The Metaverse is considered a technology that could fundamentally change and define how we connect, interact, work and play.
The potential to create a virtual and connected world has always been a dream since the advent of the modern computer. The continued developments in technology and the rapid pace of globalization created the conditions and laid the foundations for the birth of the metaverse.
There are those who think that the timing of the Metaverse’s recent rise is also significant. As the world struggles to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people who want to escape from reality and travel to new and imaginary worlds has increased. Seeing these demands, Meta, formerly known as Facebook, changed names and began working hard late last year to focus on making the metaverse from imagination to reality.
Although it will take years for the metaverse to be created and adopted, this year seems to have a very important place in the history of the metaverse. Most importantly, it will show which companies want to have the metaverse base and how far they are willing to go to create their own segments of the new world. So what should we expect in 2022?
Battle of the Big Four
Meta has been gaining traction since its inception, but Apple and Google could be in the limelight later this year. Apple plans to announce an AR/VR headset, but technical difficulties seem to be pushing the release date.
Launched in 2014 and one of the first mainstream projects to bring VR to the masses, Google stopped the production of Cardboard. Google has consistently led the way in the AR/VR space, particularly with Google Glass, and will no doubt launch a wearable for the metaverse in the near future. In fact, according to the rumors, Google pressed the button for the augmented reality headset. However, Google’s parent company Alphabet made an agreement with the famous CEO Arnold Goldberg for the metaverse step.
Regardless of existing headsets, supporting millions of users in a simulated environment will require significant infrastructure support. Amazon already powers some of the biggest services on the internet, including Netflix and Slack, through Amazon Web Services (AWS), making it a key item on the metaverse base. Amazon is likely developing new hardware to give users access to the metaverse, and the company has been making hats with embedded technology for years already.
Let the game begin
Gaming is arguably one of the most obvious use cases for the metaverse. Many popular video games are simulated worlds where millions of simultaneous players connect, interact, and even trade at scale. Creating an immersive multiplayer experience is in the hands of companies like Epic Games, creators of Fortnite, with decades of expertise in creating.
Microsoft probably isn’t the first company you’ve talked to about video games, but it should be. Microsoft continues to expand its games division, making them a formidable competitor in the world of the metaverse. Having bought Minecraft creator Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014, Microsoft plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, for $69 billion. It was stated that this step would be beneficial for the metaverse.
Metaverse Begins Now
Creating the metaverse takes more than just technology. Creating immersive experiences that appeal to all types of users takes content creators. Behind the scenes, most major tech companies will hire hundreds of creative teams to begin building the large-scale worlds you need to experience the full potential of the metaverse.
However, the creators have built many worlds, such as the Shire from Middle-earth, created by a few of the 141 million active Minecraft players. User-generated content will be a crucial component of the metaverse. It looks like new toolkits will be developed this year to allow everyone to start building their own corner in the metaverse.
We have a lot more to learn about the Metaverse, and much of it is still dreamed up. While the metaverse raises more questions than answers, many key challenges need to be addressed before mainstream adoption.
Large companies nurturing the Metaverse base must address privacy, security, accessibility, and legal concerns. As the year progresses, realizing these issues will result in discussions, decisions and actions that will shape the future of the metaverse.
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