What Is Metaverse?
What Is Metaverse?
“Through the metaverse, our interactions will be multidimentional 4D where users can immerse themselves into digital content rather than simply viewing it.”
Metaverse is the term that first coined by Neal Stephenson in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash, described as computer-generated digital world where humans can enter via choosing an avatar and interact with each other. Metaverse also can be describe as computer domain in online 3-D virtual space; where our digital and physical extince blends in a shared online space.
With the help of current technological devices such as virtual reality headsets, smartphones, or computers, these persistent virtual worlds bring users into the three-dimensional environments where time flows as it is in our physical lives; users are able to create their own digital avatars or choose from the existing ones, interact with others, share experiences exchange values.
Digital layers of our physical lifes
Metaverse is designed to be a digital layer of our physical lifes where users come together, meet, socialize, attend classes, buy properties, have business meetings, visit virtual art galleries, and enjoy social gatherings such as music festivals and live concerts. Meaning that; Metaverse will help to overcome the obsticals on our physical life such as physical distance. That means the metaverse is aiming to be more than simple entertainment.
“In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today”
On October 28, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced that the company formerly known as “Facebook, Inc.” rebranded as “Meta Platforms, Inc.”. The main reason is for that the company will be focusing on creating the new metaverse which believed is the future of internet. “In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today” (Zuckerberg,2021)
Metaverses will have its own virtual economy; where users can apply for a job in order to create income. Blockchains and cryptocurrencies can be considered the fundamental infastructure behind this virtual economy. By using the specific tokens, which differs what that specific metaverse consider as main currency, users can buy things buy digital assets in metaverse such as lands, clothes, NFT’s to trade or sold to other users with the price they decide.
Metaverse tokens are virtual currency that allows people to exchange or buy digital assets such as virtual clothings, NFTs, avatars or event tickets within the corresponding metaverse. The tokens can be bought simply as an investment. Metaverse tokens can be bought via cryptocurrency markets such as Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.
There are more than 170 metaverse tokens available on the market. Yet, not all of them are ready to use within the supported metaverse. But the market capitalization growth shows us that the interest is rising by the ones believing the metaverse is the next big thing.
Customized avatars and virtual shops
Metaverse offers users to interact with others through their own avatars. This could be done by choosing any available avatars at that platform or creating customized avatars by the tools the platform offers. As the digital overship rises, the brands that see the opportunities are already started to work on creating digital-only products Such as Ralph Lauren, Aston Martin, Chanel, Nike and Balenciaga.
Metaverse-like online gaming platforms are already offering this option to their users. High-end fashion brand Gucci opened a virtual shop on the online game platform Roblox and released a digital collection including glasses, bags, clothes digital goods that allows their users to do virtual shoppings to customize their avatars.
In August 2021, established fashion brand Ralph Lauren presented a 50-piece collactible digital clothing collection in Zepeto platform for the users to customize their avatars (see Figure 2.4). Also The North Face and Gucci presented their joint collection for avatars on Pokemon Go. The option to customize avatars will come in handy as the users will be able to do business meetings or attend a live concert with friends in the virtual realms with the clothes they find appropriate to the occasion.
Virtual venues in metaverse will allow us to reimagine the gatherings and hangouts. With the tools that provided by the platforms, users will be able to design the venues by themselves or choose the extisted ones according to the need for specific occasions such as bussiness meetings, birthday celebrations and many more...
Imagine holding a conference and inviting more than thousands of attendees withouth worry bothering to plan how to accomodate the speakers, traffic hours, restroom cues and be able to creative when it comes to the stage design.
The latest virtual events are moving beyond existing gaming locations. For its 2021 conference, South by South West (SXSW) created a meticulous virtual rendering of downtown Austin with augmented game-like elements. The virtual destination, accessed via a computer screen or VR headset and attended as a virtual avatar, allowed over 100,000 attendees to navigate between film screenings, rooftop happy hours, theatrical performances and keynote sessions. Organizers aimed to recreate the spontaneity of traditional in-person festivals, and this was boosted by interactive elements including costume contests, axe throwing, a selfie stand, go-kart rides, and drone tours providing a bird’s-eye view of the entire festival and virtual downtown.” (Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, 2021).
As it can be understood by this example, 3D designed virtuals spaces can help to reflect the creativity and and help achieving higher level of engagement.
Equipments For Metaverse Experience
Entering and experiencing the metaverse can be done by using technological devices such as smartphones, computers, virtual reality (VR) headsets, augmented reality (AR) glasses, and haptic vests or suits depending on the platforms' support.
Virtual reality headsets
Virtual reality headset is a head-mounted device that projects stereoscopic light and creates a three-dimensional spatial environment for the user.. With the help of built-in head-tracking system, VR headsets change the point of view as the users turn their heads.
Augmented reality glasses
Augmented reality glasses are wearable computer-capable glasses that are designed to enhance reality by adding 3D images or information to the user’s real-world scene through the lens.
Haptic vests and suits Haptic vests and suits are wearable high-tech clothes covered with vibratory motors and sensors. Audio-sensitive sensors capture the sound and translate it into dynamic vibration patterns, which stimulates the vibratory motors attached to the vest or suits, and helps users have a more realistic experience.
Headphones are an essential component of the immersive experience in the metaverse. It helps users hear directional sounds coming from the metaverse to identify where the sound source is and how far it is, thus creating a 3D sound map around us.