Embracing Virtual Reality of the Global Tech Industry in 2022
Metaverse welcomes the entire global technology industry to leverage virtual reality in 2022
Metaverse was introduced with the idea of a unified metaverse, a seamless expanse of online 3D realms that work together regardless of which company built them. But if current trends in the technology sector are any indication, the future will undoubtedly be a multitude of fragmented digital domains, each with its own distinct shard of the metaverse experience. Different companies have different ideas about what the metaverse should be and they are all aware of the power of platforms. Apple’s iPhone, Tencent’s WeChat and Meta’s own Facebook all show that operating a technology platform means you can charge rent. For example, if you want to sell an iPhone app, you have to pay a tithe to Apple.
Experts say the same is going to happen with Metaverse. The metaverse has been drawing public attention since Zuckerberg, the most outspoken proponent of the concept, pinned the future of his giant social network on it last year. He pitched it as an empire built by multiple companies using open standards. It’s the realistic rendition of Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash,” the 1992 novel that introduced the term to the public with a single digital universe where people chat, fight, gaze at the sights and judge the fidelity of each other’s avatars. In reality, though, the metaverse is an uber-hyped idea that can quickly turn into a jerky mess. If you find it difficult to navigate today’s internet, with its collection of different services with separate logins, currencies, contact lists, avatars and item inventories, then wait until you have to log in while wearing a bulky uncomfortable helmet.
The metaverse broadly refers to 3D environments with all-digital zones that people will visit through virtual reality or VR, and the mix of digital and real, called augmented reality or AR. With the right headset, you can play immersive video games, wear a crazy avatar to a virtual party, shop for clothes, add new stats and landscapes to your workout, or see ads and directions on the map about your view of the real world.
No doubt the metaverse already exists in video games, online chat rooms, and real estate fly-through websites. Proponents of Metaverse say it can be a more immersive, compelling experience.
According to Meta, the metaverse will have a plethora of activities, including work conferences, virtual table tennis and online education. It will be common ground, Zuckerberg said in the October speech, where he announced that Facebook would change its name to Meta, essentially the house betting on the new digital world.
According to Zuckerberg, teleporting around the metavers would be like clicking a link on the Internet. It is an open standard. To unlock the potential of the metaverse, there must be interoperability. That would also enable you to avoid double purchases like buying Angry Birds twice to play it on your Android phone and Apple iPad. For those unique digital assets, such as Nike sneakers, metaverse proponents want to use a technology called non-replaceable tokens or NFTs, which register ownership on the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrency.
Apparently, Meta’s vision of a unified metaverse foundation is far from unprecedented. Collaborative standards send data over the Internet, shuttle email from Gmail to Outlook, and deliver websites to your browser. Tech’s largest companies benefit from many jointly developed open source software projects such as the Linux operating system, LLVM for creating software, and Chromium for building web browsers. But most of the newer tech platforms we experience are characterized by proprietary design operated by a single company. It’s a world of walled gardens, more than open standards.
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