Metaverse will revolutionize everything

The story of the Metaverse begins with the science fiction book Snow Crash written by Neal Stephenson, an American, and published in 1992. The term metaverse was coined in this book. This book shows people using virtual reality (VR) technology and digital avatars – one’s personality in the digital world. The term virtual reality – an immersive experience when you put on a headset and see and act in a digital world – became popular in the 1980s, while the widespread commercial release of VR headsets began in the 1990s.

Over the years, VR devices grew in development and were widely used in video games. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s role in the Metaverse story began in 2014 when the company acquired digital reality hardware/platform Oculus. In 2021, Facebook was renamed Meta – in reference to the company’s projected future as a pioneer of Metaverse.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, Metaverse is “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies such as virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). The idea that by creating a greater sense of virtual presence, online “interaction” can be much closer to the experience of face-to-face interaction, i.e. the metaverse is an immersive version of the next-generation internet, likely to be powered by virtual or augmented Reality technology is played. Louis Rosenberg, a pioneer in AR, says the metaverse is the future of technology and will transform society over the next decade.

There are two different concepts. The virtual metaverse avatar-based VR world will be very popular, but it will not be the vehicle through which immersive media will transform society. The Augmented Metaverse – the merging of real and virtual worlds into a single immersive and unified reality – will touch every person on the planet and rapidly transform society.

John B. Sheldon, Adviser, Space Policy Unit, London says that 1990s Web 1.0 was passive, early 2000s Web 2.0 was interactive thanks to social media and Web 3.0 was immersive, tangible due to emergence and confluence and will be decentralized of various technological trends such as virtual and augmented reality, 5G network, blockchain, cryptocurrency, etc. The term metaverse in modern English means “meta” “to go beyond” while verse means “universe”. Therefore, the Metaverse is a technological concept that goes beyond our current universe of neatly delimited physical and virtual worlds.

Metaverse is a disruptive technology that will create virtual worlds and bring people together around the world. It combines the elements of different technologies, namely Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Reconstruction, Brain Computer Interface. It will offer an immersive social media experience by introducing 3D space. While it’s not fully out yet, some platforms like Roblox and Fortnite contain Metaverse-like elements.

The term metaverse has caught the attention of everyone, including CEOs of top companies like Mark Zuckerberg and Satya Nadella. It has the potential to shape our future by creating advanced immersive and interactive digital experiences. The metaverse has wide applications – real-world activities such as trading and stock exchanges take place within it. It uses cryptographic technology and Non Fungible Tokens (NFT). Meta is developing a better version in social media platforms that will open opportunities for businesses and marketers. Traveling is adventurous, Metaverse will allow people to virtually visit places they cannot physically go. In the Metaverse, media and entertainment will look very similar. To enter the virtual world, all you have to do is put on your AR VR headsets, you can attend virtual concerts, visit virtual theme parks, and so on.

India is also not lagging behind to lead the Metaverse revolution. With unique vantage points and promising signs such as a growing young population, expanding domestic markets, a vibrant startup ecosystem and a vast talent pool, India is expected to play a massive role in the Metaverse space. According to a report by DappRadar, India ranks fifth in terms of interest in Metaverse projects, behind only the US, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

Indian IT companies like TCS, Infosys, Zensar Technologies, HCL Technologies are working hard to build the Metaverse. Tech Mahindra announced the launch of a Metaverse-related business to bring immersive experiences to customers. The company will start with four main centers in Dallas, London, Pune and Hyderabad. It offers a virtual car dealership, Meta Bank – the virtual bank, Middlemist – an NFT marketplace, etc.

India is witnessing an increasing use of Metaverse technology. A Tamil Nadu couple held their wedding reception at Metaverse. Investors are showing interest in cryptocurrencies, NFTs, etc. Ajit Mohan, VC and MD at Meta for India, Bengaluru said that in two years the country will have the largest app developer ecosystem in the world, so many of the Metaverse applications will be here be built . In the last week of February this year, Infosys announced the Metaverse Foundary, a set of 100 ready-to-use templates and use cases that will help companies sitting on the Metaverse get started.

Every new technology has challenges. Therefore, it is always desirable to deal with the challenges before adopting. Personal identification and representation are necessary when it comes to the real world. Indeed, the Metaverse will have its own identity in virtual environments. Users may unknowingly spend more time in Metaverse due to the full immersion experience. Therefore, in the early stages of immersion in the Metaverse, one will need assistance in both time and space perception to make users comfortable in the virtual environment.

For data protection, it is necessary to improve security systems. It would be necessary to develop a unified system that could be used to validate the owners of virtual assets in the metaverse. Governments would also need to do research on virtual areas of law as they delve into the metaverse.

Although in the process of being formed, the metaverse is coming and it will change everything. It’s one of the most exciting technological developments of the 21st century. It will change the perception of internet and social media interactions. It will be mainstream by the end of the decade. It will undoubtedly revolutionize the world of communication and change the way we work, play and live.

(The author is a retired IFS officer)

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