Walk on the moon in your pajamas? Watch a baseball game from the pitcher’s mound? Frolic in a field of unicorns—or be a unicorn yourself? (I’m looking at you, Tippy.)
Such scenarios, according to tech visionaries, will all be possible in the future, in what is referred to as the metaverse.
Here is the meaning of metaverse, from Wikipedia:
The word “Metaverse” is made up of the prefix “meta” (meaning beyond) and the stem “verse” (a back-formation from “universe”); the term is typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe. The metaverse in a broader sense may not only refer to virtual worlds, but the Internet as a whole, including the entire spectrum of augmented reality.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a July earnings call with analysts. “In the coming years, I expect people will transition from seeing us primarily as a social media company to seeing us as a metaverse company.”
The technology needed for the metaverse will likely include smartphones, computers, specialized glasses, haptic gear that allows the user to feel virtual objects, and hardware like omnidirectional treadmills that can simulate running, climbing, and other physical activities.
What are some possible activities one could engage with while using the metaverse?
- class trips to anywhere, from any time period, all rendered in realistic-looking 3-D. For example, students could peer inside every nook and cranny of the Colosseum, with a virtual gladiator powered by artificial intelligence on hand to answer questions.
- the ability to watch live footage of concerts and athletic events, from any angle of our choosing.
- to the ability to mix virtual content with real-world video and interact virtually—for example, by pelting football players with virtual tomatoes
- users will buy and sell virtual pets—from lifelike dogs and cats to dragons and other fantastical creatures. There may also be a market for related services like pet walking and grooming (I’ll gladly take a virtual pet for a virtual walk, from the comfort of my couch).
- Other potential business opportunities include virtual weddings and parties, with vendors creating venues and charging rental or entry fees
- customers would be able to visit virtual retail outlets and try out products in 3-D and at full scale before buying. A tall person could check if he or she could stand comfortably inside a camping tent, for example, before purchasing it and having it shipped to his or her real-world home.
- real-estate agents could use the metaverse to allow people shopping for a new place to live to virtually tour homes anywhere in the world without leaving their own home, They could walk the premises room by room—and could even scan their current furniture and upload it into the homes to see how it would look.
- architects and construction-company executives—no matter where they are in real life—could visit a job site virtually to monitor the construction of a new building, which along with its surroundings would be rendered in highly realistic 3-D
All of the above ideas come courtesy of an article written by Sarah Needleman in Monday’s WSJ. Some ideas that the article sparked in my mind:
- space travel – no need to pay millions to get nearly the same experience, and in some ways better, than what Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are currently offering.
- virtual vacations to anywhere in the world, even imaginary places
- virtual homeownership, in a customized house, in whatever location you want it to be (this is my chance to own a beachfront property)
- virtual skydiving and bungee jumping adventures
- a virtual saloon where you could gather with your friends for a beer or two, and invite people who have passed away
The possibilities of the metaverse are unlimited, but not without its concerns, including privacy, security, and the fear that some people may prefer it to the real world.
Those issues will need to be hammered out, perhaps even virtually, before the metaverse becomes the Wild, Wild, Metaverse…
source: The Wall Street Journal