The Metaverse Explained

Most people have heard the term Metaverse, but only a few can define what it means. If you’re looking to have the Metaverse Explained you have found the right resource. ARVR Focus is here to define all things Metaverse related, such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, Crypto Currencies, Play-To-Earn, NFTs, and more.

The word Metaverse first appeared in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, and it represented a combination of two separate words, Meta and Universe. But that was then, and this is now, and we now have a new and very real Metaverse that is growing up right before our eyes.

The Metaverse is perhaps best described as a virtual world. This virtual world exists beyond, on top of, or as an extension of the physical world.

The Metaverse is a computer-generated virtual world that is currently accessed through Virtual Reality headsets or Smart-Glasses.

Mathew Ball in his essay on the Metaverse defines the Metaverse as “a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments.”

The Metaverse is where the digital world meets the physical world. It is seen as the next major reiteration or era of the internet. The Metaverse is a world of endless interconnected virtual worlds where people can work, socialize and play using VR and AR, and other devices.

The Metaverse is also an ecosystem, it is a concept that ties other concepts together and seeks to explain how they all interconnect.

The Metaverse is a centralized virtual world that exists parallel to the physical world.

The concept of the Metaverse has been in existence for close to 30 years but it’s only recently that it has come to mainstream attention with the help of teams and people such as Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, and CEO of Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, (founder and CEO of Facebook) recently announced that Facebook will be renamed Meta because that name better describes the direction Zuckerberg is guiding the company. It should be noted that Facebook’s version of the Metaverse will only be one of many. But even at that, it’s a good place to begin an understanding what the Metaverse is all about.

According to Zuckerberg, the name change reflects his desire for the company to expand beyond being a social media platform and move in the direction of the Metaverse.

In a recent interview, Mark Zuckerberg said people should see the Metaverse as the “successor to the mobile internet.” He claimed that the Metaverse is a virtual environment. It is “embodied Internet, where instead of just viewing content, users are inside the content and experiencing it. The Metaverse enables people to experience the internet rather than only view it. By entering the Metaverse, people get a sense of presence. Internet users feel like they are inside the internet sharing a common experience with others. The Metaverse enables internet users to visit other places and have different experiences that they couldn’t necessarily have when accessing the internet on a 2D webpage.”

One strength of the Metaverse is that it is not contained to any one particular computing platform but instead, it will cover all the Facebook platforms from Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality through to PC’s, Mobile Devices, and Game Consoles.

Zuckerberg stressed that the Metaverse, “touches on themes” that his company is currently working on. He gives the example of people creating social communities and engaging in digital commerce using digital platforms such as Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Zuckerberg echoes the words of Mathew Ball when he describes the Metaverse as enabling a sense of presence. Zuckerberg gives the example of people using their phones as the primary tool for communication. Zuckerberg points out that the mobile internet was a stage in internet development and the next stage will be the Metaverse.
Accessing the internet via a mobile phone, a PC or any other means is a remote/detached viewing experience whereas using the Metaverse is the opposite, it is an immersive experience. People can be made to feel they are in the physical presence of the people they are communicating with. He gives an example of a situation where people can appear together in a room as holographs.

The Metaverse is persistent/continuous meaning it never stops, pauses resets, or ends. The Metaverse has no limits or lengths, it will never be off, it will never be down for server maintenance or restarts or updates. Multi-player online roleplaying games are an example of this. When you win a match in a game like Fortnite the map resets entirely and anything you built in that game is gone forever.

People will be able to log in or out whenever they want without ever having to load or save their data. Everyone will experience the Metaverse at the same time and live synchronously. In the metaverse, everything takes place in one instance and millions of people will be able to interact with each other in a digital/physical world.
The Metaverse is live and built for asynchronous use. An example of this is a YouTube video that can be watched at any time by any number of viewers. In the Metaverse, everything will be live by default.

The Metaverse experience will entail both physical and digital worlds. Pokémon Go is an example of this where through Augmented Reality there is a digital overlay of physical reality.

