The metaverse: what we know so far


Our clients are becoming increasingly interested – and intrigued – by the metaverse, so we’ve written a short summary of what we know so far.

So, what is the metaverse?

As it’s still being developed, there are many different definitions. Click here to read just 20 of them!

After a little research (and a lot of chin-scratching), we see it as:

The infinite virtual reality space.”

It’s a definition that’s almost too simple, but sometimes it’s helpful to have a starting point to tweak, refine and add layers to as something develops and we understand it more.

As well as attempting to define it, we’ve put together 5 things we know – and in some cases think – about the metaverse:

1. One can ‘exist’ in the metaverse via a digital avatar and with the help of virtual reality technology. In fact, it feels like the ability to ‘enter’ the metaverse is a prerequisite, which sets it apart from other virtual experiences.

2. Virtual environments (or ‘worlds’) facilitate our existence in the metaverse. For example, if you put on your virtual reality (VR) headset and went shopping in ‘Londonverse’ (a virtual environment based on London), you would ‘be in the metaverse’. You would also ‘be in the metaverse’ if you donned your VR headset and climbed Mount Everest in the ‘Mountainverse’ game.

3. We think there’s only one metaverse (albeit many different virtual environments which facilitate you being there). Others view each virtual environment as an individual metaverse.

4. Some give the metaverse a broader and more abstract definition, as a space where physical reality, virtual reality and augmented reality intersect. But we like to think of it it in more narrow terms, as a defined (albeit infinite) virtual space.

5. We’re not quite sure how augmented reality (AR) fits in, as it’s something that’s projected – or layered – onto the physical world. Is it projected from the metaverse? Is the projection itself in the metaverse? The jury’s out and there are probably experts out there who can answer this far more accurately and eloquently than us.

What can you do in the metaverse?

Well, most things that you can do in the physical world, such as work, socialise, play, learn, buy and sell. But importantly, you can also do a whole load of stuff you can’t do in the physical world – and that’s its USP. For example, I could be at home in the UK and virtually sit next to – and interact with – a friend in the metaverse, even though they’re physically in New York.

How does the metaverse relate to Web 3.0?

Web 3.0 is envisioned as the next (and third) version of the internet and will likely be built on decentralised technology such as blockchain. The metaverse utilises blockchain technology. For this and other reasons, the metaverse and Web 3.0 are intertwined and some describe Web 3.0 as “the foundation for the metaverse”. But they’re not the same thing.

Photo by UK Black Tech on Unsplash

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