A term first coined in 1992 in a sci-fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, the metaverse is a combination of two words — meta meaning beyond and stem meaning universe.
Tech Strategy Consultant & Entrepreneur, Golden Next Ventures
Samrat Kishor is a tech strategy consultant turned entrepreneur and tech investor. He specialises in the fields of Blockchain and AI and can be reached at @samratkishor on twitter and LinkedIn.
A question that has perplexed scientists for nearly half a century may have finally been answered.
No, we haven’t discovered aliens, but may have found another world within ours. The only catch: It is virtual and goes by the name of “metaverse”.
A term first coined in 1992 in a sci-fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, the metaverse is a combination of two words — meta meaning beyond and stem meaning universe. The term is basically an idea of a virtual reality where users can buy land, building, create their own avatars and build their virtual universe. Within the metaverse, people can roam around, meet their friends, visit buildings, attend events and even buy goods and services using cryptocurrency. People within the metaverse would be connected all the time without having to worry about physical distances or borders.
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The concept gained more popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, as lockdowns pushed more and more people to share online spaces for longer hours. The successful development of the metaverse is expected to be driven by augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) gadgets, which act at the experiential layer.
At this point, we would also like to bring back the concept of non-fungible tokens or NFTs from one of our previous articles: NFTs are digital assets that exist on a public blockchain that serves as a record of ownership. While anyone can view the item, only the buyer of an NFT has the “official” status of being its owner.
Our research shows that the metaverse is best experienced with commerce as one of its core values. There are ways to make NFTs more useful by adding functionalities that can be utilised in a variety of applications across numerous metaverses at once (how cool is that!). A previously issued NFT, for example, can be transformed into an asset in a game release or used to get access to future NFTs and experiences, therefore enhancing the NFT’s usability and worth.
Guest contributor and other agencies(Image source: Jon Radoff on Medium)
‘Next big thing’
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg also mentioned the new buzzword during his company’s most recent call. Terming it as the next “big thing”, Zuckerberg said people would see Facebook transitioning from being a social media company to “a metaverse company”. “In many ways, the metaverse is the ultimate expression of social technology,” he told analysts and investors.
The company has been rebranded as Meta Platforms.
According to a Bloomberg report, while Zuckerberg has only recently started using the terminology publicly, it is something his company has been focusing on for years, with investments in virtual and augmented reality.
An early step towards metaverse was witnessed recently when Facebook launched a test version of its new virtual-reality remote work app called Horizon Workrooms. The app, still in beta version, allows users to hold meetings as digital avatar versions of themselves.
Guest contributor and other agencies(Source: venturebeat)
The social media giant also announced it would hire 10,000 in the European Union over the next five years to help build the metaverse. Facebook has also recently rebranded itself as Meta. “We will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company,” Mark Zuckerberg said at its Connect 2021 event.
Apart from Facebook, several other tech giants such as Microsoft, NVIDIA and Epic Games have also announced their plans of exploring the metaverse. VISA entered the metaverse after it purchased its first NFT — a digital artwork — for $150,000. Popular brands such as Italian fashion house Gucci are also into the metaverse. The consumer brand in June collaborated with Roblox, an online game platform and game creation system, to sell a collection of digital-only accessories in the form of NFTs. Coca-Cola and Clinique have sold digital tokens pitched as a stepping stone to the metaverse.
Experts see the metaverse as a huge economic force that has the potential to significantly change the way we live, work and sell in the years to come — with NFTs as a key value driver.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)
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