Introduction to Metaverse: Exploring the next frontier of virtual experience

August 23, 2023

Ever since Facebook rebranded itself to Meta in October 2021, the concept of Metaverse has become the talk of the town around the world. Facebook is not the only player that has entered the Metaverse realm. A growing number of influential organizations, including Microsoft, Walmart, and Nike, have started exploring the Metaverse technology as well.

Metaverse has swiftly transformed from an abstract concept to a resounding buzzword, leaving many intrigued minds eager to learn more about the world of Data and AI. As it stands, the global value of the Metaverse is estimated to increase to an impressive figure of $1.5 trillion by the year 2030. This blog explains what is the Metaverse and how does it work, and how Web 3.0 technologies align with the Metaverse platform.

What is Metaverse?

The Metaverse refers to a combination of shared virtual space, merging augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the digital realm with the physical world. It’s a concept where people interact, socialize, work, play, and conduct various activities within immersive and interconnected digital environments.

In the Metaverse, individuals can navigate digital landscapes, often using avatars or digital representations of themselves. These spaces can encompass various experiences, including gaming, social interactions, education, commerce, art, entertainment, and more.  

Metaverse goes beyond isolated virtual experiences and aims to create a seamless blend of digital and physical existence. To understand how does the Metaverse works, it’s important to know about its five key elements.

5 pillars of a true Metaverse  

The concept of a true Metaverse is still evolving, and different experts and organizations have slightly varying interpretations about it. Therefore, it’s challenging to establish a universal definition on how does the Metaverse work. However, some common pillars that are often considered fundamental to a true Metaverse include:

  1. Experience: The Metaverse offers immersive and interactive 3D environments, providing a sense of presence and engagement beyond traditional screens.
  2. Ownership: Users can own and trade digital assets, properties, and items within the Metaverse, blurring the lines between virtual and real-world value.
  3. Distributed network: Metaverse is based on distributed networks. Different virtual spaces within the Metaverse are interconnected, allowing users to move seamlessly from one environment to another, often without the need for a complete shift in technology or context.
  4. Shared identity: Users can establish a consistent digital identity that spans various virtual worlds, platforms, and experiences, creating a connection between the real and virtual world.
  5. Open governance and decentralization: Open governance is a fundamental pillar of the Metaverse. Unlike centralized platforms, the Metaverse operates on a distributed network where decisions and control are shared among participants. This democratic approach ensures that the metaverse’s development is driven by a collective effort rather than a single entity.

How do you access the Metaverse?

Accessing the Metaverse involves utilizing compatible devices and platforms that enable interaction within virtual environments. Depending on the Metaverse platform, you may need virtual reality (VR) headsets, augmented reality (AR) glasses, or even traditional computers and smartphones.  

These devices provide the means to navigate and engage with the Metaverse’s interconnected digital spaces, where you can interact with avatars, participate in activities, socialize, and explore various virtual experiences.  

Keep in mind that different Metaverse platforms may have specific hardware and software requirements, so it’s essential to choose the right tools for your desired Metaverse engagement.

Web 3.0 technologies and their correlation with Metaverse  

Web 3.0, (the next evolution of the internet) characterized by its decentralized architecture, introduces users to a realm of open governance and data ownership. Metaverse, on the other hand, envisions a collective virtual space where users interact, create, and conduct activities, often transcending physical boundaries.

The Metaverse pillars match up directly with the different platforms provided by Web 3.0. Take a look at the diagram below, showing a network of Dapps on Ethereum. This network features games and apps to provide an immersive experience.  

What’s interesting is that this Ethereum Dapps network isn’t controlled by executives or a board of directors. Instead, it’s run through a different kind of system called off-chain governance. This means that decisions about changes to the rules are made through informal discussions among the people involved. If everyone agrees, the changes are implemented. This setup solves the challenge of open and transparent governance.  

When you’re in this Ethereum Dapps network, you own different Dapps assets. Your online presence, or persona, is also visible here, making it an interesting space to be in.

How to navigate Metaverse?

After grasping the fundamentals of the Metaverse and its visual representation, a more advanced concept comes into focus. Experts propose that an authentic Metaverse expands over multiple distributed networks, each adhering to principles of transparent governance.  

These distinct networks might utilize various blockchain technologies. Within these interconnected realms, AI-driven applications could offer captivating 3D experiences while encompassing the essential pillars that define a complete Metaverse.

As a result, users will have a shared identity across different distrusted networks, and they will be able to use or exchange assets both these networks and the physical world.  

This intriguing yet complex concept has gained the attention of industry and some of them have started to work on it already actively pursuing its realization. It is safe to say that the future of Metaverse seems exciting!  

Navigating the Metaverse involves immersing oneself within interconnected virtual spaces through avatars accessible via various devices like VR headsets and smartphones. Exploring these realms, engaging with fellow users, participating in activities, and managing digital assets contribute to the experience.  

Staying informed about evolving technologies and responsible digital conduct ensures a fulfilling and dynamic presence within this interconnected virtual landscape.

In a nutshell

The Metaverse is still quite new, and its foundations are being set up. Some companies are excited to join this new world, while others seem more cautious. But don’t think the Metaverse is going away – it’s actually becoming more important.  

Just like the internet in the 90s changed things, the Metaverse has the potential to do the same for businesses and our lives. It’s changing quickly, with new technologies and ways of using it evolving all the time, and can lead to a breakthrough in tech evolution.