The Confusion Around the Metaverse

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4 min read

We are seeing a lot written about the Metaverse these days. A lot of the articles in the crypto world are saying that we are already in the Metaverse. They use the term in the present tense.

It is not wrong per se. What we have is a situation that is really hard to distinguish since there is no clear definition of the Metaverse. Personally, it seems premature to use the phrase in the present tense although a lot of what we are seeing is certainly going to be standard in that realm.

We are dealing with a concept that is virtual in nature. Many feel that it will be non-controlled. Hence, what Facebook is proposing is NOT the Metaverse.

This realm will more advanced than gaming yet no as much as reality. It will tie all realms together through VR, AR, and holographic technology. We are going to train, learn, socialize, meet, and conduct business on there.

In short, it will be far beyond something that we have considered now.

Virtual Meetings

Many state that the Zoom™ is the Metaverse. The idea that virtual calls certainly comes into play. However, as just explained, it is far beyond it.

One thing we are going to see is more tools provided for the Remote Work shift that is taking place. Here is where Facebook is progressing in a way that will likely catch on.

Teleconferencing is in its infancy. The next generation tools will not only improve the remote work environment, it will also provide some foundation for the Metaverse.

Notice the above picture. This is something that is being developed by Facebook, along with others. Since many companies foresee having at least a portion of their workforce spread out, virtual meetings are going to increase in necessity.

Here we can see that, even in these early stages, the meeting feels more "lifelike" than a Zoom™ call. There is dimension to the room and people can interact in a manner they are accustomed to. We are dealing with 3-D as opposed to 2-D.

Of course, we are also operating using avatars. This is something that will take some getting use to but it is an entry point for the Metaverse. That is going to be a world where people have many different avatars, probably driven by AI for the most part.

Improved Technology

For the Metaverse to be built out, we are going to require much better technology. We came a long way in the last 15 years but nowhere near the level things need to be at.

Graphics are much improved, to the point they are getting near lifelike. That will be needed for avatar management as all these different ones are running around engaging on our behalf.

We also need to see our communication systems advance. There is still too much latency, on average, for things to be even close to what we are going to consider virtually "real".

All of this will take place over the coming decades. Even with NFTs which are going to be an important part of the Metaverse, we see that is in its infancy. A lot more infrastructure is required before we can consider that something significant.

What this means is that we are a long way away from having something that is near useful for the Metaverse. In fact, what we are dealing with is not much advanced from today's Internet. A lot of what is taking place is nothing more than a slight improvement over Second Life™. To truly be near Metaverse, we are going to have to see radical improvements.

We are not there yet.

Gaming Will Drive Things

While the business applications are going to be incredible, the march towards the Metaverse will be driven by gaming. This is too big a market to overlook and it is ripe for disruption.

Gamers are already accustomed to handling in-game currencies as well as digital assets. Thus, the learning curve is a lot lower. They buy weapons, skins, and other assets required for the game. However, all are tied to a particular game since it is a closed system.

The Metaverse will be driven by the opening up of things. NFTs that are universal in nature, ie the value is retained no matter what the game, is going to be a large component. Again, we do not see that today so be on the lookout for it.

Imagine have $100K in @splinterland cards. Upon deciding to stop playing the game, one opts to start on another. Now consider the ability to move that value in a NFT over to the second game. The cards could be "transformed" into something else that is pertinent to that game.

Of course, this too is going to require a great deal more infrastructure. We will need mechanisms that can swap out what is needed from what is held. This is going to require some diverse platforms that concentrate on this issue.

This is just one example of what needs to be done. Hence, if you hear people talking about the Metaverse in the present term, do not buy into it. That is like saying three computer nodes in 1975 were the Internet. While it would not be technically wrong, it was a far cry from anything useful.

The same is true today. Virtual worlds that are in existence are just components for what is to come. We will see a lot more development moving us in the direction of where the Metaverse is truly something to be amazed by.

Nothing today is truly amazing. It is nice progress yet still has a lot of holes to fill. This is going to have to occur over a couple decades.

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