The Metaverse will be composed of virtual/digital images of real-life objects. This is referred to as “digital twins.” Digital twins represent physical infrastructure in virtual spaces. Everything will be compatible and span both digital and physical reality.

In the internet experience we know today there is a limit or a cap on the number of concurrent users. Within the Metaverse, it is possible to have massive concurrency with no cap.

The Metaverse has its own fully functioning economy. Most businesses have moved online but still a long way to go before we have a fully digital native economy. Most transactions are siloed in particular virtual spaces and investment in digital goods is still in its relative infancy.

Both businesses and individuals will be able to sell goods and services in the Metaverse. Users can create their small businesses within the Metaverse. In this way, attention is being monetized and the more attention that goes into the Metaverse the more opportunities for transactions are going to happen.

Unprecedented interoperability means data, items, currencies, and content, can be moved between services.
User-generated content. People using the Metaverse create virtual communities where community members create engaging experiences for each other. User-created content allows the Metaverse to be highly scalable and always be relevant to the latest trends.

In the Metaverse, goods will be tradeable with other goods using the same platform regardless of community or branding. People can trade one item for another without any barriers.

The Metaverse promise is one of universality, it presents a fully-fledged world that is open to anyone and encompasses everything.

The Metaverse goes beyond building products that people love to use and enters the realm of building something that creates opportunity and is a positive thing for society. In the Metaverse, we can create economic opportunity and social engagement.

Society and the Metaverse – How people will use the Metaverse

1. Social interaction. It is believed that people will spend an increasing amount of time living their lives in the Metaverse. Spending time in the Metaverse can include anything, from day-to-day social interaction with friends to holding lavish virtual parties, conducting meetings, classroom teaching, playing games, taking part in virtual sports, or online shopping. Any activity you can do online now, you can do in the Metaverse.

2. Work interaction. The Metaverse will revolutionize how we work. Now it is possible to conduct virtual meetings with other entities present as holographs. The Metaverse also represents the ultimate in portability. You can design your workspace and take it with you wherever you go.

The Metaverse is also far less limited than the traditional internet. For example, you can be in any location and have an unlimited display of virtual monitors accessing the internet. You are no longer limited to one at a time single device access. Instead, you can access the Metaverse via multiple devices simultaneously. People can join you in the room and access the same monitors and then leave the room. This is all done instantaneously without you leaving your current physical environment.

The Metaverse is the perfect medium for conducting meetings. People can join and leave the meeting, and through using holographic images, people can interact with each other a lot more closely than by using remote video communication. For work meetings, this means more direct communication and there is a feeling of being connected and being present rather than viewing remotely and being disconnected.

3. Gaming. Gaming benefits the Metaverse and benefits from the Metaverse. Gaming serves the Metaverse as it will often serve as an introduction to the Metaverse. Gamers are also creating and building new worlds within the Metaverse.

Gaming already has some of the most highly developed digital image creator communities. Gaming has also attracted investors who are investing in the construction of AR and VR gaming worlds. As Zuckerberg has noted game studios keep building games and gaming creators keep creating. Indeed, Facebook is investing in the Metaverse by teaming up with game developers like Vertigo games.

One aspect of gaming is that it is a live service and it is continually evolving. New games are constantly being built and new gaming communities are being born. Games are constantly updated, and new downloadable material becomes available for game players.

Gaming also presents viable investment opportunities as is shown by the games Beat Saber and Fortnite. Every day over a million people play Fortnite and in 2021 Beat Saber passed 100 million dollars invested.

4. Exercise programs. One big area the Metaverse will open up is the lifestyle and fitness area. This is already a huge market but with the Metaverse, it is predicted to grow substantially. Boxing programs, dancing, and fitness programs are all expected to experience increased popularity with the Metaverse. People can create their exercise room or join an existing room filled with like-minded people. These rooms exist in the Metaverse and are not confined by the boundaries of space, distance, or time.

