Metaverse: A brave new world that defines self with “clone”

Do you know “Meta Universe”?

In 1992, the famous American science fiction writer Neal Stephenson launched his novel “Snow Crash”.

In the book, Neil Stephenson describes an online world parallel to the real world and named it “Metaworld”. All people in the real world have a “network clone” in Metaverse.

This “metaverse” is called “Metaverse” in the English original. It consists of two roots: Meta and Verse. Meta means “transcendence” and “yuan”, and verse means “universe”.

In Metaverse, people can have “network clones”, called Avatar in English, which is also the English name of the “Avatar” filmed by the famous American director James Cameron. This may help people understand the concept of meta-universe.

In this parallel world, people can “visit” the five great relics of Egypt or the terracotta warriors and horses of China without leaving their homes. Of course, famous scenic spots around the world can be visited all over the world, which is no different from a real experience.

Or in an interoperable collaborative space, architects, engineers, and designers work together in a virtual world to design space together, allowing them to enter and exit the virtual and real worlds at will.

Even the game industry has become more and more immersive, making players forget the reality and enter the virtual world.

Another extension of cyberspace

The concept of “meta universe” was detonated by capital in 2021, and 2021 is also known as the first year of the meta universe.

Metaverse is a collection of virtual time and space, composed of a series of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and the Internet (Internet). The first time the concept of “meta universe” entered the public eye can be traced back to the 1992 science fiction novel “Avalanche” depicting an online world parallel to the real world. And the “oasis” scene created by the movie “Top Player One” in 2018 evokes everyone’s beautiful vision of the meta universe. With augmented reality technology, users experience alternative life in a virtual world.

Metaverse: A brave new world that defines self with "clone"

In this highly autonomous model, Roblox attracts over 100 million monthly active players. On March 10, 2021, Roblox, a game company, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a market value of more than 40 billion U.S. dollars. It is known as the “Meta Universe First Share”.

In the Keynote video released by Nvidia on GTC in April, the virtual Huang Renxun made a fake. The scene built in the video generated a digital twin version at a certain period of time, “deceiving” everyone. Huang Renxun also announced the launch of virtual collaboration at the press conference. The platform Omniverse is known as the meta-universe of engineers.

Compared with the 2D Internet space, the VR and AR elements in the meta-universe make the virtual scene more abundant and concrete. If the Internet has brought a kind of physiological extension to human beings, the meta-universe is a sublimation of sensory cognition to a higher level. According to Roblox’s official statement, a true meta-universe product should have eight elements:

Identity: You have a virtual identity, whether or not it is related to a real identity.

Friends: You have friends in the metaverse, you can socialize, whether you know them in reality or not.

Immersion: You can be immersed in the meta-universe experience, ignoring everything else.

Low latency: Everything in the meta-universe happens synchronously, without asynchrony or latency.

Diversity: Metaverse provides a variety of rich content, including gameplay, props, and art materials.

Anywhere: You can use any device to log in to Metaverse and immerse yourself in it anytime, anywhere.

Economic system: Like any complex large-scale game, Metaverse should have its own economic system.

Create a virtual civilization belonging to the meta universe

The meta universe may bring us another complete new ecological experience in the future. But the real realization still requires time and technology.

How to shape the virtual civilization of the meta-universe? The true meta-universe needs at least three aspects of technical support, and these three aspects have actually been relatively mature:

In order to achieve immersion, Metaverse needs to use VR technology. At this stage, most Metaverse platforms have not yet used VR; however, with the advancement of professional VR equipment and lower prices, the binding of Metaverse and VR is only a matter of time.

In order to achieve continuous existence, Metaverse needs to use edge computing technology to ensure that all users get a similar and smooth experience.

In order to support the identity and economic system, Metaverse needs to use blockchain technology to establish credibility. Although these three aspects of technology are relatively mature, VR is still far from being fully popularized. Prior to this, all meta-universes may only be explored at the edge.

