Metaverse is predicted to be the next evolution of the internet. It is often illustrated in science fiction as a hypothetical and virtual world where everyone can interact with each other through an extensive network of 3D virtual space.
Presently, we are already using the internet and computer screens on a daily basis. Can we estimate that this state will evolve into a universal, and immersive virtual world which can be accessed by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)? What are the positive sides and associated risk factors of a Metaverse?
Today’s discussion will reflect on these topics for your better understanding.
What is the Metaverse?
Simply put, the metaverse is an online environment of 3D virtual worlds where the users are represented by avatars and they can experience the tangible life in a different way compared to the physical world. The metaverse is thought to be the single, shared, and immersive virtual space operated by virtual reality (VR) headsets and augmented reality (AR) glasses, artificial intelligence, robotics, and social media.
This virtual world will give new insights into our daily work, play, shopping, socializing, and other stuff. In the context of video games, virtual simulation has already established its place. It will help to increase productivity and attentiveness. Through advanced technologies, children get to experience wonderful diversions in games like Roblox. On the other hand, technology has not exhibited an entertaining role for adults in terms of daily work, shopping, etc.
Though there are Zooming and other online marketplaces, these are not completely virtual. These platforms require physical processes.
Metaverse will be a complete virtual world in the future where everyone will be able to do all their work from the couch of their rooms. This may sound like a thought of a distant dream but the future is not far ahead. The real-estate investors are already buying lands in virtual places like Sandbox and Decentraland. Then luxury brands like Hermès and Gucci observe billions by selling virtual versions of their clothing and accessories.
The context of meta verse has gone one step further when the holograms or virtual projections of late singers Maria Callas and Roy Orbison have been performed on stage. So, the story of the metaverse involves the virtual presence of everyone in the 3D online environment where they can conduct daily life activities without any physical proximity. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the metaverse is expected to become a $800 billion industry by 2024.
How is the Metaverse Accessed?
Virtual Reality or VR is the most important component of Metaverse. It is basically a simulated 3D environment through which the users will be able to interact with a virtual environment like the actual world.
VR technology aims to create a simulation of the real world. The approximation of reality is currently accessed through a VR headset that deals with the user’s vision. Other than this, gloves, vests, and full-body tracking suits establish a lifelike interaction with the virtual world for the users. The platform may introduce workplace monitoring software.
Augmented reality ─ creates an interactive experience by adding digital overlays on top of the real world through software, apps, and hardware like AR glasses. It creates less immersive virtual environments than VR. While using AR technologies, the users can still interact with the actual world’s environment. The game Pokémon Go, Google Glass, and heads-up displays in car windshields are some of the examples of popular AR products.
The Concerns Related to Metaverse
The construction of the metaverse requires a huge amount of public data. So, the related companies will acquire the personal information of the users through different sources. This may also include all the biometric data from virtual and augmented reality devices.
This will create a potential risk of breaching the information privacy of the users. Along with that, there remains a risk of spreading misinformation. Ultimately, the public may feel vulnerable about their privacy. This is a crucial concerning area of the metaverse.
Safety of the users
Metaverse is highly likely to increase addiction to the internet, social media, and video games. This will pose a serious risk to the mental and physical health of the users. Also, constant use of such technologies of metaverse will increase depression, anxiety, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and many more.
Virtual crime is another concerning factor of the metaverse. It may be reduced through remote workforce monitoring. So, proper management and planning are necessary for such cases to establish a successful metaverse.
In the metaverse, there must be a new system of regulations for the protection of the users. It is mandatory to ensure that the intellectual property (IP) laws will be extended to both physical and virtual objects for the overall safety and security of the users. The new laws and regulations should align with the rights of inventors, designers, and owners of the real world.
Metaverse development is highly likely to increase the abuse of social media engagement strategies which will manipulate the users with biased content. Also, the metaverse holds a significant role in social issues. Unfortunately, it has more negative societal impacts than positive sides.
Metaverse has a strong addictive potential. This will lead to further social issues. Also, people with physical disabilities will be left out of this virtual environment without proper technological advancement.
The metaverse is the new buzzword of the next generation. Technological advancement is thriving at an exponential rate. As a result, the establishment of the metaverse may not be far ahead. But it can not be the replacement of real life. The alternative reality will be basically for the purpose of entertainment.
We will have to come back to the real world to eat and sleep. Undoubtedly, the metaverse will open the door to multiple opportunities in future. It will change the whole dimension of our daily life. Every aspect of our life will be changed. We can utilize this opportunity for our betterment. We should just be careful about pursuing this alternative life.