Metaverse 101: An introduction to the Metaverse
Today we conclude the initial round of our Metaverse 101 series of posts, themetabite.com’s 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, and where they might take us.
Here at themetabite.com we define the Metaverse as: ‘the ‘hyperconvergence of the physical and digital worlds’, that is, the merging of the real world and virtual worlds to the point at which they become indistinguishable from one another. As we discuss in our Barriers to the Metaverse series of posts there are some significant hurdles to be overcome, specifically obstacles related to the underlying network infrastructure, the open standards and interoperability, and the privacy and security required to deliver a hyperconverged physical/digital world. Consequently, it’s clear the Metaverse is unlikely to emerge as a fully realised, fully functional virtual world from day one, but rather a series of Web 3.0, Web 3.1, and Web 3.2 updates, culminating in a persistent, hyper-realistic, immersive, virtual world, that allows planetwide interactions, in real-time.
We have previously looked at who is involved in creating the Metaverse, what the Metaverse is, when we might see the a fully realised Metaverse, and where we are likely to see the Metaverse in all its glory. We conclude this series by posing the question why?
For all that has been written about the universe there hasn’t been a huge amount about why the Metaverse is so important, other than it being the next iteration of the internet, and that that many organizations have invested significant amounts of money to establish a foothold in the Metaverse. Here at themetabite.com we believe that, for all the hype, we believe there are three compelling, triple bottom line, reasons why the Metaverse will be so important to companies around the world.
First? Profit. The Metaverse will open up a whole new virtual economy within which organisations will be able to profit. From virtual business opportunities currently found in the real-world, such as advertising, events, and commerce, to entirely new service offerings, some of which we can imagine, such as virtual Architects, Interior Designers, Stylists and Event Coordinators, to ones we haven’t yet dreamed of.
Second? People. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote and virtual working technologies, providing workers with their first real look at that almost mythical concept of ‘work-life balance’. The Metaverse will allow workers across all industries to contribute to the global economy both remotely and outside traditional working hours. Pre-pandemic, companies like Accenture had already started to build virtual campuses where employees could gather and participate in company events. Soon after the pandemic hit, these companies began to utilize their virtual spaces for onboarding new employees, learning and collaboration. The Metaverse will accelerate the transition to virtual working, moving out of predominantly white-collar industries and into blue-collar jobs like construction, manufacturing, and maintenance.
Last? Planet. The promise of the Metaverse is a hyper-realistic virtual world close to, if not indistinguishable from the real world. A world where the Metaverse exists in this form has a reduced need for people to travel, as it effectively works as a form of teleportation and allows near real-world engagement and collaboration. The corresponding reduction in travel-related carbon emissions should place it near the top of an organizations carbon agenda. In addition, a new economy driven by digital assets, will reduce our desire for, and ability to afford, real-world items. People will be just as interested in creating and equipping their virtual homes and spaces, as furnishing their physical properties. This reduction in a real world need for “stuff”, will have a significant impact the global consumption of natural materials and the planet’s finite resources.
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