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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What will fuel the Metaverse?
3.
When will the Metaverse be fully functional?
4.
Who will own the metaverse?
4.1.
Current VR/AR Market Share
5.
Challenges being faced by metaverse
6.
Dark Side of the Metaverse
7.
Frequently Asked Questions
7.1.
What is the Metaverse?
7.2.
What is the role of VR and AR in the metaverse?
7.3.
What are the uses of metaverse?
8.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Metaverse-magic or menace?

Author Ankit kumar
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Master Python: Predicting weather forecasts
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Ashwin Goyal
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Introduction

We often hear tech giants talking about the term metaverse these days. What does metaverse mean? It is very difficult to define the metaverse in a line or two. But if we go on compress the definition, it will come out as - 

The metaverse is a large-scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds that can be experienced simultaneously and persistently by an unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence and with continuity of data, such as history, identity, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments.

Think of the metaverse as a digital glimpse of the future, as the next evolution of the internet. They call it web3. It was the fictional story named “Snow Crash” that coined the term “metaverse” in 1992.

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What will fuel the Metaverse?

The metaverse will be driven by various innovations and technologies such as NFTs, Cloud computing, Cryptocurrencies, Virtual reality, Augmented reality, etc. These technologies as a whole will host the idea of the metaverse. These building blocks will be fully developed by then.

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When will the Metaverse be fully functional?

Tech giants believe that by the end of this decade, we will have a fully developed metaverse, but it could be early, too, as the building blocks of the metaverse are developing very fast, and people are adopting them. The increasing use of VR in various fields like in the military, use of AR in e-commerce, and automotive industry shows the increased adoption rate of emerging technologies. The concept of decentralized land is getting widespread. One such popular and a familiar name is MANA. In the future, Decentralized land could be one of many decentralized worlds making a portion of the metaverse, with digital currencies and assets flowing between them the same way we exchange fiat money and physical goods in the real world.

Who will own the metaverse?

While nobody would own the metaverse itself—just like nobody owns the internet today—there will certainly be giants in the space, and companies like Unity, Meta, Microsoft, Roblox, Epic Games, and others want to be among them, which is why they are pouring billions of dollars into making the sci-fi dream come true.

Current VR/AR Market Share

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Challenges being faced by metaverse

What could be the reason why metaverse isn’t functional till now? Are the headsets really bulky enough to wipe out the market of the metaverse? Or is it not really affordable? Let’s deep dive into the challenges the metaverse is facing.

  1. Heavy-weight headsets
    The key tools required for metaverse to function are AR/VR headsets. Now since most of these are NOT lightweight, portable, and affordable, it has not been widely accepted.
     
  2. Identity authentication
    It might be possible that the bots can mimic our style, and this can really twist the situation. Therefore proper authentication is required in order to protect our identity from being exploited. Possible solutions can be retina scans, facial scans, and voice recognition for authentication.
     
  3. Mental Health
    Addiction to the virtual world not only leads to mental problems like depression and anxiety but could lead to concerning health issues like heart problems and obesity, etc.
     
  4. Law & Jurisdiction
    Where there is anonymity, there is a hike in social crimes. One of the recent examples is a male avatar raping a female avatar on the metaverse platform, and this came to the news after the female complaint about it. Proper law and jurisdiction are required before even thinking about a functional metaverse that will work across borders.
     
  5. Data Breach
    We often hear MNCs being accused of data breaching. Imagine a situation where your friend knows all your strengths and weaknesses. Now replace that friend with these MNCs who know your behavior. It could be devastating. This will require new security strategies.
     
  6. Community and Network in Metaverse
    Metaverse, without a doubt, will bring a diverse community together. For many, the metaverse could become the platform to interact and form meaningful relationships. However, for the metaverse to become a space where people can feel both emotionally and physically present, the haptic and motion capture technology will have to advance to a completely new level.

Dark Side of the Metaverse

If we look at the core of the metaverse, they aim to present the content in its most natural form. One good example is a game development company that recently added different smells while using different guns in a shooting and battleground game. They aim to provide a completely real experience when we shoot with different guns. If we flip the coin and look at another side, these companies have the potential to change our sense of reality, distorting how we interpret our daily experiences. In a simple way, we can say that they could make the reality disappear.

In this real-world, if we want to take a break from social media, we can switch off our phones, laptops or step away from our screens. But with the rise of the metaverse, this last option will end. We will live in our own data bubble, everyone being fed custom news and information tailored to their own personal beliefs. Today at least, we can enter a public place and get some real experience.

We will not even be able to leave the metaverse, Because faster than any of us can imagine, we will become thoroughly dependent on the virtual layers of information projected all around us. We won’t be able to unplug the VR system because doing so will make important aspects of our surroundings inaccessible to us, putting us at a disadvantage socially, economically, and intellectually.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse is a 3D virtual reality that would enable people to interact with each other. You can imagine the metaverse as a connected ecosystem of online 3D virtual environments where users can interact with each other, create assets, play games, work and collaborate with each other.  

What is the role of VR and AR in the metaverse?

Virtual reality offers an engaging experience for anyone who can put on a VR headset. It enables anyone to visualize the digital world. With VR headsets, users can dive into a 360-degree virtual world, where people can navigate around easily.

What are the uses of metaverse?

The first evident use case of the metaverse is it will unlock new market opportunities. People can socialize, communicate and interact with each other by digital avatars in the metaverse. Brands could capitalize on this factor to identify favorable marketing opportunities. 

Conclusion

In this article, we have thoroughly discussed metaverse, its development, challenges faced in implementation, and different sides of the metaverse. Metaverse, if exploited in a regulated manner, could result in a boom in the tech market.

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