What’s Up Metaverse
by AREYES Studio on Sep 19, 2022
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about metaverses and other technologies like augmented and virtual reality, Web 3.0, and 5G. In 2021, Collins English Dictionary recognized the abbreviation NFT (non-fungible token) as the word of the year. Thus, each subject of the above deserves a separate and voluminous article.
However, in this article we want to focus on and analyze precisely what we can achieve when these technologies are combined.
The advent of the mobile phone, coupled with the internet and the popularity of handheld cameras, gave rise to smartphones. And those, in turn, gave life to a considerable number of services and communication methods, that are indispensable to humans today – without them even simple actions like making an appointment or meeting a courier can’t be performed. If we add a satellite navigation system and online payment possibilities to the mix, we can already travel the world with merely a phone.
Do you ever think about how drastically things have changed? How much easier and better our lives have become with the combinations of technologies that seem to be gradually strung together?
Tomorrow it’ll become vital for us to buy NFT with virtual clothes for our avatar in one of the dozens of metaverses with cryptocurrency. After we post a photo of our avatar in a new virtual outfit on social media a couple of times, the same avatar can replace us at a video from a friend’s birthday that we missed, do a presentation for the management, or maybe blog instead of you while you’re on vacation in another country. For their birthday, your kid won’t ask you to buy a radio-controlled car or a Lego, but a new artifact for their avatar or a virtual spaceship (a collaboration between a famous VR blogger and a well-known brand).
But when should we get there? And do we need all this? What’s the economic feasibility of this? Let’s go step by step. How far are we on this path? Already, bold celebrities (for example, Grimes) and curious 3D artists are actively experimenting with the creation of avatars. Mega popular online gaming projects such as Fortnite put on full-fledged shows on their platform with the participation of stars such as Travis Scott (based on his 3D avatar). It’s a show watched by 12 million people around the world simultaneously and widely discussed in media.
At the same time, NFT technology is coming out of the shadows, literally breaking all sales records in just a year, and actively taking root in our lives (it doesn’t surprise anyone that another CryptoPunk was sold for $16 million). Brands and companies are integrating NFT technology simply as a marketing tool that’s insanely interesting to their audience.
For example, Nike announced the purchase of RTFKT Studios, a startup specializing in creating virtual sneakers and collectibles. The team uses the latest game engines, NFT, blockchain authentication, and augmented reality to create unique virtual products and experiences.
And this is just one of a few examples. With the help of NFTs, it’s possible to collect millions of dollars for charity in a matter of days from all over the world, bypassing cumbersome banking systems, legal complexities, and other obsolete, interfering factors.
Cryptocurrency itself is becoming mainstream. Tesla starts accepting bitcoin, American banks and payment systems are integrating crypto into their systems, and freelancers now accept crypto as an alternative payment method. Basically, you can pay your yoga instructor with crypto and send money to any part of the world in minutes (even to places inaccessible to standard payment systems). And this is happening while you’re reading these lines. The world’s changing as we speak.
Virtual Reality has also become more affordable than ever. One of the most popular VR headsets Oculus Quest 2 is several times cheaper than any of the latest generation game consoles. People do crazy things in VR headsets: in addition to online games and chats where you can feel the presence of an actual person (like playing ping-pong or VR chat), you get an incredible space for creativity (collaborative included).
Many artists are already creating entire mini-worlds, stories, Pixar-quality animation in hours. In the past, you’d need days and even weeks and an entire development team to work on it.
If you’re hearing about this for the first time – you need to catch up fast, watch, try, have fun, and share with your friends! Right now, all these things are developing freely. Now is the window of opportunity for experimentation and carefree exploration of all these dimensions.
Mark Zuckerberg comes on stage and says, “I announce the topic of the Metaverse as relevant! Create! Invent! There will be room for everyone in the new world.” All these factors signal to the watchful observer that the time has come. The pioneers of immersive technologies have already figured it out and got everything ready for you – so use it!
