In this third article I would like to introduce you to the “trending hype”, the METAUNIVERSE.
With the formal announcement of Meta/Facebook, many articles which try to make clear the new possibilities of the virtual future have been written. But let’s take a closer look at what everyone is talking about.
METAVERSE or METAUNIVERSE (a new concept which puts together the word “meta” which means “far beyond” and “Universe) is a concept which will lead to the future of the Internet. An immersive and multi sensorial experience which will be applied in different platforms, devices and will develop the Internet itself. This concept comes from the science fiction novel Snow Crash, escrita written by Neal Stephenson.
Metaverse is generally composed of multiple tridimensional virtual spaces, shared and perdurable in time. In a wider meaning, the Multiverse cannot only involve this but the experiences and the application to the Internet itself, specially on the spectrum of augmented reality from the 2.0 web, technology of the third dimension and virtual reality.
Metaverses are environments where humans interact socially and economically with their own AVATARS (Snow Crash – Stephenson), through a deductive support from cyberspace which acts as a metaphor from the real world, but with some economic and physics limitations imposed.
In Metaverses, we can identify three main characteristics:
Interactivity: The user is able to comunícate with the rest of the users and with the Metaverse itself. This implies that his or her own behaviors and actions may influence objects or other users.
Corporeality: The environment where you access depends on certain physics and it has limited resources. The access to this reality is in first person.
Continuation::Even when no users are connected to the Metaverse, the system is still evolving and it doesn’t stop. In addition, places where the users went offline may be saved to be spawned in the exact right position when they went online again.
If the concept of Metaverse is analyzed from a broader sense than the definition of virtual world that Stephenson gave in 1991, we can distinguish the different synthetic worlds, as belonging to four different types.
Games and virtual worlds: To this type belong the most similar to the one discussed in the novel Snow Crash. These are totally immersive virtual environments, in which the user is immersed in an experience of contact with other users and elements within a virtual world. This contact can be oriented to a game (for example World of Warcraft or Tibia), or rather oriented to the social aspect of the metaverse, as in Second Life.
Mirror worlds: They are detailed virtual representations of one or more aspects of the real world. The clearest example is that of Google Earth, which represents world geography through aerial images.
Augmented reality: They consist of the application of mirror world technology for real applications, which solve certain situations in our daily lives. These tools expand the physical world perceptible by users, establishing a new dimension of useful information.
Lifelogging: It encompasses the systems that collect data on daily life, in order to be applied through statistics.
In the text “Metauniverses, the Internet of the Future”, it is stated that one of the greatest impacts that Metaverses will bring to humanity, will not necessarily be in the field of entertainment, where of course it has a space won by its nature, but that possibly the greatest impact will be in the digital economy, whether through the growing market for Non-Fungible Token (NFTs), the world of real estate simulation, the design of smart cities, the digital art market, or simply the retail trade of any type of product, a factor that will be strengthened by the rapid growth in the implementation of digital technologies after the 2020 pandemic.
Companies such as Facebook / Meta or Google will be one of the greatest enhancers in the implementation of Metaverses, not only because of their financial muscle, number of users or financing mechanisms, but also because of their experience in innovation in the Digital Technology sector. , which will most likely allow these companies to lead the development and implementation of the technologies associated with the Metaverses, very surely before any other research center or Global Organization, which represents a great risk of monopolization:
“A concentration in this market should be avoided, as these developments should serve all of humanity equally and not exclusively a group of Silicon Valley, as happened with previous massive digital services.”