The metaverse, explained: what it is, and why tech companies love it

Meanwhile, Apple’s Vision Pro “solves” the problem of users who have to wear glasses by … selling prescription lens add-ons. Advocates from niche startups to tech giants have argued that this lack of coherence is because the metaverse is still being built, and it’s too new to define what it means. The internet existed in the 1970s, for example, but not every idea of what that would eventually look like was true. It represents a future in which a whole host of companies and people will create interconnected 3D experiences which you can visit. It’s a chance, perhaps, for Zuckerberg to again explain his reasoning for taking an extremely profitable social media company and diverting its focus to an extremely unprofitable VR venture.

It’s my belief that the Metaverse will take place in a cross-platform universe, primarily through AR, so that people don’t have to occlude their vision to interact with that world. By definition, there is no one “Metaverse” but the Metaverse is the sum of all the interconnected worlds which make up the future of the internet. We’ll likely hear much more about Meta’s new headset, the Quest 3 – and how Horizon Worlds is moving to mobile and desktop (so you won’t have to use a headset to play). And so, on Wednesday, we’ll hear from Zuckerberg as he attempts to breathe life into a concept in desperate need of oxygen. But in sheer numbers, there are plenty of games consoles that have fared better.

  1. “A narrative has developed that we’re somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse,” he told investors in April.
  2. The term “metaverse” is the latest buzzword to capture the tech industry’s imagination — so much so that one of the best-known internet platforms is rebranding to signal its embrace of the futuristic idea.
  3. Assembly line workers can train in a virtual environment before hitting the factory floor, or emergency responders can use VR disaster training to practice in a safe environment.
  4. Americans are defrauded out of billions of dollars each year through internet and telephone scam strategies.
  5. But there’s another definition of the metaverse that goes beyond the virtual worlds we know.

Meta thinks it will include fake houses you can invite all your friends to hang out in. Microsoft seems to think it could involve virtual meeting rooms to train new hires or chat with your remote coworkers. The subreddit covers various game development aspects, including programming, design, writing, art, game jams, postmortems, and marketing. It serves as a hub for game creators to discuss and share their insights, experiences, and expertise in the industry. Reality Labs – which as the name suggests is Meta’s virtual and augmented reality branch – has lost a staggering $21 billion since last year.

The internet is a network of billions of computers, millions of servers and other electronic devices. Once online, internet users can communicate with each other, view and interact with websites, and buy and sell goods and services. As for the latter, VR can benefit soft what stocks to buy after brexit skills training in a couple of ways. VR, for one, can result in faster class completion rates, according to PwC research. The consultancy’s study found its participants completed VR-based soft skills training as much as four times faster than classroom sessions.

We are teaming up with r/vrdev to give you guys a chance to test the latest virtual reality experiences. Epic Games’ vision of the metaverse differs from Meta’s in that it wants to provide a communal space for users to interact with each other and brands — without a news feed riddled with ads. Epic Games, makers of the popular online shooter game Fortnite — with some 350 million users — and the Unreal Engine software for game developers, planned to stake a claim in the metaverse following a $1 billion round of funding in 2021. Such applications represent the first vestiges of what might become a healthcare metaverse, in which VR could operate alongside other technologies such as blockchain and digital twins. In Stephenson’s dystopian view of the future, Snow Crash, people gained status based on the technical skill of their avatars. Another indication of status was the ability to access certain restricted environments — a precursor to the paywalls and registration requirements some websites use today.


Major multinational companies, from JP Morgan, Nike, and Adidas, to McDonald’s, all have initiatives to capture the marketing potential of the metaverse. In 2021, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, announced the name change of the company he founded two decades ago from Facebook to Meta – and the concept of the “metaverse” emerged from a niched and futuristic idea, to a mainstream business strategy. The reality, of course, is probably closer to the messy, sometimes grubby Second Life. Give humans a chance to build a world without restrictions, and they’ll either come up with a branding opportunity or a fetish dungeon. That should serve as either a warning for the future architects of the metaverse, or an opportunity.

VR sets stage for healthcare metaverse

It looks like Meta’s goal here is to create Metaverse navigation tools and they are largely neglecting to make content of their own. It is an intricate web of slowly developing pieces that will come together into a global conglomerate. Hopefully, just like the internet before it, there will be constant evolution and change throughout the life of the Metaverse.

Metaverse in popular culture

In the Mesh trailer below you see the participants each wearing AR or VR headsets working together over a holographic display laid out on the table. Beyond that, Mesh allows integration with Office 365, and can allow users to introduce their files into the shared space for real-time edits from their team. They are also giving free access to developers for their Easy Anti-Cheat and Voice services, both used in the smooth multiplayer experience of Fortnite (and many other titles you’ve probably heard of).

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Industrial design is another promising application, noted IT consultant Asim Rahal in his post on enterprise uses for virtual reality. Organizations can employ VR to consider the effects of different design decisions. They can also build simulated prototypes to avoid the cost of creating physical ones. VR, applied to product design and prototyping, could surface as an application within the industrial metaverse. VR and digital twinning provide some of the basic building blocks for the emerging industrial metaverse, noted TechTarget news writer Jim O’Donnell in his article on how this metaverse subset is poised to transform manufacturing. The industrial metaverse will link digital twins into a wider virtual environment that encompasses machines, factories, products and supply chains.

While its infrastructure is still being set up, some companies and brands are jumping at the opportunity to be a part of this new world. As the metaverse plays an increasingly important role as a marketing and commercial channel, advertising in the metaverse will become necessary. But while some brands are sold on the metaverse, others are more hesitant to get involved.

Twitch and YouTube allow for viewers to consume content in a live and social way, regardless of location. Another notable but oft-forgotten example of an early metaverse was PlayStation Home. Sony’s ill-fated virtual social hub for PlayStation 3 launched in 2008 and closed in 2015, to the sorrow of its tiny community.

The metaverse also could be a game-changer for the work-from-home shift amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of seeing co-workers on a video call grid, employees could see them virtually. Microsoft, Meta, and every other company that shows wild demos like this are trying to give an artistic impression of what the future could be, not necessarily account for every technical question. It’s a time-honored tradition going back to AT&T’s demo of a voice-controlled foldable phone that could magically erase people from images and generate 3D models, all of which might’ve seemed similarly impossible at the time. One world within the Metaverse may try to create a walled-garden virtual world where users can import creations but not export them, however, no one world will ever BE the Metaverse as one website will never be the internet.

A new and endless frontier for exploration waits just over the horizon. Together we can dive in and experience a whole new universe of possibilities as it unfolds right in front of us. Not long ago, this kind of technology would have been impossible to tell apart from magic, and we are so lucky to see it all coming together. It’s no secret that being endlessly connected to everyone else has some negative modifier on social interactions and mental health, especially in teenagers. From 2008 to 2019, the reported rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young adults rose by 47% – along with the meteoric rise of social media – and those two phenomena are largely believed to be intertwined.

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