Into The Metaverse: The Virtual Future

Posted by Richard on August 17, 2022

If you follow tech news, you may have heard the term metaverse tossed around in recent months. In October 2021, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram rebranded itself as Meta. Meanwhile, other companies, big and small, have been pouring investments into the metaverse. Wondering what that means? Let’s dig in.

The metaverse was first coined by Neil Stevenson in his 1982 classic novel “Snowcrash.” Before the Internet even went mainstream, Stevenson envisioned a world where society was connected by large data networks and gadgets. In Stevenson’s novel, people could use virtual reality and avatars to step into the metaverse — essentially a massive online environment where you could create avatars to go on dates, hit up clubs and generally live life.

Technology in the early 1980s was a long way from making the metaverse a reality. But now, high-speed internet connections, 5G, VR headsets and various other technologies are helping turn the metaverse from fiction to fact. In line with this, Meta is expanding from 2-D social networks, like Facebook and Instagram, into immersive experiences. As the company put it during the rebranding: “The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world.”

Meta/Facebook isn’t alone in investing in the metaverse. Microsoft, Google and other big companies are exploring meta concepts and many startups are also emerging to offer related products and services.

Want to see what the metaverse might look like? Reading “Snowcrash” is a great start. You can also check out the book “Ready Player One” (or check out the film adaptation) to see a fleshed-out virtual reality-powered metaverse. What will the real-world metaverse become? Only time will tell, but some believe it could be as revolutionary as the internet itself.