Essentially, the Metaverse will be a mix of elements of extended reality (XR) and advanced Web 3.0 technologies.
If you’ve ever played an open-world game such as Skyrim or any iteration of Grand Theft Auto, you have a sense of what the Metaverse is supposed to be like. Our idea of the Metaverse derives from these huge worlds from the field of gaming, and through science fiction literature like Snow Crash and Ready Player One. You can probably imagine a detailed cityscape within your laptop, where you can drive cars, go to the cafe, go watch a movie, or dance in a club with your friends. The current conception of Metaverse takes things a step higher—instead of experiencing things through just a laptop, you can interact with the digital world more fully and completely using extended reality (XR) tech like virtual reality (VR) headsets and be a part of the experience yourself.
The Metaverse (made up of the words “metaphysical” and “universe”) is defined as a digital extension of our physical world where people interact with each other using digital projections called avatars. Essentially, the metaverse will be a mix of elements of extended reality (XR) and advanced Web 3.0 technologies.
Most people we know, when they need to buy supplies or utilities, will take a few hours or more in order to: a) go to the shops, b) search for the desired shop, c) go to the relevant section in the desired shop, and so on and so forth, you get the picture. The internet has made everything faster and more convenient than ever before, but there are still things that we hesitate to buy online. We want to try on glasses, try on clothes, see how everything fits before we click that button. And for that, you have to take a few hours to go to the shops.
The advent of the Metaverse, and technology like 5G, will make utilities and industries even more intuitive and convenient for customers. You can scan your face, hands, and body, or enter your measurements manually, and try clothes from a variety of brands in the comfort of your own room. With the level of precise detail made possible in the Metaverse, this will be as close to the real experience as possible and will take a fraction of the time.
And if you think, well, this is an activity that I’d like to do with friends, then the social component—that gets missed from a lot of ecommerce experiences at the moment—will also be there for you. Your friends will have the opportunity to create their own avatars and accompany you on virtual shopping trips from the convenience of their own homes. Indeed, XR Central powered platform, MetaQube, powers the collaborative and social aspect of retail via omnichannel messaging and real-time avatar interaction.
You and your friends will be able to stroll in a fully immersive experience through the shops in your local neighbourhood—or even thousands of miles away. And shopowners or businesses will have a chance to showcase their goods and services effectively while maintaining their customers’ level of trust and not to forget the level of experience elevation.
There is also a rise in adoption of AR apps you can use to project makeup and accessories onto your face. Snapchat, for example, is debuting a version of Shopping Lens which will enable users to swipe through different kinds of makeup and cosmetics and virtually try them on their face. Attached to the AR overlay will be details on prices, colours, and sizes. Major brands have already signed on to this new way of shopping and there are predictions of more and more brands jumping on the bandwagon soon. But with the Metaverse, all of the various fragmented apps and services will be available under the one roof called the virtual spaces. If you think about it, for businesses globally this is an opportunity for a level fair playing ground and a whole new way to be discovered by their TG (target groups).
At the moment, if you want a full, immersive VR experience then you’re going to have to invest in a virtual reality headset. The Oculus Quest 2 is the latest iteration of the Facebook (now Meta) powered Oculus VR headsets and retails for about USD 300. HP’s Reverb G2 is priced even higher, at USD 450. And then there’s HTC’s Vive Focus 3, a business VR headset priced at USD 1,300. More affordable headsets are smartphone powered Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR, but these provide none of the ultra-sharp resolution or intuition of proper VR headsets and cannot be used in any specialised work with great success.
But, here’s the thing–you’re already using the Metaverse. Ever used a filter on Instagram? That’s AR. As new technology comes to dominate conversation, the best way to know how to use it is, well, to use it. Sign up for MetaQube, which is a DIY platform for individuals and businesses to set up their own metaverses within minutes, and collaborate with your friends, family and so on.
On the other side, set up a digital wallet, stock it with some cryptocurrency and roam through Decentralland or Sandbox to get a taste of the future. Although, invest at your own risk and make sure you have read all terms and conditions.
A major “don’t” would be: don’t invest too much money into digital assets like cryptocurrency and NFTs without researching the pros and cons of investing. These are new kinds of assets and their values fluctuate pretty dramatically as they’re completely unregulated. A big “do” would be to educate yourself and others around you on the uses of XR powered Metaverse in your life.
Like mobiles and computers, we may soon live in a world where everything goes through the Metaverse and you’ll have to know your way through it.
Metaverse is at the cusp of a new revolution that will change the way businesses or individuals communicated, collaborated, and created. This is giving birth to a new economic era.