Why is the future of the Internet the Meta Universe?
Metaverse ie. The meta-universe is a concept in which the physical and virtual worlds need to fully merge and become one world. It is a concept in the development in which Facebook and Google are investing billions of dollars. Why?
The idea of a meta-universe where virtual spaces are inhabited by digital avatars has been maturing for decades. It was popularized in the 2000s through the Second Life program, which promised to take people’s lives even before social networks emerged.
The meta-universe, as it is now described, will be the evolution of that original idea of the Second Life - the parallel running of life in a virtual world with a digital avatar meeting other people's avatars - combined with social networks as they are known today.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology is expected to be the driving force behind three-dimensional virtual worlds for users where their experiences will further blur the boundaries between real and digital life.
What is the Meta-Universe?
The meta-universe is a fairly broad term that generally refers to virtual worlds accessible to more people, they are similar to real life and are accessed via the Internet.
The metaverse or Meta-universe was coined by writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash.
As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described it, these are "virtual environments" that can be entered instead of just being viewed through a screen. In essence, it is a world of endless, connected virtual communities where people can meet, work and play using various devices and aids.
The metaverse will include other aspects of online life, such as shopping and social networks, says Victoria Petrock, an analyst who monitors developing technologies, reports the Associated Press (AP).
“It’s about the next evolution in connecting where all these things are going to start coming together in one parallel universe so you live a virtual life the same way you live your physical life,” Petrock said.
However, another three-dimensional technology analyst and Gartner researcher, Toung Nguyen, notes: "It's hard to define something that hasn't been created."
The term metaverse is popular in Silicon Valley. Microsoft also mentioned the merging of the real and digital worlds. In September, millions of people watched a concert by singer Ariana Grande at Fortnite, a game by the American video game company Epic Games. The world's largest fashion companies have also experimented by creating virtual clothing that can be worn in metaverse environments.
But Facebook has warned that it will take 10 to 15 years to develop products for the metaverse.
Why is Facebook involved in creating metaverses?
Facebook has set its priorities on creating metaverses and is investing heavily in virtual reality through its Oculus glasses and helmet, which are cheaper on the market than others on offer from competing companies.
Facebook is also developing virtual reality applications through which it will be possible to gather either for socializing or for work, including those that interact with the real world.
Mark Zuckerberg believes his company’s perception will shift from social media to the metaverse.
Recently, 50 million dollars were invested in non-profit groups that would help responsibly "build a metaverse", reports the BBC.
But it is emphasized that the metaverse "will not be built overnight and by one company", which announced the cooperation of technology giants.
A change in the company's name is reportedly planned, which will be announced at the annual Connect conference on October 28 - which would signal Facebook's ambitions to step out of the sphere of social networks. In that case, the current Facebook would be one of the applications in the series of ownership of this company, as well as Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus. The company did not officially comment on these allegations.
The rebranding of the company, according to The Verge, could serve the purpose of separating Zuckerberg’s futuristic vision from the negative image of Facebook because of the way social networks work today.
Facebook is not the first big technology company to change its name and spread ambitions. In 2015, Google completely reorganized itself under the holding company Alphabet in part to signal that it is no longer just an Internet search engine, but a conglomerate with companies that make cars with autopilots or health technology gadgets.
Ramona Pringle, a visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, told CBC that building the metaverse was most likely driven by financial goals and user data collection for marketing.
She expects companies to advertise on metaverse platforms, thus bringing profit to the companies that hold them. This situation could make metaverse "a very attractive medium for advertising people who want to sell their products or ideologies," Pringle said.