The metaverse refers to a virtual universe made up of multiple virtual worlds that can be explored and manipulated by users through virtual or augmented reality devices. Although it is a topic that we have been talking about for many years, Mark Zuckerberg, with his commitment to transform Facebook into META, gave the concept a new dimension. He is convinced that in a period of five to ten years we will no longer “surf” the Internet as we did in the beginning with our computers; neither will we “look” at the Internet through the screen of our mobiles. What we will do is “live” within the Internet in a literal way.
In theory, the Metaverse could improve our lives in a number of ways. For example, it could allow us to interact and collaborate in ways never before possible, whether it’s working together on projects, playing team games, or simply socializing with friends and family around the world. In addition, the Metaverse could also offer new educational and entertainment opportunities, allowing us to learn and experience things in ways that would be more complicated in “real” life.
The possible applications of the metaverse in daily life are practically unlimited, since they will depend on the type of virtual worlds that are developed and how users decide to use them. Some possible use cases of the metaverse in daily life could include:
- Virtual meetings and conferences.
- Immersive online games.
- Educational experiences: The metaverse could also offer new educational opportunities, allowing students to explore virtual worlds related to their subject matter and experience situations and concepts in a more immersive and interactive way.
- Entertainment and leisure: Virtual visits to tourist places, concerts and sporting events, or even to create personalized virtual worlds in which users can enjoy activities that would not be possible in real life.
- Applications for companies: For example, the technology firm NVIDIA offers its clients the possibility of simulating any environment -what is known as Digital Twins- in a metaverse called Omniverse. BMW, for example, has designed the factories in which it will produce its electric car there. And Microsoft is creating a virtual office where you can collaborate remotely with much more realism than in today’s video conferencing.
Accessibility and security in the Metaverse
The Metaverse could be accessible to anyone who has access to virtual or augmented reality devices and is interested in exploring and manipulating virtual worlds. We are still in our infancy, and as with any technological disruption, it is possible and normal that some people may find using the Metaverse somewhat “challenging”, especially if they are not used to interacting with virtual reality technology, but the perspective is that it will be something that we will gradually incorporate into our lives and “for all audiences”.
Like any other technology, the Metaverse presents certain privacy and security challenges and concerns, including:
- privacy protection: By interacting in the metaverse, users can share a large amount of personal information, such as their location, interests, preferences, etc. Therefore, it is important to ensure that this information is kept private and secure, and is not used inappropriately by third parties.
- Information security: In addition to protecting privacy, it is also critical to ensure that information shared in the metaverse is not maliciously altered or manipulated, which could affect the integrity and reliability of the information (just like we do in social media).
Metaverse, more real than ever
We already have many virtual worlds, such as Fortnite, Roblox, Sanbox or Decentraland, to name a few, but we are not yet at the point of talking about a single Metaverse. We are not there, but we are at the beginning of it. The pillars of what will be the metaverse are being laid by many people (entrepreneurs, technologists, and investors) in a collective movement reminiscent of the beginnings of the Internet that we know at the end of the 90s.
We are, as Zuckerberg acknowledges, years away from moving massively into the Metaverse: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices still have very little definition, and it is estimated that until 2030 they will not be indistinguishable from reality. That is to say, we will not have a realistic sensation of being submerged in a world identical to the real one. But that moment is going to arrive, and when it arrives it is going to be quite an experience.
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LLYC: The Metaverse would allow us to experience things that would be more complicated in real life.