What is the metaverse?

What is the metaverse?

What does it mean, "metaverse"? What good can it be used for? We come back to the term and we will tell you everything.

The metaverse (a contraction of "meta" and "universe", i.e., meta-universe) is a network of always-on virtual settings in which a large number of individuals can interact and with these digital objects while exploiting virtual representations (or avatars) of themselves.

What projects are we talking about? With what scope? What's the point of investing so much? Onward, to decipher all this!


What are we talking about? (DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE METAVERSE IS MORE THAN JUST FACEBOOK)


The Definition of Metaverse

Needless to say, starting with a definition feels good. But if you still don't feel more advanced in the face of this term, which has spread like COVID on... well, okay, the comparison seems a little too risky, other explanations are coming. Rest assured, you will understand everything, and it may even make you want to get started.

The metaverse is a science-fiction concept that many tech players envision as the successor to the current internet, no less. That is to say, Immersive 3D virtual worlds from video games meet social networks, collaborative spaces, marketplaces, and e-commerce.

In short, the metaverse relies on two burgeoning technologies: augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).


When will the Metaverse be available?

Thirty years ago with Neal Stephenson's book (we'll come back to this below), in 2003 with the game Second Life, in 2018 with the Spielberg film Ready Player One, in 2021 with the name change of Facebook... You understand, the concept of the metaverse is rich and multiple. We can therefore say that the metaverse was released a long time ago, but that it is also constantly changing.


DNVB, NFT, ROBLOX... 

It's online and it looks like Metaverse.

A native vertical brand (DNVB) is a company working exclusively with web channels and levers. It therefore always starts online, but can open physical locations thereafter without being distorted. Unlike companies that use the Internet as a means of communication with the public and others, DNVBs use connected digital tools by mastering business processes from A to Z. As a general rule, they control the distribution of their products or services.

A non-fungible-token (NFT) is a digital token that authenticates and traces the value of a good on the Internet. It is NOT fungible (not interchangeable), i.e., it is consumed by use and can be replaced by things of the same quality and quantity.

As with cryptocurrencies, this non-fungible token promises to shift the internet's focus from information highways to value and property highways.

Finally, Roblox. Roblox is not a video game but an infrastructure platform (what some call a "metaplatform"). Roblox, by making its development environment and data available, allows anyone to develop games accessible in the virtual world of Roblox, on the one hand, and players to buy virtual assets, on the other.

There is a premium version (paying) which gives several advantages to players: free Robux (the in-game currency) each month, the possibility of joining more groups and creating them, playing without advertising... It is also possible to exchange Robux for real dollars. 100,000 Robux, for example, are exchanged for 350 dollars. This means that the most well-known creators can earn nearly $2 million per year.


Where does the term "metaverse" come from? What is the META? What is the concept?

In 1992, Neil Stephenson invented the term "metaverse" to describe a parallel world accessible by a helmet. In this world, thanks to our avatar, we can move and interact with objects and the surrounding environment.

In March 2018, Steven Spielberg develops the OASIS metaverse: his young hero, Wade Watts, himself becomes the hero of a parallel digital world thanks to a digital headset. It is Ready Player One.

Do these stories tell you something? Normal. This concept of metaverse has already been explored in films such as Snow Crash, Matrix, and The Worlds of Ralph.


How to access the Metaverse?

In a lot of ways, in fact! Education, meetings, travel, health... The metaverse actually covers a whole range of possibilities for virtual worlds, which is already very wide. Without claiming to be exhaustive, we will review some of them here.


AN ONLINE MEETING PLATFORM SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR GAMERS

A number of businesses, as well as states and cities, are working on the creation of a metaverse, a virtual reality world that would replicate the immersive and ultra-realistic experience of a digital office (digital or not, we still advise you to stay active if you're stuck at a desk, and we have some ideas to help you). There have been some beta versions tested. Even if they remain bug-infested, the evolution of technology accelerates with Mark Zuckerberg's erratic announcements, such as his declaration of Facebook's transition to Meta on October 28, 2021. Indeed, convinced that the metaverse is the next step in the evolution of social relationships, Facebook has changed its name to reflect and promote its commitment to the future.

