I wrote Charlie Fink’s Metavers in 2017. It was “A Guide to Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality with AR”, so in this context I was using metavers as metaphor to connect everything in immersive technology, which the book aims to explain. People liked the title and the book went well. I would never have predicted five years later that we would be talking about the real science fiction metavers.
A byproduct of being ill-defined and popular is that everyone wants a piece of you. Microsoft, Nvidia, Epic Games, HTC and almost everyone in the immersive realm have created their own definition of metavers. NFT resellers, digital lands, Web3 promoters, and paid crypto games all have their views on the putative metavers and their role in it. I’m not sure who cares who’s right.
Let’s see if we can unravel some of these other threads.
The basin event
October 28, 2021 is a day to be remembered for a great and foreseeable revelation of our connected future … or as the starting point for the greatest business failure in human history.
The day marked the premiere of Facebook’s expansive vision of a future metavers. What was supposed to be a video conference for shareholders was offered with all the details and production quality of a sci-fi movie. Starring Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a cast of executives went out of their way to get excited about avatars, sports, shopping, games, live music performances, ping-pong in the park with people invisible and share increased intimate visits. with grandma.
Like a lover tattooing his arm to show his commitment, Zuckerberg concluded the film by changing the name from Facebook to Meta. He reiterated his company’s previous commitment to invest more than $ 10 billion. per year – to produce the sequel to the film: a real Metavers.
If you haven’t seen this movie, stop reading and go see it.
What is Metavers?
Metavers was a term first coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 dystopian novel. Nevada. It is a combination of two Greek words: goal, meaning “beyond” and towards, as in “universe”. Ernest Cline established his dystopian bestseller, Assign a playerin a seemingly endless connected virtual world called OASIS, such a deeply immersive, cheap, and easy-to-use virtual reality experience that every business, person, and institution spontaneously settles in, turning its fictional creator, Gregarious Games, into the most valuable company in the world.
“You can think of metavers as the incarnate Internet, where instead of seeing content, you’re there,” Zuckerberg said. “And you feel present with other people, as if you’re in other places, having experiences together that you might not necessarily have in a 2D app or website, such as dancing, for example, or different types of fitness.”
The film Meta shared dramatic but ambitious visions of Metavers, recognizing that the final form, if any, could be a decade or more away. Metavers-like articles abound if you know what to look for, but are always specific to individual applications. Space worlds as Meta horizons, Microsoft AltSpaceor Epic’s Fortnite. We lack the technology to support more than a thousand simultaneous avatars (more or less) in a single simulation. Of course, it will gradually improve, one application at a time. Instead of breaking into the scene, the new Metavers will slowly appear.
“While the full view of Metaverse is still difficult to define, seemingly fantastic and decades away,” says Metaverse investor and thought leader Matthew Ball, who also writes a book on Metaverse. “The rooms started to feel very real. And as always with this kind of change, its arch is as long and unpredictable as its final state is lucrative.
Why are we talking about metavers now?
If it weren’t for Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus in 2014, its subsequent investment, and the name change to Meta, we wouldn’t be talking about Metaverse today.
Presence is the quality that defines virtual reality. While virtual reality is not metavers and metavers is not virtual reality, they are mutually exclusive. You can’t have one without the other. When we need to be together and truly present, even if distance or illness may separate us, virtual reality is the solution. The Metavers is independent of the device, but only virtual reality offers presence.
Meta’s financial commitment to XR (VR, AR, wearables, hearables, BCI, etc.) and Metaverse has allowed him to hire the best engineers in the world, to shit with costs. This talent has been stolen from Microsoft, Google, Apple and others who are slowly walking XR. Everyone wants to work on a well-funded and well-paid moon project. Apple would have given its immersive engineers additional incentives to protect them from predation.
While all this is going on, there has been a simultaneous speculative rush about cryptocurrencies, digital possessions, games to win blockchain games like Axie-Infinity, and digital real estate games on Sandbox and Decentraland. Together they form Web3, a decentralized approach to turning the Internet into a metavers that would redistribute the Internet, or metavers, to a decentralized network. These innovations are often confused with Metaverse.
Time is everything
Time is everything in technology. General Magic’s smartphone went nowhere in 1994 because no one still had a cell phone or personal computer. Despite Blackberry’s best efforts, smartphones only became one thing after the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Before, phones were only for phone calls.
If you’re reading this book in 2023 or later, the putative metavers may have already sunk into the “watering can of disappointment,” a point in a continuum created by Gartner Group analysts to track of the development of new technologies. New technologies, such as Metaverse, create excitement among investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and the press when they are introduced. A year later, the same people are wondering out loud if they were wrong at the time, or even the idea itself.
Over the next decade we will see more technological changes in society. Computer literacy, programming skills, and 3D content creation will be in even greater demand as metavers and space 3D computing begin to consolidate, albeit based on current underlying technology. Internet.
Today, the metavers is in the eye of the beholder, but it is, in whole or in part, the future of computing.
My New book metavers will be published by Quintess in the fall.