By 2026, a quarter of people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse, according to a study by Gartner. Experts predict that users will visit virtual offices, classrooms and shops, build houses in the digital space and even buy land that way. Let's try to figure it out how this mysterious space attracting so much attention is arranged.
How Did the Idea of the Metaverse Come About?
Although people have been talking about metaverses since Facebook's fall 2021 rebrand, the term 'Metaverse' was created by science fiction writer Neil Stevenson in the 1992 cyberpunk novel «Avatar» to describe a virtual space for people to interact through their avatars. Cyberspace in the book recreated the next stage in the development of the Internet. It was possible to live in it, shop, search for information, develop territories and look at almost anything using an avatar. Virtual reality helmets, glasses and other attributes were used to constantly stay online.
Actually, the book and the term itself were remembered after Mark Zuckerberg's statement in July 2021. Then he announced Facebook's plans to create its own metaverse, and later renamed the company Meta and announced the beginning of the development of the idea.
Signs of the Metaverse
We suggest focusing on signs that a venture investor Matthew Ball identified. The Metaverse, as we think, will...
🔹 Be persistent – which is to say, it never “resets” or “pauses” or “ends”, it just continues indefinitely;
🔹 Be synchronous and live – even though pre-scheduled and self-contained events will happen, just as they do in “real life”, the Metaverse will be a living experience that exists consistently for everyone and in real-time;
🔹 Be without any cap to concurrent users, while also providing each user with an individual sense of “presence” – everyone can be a part of the Metaverse and participate in a specific event/place/activity together, at the same time and with individual agency;
🔹 Be a fully functioning economy – individuals and businesses will be able to create, own, invest, sell, and be rewarded for an incredibly wide range of “work” that produces “value” that is recognized by others;
🔹 Be an experience that spans both the digital and physical worlds, private and public networks/experiences, and open and closed platforms;
🔹 Be populated by “content” and “experiences” created and operated by an incredibly wide range of contributors, some of whom are independent individuals, while others might be informally organized groups or commercially-focused enterprises.
Avatars, VR helmets and NFTs: how the metaverse works and works
Entering the metaverse is like going online, but with an added immersiveness. To get into the virtual world and get a full experience, you will need virtual (VR) or augmented (AR) reality helmets, tactile gloves and suits.
In his interview with The Verge, Mark Zuckerberg said that the metaverse will work on VR headsets, mobile devices and game consoles. According to him, users will be able to feel that two-dimensional applications do not allow them to feel — for example, the presence of people.
In fact, the Metaverse is a convenient and well-packaged term that clearly conveys the image of the Internet of the future for users.