Microsoft, on the other hand, announced Mesh for the first time during its Ignite conference in March 2021. Mesh was created with the goal of improving remote collaboration and providing immersive training and communication tools to businesses and consumers. To do so, he created a real-time collaborative area where participants may connect via the HoloLens 2, virtual reality headsets (VR headsets), smartphones, tablets, or computers.

The city of Seoul aspires to be the first public institution in the world to enter the metaverse. Residents of the capital will be able to schedule virtual meetings with mairie staff without having to leave their homes. Moreover, the city's iconic tourist attractions will be accessible via virtual reality, while historically significant places will be recreated in the metaverse. Grand events will be held in the metaverse as well, such as the lantern festival, which will be visible around the world.


METAVERSE MODE ESCAPE JUST A CLICK AWAY?

Immersion makes it possible to visit distant lands, humanly unreachable or even totally imaginary. We can build a 100% tailor-made trip. Metaverses make the elsewhere accessible to as many people as possible. Whether we choose to travel in the present, the past or a desired future, technology ignores the inconveniences to leave room for the field of possibilities.

Real VR Fishing is a fishing simulator with stunning graphics and scenery to share with your friends. Since its launch, Real VR Fishing has given VR gamers the opportunity to experience the exciting world of fishing. Its developer, MIRAGESOFT Inc., intends to improve the experience.


TOWARDS MORE IMMERSIVE CARE - EXAMPLES OF "META CARE"

Put the doctor and the patient in the presence thanks to their avatars. Or even managing your phobias thanks to virtual reality, it becomes possible. COVID has brought us into the world of teleconsultation. And if virtual reality is already used in surgery, the metaverse opens a wider door to the world of care. More and more doctors are using Virtual Reality games to improve mental health and treat conditions such as depression, post-traumatic syndrome, phobias, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These tools also make it easier to calm down via meditation protocols allowing you to immerse yourself in soothing places to manage your stress, for example.

Examples ?

VirtySens offers an immersion through the senses suitable for all types of audience. Their goal is simple: to offer vulnerable people a unique experience using an immersive multisensory capsule, and make them feel intense sensations, often forgotten.

In June 2021, a surgeon performed the first spine surgery guided by an augmented reality headset, developed by the company Augmedics. These new tools are similar to augmented reality microscopes that superimpose essential information and a detailed visual of the specific part of the body that is being operated on, such as a GPS that would give precise indications to practitioners, or projections on the skin that would show precisely where the veins and valves are in a patient's body.

When you see the effect that sport can have on the body, on the treatment of certain diseases... The development of these technologies seems to be good news.


FAMILIAR UNIVERSES TO CONCRETELY UNDERSTAND THE METAVERSE

The video game platform Roblox, very popular with tweens, wants to become a place of education for at least 100 million students by 2030 by offering them more interactive learning. Second life, or even Minecraft, are already educational tools that promote interaction, because learners have already mastered them. The metaverse will allow students to learn in an immersive and concrete way. Rather than just reading theoretical texts, children will build Rube Goldberg machines (on Earth and Mars) and building-sized LED screens.


With a community of 100 million users, the famous video game now finds a place in the classroom.

Minecraft: Education Edition was designed in close collaboration with teachers to meet all their expectations, and become a real useful educational tool in the classroom. It is now possible to rely on Minecraft to learn mathematics, history, geography…, follow the progress of students as well as their homework reports, but also create your own courses.


BY THE WAY, DO WE WRITE METAVERSE OR METAVERS?

We come across one spelling as well as the other... So, how do we write "metavɛʁs"?

"metaverse" is the contraction of the portmanteau word "meta universe", a term encountered in The Virtual Samurai (Snow Crash), by author Neal Stephenson. And that was in 1992.


In short, these words also gravitate around the term "cyber" and cyberspace: where it is a question of science fiction which becomes less and less fictional.

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