The future of the metaverse and Extended Reality

One definition of the metaverse is a virtual reality space that enables users to interact with other users in a computer-generated environment. Although the metaverse is not mature, industry observers recognize the immense power that upcoming 6G networks will have to unleash real-time collaboration in extended reality (XR) environments. The paradox of defining the metaverse is that in order for it to be the future, you have to define away the present.

What is the future of the metaverse

We’ve gone a long way from its humble beginnings in games such as Second Life, Habbo Hotel, or even the long-gone, long-forgotten Club Penguin. It’s difficult not to draw similarities between the real-world economy and the way the cryptocurrency market ties into some of the most popular metaverses. The end result can be wonderful or jarring, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Non-fungible tokens are independent of the metaverse, but they do play a part in the economy of certain universes, such as Decentraland or The Sandbox — an upcoming metaverse that is not yet live. NFTs can be anything from (frankly, rather ugly) 8-pixel avatars to breathtaking works of art.

Several other technologies, in addition to virtual reality, play a role in shaping the metaverse. VR-based training systems could eventually reside within an industrial metaverse, complimenting digital twins. But enterprise applications aren’t limited to industrial markets such as manufacturing. VR training would let surgeons “repeat a specific on-demand procedure as often as the practitioner desires” and create a shorter learning curve, TechTarget’s Xtelligent Healthcare Media division noted. At present, many of the metaverse-like experiences offered by gaming platforms such as Roblox, Decentraland and Minecraft can be accessed through browsers or mobile devices and a fast internet connection. The industrial sector has already started using metaverse technology to advance internal operations.

And that is followed with additional sections covering respondents’ comments organized under the sets of themes set out in the tables above. The remarks made by the respondents to this canvassing reflect their personal positions and are not the positions of their employers. The descriptions of their leadership roles help identify their background and the locus of their expertise.

And 10 percent of the population has already tried AR or metaverse dating, and a majority enjoyed it more than the real-life alternative. A Pew Research study from March 2021 found that 31% of Americans were almost always online, while 79% were online several times a day. Maini said the recent patterns show how people are starting to shift away from physical to virtual goods based on the time spent on apps and games. I’d say it’s somewhere between the “peak of inflated expectations” and “through of disillusionment” stages. As of now, the technology does not carry the potential to be as transformational as electricity, the internet, PCs or the smartphone.

Here’s counsel from metaverse experts on what executives and other business leaders can do to prepare for the metaverse. Meta continues to face scrutiny for alleged harmful effects on young users and how it monitors hate speech across its apps, including Instagram. With millions of users able to join different platforms, Maini said moderation is important.

Digital worlds will have fully functioning economies based on cryptocurrencies and offer opportunities for buying, selling, investing, and true ownership. The Metaverse is a parallel reality that exists in real-time and never stops. For instance, you can use a virtual drone in the Metaverse to control an actual drone in the real world, meaning that the virtual stuff in the virtual world truly reflects real-world stuff. A group of individuals can socialize with another group with the primary goal of doing tasks together, which is likely to be a central goal on Facebook, where many people engage in sharing ideas. In this, avatars represent individuals, which may be bots, manifestations of virtual Reality, or even virtual agents representing a specific group of individuals.

The metaverse will thus render more acute many of the hard problems of digital existence today, such as data rights, data security, misinformation and radicalization, platform power, and user happiness. The philosophies, culture, and priorities of the companies that lead in the metaverse era, therefore, will help determine whether the future is better or worse than what is the metaverse our current moment, rather than just more virtual or remunerative. Few of us enjoy Zoom; perhaps some of our displeasure can be alleviated by adding another dimension. The internet as we know it today spans nearly every country, 40,000 networks, millions of applications, over a hundred million servers, almost 2 billion websites, and tens of billions of devices.

  • Consumers will need to make an effort to understand the security and data privacy policies of both the businesses they frequent and the metaverse platforms on which those businesses reside.
  • When science fiction writer Neal Stephenson wrote the novel Snow Crash in 1992, he presented the concept of the Metaverse to readers for the first time.
  • Built on artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging 3D visual technologies, the metaverse creates a sense of physical space in the digital world—or, the Internet of Place.
  • How consumers are ready to engage with the metaverse today, and what it will take to unlock metaverse adoption.

With mixed reality, you can use elements of the real world to interact with a virtual environment. To borrow an example from gaming, if you were playing a mixed-reality game with a headset, you could in theory pick up an item from your desk or coffee table and incorporate it into the game. Virtual reality (VR), on the other hand, doesn’t include a physical-world component (besides the handset or other equipment such as a helmet or sensor-laden gloves). In VR, users enter a computer-generated simulation but can interact with it in a way that seems real. You might be familiar with videogames that use VR, but the technology is used in a variety of other ways that go beyond recreation. The possibilities of the metaverse seem endless, yet those tantalizing benefits can only be realized atop a dependable 6G infrastructure.

Consumers will need to make an effort to understand the security and data privacy policies of both the businesses they frequent and the metaverse platforms on which those businesses reside. “In gaming, you see Roblox, Minecraft and other immersive video games — and even Zoom — foreshadow what the metaverse is designed to offer,” said Ben Bajarin, CEO and analyst at Creative Strategies. The greater assurance stems not only from VR’s so-called immersive learning techniques, but also from the ability of learners to repeatedly practice skills in a comfortable setting. Indeed, training will likely emerge as a prominent metaverse deliverable, given the ability to virtualize scenarios too expensive or arduous to recreate in the physical world. In Stephenson’s dystopian view of the future, Snow Crash, people gained status based on the technical skill of their avatars.

What is the future of the metaverse

Travis Scott performed a virtual concert in Fortnite that was attended by over 12 million people. Even though The Sandbox isn’t live yet, Snoop Dogg, an avid supporter of NFTs, already owns land in it and lets people buy VIP passes to visit his mansion in the future. The Sandbox sells plots of land in the form of NFTs, assigning full ownership to the person who buys them. Just one glance at The Sandbox’s map shows that this form of NFTs caught the interest of not just cryptocurrency fanatics, but also dozens of companies that see it as a new advertising space to explore. This is not the case in gaming metaverses, such as World of Warcraft, where your account continues to belong to the company in charge of the game.

Meta itself lost $13.7 billion in 2022, and then spent the first half of 2023 laying off over 10,000 employees. It’s important to keep all this context in mind because while it’s tempting to compare the proto-metaverse ideas we have today to the early internet and assume everything will get better and progress in a linear fashion, that’s not a given. There’s no guarantee people will even want to hang out sans legs in a virtual office or play poker with Dreamworks Mark Zuckerberg, much less that VR and AR tech will ever become seamless enough to be as common as smartphones and computers are today. Mentally replace the phrase “the metaverse” in a sentence with “cyberspace.” Ninety percent of the time, the meaning won’t substantially change.

Microsoft is planning to use Mesh to bring realism to otherwise dull video meetings. Meta hopes to create virtual workspaces, giving remote workers a chance to spend time together in virtual reality during their workday. Such a property, upon purchase, becomes assigned to one particular user and is unavailable to other players as long as it’s owned by that specific avatar. On the internet, we’re always interacting with something — be it a website, a game, or a chat program that connects us to our friends. The metaverse takes this one step further and puts the user in the middle of the action. This opens the door to stronger, more realistic experiences that simply browsing the web or watching a video fail to evoke very often, if ever.

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