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Metaverse 101: An introduction to the Metaverse

Today’s post has been given over to an introduction to The Metabite’s Metaverse 101, our continually evolving guide to the Metaverse. If you're new to the Metaverse, this is the place for you. We explain the fundamental building blocks of the Metaverse, how they interact with one another, where they might take us, and when the Metaverse might be realised.

In classic information gathering who, what, when, where, why style, we start with who. So, who is involved in creating the Metaverse? To answer this question, we need to describe a Metaverse Value Chain or, as described by American academic legend Michael Eugene Porter, the “collection of activities that are performed by a company to create value for its customers”. So, what makes up the Metaverse Value Chain? For simplicity we’ve broken this into a simple three-layer i-model, comprising the infrastructure, interface, and interaction layers.

First, we have the infrastructure layer, the underlying fixed and wireless network infrastructure, predominantly in the form of fibre optic and 5G cellular networks, and previously covered in our Barriers to the Metaverse: Part 1 post. Key organisations in this arena include internet service providers, or ISP’s and mobile network providers, or MNO’s. The largest of these include AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast in the US; China Mobile and Chine Telecom; NTT and Softbank in Japan; Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Telefónica in Spain; América Móvil in Mexico; and Vodafone in the UK. Meta used day one of this years’ Mobile World Conference to point out that home and cellular networks aren’t yet ready for the Metaverse and that it won’t be possible without improvements.

Next, we have the interface layer, which includes everything required to communicate with the Metaverse, and all those companies who manufacture sensory technology like smart glasses, virtual reality (VR) headsets, or haptics (technology that can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user). Key players in this arena include: Meta (formerly Facebook), HTC, Pimax, and Pico, many of which use the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset, along with haptic technology companies Ultraleap, SenseGlove and Teslasuit.

Finally, comes the interaction layer, which covers everything from the creators of Metaverse platforms, Metaverse worlds, Metaverse experiences, and Metaverse assets. There’s a long list of players in this section of the Metaverse Value Chain, including individuals and organisations within the creator ecosystem, but major players include Metaverse platform creators like: Meta (again), Microsoft (owners of Minecraft), Epic Games (owners of Fortnite), Roblox, and decentralised Metaverse destinations (Metaverses that are built and operated by the people that use them) like Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Axie Infinity.

Please check out our evolving guide to the Metaverse and leave a comment below!

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