Facebook claimed the start of a very ambitious project called the Metaverse. Hiring 10.000 smart Europeans to build the Metaverse… And promising “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality”. More concrete, the Metaverse creates a set of virtual spaces where a community of people can interact in the form of avatar pretty close of interacting in person. Even if they aren’t in the same physical space as you are.
The concept is not very new. Actually the Metaverse refers to a Science Fiction novel titled Snow Crash, written by Neal Stephenson 30 years ago! Snow Crash describes Stephenson’s vision how VR based internet would change the world. Including the prediction of a electronic currency called Kongbucks. The untaxable financial transactions made by this fictive Kongbucks was the start of the collapse of the whole economical system. Not a very happy outlook with the rise of cryptocurrencies nowadays.
It is already there
If you still think the Metaverse is a new gimmick and a faraway concept? Then ask your kids to demonstrate you Roblox, Minecraft or even Fortnite. All are online game communities where players can build, create or need to collaborate to survive the game in a complete virtual space. This comes pretty close to the Metaverse concept but is still in a gaming environment.
Metaverse Business case
Like internet changed the world the last 30 years in how we communicate and collaborate, the Metaverse enables new social and economic opportunities. So the next step must be where can the Metaverse save time and money. What is the business case and how can the Metaverse increase effectivity and efficiency how people work in a professional environment.
By the way this platform is not owned or operated by one company, read Facebook, and its key feature will be its openness and interoperability. Time will learn … but exciting it is! And can’t wait to see the first Metaverse business cases.
In the meanwhile I will using VRiend, our own social VR platform. Based upon real-time video-imagery we deliver also “interconnected virtual experiences”. The big difference is there is no chance to change yourself into an avatar. So a bad hair-day will remain a bad hair-day even in virtual reality ;-).
Author: Bas Beukers
Date: October 2021