Metaverse became a tech buzzword after facebook changed it’s company name to meta. To many we are already in Metaverse through Decentraland, The Sandbox, Facebook’s Horizon, etc. But are all these the real metaverse? If not, when will the Metaverse actually arrive?
Metaverse is a future state of technology. We are in the infant state of the metaverse. Metaverse will arrive when we hit the tipping point of advancement of a host of metavere technologies like AR, VR, Full immersiveness, etc.
In this blog post, I will critically examine the metaverse we have today and the metaverse that people are talking about. In the end I will tell you when the metaverse will actually arrive.
- THE WORD METAVERSE.
- THE BIG QUESTION ABOUT METAVERSE
- THE METAVERSE ERA
- WHEN WILL THE METAVERSE ACTUALLY ARRIVE?
THE WORD METAVERSE.
“Metaverse” became a tech buzzword when Facebook changed its company name to Meta. To many of us it was just a marketing gimmick. But to me, the metaverse represents actually an important vision for the future of technology.
The term “Metaverse” might or might not be used in the future as many other tech buzzwords. I can cite some examples. The Internet was known by the name “Information Superway”. Many predictions of the information superhighway were surprisingly accurate. So it will be same for metaverse.
The same is going to happen with the world “Metaverse”. It is doubtful the word “metaverse” is going to be absolute in the future. The things Metaverse is going to be will remain the same but due its advancement, the word metaverse is going to fade away.
THE BIG QUESTION ABOUT METAVERSE
The metaverse that companies are claiming it to be, is just in the infant stage. Metaverse project like Decentraland, Axie Infinity, Cryptovoxels, the Sandbox and many more are just the tip of the iceberg of The Metaverse.
If these are not really the metaverse, the big question arises. WHEN WILL THE METAVERSE ACTUALLY ARRIVE? Along with these, there are some related questions that revolves around it.
- When will VR headset actually be good enough to use for more than a few hours?
- When will the average persons care about digital goods?
- When will the network be fast enough to make us fully immersive?
- When will computers be powerful enough to finally create a persistent virtual world?
These questions are tough to answer as of now. You cannot answer these questions by simply looking at the roadmap of any metaverse project of today.
THE METAVERSE ERA
To me, it’s best to think the arrival of the metaverse is when there is a shift in behavior of technologies related to the metaverse. Metaverse is a future state. It will be the era of Metaverse.
Just like the present day, the Internet is not a single entity but a collection of different things. You have collection
- and Data
that work together to make the internet.
The metaverse will be similar. It will a collection of
- Business Models
- and Data.
that will look completely different from today’s internet.
WHEN WILL THE METAVERSE ACTUALLY ARRIVE?
You can try and guess when will the metaverse actually arrive? If you do so, you have to pinpoint some moments. You can know from that moment the real metaverse has arrived from the following points
- Meaningful Digital World.
- Singularity in Artificial Intelligence
- Interaction of Digital and Physical World
- Advancement of Technology
- Fully immersive experience
- Developed Hardware
Meaningful Digital World
You will come to know the real metaverse has arrived the moment when the digital world becomes more meaningful to most people than the physical world.
A few months before, a crypto-founder named Richard turned downed $9.5 million offer for his cryptopunk NFT. This is a lot of money for a single individual. The reason to turn down the offer was that the NFT image was tied down to his identity. That’s why he told it was not for sale.
The case of Richard is a perfect example when the digital world becomes more meaningful than the physical world. He has crossed to his metaverse territory.
In Metaverse, the digital avatars of your have a meaning. It’s identity will have more meaning than your physical ones. The activities you do in the metaverse will become more important to you than your physical activities.
This is the moment you will know the metaverse has actually arrived.
Singularity in Artificial Intelligence
Singularity in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a concept to describe a moment when technological growth becomes irreversible and uncontrollable. It is a point in time when AI improves itself without human help. This effect gets compounded endlessly.
Singularity in AI will create superintelligence that will surpass all of humanity. It seems like a scary situation. But, the metaverse will need a small part of it.
Open Metaverse is built using blockchain technology. Once data is fed in the blockchain, it is irreversible. Blockchain has the singularity concept of AI imprinted in its DNA. We will need technologies beyond blockchain to achieve the real metaverse.