Let’s Imagine What’ll Happen In The Nearest Decade:
2 – 3 Years
Regular users will have ten times more VR headsets – and the market will grow many times: there’ll be more games, social networks, developers, conferences, trainings, and other things inside the VR world. The business and others will be largely reformed with the help of VR into even more flexible and environmentally friendly systems (there will be no need to spend extra resources on relocation, physical meetings across the ocean, and, sometimes, intrusive team networking at boring planning meetings).
4 – 5 Years
You’ll increasingly begin to notice that people are discussing which avatar to choose for a business meeting in virtual reality with an important client from the United Arab Emirates. What designer NFT clothes to wear today to impress the right people from the other side of the planet. And with 5G arrival, computing power will become available by subscription in the cloud through low-powered and cheap devices. You’ll no longer need to monitor your desktop computer or laptop, update them and think about how to get rid of the old hardware. All you’ll need is a basic 5G device and a flexible plan with an operator that will charge you exactly for the power you use.
Tech giants like Meta, Apple, and Microsoft will release affordable and high-quality next-generation AR devices (glasses) with the above features. These glasses, at least, will complement and soon completely replace the most powerful smartphones. The old iPhone will be more like a good memory, just like a vinyl record, rather than the convenience it is today.
The world in these glasses will become many times more fascinating and brighter than usual; with them, digital “layers” of reality will finally become possible – you put on glasses, connect to one of the dozens of layers of reality and see your city in front of you, but already augmented with digital objects many times. And this experience will be available to everyone. What you see can be seen by millions of other people.
5 – 7 Years
Cryptocurrency will have a more significant status in the legal space and in society – first, it’ll be accepted by grocery chains and then even by farmers at local markets. Part of the population will keep their savings in De-Fi projects (Decentralized Financial Services or Decentralized Finance), and even the most conservative of those will provide a higher interest rate than a bank deposit.
Of course, we should also expect the possibility to pay with our crypto-assets via online banking of our most familiar banks;
From an obscure “digital art” NFT will turn into a fundamental tool in copyright protection, resale of unique digital content to a single person, creation of smart virtual securities, an investment asset and an indisposable attribute of multimillion-dollar transactions.
Virtual persons will begin to compete with real people in the media space: avatars of real people, completely fictional characters controlled by cunning AI trained in millions of performances, “revived” celebrities will return to the shows and interact with the living ones. It’s possible that alternative and previously unknown entities will appear from ordinary programs existing in the open spaces of Web 3.0 (greetings from the “Matrix” by Wachowski).
A dozen major meta-universes will appear, where the most important events of the digital world will take place: exhibitions, performances, gatherings, networking, entertainment, and even business meetings. The events within the framework of the metaverses will be highlighted by the media and, as a result, will no longer be inferior to the events in real life.
Countries won’t stand aside: I’m sure many smart people are already thinking about how to use NFT technology in document management (after all, NFT solves the problem of authenticity), integrating it into government applications. In addition, it will be necessary to regulate all these actively developing economy sectors, so expect large scale “cyber-tax” or even “crypto-special services” and perhaps even some kind of “Meta-UN” – an international body that regulates the processes in the depths of the metauniverses, primarily to protect the “meta-borders” of citizens, and to preemptively limit the growth of “dark” sides of fast-growing worlds.
Are We On The Brink Of A New World?
It’s most incredible that all these things are not the subject of discussions of futurologists or the concept of a strange dream – this is the reality that might occur even “tomorrow”. Most of the above events should happen before our eyes.
What’ll happen after?
Think about it – what other incredible, currently unimaginable technologies will be invented in the context of these achievements? Businesses within meta-universes, jobs inside virtual reality glasses, entire meta-states with their own laws, virtual worlds where you can get rich in a very non-virtual way, or perhaps even entire alternative lives that people will live more willingly than their real ones?
One thing is certain: the number of different, but incredibly important events, both in everyday reality and in meta-reality, will grow many times over, and the one who manages to ride this wave will understand how to influence the world!