Metaverse in a nutshell: an introduction to the future
The metaverse is growing in popularity as tech giants Meta (Facebook), Epic Games, and Microsoft invest billions of dollars in what they say is the next big thing for internet users.
But what is this new phenomenon and how will it affect our lives?
Metaverse has become a buzzword because it offers people the ability to meet, shop and use services in the virtual world. Facebook invested at least US$10 billion in the metaverse last year.
The difference between the internet and metaverse is that the internet is a global network comprised of billions of computers, other gadgets and servers linked together online.
The metaverse is not a competitor to the internet but rather a virtual universe accessed through the internet. Once inside, people and things interact with each other as digital avatars in a highly immersive world, buying land, playing games and socialising with users across other online platforms.
So how do we access the metaverse?
People can enter this virtual universe with virtual reality (VR) headsets or augmented reality (AR) technology. The medium of exchange in the metaverse is digital currency.
While users of the internet are “spectators”, the metaverse fully immerses participants in a virtual world, allowing them to interact with each other directly as avatars. The experience is comparable to playing a virtual-reality game – except that the metaverse is a boundless world of interactions that mirrors our “real world” and may even envelop it.
School, work, social interactions and everything else we do in the real world can, theoretically, take place in the fully immersive metaverse.
This new digital reality is dependent on blockchain and cryptocurrencies that are becoming part of everyday life.
So, want to enter the metaverse?
For the fully immersive metaverse experience, you will need good bandwidth, a virtual-reality or augmented-reality headset and a digital wallet. You will also need to create your own avatar.
Just want a taster? Less immersive meta features are available through your mobile phone via features such as Sensorium Galaxy's mobile app.