Two months ago, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg presented the Metaverse as the next evolutionary step of the internet. In short, Metaverse Technology will allow users to create and participate in realistic, immersive, online experiences such as discussions, meetings, games, collaborative activities, and events, without time or space constraints. Specifically, users will be able to augment remote realities with their cyber representations (e.g., avatars) forming new forms of extended reality (XR) that will mix virtual and real worlds. The above-listed immersive experiences will include both users who will participate physically and users who will participate virtually in Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality settings. In a Metaverse setting, virtual users will be able to interact remotely with the physical world. For instance, they will be able to draw on a piece of paper, roll some dice, or even control a white appliance. In this way, human experiences will no be longer limited by time or space boundaries. At the same time, the boundaries of the physical and virtual worlds will become indistinguishable.
To many readers, the Metaverse concept may sound like science fiction. Nevertheless, the seamless mixing of virtual and physical worlds that is promised by the Metaverse is already taking place in various high-tech applications. Likewise, there are many internet users that are quite familiar with the concepts of Virtual Reality technology, Augmented Reality technology, Mixed Reality and Extended Reality (XR). Here are some early instances of the Metaverse in state of the art technology applications:
These examples prove that instances of the metaverse are already available today. Nevertheless, they are not sufficient to implement a fully-fledged metaverse vision. The latter is propelled by recent advances in different technologies. These advances will move the metaverse from its inception to enterprise-scale deployment.
Metaverse related concepts have been introduced and realized for nearly two decades following the introduction of virtual worlds like the popular Second Life marketplace. However, early implementations were far from being mature for enterprise deployment at scale. This is gradually changing as a result of the following technological advances:
Overall, these technology enablers are key elements of state-of-the-art Metaverse Development Technologies. Mark Zuckerberg’s recent presentation could become a famous milestone in the history of technological evolution, which will be remembered for years, similar to the amazing presentation of the iPhone in 2007 by Steve Jobs. However, it could also end-up being yet another technological or economical failure. Regardless of the future of the Meta project, metaverse applications will soon become part of our daily lives. Modern businesses must therefore keep an eye on the evolution of the Metaverse, including the ways it will transform social and business life.
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