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The Metaverse is surely coming, but what does it even mean?

'Metaverse' is the buzzword of the moment, but what does it mean? Is the metaverse going to transform the way we live, work, and interact, or is it just a bunch of hype?

With Mark Zuckerberg changing Facebook's parent company's name to Meta, it's evident that the internet giant is serious about pursuing metaverse potential. The metaverse is said to have the potential to alter how we do business, visit friends, shop, and network, but it is only a concept at this point.

So, what is the metaverse, why is Meta so committed to making it a reality, and what will it entail for businesses and consumers?

Although the phrase "metaverse" has recently gained popularity, it is not a new term, nor was it coined by Zuckerberg. The term "metaverse" is a combination of the prefix "meta" and the word "universe," and it refers to a virtual cosmos that may be accessed using virtual reality (VR) technology.

In his novel Snow Crash, science fiction author Neal Stephenson created the term in 1992. Characters in the novel use avatars, which are virtual replicas of themselves, to join the metaverse. Avatars may transcend reality and inhabit a virtual reality world in the metaverse, however, the metaverse in Stephenson's work was an escape from a world that was dark, dystopian, and propelled by corporate greed.

Since then, the term has grown in use, particularly in the gaming industry. Anyone who has played a role-playing game (RPG) in which they enter the game world and interact with other players and characters in real-time is likely familiar with the notion of a metaverse.

The metaverse has no official definition, however, Meta characterizes it as "a collection of virtual environments where you may create and explore with others who aren't in the same physical space as you. You'll be able to socialize with your friends, work, play, study, shop, and create."

Meta, like many other digital businesses, is eager to take the metaverse notion from a hazy concept to a tangible reality by building the tools needed to make it a reality.

The term "metaverse" now refers to linked, virtual communities, or worlds, where individual avatars can interact. We can go into the metaverse via virtual reality (VR) headsets, augmented reality (AR), smartwatches, and smart glasses. Because a global metaverse that anybody can access does not yet exist, the majority of Meta's metaverse concepts are still in the speculative stages.

What does Meta have in mind when he thinks about the metaverse?

At the company's 2021 Connect conference, Zuckerberg shared his company's metaverse vision, which combines both 2D and 3D worlds into a single virtual community.

Its metaverse will include existing Meta products like WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as a slew of new tools for companies and content producers, such as virtual residences, workplaces, and e-commerce prospects. Users will have total creative power over their virtual environments in Meta's metaverse vision, constructing everything from lakeside houses to space stations where they may collaborate, talk with friends, or study.

The metaverse will merge the physical and digital worlds using virtual reality, augmented reality, and other contemporary technological techniques. This will be a significant extension of Facebook Horizon, now known as Horizon Worlds, which was launched in 2019 as a virtual reality (VR) gaming and game production platform that can be accessed using Facebook's Oculus VR headsets.

Horizon Workrooms, a beta version of which was added to this project in 2021, allows remote teams to collaborate. Meta presented its mysterious 'Project Cambria' at the Connect conference, a yet-to-be-released premium VR headgear that customers would purportedly use to enter the metaverse. The company also intends to create a wristwatch that will most likely be compatible with the new VR technology.

But why is Meta so determined to expand the metaverse?

Meta, according to Zuckerberg, sees the metaverse as a priority and will devote a significant amount of time, study, and energy to bringing it to life. But why is that?

"When I began Facebook, we largely typed text on websites," Zuckerberg said in his most recent Founder's Letter. The internet became more visual and mobile when we obtained phones with cameras. The video became a richer means to communicate experiences as connections became quicker.

Some opponents believe the name change to Meta is an attempt to shift attention away from Facebook's recent bad press, including the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the company's exploitation of personal data, and other security vulnerabilities. The brand's name change, according to Meta, is to better incorporate all the firm does, not just the social networking app Facebook.


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