metaverse include a reference to blockchain technology as a basis for decentralisation and commerce. I would say it depends on your definition- from my perspective blockchain seems to not be needed.
NFT stands for non fungible tokens, a fancy way of saying tokens on the blockchain that cannot be exchanged as money. NFT has come to be synonymous with digital assets like images, digital artworks and digital branded accessories for digital avatars.
The Roblox phenomenon
Roblox is a massive online gaming platform where users create experiences for each other and play each other’s games and participate in a blockchain economy together. Its an example of a Metaverse application, a shared virtual universe.
Roblox is used predominantly by people under the age of 16.
How to get started in the Metaverse?
Go to one of the sites listed and create an avatar:
You will go through a tutorial on how to navigate in that space using keys like WASD and the mouse to change camera angle. Try to get accustomed to the interaction experience and navigate to different locations.
Join or review one of the events below:
Watch the recording of this informative panel discussion:
Join the VR/AR association:
Read a book:
Take a course:
Hopefully you’re more informed about the metaverse after reading this short article.
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