In science fiction, the “metaverse” is a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal, and immersive virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets. In colloquial usage, a “metaverse” is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social and economic connection
The Metaverse refers to a hypothetical future iteration of the internet that is fully immersive and three-dimensional. It is essentially a virtual world that is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, allowing users to interact with each other and with virtual environments in real-time.
In the Metaverse, users would be able to create their own avatars, which would represent them in the virtual world. They would be able to move around, explore different environments, and interact with other users, either through text chat or voice communication.
The concept of the Metaverse has been popularized in science fiction, particularly in Neal Stephenson’s novel “Snow Crash” and the film “The Matrix.” However, there are many real-world efforts underway to develop a functional Metaverse, including virtual reality platforms like Second Life and VRChat, as well as blockchain-based projects like Decentraland and The Sandbox.
The term “metaverse” originated in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash as a portmanteau of “meta” and “universe“
.Metaverse development is often linked to advancing virtual reality technology due to the increasing demands for immersion. Recent interest in metaverse development is influenced by Web3, a concept for a decentralized iteration of the internet. Web3 and metaverse have been used as buzzwords to exaggerate the development progress of various related technologies and projects for public relations purposes. Information privacy, user addiction, and user safety are concerns within the metaverse, stemming from challenges facing the social media and video game industries as a whole.
Metaverse development is often linked to advancing virtual reality technology due to the increasing demands for immersion. Recent interest in metaverse development is influenced by Web3, a concept for a decentralized iteration of the internet. Web3 and metaverse have been used as buzzwords to exaggerate the development progress of various related technologies and projects for public relations purposes. Information privacy, user addiction, and user safety are concerns within the metaverse, stemming from challenges facing the social media and video game industries as a whole
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- Consequatur autem aut magnam qui fugiatComponents of metaverse technology have already been developed within online video games. The 2003 virtual world platform Second Life is often described as the first metaverse, as it incorporated many aspects of social media into a persistent three-dimensional world with the user represented as an avatar, but historical claims of metaverse development started soon after the term was coined. Early projects included Active Worlds and The Palace.
Popular games described as part of the metaverse include Habbo Hotel, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Fortnite, VRChat, and game creation platform Roblox which has since employed significant usage of the term in marketing. In a January 2022 interview with Wired, Second Life creator Philip Rosedale described metaverses as a three-dimensional Internet that is populated with live people. Social interaction and 3D virtual worlds are often an integral feature in many massively multiplayer online games.
In 2017, Microsoft acquired the VR company AltspaceVR, and has since implemented virtual avatars and meetings held in virtual reality into Microsoft Teams.
In 2019, the social network company Facebook launched a social VR world called Facebook Horizon. In 2021, Facebook was renamed “Meta Platforms” and its chairman Mark Zuckerberg declared a company commitment to developing a metaverse. Many of the virtual reality technologies advertised by Meta Platforms remain to be developed. Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen criticised the move, adding that Meta Platforms’ continued focus on growth-oriented projects is largely done to the detriment of ensuring safety on their platforms. Meta Platforms has also faced user safety criticism regarding Horizon Worlds due to sexual harassment occurring on the platform. In 2021, Meta made a loss of over $10 billion on its metaverse development department, with Mark Zuckerberg saying he expected operating losses to “increase meaningfully” in 2022.In February 2023, Zuckerberg wrote a Facebook post announcing the company’s pivot away from the metaverse to focus on AI.
Some metaverse implementations rely on digital currencies, and often cryptocurrency. Assets within the metaverse are sometimes traded as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and track ownership using blockchain technology.
Proposed applications for metaverse technology include improving work productivity, interactive learning environments, e-commerce, mass-audience interaction, healthcare, real estate, and fashion.