Have you ever imagined yourself interacting with your friends in a completely virtual world? You may think this already happens in video games or social networks, but we refer to something much more profound.
It is not about seeing what our avatars do on a screen but appreciating that world in the first person. You are not going to see how your character will go through different worlds. This time, you are going to virtually do it yourself.
This revolution is what Metaverse, Facebook‘s new megaproject, which recently changed its corporate name to Meta, seeks to incorporate. If you still don’t know exactly what it consists of, we are about to tell you all the details.
Metaverse appears as the next digital project that will seek to revolutionize the world. If the arrival of Facebook generated a change in our way of interacting with others, thanks to social networks, the Metaverse will seek to take a much deeper step. That is, it will pursue breaking the barriers between the virtual and the physical worlds.
The Metaverse was born as a project of Mark Zuckerberg that seeks to replicate everyday reality in a virtual world. It is not a technology designed to play games (although you could also do it), but the idea is to offer an experience that, in many ways, could be superior to that of physical reality. If you have seen the movies “Surrogates” and “Ready Player One”, or the Netflix series “Westworld” you get the idea.
Let’s mention an example to make it clearer. Imagine that your dream is to visit Paris to walk its streets and see its buildings. To live the Parisian experience, you will probably need money. So, you need to pay for airfare, accommodation, food, and all the other details of your trip.
However, you also need time. Therefore, you not only need time to save money, but also to travel. Now, what if you could have a very similar experience, but instantly? That’s where the Metaverse seems to have great strength.
You could take a trip to Paris almost instantly, which you can enjoy almost as you would in real life. In this way, you could see the details of the city with your own eyes. Thanks to virtual reality technology, one of the supports of the Metaverse, you will believe that what you are seeing is real.
Yes, it may seem like science fiction, but so was the possibility of sending text messages, uploading photos to social networks, or enjoying video games with such advanced graphics. As we have said before, the development of this technology will mean endless possibilities. And that’s where the unknowns about the future of this project lie.
Now, if the metaverse will seek to be a virtual replica of the real world, it is also necessary to understand how the whole system will work. Although Facebook did not give any information about it, different payment systems will likely be incorporated to finance the possibilities offered by this world.
Let’s continue with the previous example, which will illustrate more about this issue. As Facebook -now Meta- is a company, it is logical that they seek to profit from their project. Therefore, they will have three options to do so, which they can also combine: through a subscription, through advertising, or objects (also known as “microtransactions”).
The first two cases are not a problem. After all, if we want to live the experience, we can pay for a subscription that allows us to belong to that world. We will probably also need to have the right technology, such as VR glasses that immerses us in the world of Facebook.
The same will happen if they decide to fund the project with advertising. We see it all the time with Facebook or Instagram, which are free apps, but advertising allows them to remain lucrative. Therefore, users could experience the Metaverse at the cost of consuming advertising. However, what will happen with the third possibility?
In the last example, things would change because it would not be a platform designed solely for entertainment. Thus, the Metaverse will not only be fun but also work.
For example, for you to take that trip to Paris, you will probably need credits. You may also have to pay for tickets, accommodation, and food, but virtually. The value will be less than what you would have to pay in real life, but it would also mean an outlay of “real” money for that “virtual” experience.
However, there is also a possibility within this option: working. In real life, you work to finance your dreams. So, would you work virtually to pay for your virtual desires? This situation is nothing new, as some video games encourage you to work to obtain resources that you can then exchange for virtual items.
The problem is that imitating the real world implies not only fun. To have fun, you also need to produce. And, if we consider that people will have to keep a real job to survive, we will have to see how there is time for leisure.
These are all possibilities, as this alternative virtual universe is still being implemented. According to some experts, the technology to make this world reality will only be available in about ten years. Therefore, Meta has time to think about all these issues before launching to the market.
What is clear is that virtual reality will be one of the most relevant technological innovations that will redefine the next era. While it may be risky, this launch could also mean thousands of opportunities for many people who crave this technological development.
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