Are you ready to work on the internet?
Digital glasses are the key to the ‘metaverse’ of the future, which both Facebook and Microsoft are betting on will become a reality within a few years, writes tech journalist Nicolai Franck. The tech world has in recent months got a new distinctive buzzword: “the metaverse.” Quite simply, the concept covers the next generation of the Internet, where instead of looking at the content from each of our screens, we will meet inside a common 3D universe.
Mark Zuckerberg calls the meta-verse “the successor to the mobile Internet” and explains the concept as follows:
- You can think of the meta-verse as an embodiment of the Internet, where instead of just seeing content, you are in it. And you feel as if you are with other people, as if you were somewhere else.
In metaverse, you act as an avatar
In the meta-verse, you’re digital ‘I’ is represented as an avatar similar to you. Your arm and face movements will be transmitted in real-time, so you can gesture and look at other people’s avatars while talking. It is perhaps most obvious to meet in shared virtual offices and meeting rooms, as is already possible on the Spatial platform, for example. Mark Zuckerberg also imagines that we are going to dance and exercise with other people, even though we are all really just at home, wearing a pair of digital glasses.No coincidence that it sounds like science fiction
If this sounds like pure science fiction, then it’s probably not a coincidence. The metaverse concept originates from the science fiction novel Snow Crash from 1992.
However, it is only recently that the tech industry across a broad comb has adopted the word as a common term for the next generation internet. On the other hand, it has really picked up speed in 2021. Before Mark Zuckerberg started talking about the concept, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, had already talked about the meta-verse as a future that Microsoft is focusing on – albeit with the workplace at the centre. The gaming company Epic, which among other things is behind the game Fortnite, also perceives itself as a metaverse company. Common to the companies is that they believe that the digital 3D internet world of the future will both be a place where we work and meet socially.
Zuckerberg: Within five years, people will experience Facebook as a metaverse company
Facebook in particular is taking it really seriously.
Mark Zuckerberg stated this summer that within five years, people will no longer experience Facebook as a social media company, but instead as a metaverse company. When Facebook shortly after presented quarterly accounts, the word ‘Metaverse’ was mentioned 20 times. In addition, Facebook has established a dedicated metaverse team to work on the three-dimensional digital future.
Will the meta-verse become a reality?
There is little doubt that a growing mix of the digital and physical worlds is heading for the next digital age. However, it still requires a technological breakthrough before digital glasses become good and cheap enough for the masses to buy them – and light and fix enough for them to last for many hours. Even if that happens, however, there is no guarantee that the metaverse will be the big buzz that technology optimists and tech giants believe. So if you are one of those who have been uplifted by the idea of moving to Spain because you can work in the meta-verse, then you should probably just hit cold water in the blood.