Why is everyone suddenly talking about the Metaverse?

The metaverse is the conjunction of two ideas that is virtual reality and a digital second life. Metaverse is unstated as a graphically rich virtual space, with reliability, where people can work, play, shop, socialize. It is often called as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual world that is facilitated using virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. Metaverse development is often linked to advancing virtual reality technology due to increasing demands for immersion.

There are a few factors that have catapulted to the forefront of the tech industry’s thinking in the past few years. One of that is a couple of technologies closely associated with visions of the metaverse have matured. Virtual reality, which was taking its first vacillating steps in the ’90s, is now, well, a reality. Commercially available headsets of decent quality exist, including standalone wireless devices like the Quest.

Another is the blockchain, the barely comprehensible and energy-hungry technology that has made cryptocurrencies and NFTs possible. NFTs, which have become an obsession for crypto enthusiasts, snake-oil salesmen, suggestible executives, and (bizarrely) some parts of the art world over the last year or so, could enable the ownership of virtual items and real estate within the metaverse.

We all have more to worry about in digital spaces than just time spent. The probable idea that this is the direction technological innovation is heading does little to consider whether it should be the direction we are heading. “It’s indispensable for humans to be with humans in real life,”. To that, I think that as kids grow up in this space, there will have to be channels for people to engage, go for a coffee together, walk in on a track, have a chit-chat with family, friends and have real fun under the shade of sun. Although we can simulate the same, but the simulation is not the same. Its bad for kids as they cannot be socialize nor the cognitive skill can be developed.

At the time when the internet first arrived, it started with a series of technological innovations, like the ability to let computers talk to each other over great distances or the ability to hyperlink from one web page to another. These technical features were the building blocks that were then used to make the abstract structures we know the internet for: websites, apps, social networks, and everything else that relies on those core elements. And that’s to say nothing of the convergence of the interface innovations that aren’t strictly part of the internet but are still necessary to make it work, such as displays, keyboards, mice, and touchscreens.

There are some new building blocks in place, like the ability to host hundreds of people in a single instance of a server (idealistic metaverse predictions suppose this will grow to thousands or even millions of people at once, but this might be too cheerful), or motion-tracking tools that can distinguish where a person is looking or where their hands are. These new technologies can be very exciting and feel futuristic.

But, there are limitations that may be impossible to overcome. When tech companies like Microsoft or Meta show fictionalized videos of their future visions, they frequently tend to gloss over just how people will interact with the metaverse. VR headsets are still very clunky, and most people experience motion sickness or physical pain if they wear them for too long. Augmented reality glasses face a similar problem, on top of the not-insignificant issue of figuring out how people can wear them around in public without looking like huge dorks. And then there are the accessibility challenges of VR that many companies are shrugging off for now.

From snow crash to The Matrix, metaverses are envisioned as an escape. It’s a spectrum world and we stay inside a bubble of digital space where the development of attachment, emotion, sense and socio behaviors failed to develop. Covid pandemic of two years in digital space taught a great view of what metaverse would be. Be with real, be with time not future. Virtual, imaginary and metaverse are equally treatable future proceedings.

Author: Bighneswar Swain

Head North America Data on Cloud-CDO Practice – A Leading IT Company
and Trustee, Shree Jagannath Chetna & Chintana Worldwide.

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