Simply put, Metaverse is a three-dimensional synthetic universe that contains various forms of computer-generated virtual worlds resembling the real world where multiple users often use this as a platform to work or play (Dionisio et al., 2013; Mystakidis, 2022). This name was first coined in a novel called ‘Snow Crash’ written by Neal Stephenson, a science fiction novel writer. The leading role and people in the novel use the virtual world as a getaway from the physical realm. Though the story emphas
izes the negative impacts of this platform, the developers now indicate that this could serve as a reminder to be more cautious towards its form of usage (Howell, 2022; Huddleston, 2021).
Has it truly arrived yet?
There are only ambiguous explanations for the metaverse as it is still in the developmental stage. It is not just a gaming environment as one would assume but a digital public civilization functioning along the physical realm. It provides an immersive space where the users can act and function in ways that are parallel to their real physical lives’ activities facilitating the users’ distinct arrays of intricate behaviors in an alternative setting (Dionisio et al., 2013; Mystakidis, 2022).
Although there is progress among the various “metaverse” ecosystems, non can claim yet to be a “digital public civilization” and until they are all fully interconnected we are not quite there yet.
How do we inhabit the “Metaverse?”
This is facilitated by multisensory gadgets that include virtual reality (VR) headsets with built-in sensors and stereo sound along with suitable motion controllers. Separate high-resolution displays for each eye combined with spatial sound delivery boosts immersion and allows the users to navigate themselves and actively interact with virtual objects and people. These strengthen the users’ mode of touch, sight, sound, and movement in virtual space (Mystakidis, 2022). It also permits creator economy by allowing different users to customize the virtual world and its services using the ‘content creation tools’ for employing their own activities resembling their real life setting and culture (Dionisio et al., 2013; Howell, 2022).
It is explained that meeting other users via their avatars (digital bodies) in the same spatial virtual environment and recognizing their presence behind that avatars result in users feeling a psychological sense of being together and inhabiting the digital atmosphere that is especially crucial for maintaining interest and engagement in the practices such as team building, training, and education (Mystakidis, 2022). It further resembles the physical world in the framework that it is a universe past the real world which is said to be constant and perpetual as even when a user disconnects, the virtual space functions continuously (Dionisio et al., 2013).
Is the “Metaverse” useful?
Its applications include in the field of virtual education and training, leisure, and work from home (Mystakidis, 2022). Interestingly, there seems to be a rise in the field of virtual real estate where its users are allowed the ownership of their digital assets and practices as everything that is created by the user is their own property (Howell, 2022).
It is proving extremely useful for allowing teams spread across large geographical locations to connect, learn, share ideas and collaborate, our own experience working with delegates shows how they treat meeting their colleagues as real, so much so we sometimes have to delay starting a workshop so they can “catch up”.
In addition, the rapid development of the latest super light headsets such as Pico 4 are now making it very comfortable to wear VR headsets for long periods of time.
Metaverse is said to be still in the process of development and complete implementation where millions of users can regularly explore and socialize flawlessly without any constraints as three-dimensional holograms without any need for wearing the headsets (Huddleston, 2021; Mystakidis, 2022). It is mentioned that there are four main features in the development phase of creating a fully operating metaverse which entail:
- Realism – users experiencing a sense of complete engagement in the digital space.
- Ubiquity – the programmed tools facilitating the user’s access to the universe and their identity in the virtual world being preserved.
- Interoperability – enabling the users to move and function without a glitch in the system while the built 3D entities could be manipulated and transported wherever.
- Scalability – facilitating an enormous mass of users to function in the atmosphere simultaneously.
A true “Metaverse” is coming where people will work, play and live in a virtual space, earning crypto and spending it and receiving real food and goods at their physical address. Hardware advances are accelerating to make it a comfortable experience and although it is not here yet, it is definitely on it’s way.
Our “Metaverse” Services
If you want to find out how your company should be exploring and using this new world we offer a range of services:
- Metaverse platform consulting, helping you explore and utilise the right platform for you
- Virtual face to face training, train your teams remotely but together from all over the world
- Virtual team building, help your teams reconnect even if they sit in different continents
- Virtual events, we can help with key note events, company updates, workshops, all in VR
Check out our services here:
Dionisio, J., III, W., & Gilbert, R. (2013). 3D virtual worlds and the metaverse: Current status and future possibilities. ACM Computing Surveys, 45(3), 1-38. https://doi.org/10.1145/2480741.2480751
Howell, J. (2022). Metaverse Vs. Virtual Reality: Key Differences. 101 Blockchains. https://101blockchains.com/metaverse-vs-virtual-reality/
Huddleston, T. (2021). This 29-year-old book predicted the ‘metaverse’ – and some of Facebook’s plans are eerily similar. CNBC Make It. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/03/how-the-1992-sci-fi-novel-snow-crash-predicted-facebooks-metaverse.html
Mystakidis, S. (2022). metaverse. Encyclopedia, 2(1), 486-497. https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia2010031
Ravenscraft, E. (2022, April 25). What Is the Metaverse, Exactly?. WIRED, Culture. https://doi.org/https://www.wired.com/story/what-is-the-metaverse/