The Metaverse is not just a buzzword in the IT industry, but a rapidly evolving (virtual) reality. Catapulted to prime-time TV thanks to Facebook’s long-term commitment to being the Mecca of the metaverses, questions remain about how such digital universes will be structured, emerging with a loud and clear big bang.
But rest assured, at Appinventiv we follow everything that is near and dear to our partners. Therefore, in this article we will touch on the fundamental aspects of the Metaverse in the light of its relationship to the techno-social world as a whole.
What is the Metaverse?
The term “metaverse” was first used in 1992 in the sci-fi novel Snowcatastrophe by Neal Stevenson , which speaks of the beginning of a dystopian digital reality in which the physical world has become habitable and the only way out is through virtual reality.
However, the Metaverse in its salable form factor retains its integrity. As described by Facebook, the Metaverse will be an amalgamation of physical and virtual realities, enabling peer-to-peer, realistic interaction in a digital work environment. The collaboration will mimic real-world experiences where elements of AR and VR will combine to allow users to experience tangible environments not limited by the laws of physics (perhaps). Whether it’s travel, entertainment, work, or running, it can all theoretically be done in the metaverse.
Many visionaries see the current version of the Internet as full of unfinished business and irreparable chasms. The Metaverse, they believe, can be the glue that provides an interactive, multi-sensory, and commercially viable environment.
As we will learn in later sections of this article, Facebook is not the only standard-bearer for the metaverse concept. In fact, these mixed reality environments use both centralized and distributed integration approaches through AR VR software development .
Let’s take a look at the two most defining characteristics of the Metaverse platform :
The Metaverse technology will represent an interplay between aspects of both AR and VR. The Metaverse application is expected to have a semblance of space and time similar to the real world. Interactions in the physical world can be visual, auditory, and dynamic in nature. The Metaverse platform is expected to provide the same opportunities for digital collaboration.
A Metaverse app must be compatible across one or more Metaverse platforms .
The development of the Metaverse application points to a motley array of technological horizons that have yet to be tested. Depending on who develops it, whether it’s a Metaverse startup or an old big name, its provisions can range from limited experience to open, transmutable. Likewise, there is no shortage of toolkits that can be used to bring this future reality into existence. Such developer toolkits include Unreal Engine, Unity, Amazon’s Sumerian, Blender, and Maya.
The Metaverse tech market is expected to be worth $800 billion by 2025 , according to Bloomberg Intelligence , and could possibly reach the $2.5 trillion threshold by 2030. future . Let’s take a look at some of the leading projects that have accelerated the advent of Metaverse technology .
The Best Metaverse Projects You Need to Know About
Micro-colonies of the metaverses are emerging, where the high-tech elite spread their wings in preparation for flight.
Microsoft Metaverse stack
Earlier this year at the Microsoft Build Conference, CEO Satya Nadella mentioned the efforts being made to develop a representative layer of infrastructure that will be the culmination of the physical and digital worlds. With this enterprise metaverse stack, developers will be able to copy real assets such as workplaces, warehouses, retail stores, etc. onto the Microsoft platform.
Unlike the whimsical avatars that the audience was introduced to in Facebook’s Meta makeover, the Microsoft platform will be much closer to reality. This will create digital twins focused on a wider range of services that mega-corporations can take advantage of.
For example, manufacturing plants can train employees using a virtual reality metaverse . Similarly, workforce training will take on a whole new meaning with the AR metaverse , where digitally rendered simulations will allow engineers to modify and verify component designs. Essentially, this means the emergence of a metaverse AI that can learn and relearn through data collection.
Nvidia launched its Omniverse platform in 2019. The company has taken an open source approach to invite enterprise customers to try out omniverse. Developers can create, license, and distribute applications with over 200 ready-made extensions.
Nvidia uses Pixar’s Universal Scene Description technology. Richard Kerris, VP of Omniverse, describes the US dollar as the modern HTML equivalent for the platforms of the future .
Expanding on his metaverse example , he shows that the evolution of the US dollar will play the same role for mixed reality ecosystems as the evolution of HTML for the 2D web.
Nvidia envisions its universe as a 3D web browser that can be accessed from “workstations and laptops.” Users can use the AR metaverse to experience Omniverse visualization by “streaming RTX to their platform”. RTX is another rendering platform from Nvidia.
