People who are fans of science fiction might be aware of this term, from the movie / book Ready Player One, which popularized the term in recent times. The entire theme of the movie was based on the METAVERSE concept.
Even though the movie aroused interest in the concept of Metaverse among the tech nerds, it picked up momentum in the mainstream media and the tech world ever since Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will transition into a Metaverse Company from being a Social Media Company, back in July.
The term was originally coined by Neal Stephensons science fiction novel Snow Crash back in 1992. Metaverse is a combination of two words Meta & Verse, simply meaning beyond universe and virtual shared space.
Metaverse as a concept is the creation of a virtual universe using the collective virtual shared space, enhancing physical reality, including all of the virtual worlds based on virtual reality, augmented reality & internet.
Its the creation of a parallel ecosystem and environment, wherein three dimensional objects are created based on our current reality & creativity using the above mentioned technologies. People interact and act up on in this virtual universe for all of their activities including work, fun and other social events.
Simply put, its almost as if saying we all will live in a parallel Virtual World.
If construed plainly on the basis of definition, it might sound like a dystopian future. In that sense, the whole concept of Metaverse might end up as the premise of a Sci-Fi movie projecting all the bad elements happening for our world. But there is lot to weigh in on how much of its even possible in reality with respect to the available technologies of our time and also the parallel advancements, we are trying to make in other areas like inter-planetary transportation etc.
For Metaverse to become mainstream and play a role in our day to day activities, we need to have a mature technological ecosystem in its core composition like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Mixed Reality. All of these technologies in itself are in the beginning stages of their reign and will take some time to be adopted by the users for their day to day activities. These have been discussed in detail in our earlier newsletters Issue# 2 & 3. We estimate another 3 to 5 years before technologies like VR/AR play a pivotal role in the consumer market and take a portion of average consumers daily life. Going by that sense, it could take about 7 or 8 years before we have mainstream Metaverse or its methodologies in place.
In order for us to foretell the possible impact of Metaverse, we will also have to consider the fact, that there has been phenomenal developments in Space Tech. There has been lot of action and some big billions rolling, with respect to making space exploration as part of Human survival. The reason for striking a comparison between Space Tech and Metaverse is the very nature of their application.
One helps you travel through space to other planets and the other helps you do all of your activities without leaving the comfort of your confined location. These are the two extreme ends, where a majority of the next revolutionary technological innovation is poised to happen. We have billionaires & visionary entrepreneurs wanting the Human Race to colonize other planets, use them for having our Industries in one end. On the other end, we have another set of Entrepreneurs who want to redefine our daily life with this Metaverse concept and revolutionize the way we interact and compute with our computing devices.
Contrary to the dystopian sci-fi, Metaverse can and has the potential to impact our lives positively. There are a lot of socioeconomic changes that Metaverse can bring about once implemented in a large scale. Metaverse can redefine a lot of sectors and change Human practices in terms of their day to day living.
A new era of Industrial Revolution has been ushered in post the rise of digital technologies. Weve already changed the way we carry out lot of activities over the past couple of decades. The web 2.0 has given birth to a lot of new gen businesses, parallel economy & gig economy etc. We could very well distinguish our lives pre and post computers and the same can be drawn towards smartphones.
Metaverse will become one such phenomenon, which will be bigger and better than both of these technological revolutions combined together.
We will list out a few of the positive impacts that Metaverse can create:
This is not a conclusive list, as it can be further expanded based on sector specific impacts too. These are some of the items in the top of the list, that can have a profound impact once there is a large scale adoption.
Of-course, there are down sides to this large scale implementation as well and there are chances, the dystopian sci-fi might get real too. As described earlier, the space tech is marching ahead in full throttle too. Only time will tell us, which side of the spectrum is going to create ripple effects, that could have an impact which can be either negative or positive.