Visiting new worlds used to be a topic of Science Fiction. Nowadays it is as easy as putting on a headset and being transported to a different setting, real or virtual. You can find yourself stood on top of a high mountain or at the bottom of the sea (using real photos) or in a completely different place or world (a virtual environment or metaverse).
Virtual world are not new. The gaming community has been using virtual worlds for a long time now, however Metaverses are now developing into useful spaces in which to work, rest and play.
Where did the term Metaverse come from? Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (1992). The term metaverse was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as programmable avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional virtual space that uses the metaphor of the real world.
Today there are multiple Metaverses being developed at a fast rate and all playing to be the chosen place to go. But which is the best, which wins? I don’t have the answer to that because at the moment there are so many and lots of these platforms aiming to be the one go to place.
In the future though I do think that there will be one or two main platforms for business/consumers and multiple for entertainment.
Cost and accessibility are key to a platform becoming a strong player as well other factors such as security, attractiveness and our acceptance of modern technologies.
Metaverses are usually available through a number of access methods, from Mobile, to PC/Laptop to Headset. Not everyone can afford the few hundred pounds or dollars for a headset without a good justification (other than gaming in a lot of cases) and for a business equipping all its staff with a headset might be a big hit on the books, without a reasonable return. Headsets are developing at a fast rate and hopefully will develop into a cheaper form of headset to be more affordable by the masses.
This is where a Metaverse that has an option/client for access on a normal mobile, PC/Laptop/Tablet are gaining ground as there are more accessible to users and they can still experience the Metaverse, just without the wow factor of the immersive experience.
The challenge for these Metaverses is to make themselves more appealing to business and consumers other than looking like a game – “Where is that crate drop or quest giver!”.
Some Metaverses are offering land for sale using NFT and Blockchain technologies – a quick search on one of these sites and someone has purchased the virtual land that Buckingham Palace is on for $305.9 consisting of 133 lots (chunks of virtual land). This is one of many platforms out there. Could investing in the right platform pay off?
Across all these platforms though Security is still a big thing that needs to be considered, with risks such as identify and avatar theft, fraud, virtual land theft being some of these. One of the factors as to if a platform succeeds and becomes mainstream will be how secure it is.
So how many Metaverses are there….. Lots!
Here is a list of some of them, but there are a lot more out there:
- Axle Infinity
- Battle Infinity
- Hyper Nation
- Meta Horizon Worlds
- Nvidia Omniverse
- Second Life
- Sensorium Galaxy
- Somnium Space
- Star Atlas
- The Sandbox