5. Buying and selling. The Metaverse offers the ability to buy, sell, and own things, and this according to Zuckerberg, “is the most transformative part of this new era”. He predicts the Metaverse will become the home of centralized trading platforms, where buying and selling will take place in nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and Cryptocurrency.

The ability to buy and sell on the Metaverse has attracted mainstream companies and individuals alike. For example, Nike has plans to sell virtual sneakers. Other areas that the Metaverse will dramatically affect include educational videos, live concerts, architecture, the supply chain, and online social communities.

It may take the form of Augmented Reality AR or Virtual Reality VR or simply on a 2dimensional screen but no matter the medium the effect of the Metaverse is that it will create a greater overlap of our digital lives and our physical lives. This will include areas such as wealth acquisition, socialization, shopping and purchasing, levels of productivity, and entertainment.

Investing in the Metaverse

The Metaverse is still comparatively new to mainstream society, yet it offers some promising investment opportunities both digitally and physically. Digital investment involves the use of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and Cryptocurrency.

Physical investment involves a digital investment that is translated into the physical world. For example, cryptocurrency becomes cash in the physical world.

As San Morales, chief operating officer for Myobu a Spanish Fi project points out that in the Metaverse you can earn “tangible resources and assets which can be exchanged for other digital and real-world goods.”

In 2021 development of new Blockchain platforms progressed rapidly. These blockchain platforms are designed to be the “backbone of their virtual world”, where people through playing games or any other activity, trade NFTs and Cryptocurrency.

The most common way to invest in the Metaverse is by using cryptocurrency to purchase NFTs. Purchasing NFTs is equivalent to investing in core NFT assets on a particular metaverse platform. The NFTs usually come in the form of graphic arts or audio and video clips that offer investors the opportunity to own a virtual asset that exists on the blockchain.

For example, blockchain projects have made it possible to earn a living just by playing games. Players can make money in the form of NFTs, then sell them for fiat money. The investment opportunities within the metaverse are endless and they can range from gaming accessories to clothing for a virtual avatar.

Another way to invest in the Metaverse is by investing in a “social token.” Social Tokens are a cryptocurrency that is fan-based and built around a social networking app, a community influencer, or a particular brand. The app, community, or influencer can be part of the Metaverse or autonomous and they represent a means for investors to diversify their crypto portfolio and not be dependent on traditional investment forms such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Lastly, another indirect way of investing in the Metaverse is to invest in the production of Augmented and Virtual Reality devices. As the use of the Metaverse increases, there will be a corresponding increase in the demand for products such as Smart Glasses and Headsets.

The Metaverse is the way of the future, and this is clearly shown by Zuckerberg changing the name of Facebook to Meta. Investors see the Metaverse as the way of the future, and since the name change, Facebook/Meta’s share price has risen by more than 9% that is more than double the percentage the Nasdaq has risen by.

The Metaverse equals big money, whether that money is physical or virtual. By 2024 it is predicted that 2024 the Global Metaverse Market will reach 800 billion dollars and the Metaverse infrastructure will reach an estimated value of 2.5 Trillion dollars by 2030.

With Facebook/Meta leading the way, the Metaverse will fundamentally transform the internet. Over 700 million people a month are already utilizing Meta augmented and virtual reality tools across the entire library of Facebook/Meta apps, and the company has already invested over 5 billion dollars in the development of Metaverse apps and devices.

The world has evolved around the internet both economically and socially. With the Metaverse this evolution is set to begin the next stage. The Metaverse is a new era for the internet, and it will radically change economies and physical societies as we know them. Analysts predict that nearly all aspects of human existence will revolve around the Metaverse. How we live our lives, the way we conduct business, and the way we interact with each other, will all be influenced and determined by the Metaverse.

Interesting Links about the Metaverse:

What is the Metaverse

Youtube – Metaverse Stock To Invest

Forbes on investing in the Metaverse