Metaverse Technology

Metaverse Technology

Metaverse is the combination of two words, meta and universe. The Greek word 'meta' means 'after' or 'beyond'. And the universe means the environment in which we live. So the metaverse can be described as 'Beyond the Universe'. The American novelist Neal Stephenson, who contributed the term Metaverse to the world, defined Metaverse as in 1992. After 30 years, that fantasy world is coming closer to reality! If the world of today belongs to the Internet, the world of tomorrow belongs to the Metaverse.

What is Metaverse?

Today's world of internet is where we can see and benefit from the outside. But the Metaverse is the Internet you can get inside. That is, fully immersive Internet. There, we can experience Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality with the help of digital technologies by creating our avatars and interact with those environments!

Let's give an example. The teacher talks about dinosaurs in class. The teacher takes them to the world of dinosaurs with the help of a virtual reality headset (VR Headset) so that the children can really understand what is being said. Plus bringing dinosaurs into the classroom with the help of augmented reality! These two realities (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) are alternated with Mixed Reality for children who really feel like they are in the world of dinosaurs. So many things have already happened in the world. If the Metaverse becomes a reality, the child can interact with those dinosaurs as their favorite avatar!

Now let's explain what is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Virtual Reality (VR) is an imaginary world that gives the impression of reality. The world of dinosaurs we mentioned earlier is virtual. Augmented Reality is an experience created by projecting 3D graphics in real space. Bringing dinosaurs into the classroom is an example of augmented reality. Make the metaverse a reality by combining AR and VR with mixed reality (MR). Metaverse is known as the technology of the future.

History of Metaverse

The concept of the Metaverse is not new. It is just a new expression of many systems that are now used in the digital world. The history of Metaverse begins in 1838 when a scientist named Sir Charles Wheatstone introduced the concept of 'binocular vision' behind 3D images. That idea led to the invention of the 'stereoscope', which creates the illusion of depth in a 3D image. It's the same concept used in today's virtual reality headsets. In 1956, an American filmmaker named Morton Heilig created the world's first VR machine, 'Sensorama'. In 1960, he patented the first head-mounted display that combined stereoscopic 3D vision and stereoscopic sound. In the 1970s, the 'aspen movie map' developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States became the first device to transport consumers to another place through VR technology. The term 'Metaverse' was first used in Neal Stephenson's science fiction novel 'Snow Crash' in 1992. In 1989, British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee started the world wide web. The growth of the Metaverse was fueled by the development of the 'Web' and the Internet, the interconnected computer network on which it operates. In 2010, Palmer Luckey released the first prototype of the popular Oculus Rift VR headset. In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion. In the same year, Sony and Samsung announced that they would make their own VR headsets. In 2014, Google also made a strong presence in this field by releasing VR viewers and AR glasses (Google Glass) for smart phones. A mixed reality experience combining AR and VR was first made possible by Microsoft's HoloLens headsets in 2016. In the same year, Pokemon GO, an augmented reality game, became a worldwide hit. In 2020, the 'Apple' company also made an active presence in this field. In 2021, when Facebook changed the name of its parent company to 'Meta', 'Metaverse' became the talk of the world.

World and Metaverse

The future of the Internet and social media also belongs to the Metaverse. Social relationships are not the only thing that can be created in the Metaverse as in social media. The future possibilities of the Metaverse are endless: the world's largest video game playground, the largest online marketplace for products, the busiest space for virtual offices, the virtual real estate marketplace, and an arena for artistic activities such as music and painting. Most of the things that humans do in the real world and only in the fantasy world are possible there!

The Metaverse, a combination of the real world and the fantasy world, has no limitations, its biggest advantage and disadvantage. Its proponents see the Metaverse as a completely free republic with no restrictions on Avatars. There are many answers to the question of how the Metaverse will change the world. The potential of Metaverse will be most utilized for online sales. It will help the companies to sell their products through new marketing strategies. If the Internet made business online, Metaverse would make it virtual. Likewise, Metaverse will help you host virtual concerts, online tours, create artwork, shop in stores anywhere in the world, and study anywhere in the world. The Metaverse can also 'teleport' a person from one experience to another.

With the release of 'Bitcoin' in January 2009, Metaverse got its own currency. The anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto is the architect of this crypto currency. The world got blockchain technology that same year. It was also designed by Nakamoto himself that introduced Bitcoin as a public transaction register. Metaverse is an unrestricted exchange world of cryptocurrencies for crypto fans. For others it is trading using NFTs. Behind Metaverse are the growth strategies of social media giants. They are the ones who give the ubiquitous virtual world a huge boost.

Will the Metaverse be popular?

Like the Internet, the Metaverse is a network of computers. The peculiarity of the Internet is that it can be used by anyone without spending a lot of money. But the Metaverse isn't. As each device used there has to be paid a huge price, not everyone can easily afford it. For it to become popular, handsets and headsets should be available at lower prices. Also ensure high speed internet connectivity. The Metaverse is expected to reach its full potential by 2030-2035. For that to happen, a broadband system capable of transmitting one gigabyte of data per second must be achieved. It is 40 times faster than the current internet connectivity.

Challenges of the Metaverse

Video games are fun to play. But if you indulge in it day and night without restraint, things will get messy. Lack of attention in studies and bad effects on health. As the metaverse expands, the game play becomes even more fascinating. Children may be most harmed by the immersive virtual world. The remedy is strict parental supervision and educating children on how to safely use Metaverse in a controlled manner. The next challenge Metaverse poses is invasion of privacy. Metaverse not only collects user's personal information and preferences, but also collects biometric information. Getting such information into the hands of others can often lead to trouble. It is highly prone to misuse. Immersion in the Metaverse requires wearing virtual reality headsets and special sensors. Wearing these for a long time may cause health problems for the body and mind. Prolonged use of VR headsets can lead to VR hangover and post-use depression. Spending too much time in the virtual world can make life boring and lonely. Diseases like obesity and high blood pressure are also more likely.

Sreejith Hrishikesan

Sreejith Hrishikesan is a ME post graduate and has been worked as an Assistant Professor in Electronics Department in KMP College of Engineering, Ernakulam. For Assignments and Projects, Whatsapp on 8289838099.

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