Capital increase on the new track

Although the true realization of Metaverse is still far away from us, the sensitive sense of capital has precisely targeted this track.

At the end of June, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg announced to employees an ambitious new plan to transform Facebook from a social media company to a meta-universe company in the next five years or so. “In the meta-universe, there is always a piece of hardware that provides an interactive medium. VR hardware, just like Musk’s involvement in a rocket, is a key tool for building a new world.” Zuckerberg said. In 2014, Facebook acquired the VR star company Oculus, and invested one-fifth of the company’s manpower in AR/VR business research and development. Now it has launched two generations of Quest VR headsets and created a VR social platform Horizon.

The domestic Tencent continues to exert its strength under the logic of “connecting everything”. In December of last year, Ma Huateng put forward a brand-new concept unheard of in the industry before in the company’s annual special issue “Three Views”-Quanzhen Internet.

“Six years ago, we proposed that Tencent should be a connector, not only to connect people, but also to connect services and equipment. The special experience during the epidemic has allowed us to further realize the value of connection. We must serve people. Continue to deepen the connection between people, the connection between services and services, and let the connection create value. This is the direction of our continuous evolution.” Ma Huateng said, “Now, an exciting opportunity is coming, the mobile Internet Ten years of development will soon usher in the next wave of upgrades.”

It is understood that Tencent is a shareholder of Roblox and also holds a 40% stake in Epic. Among Roblox, Epic, and domestic “Code Qiankun” and “Mini Play” companies that are considered to be the closest to the concept of the true Internet, Tencent has monopolized three. In addition to Tencent, ByteDance also invested close to 100 million yuan in “Code Qiankun”; NetEase also invested in 3D social platform Imvu, focusing on using VR and 3D technology to create “realistic social” in the virtual world.

The meta-universe will be an “upgrade” of the Internet, spawning new productivity. For the industry and enterprises, now they have only got the “entry ticket”, and there is still a lot to do.

New rules break the boundary between reality and virtuality

In the second half of the Internet, the new production model has also matured. The combination of online and offline production methods has reconstructed the lifestyle of the masses. For Metaverse, a new economic system has been interconnected.

Compared with the previous one-way model where players recharge money into the game and convert it into virtual currency, and then consume in the game, Metaverse has created a new model. In the meta-universe, players can not only consume, but also make money through creation or trading in the meta-universe. For example, on the Roblox platform, the creators of the game, as long as it is attractive to other players, other players will be willing to spend money. Currently, about 1.27 million developers have made money on Roblox, of which 1,287 will earn at least $10,000 in virtual currency in 2020.

Thanks to blockchain technology, the exchange of cryptocurrency in the meta universe and fiat currencies in the real world connects the meta universe and the real world. What’s more, the money we can earn on one metaverse platform can be used on another metaverse platform.

China Electronics News stated that the “meta universe” of stars and seas will go through a three-stage journey. Social + games will be the foundation stage. Through the development of a series of independent virtual carriers, games, social networking and content will be integrated to form an immersive pan-entertainment platform. After a certain period of preparation, the concepts of virtual and reality are gradually blurred, and real life elements such as consumption, finance, education, work and life services will be transferred to the virtual world, and it has come to the second stage. The third stage is the integration of each track into the meta-universe system, and the boundary between virtual and reality is opened up, forming a completely open, economic system self-consistent, smooth social interaction and other interactive experiences.

Liu Huaiyang, the founder of the rare open-platform meta-universe enterprise in China-Knowing Technology & No Origin, believes that the physical laws, ethics, cost structure, productivity, generation relationship, and value definition have all undergone tremendous changes in the meta-universe era. In terms of scale, any spiritual immersion scene is a narrow meta-universe, such as any book, character, movie, game, room, scenic spot, and city. The generalized meta-universe is a super civilization formed by the interconnection of all the real world, virtual experience, and the species, matter, information, laws, time, etc. in it. In the future, there will be countless narrow meta-universes, which can be constructed by everyone to form a generalized meta-universe unity.


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