“NFT” became the word of the year in the Collins Dictionary this year , but in 2021, another concept from the technical field entered the mainstream consciousness: ” metaverse “.
Everyone is talking about the “Metaverse”. This is driven to a certain extent by macro factors, such as COVID is driving the digitalization of our lives, and it is probably because Facebook recently changed its brand name to Meta. From the New York Times column to casual table conversations, Metaverse is already there. Become the most concerned topic of people.
Although this topic has been discussed in detail elsewhere; I even mentioned it in several recent articles. However, I think this topic is still worthy of in-depth study.
What is the Metaverse?
Defining the “Metaverse” was an impossible task from the beginning.
First of all, it is too early to predict what the metaverse will evolve into and what it will mean to us in the end, just like predicting how incredible Snapchat will be immediately after the iPhone is released.
To make matters worse, there are still many semantic disputes. Some people think that using “metaverses” (plural) is more appropriate, because there will be multiple different virtual experiences that can be accessed through different interfaces. Some people don’t like to use this term at all, because it has become a buzzword-“Metaverse” already contains almost everything in the virtual world. Maybe the “Metaverse” itself will eventually be replaced by another term, who knows!
Now, it is useful to at least try to give a precise definition of this concept. The best definition I can find comes from Matthew Ball . He is an investor and his article on Metaverse is a must-read. Although he admits that it is impossible to describe the metaverse perfectly, he defines the metaverse as:
“A large-scale, interoperable real-time rendering of 3D virtual world network, which can be synchronized and persistently experienced by an unlimited number of users with individual presence, and has the continuity of data, such as identity, history, rights, and objects. , Communication and payment, etc.”
Many things can be analyzed through this definition, but some prominent elements are: the Metaverse is 3D, open to an almost infinite number of people, and has some continuity elements, similar to real life .
The framework of the Metaverse, source: Matthew Ball
For some people, this may remind them of the virtual game “Second Life” ( see picture below) , a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG ) that has been popular since the beginning of the 21st century. ). Although this analogy has some truth, it is only a visual representation of what a single type of Metaverse might look like. In fact, the design space of the creators of the metaverse will be very broad, and ultimately will be driven by us, the users .
Source: virtual game “Second Life”
So, who is building the Metaverse? So far, they have been divided into two camps : non-Crtpto Metaverse and Crypto Metaverse . And, until recently, they were more or less building in parallel with each other.
Non-Crypto Metaverse: The Metaverse of Large Tech Companies
Since the connection between Metaverse and virtual reality has a long history, what we think of as “Metaverse” has been developed by many VR companies for several years. For example, VRChat and AltspaceVR have always been the most famous work and social platforms in virtual reality. Especially due to the COVID (new crown epidemic) , virtual event use cases have gained early traction.
This year, two large technology companies-Facebook (now renamed Meta ) and Microsoft ( Microsoft ) have placed big bets on the future of Metaverse and directly included Metaverse in their urgent roadmap.
For Microsoft, its CEO Satya Nadella announced in May this year that their new Azure product suite is part of an expanded ” enterprise Metaverse, ” he said:
“As the virtual world merges with the physical world, the Metaverse composed of digital twins, analog environments, and mixed reality is becoming a first-class platform. With Metaverse, the entire world will become your application canvas. With Azure Digital Twins, You can use Azure IoT to model any asset or place and keep the digital twin updated in real time. Synapse can track the history of the digital twin and discover insights to predict the future state; with Azure, you can develop continuous learning and improvement Autonomous systems. The Power Platform allows domain experts to use low-code/no-code solutions to extend and interact with digital twin data. Mesh and Hololens bring real-time collaboration.”
It certainly did not participate in the virtual reality rock concerts so exciting, but this may be a business perspective yuan universe (and virtual reality) how to solve practical problems initially, that Telepresence (telepresence) and remote collaboration (remote collaboration) The problem.
Of course, Facebook changed its name to Meta later this year and launched its own Horizon Workrooms product for VR-based team collaboration. However, they seem to have greater ambitions, not only from a financial point of view (approximately US$10 billion will be invested in various Metaverse-related research and development each year), but also from a scope point of view. At least from Zuckerberg’s public statements, he seems to “understand” why interoperability and openness are important, because he believes this is a new era for the enterprise and claims to be moving in this direction. To quote Zuckerberg’s original words:
I think (Metaverse) may be more point-to-point, and I think the vocabulary in this area is a bit important. We do not think that different companies will build different Metaverses . We think of the Metaverse through terms such as Mobile Internet. As if you wouldn’t say that Facebook or Google are building their own Internet, I don’t think it makes sense to say that we are building our own Metaverse in the future. I think that each of us is building different infrastructure and components, hoping to help build the entire Metaverse. I think these components need to work together in some way .
We are trying to help build a bunch of basic technologies and platforms to achieve this goal. There are many hardware aspects-there are VR glasses, AR glasses, input electromyogram (EMG) system and so on. Then there are platforms around businesses and creators, and of course social platforms, but there will also be other different competing companies that are also building these things, but hope that there are some open standards that make these things interoperable.
It ‘s useless to say it , we wait to see what Meta will do. In the end, they will still be deeply rooted in the profit maximization and zero-sum competition cycle of technology companies like Web2, so I don’t expect them to build the Metaverse we hope. But I will not draw conclusions too soon.
Crypto Metaverse: a Metaverse owned by the community
In the field of Crypto, the way of looking at the metaverse is different. The core principles of decentralization, trustlessness, anonymity, and community ownership have been deeply ingrained from the beginning .
The earliest virtual worlds created using blockchain technology include The Sandbox , Decentraland, and Cryptovoxels . Although they all have different elements and internal economics, the power of blockchain technology and NFTs has brought true digital land ownership , which opens up a whole new type of activity, from renting out your land to custom building houses for others etc.
In these blockchain-based virtual worlds, many early activities came from buyers who wanted to leave their land in the meta world to future generations, but some interesting uses also began to appear. For example, on Decentraland, there are activities that users can participate in and experience almost every day-you can find a complete list of activities here:
At the same time, Domino’s (Dominos), Atari (Atari) and other well-known brands to buy land in the virtual world , to advertise their own products, events and build awareness.
At the same time, many blockchain games have begun to think that they belong to the category of “Metaverse”. For example, Axie Infinity is a typical “Play-to-Earn” (Play-to-Earn) game, in which there are land that can be purchased, game guilds that different players can join, and so on. GuildFi is one of our most recent investments, which aims to become a game guild tool solution for Metaverse, not just another scholarship platform.
Where are we going?
We still have a long way to go before the Metaverse moves towards the “mainstream”. Frankly, we haven’t even gotten close to it yet.
Metaverse will start from enterprises (such as Microsoft, Meta) and games (such as Decentraland) , and gradually expand outward . I personally believe that an open, decentralized, community-owned Metaverse will defeat a closed, rent-seeking, and monitored system for the same reasons that I think Web3 will disrupt Web2 . But this future is by no means doomed; it needs to be constructed!
In many respects, we are still in the infancy of this industry. The Metaverse needs its own currency -we have more or less talked about this. But Metaverse also needs its own independent infrastructure stack to not crash when AWS crashes. Or need to make a group of people easy method of mutual cooperation , transfer of information from decentralized to project management tool. Or the standard of NFTs is also needed , because NFTs will shuttle between the “Metaverse” and different rendering environments.
In short, for this new future, we need to do a lot more.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-metaverse-is-wider-than-you-think/
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