Unlike Microsoft and Nvidia, which were the first to join the Metaverse startup group , Facebook has yet to unveil a workable version of its AR Metaverse .
However, the social tech company has made its intentions clear by pledging to create 10,000 jobs in Europe dedicated to the AR Metaverse and VR Metaverse projects . This venture is expected to consume about 30% of Facebook’s cash flow for the foreseeable future.
Metaverse of epic games
The game company has set aside a $1 billion fund for its version of the metaverse, but unlike others, Epic Games is committed to creating an open source platform for users.
At first glance, it seems that there can be multiple types of metaverses, as has proven to be the case with blockchains , where resourceful organizations take the lead and others follow suit.
Technologies underpinning the Metaverse
Let’s take a look at some of the technology making changes that bring some method to the madness in this space.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
If cryptocurrencies have struggled to find a real economic use, now they have. Digital currencies can be used to incentivize the buying and selling of assets in a virtual environment.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can be used to establish ownership and identity. Blockchains will legitimize the storage, reliability, and transfer of crypto-value once the metaverse is up and running.
Blockchains have demonstrated their interoperability, immutability and scalability, KPA, which the future of virtual reality technologies so desperately needs . Together with cryptocurrencies, they will act as a technological pillar, without a doubt confirming the storage of digital assets.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
AR and VR are the cornerstones of the metaverse projects. Augmented reality systems work in three main areas, namely: the connection of real and virtual environments, real-time interaction, and accurate three-dimensional visualization of objects.
AR apps have an advantage over VR apps in terms of adoption speed because they can be installed and used on any device with a camera. AR adds immersive elements to objects, acting as an information enhancer. Users do not need special wearable devices to experience the usefulness of augmented reality.
On the other hand, virtual reality is a fully simulated experience in an artificial digital world. It is used to convey sensory experiences as well as the user’s physical reality. VR is a bit more expensive than AR systems as you need additional hardware like a head-mounted display or multi-modal projection screens.
This is a combination of AR and VR, also called augmented reality (XR), which we will experience in applications of the VR metaverse .
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence as an academic discipline has come of age. Its applications are widely used in the business world, whether it be automated decision-making systems, self-driving cars or recommendation algorithms. There is talk of implementing metaverse AI with non-player characters (NPCs).
NPCs are ancillary elements integrated into the gameplay to provide an interactive experience in a virtual setting. Research is underway to complement the artificial intelligence of the metaverse and live 3D settings with the same. The best part is that AI NPCs can be configured to have the same copy used by millions of users at the same time.
Developers can also use AI for image classification, face recognition and high-end computer-generated images, and refinement to add realistic effects to graphics.
The introduction of this technology was triggered by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The real estate sector has been one such enthusiastic follower. As property visits have been canceled due to quarantine restrictions, savvy dealers have turned to technology to reconstruct virtual avatars of residences and offer digital property tours.
Three-dimensional reconstruction can make the metaverse as alive and realistic as possible. 3D spatial data and 4K HD photos will be used to a large extent to create digital copies of our world.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Real-time simulation requires real-time data, and the Internet of Things , as we all know, has connected billions of devices into a livewire network to collect real-time data.
What better way to use this channel than to embed it in the metaverse and see the simulations come to life! The possibilities of IoT, AI, machine learning and 5G interactions for seamless data integration and collaboration are endless.
Problems of the Metaverse
Now that we have a general idea of metaverse examples and the future of virtual reality along with it, it’s time to analyze its shortcomings and problems.
Since the Super Moderator, the fiduciary regulatory body for the metaverse(s), has yet to be created, if ever, how identity authentication and privacy controls will be handled remains to be seen. Modern identity management systems must be built into the well-known nervous system of the metaverse.
In addition, government entities should consider covering the still nascent industry under the GDPR, or a reformed version of it, for additional data protection.
Launch yourself into the metaverse
Appinventiv is a cross-continental IT solution enterprise employing some of the industry’s brightest minds. We partner with some of the biggest brands on the planet to create unique value propositions. Our team of over 650 experts is ready to provide you with the launch pad you need to make your debut in the Metaverse. Contact us to explore the possibilities.