Please provide a basic overview of the Metaverse: What is it? Where does the technology stand today? Why are companies so excited about this space? Is there a rough timeline for development and wider adoption?
CONSULTANT AT A MULTINATIONAL IT COMPANY
The Metaverse is a shift in technology with respect to how we interact with technology using various avenues like virtual reality, augmented reality that seamlessly combines our (users) physical and virtual worlds. It is the same as people used to discuss ‘Internet’ and ‘Cyberspace’ in the 1970s. The Metaverse is also about boundaryless movements between various platforms, like playing a game on a Microsoft console and seamlessly moving into Facebook for a video call and hosting a chat session on Twitter. Technology is moving fast, and all technology behemoths, like Facebook (Meta), Google, Apple, Nvidia, are all trying to make their own version of the Metaverse. The development. will change how people use and interact with technology, as when social media came and it changed how we communicate.
PROFESSOR & VIDEO GAME DEVELOPER
Metaverse’ is a term being used by multiple companies to describe a shared virtual space in which many users will be able to socialize and (potentially) work. Companies are excited because, if they own the dominant platform, they will be in a position of a landlord of infinite real estate and could ask a percentage of all online transactions that occur in those virtual places. Like Amazon has cornered the supply of many physical goods, the winner in this race will corner virtual goods. Unfortunately, the reality of these spaces is often underwhelming: Second Life showed that users need a purpose to assemble virtually. Fortnite shows the most potential as a Metaverse platform, with the game as a hook, but Augmented Reality spaces have more potential than solely virtual Metaverse platforms.
FOUNDER OF AN EARLY-STAGE VENTURE CAPITAL FIRM
The Metaverse is the next evolution of the internet along with Web3. It allows users to access virtual and augmented reality experiences through online 3D avatars. These virtual environments, which provide an immersive experience to the users, can be used for multiple use cases like social networking, gaming, business meetings, education, etc. At present, we have the basic hardware infrastructure in place for the Metaverse to succeed – VR headsets, digital glasses, smartphones, etc. That said, we are currently witnessing big tech and legacy companies heavily invest in Metaverse products – Microsoft (Mesh), Nvidia (Omniverse), Nike (Nikeland), Roblox, etc. Startups across sectors like gaming, social networking, education, etc., are also building products core to the technology. Reasons for excitement are large TAM and several use cases.