So, you will know metaverse has arrived when singularity in AI come to effect, instead of closed metaverse open metaverse is prevalent.
Interaction of Digital and Physical World
If you look at how people interact with the digital world, you will feel the metaverse will actually arrive soon. Our focus and dependence on the physical world has reduced substantially for decades. Here are some examples.
- Office conference room have moved to video conference
- Friendship and relations are increasingly formed online
- Video games are replacing the physical sports
- Our digital identities are becoming more important than the physical ones.
Most people nowadays care about their online or digital identity. Just pickup any Instagram influencers or any social media influences. They have curated timeline of events portraying idealized lifestyle.
A time will come when there is a thin distinction between physical and virtual world. You can interact with a object in virtual world from physical word within fraction of a second and vice versa.
Advancement of Technology
New technologies are shifting our attention for decades. Before, the physical world used to be our only option. But, the advancement of technology it started to change.
With the advent of TV, it caught our little attention. People started interacting less with the physical world. When computers came, it took more of our physical world. Mobile phones made it possible to carry the digital world wherever we went.
At present, there are 4.6 millions internet users globally. That is nearly 58% of the population of the world. So, we can say we are firmly in the internet age now. But, only a small fraction of people are fully immersed in the digital world.
Making the metaverse a real will need many technological advancements. Some points to ponder are
- Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have to get much better for the real metaverse.
- System and Network need to interact with each other
- The Internet needs to be really fast enough.
- The internet have to be fully moved to Web3 or something higher version of inernet.
Fully Immersive Experience
There are still 4 billion people who still don’t use the internet at all. And plenty of people are deactivating their facebook account every day. This statistics seems to be far distinct from the metaverse.But, still we can predict when the metaverse will actually arrive.
Metaverse is a future state. Most of you might think the metaverse has already arrived in the form of Roblox, Second Life, etc. It is great to look at these two games as examples of metaverse. You have seen these games, what is possible with metaverse. But none of them are immersive. But, mind that real metaverse will be built upon these games. And the real metaverse will be fully immersive.
Hardware requirement of the metaverse is an important aspect. In time to come, there will be a lot of interfaces and hardware of virtual environments for the metaverse.
Virtual Reality Headsets (VR Headsets) available now play a critical role in the real metaverse to come. To me, the advancement of VR Headsets has stalled for the past few years.The points will make it clear.
- In 2012, everyone in the tech industry was obsessed with Oculus Rift.
- In 2021, Meta (Facebook) is still releasing a new version of Oculus i.e Oculus Quest 2. It only sold a few million of them. It is nothing as compared to users of its platform i.e 3 billion users.
- Vario XR-3 is a perfect example of what a VR headset should be. But it is expensive for most of the public. It shows an example where VR Headset technology can go.
Resolution of VR Headset
Oculus Rift launched in 2016 has resolution of 1080 X 1200. It had a resolution of little over 1 megapixel per eye. This led to pixelation. Then, Oculus Quest 2 had 3.5 megapixel per eye i.e is 4K. But this is not enough for true immersion.
The Vario XR-3 pushed all over Oculus. It has 12 megapixel per eye. But still they are not fully immersive. For the real metaverse, we need fully immersive hardware. It will happen in times to come.
Filed View of VR Headset
Field of View allows you to see your surroundings in your peripheral vision. The more the better the area you can see. Field of view is the key to immersion.
Vario XR-3 has light sensors and can be used for Augmented Reality (AR). It has a 115 degree field of view. The display of the 2nd Holo lens of Microsoft has only a 52 degree field of view. And Snap’s new AR glasses have only 26 degree of field of view.
Most of the users will not spend thousands of dollars on a VR headset. But, these technologies will get cheaper and better in the days to come. This will be an indication that metaverse has arrived.
Nobody knows what the future of the metaverse is headed. But, we are definitely sure that some interesting things will happen here.There are so many different products and companies gradually improving technology and increasing immersiveness.
When will the Metaverse actually arrive? It will be time we hit the tipping point of advancement of a host of metavere technologies. At that point we can confidently say we are in the ERA OF METAVERSE.