The term metaverse has captured technology industries imagination. One of the leading social media platforms, Facebook, has already changed its name to Meta Platform Inc. The company’s CEO has already announced that the company will effectively transit from people seeing the company only as a social media company to being a metaverse company. The question that most people would like to know is what is metaverse.
The prefix meta comes from Greek and means beyond, across or after. The combined world meta plus universe would connect a place beyond the universe or the world as people know, one that exists in the virtual realm but feels just as accurate. The concept is not new. It is a virtual reality place that people can enter and access by using gadgets or devices.
Video in many games where the player controls a character or events on the screen with the help of buttons and command. Now suppose instead of sitting at the console and watching the game on the screen, the player could be inside the game and participating as the game’s character instead of participating from outside. The gaming industry has already moved in the metaverse direction, but the tech giants’ move will be the expensive one. They will embrace everything from entertainment to office.
This metaverse involves the online world where people can interact with others, communicate and collaborate virtually without needing to be in the same place. For example, a person may be at a different location, and his family may be at another location, but still, they could enjoy dinner sitting at the same table. Instead of staring at the screen, the person will see the family member across the table.
Especially from a business point of view, the potential of VR is immense. The metaverse could be a game-changer for the work home shift due to Covid. Employees would be able to join co-workers in a virtual office instead of seeing them on screen. The device choice for the metaverse for Facebook is a VR headset. The company already has its in-house product, the Oculus VR Headset. It has also launched meeting software for companies Horizon Workroom which uses this headset. The headset costs 300 USD or more which indicates the metaverse will be out of reach for many.
The company made its 1st forays into creating a VR world with the launch of Facebook Horizon in 2019. In August, Horizon Workrooms were launched where employees can hold meetings in a virtual room wearing VR headsets. They will appear as cartoonish 3D versions of themselves. According to many experts, metaverse will be a fully functioning economy where businesses and individuals can create, own, invest and sell products. It will be an experience that spans both the digital and physical worlds.
The CEO of Facebook has said, the metaverse would be “a persistent, synchronous environment where we can be together, which I think is probably going to resemble some kind of a hybrid between the social platforms that we see today, but an environment where you’re embodied in it.”