Living in the real world hasn’t been too great over the last two years. We’ve confronted Covid-19, the killing of Georg Floyd, endless fighting about politics, social unrest and the disastrous aftermath of Afghanistan—among other travails.
All these real-world problems may make you yearn for a better place. What’s wild is that a brave new world is being created. It’s called the metaverse. The term refers to a collective virtual space in which people can interact with each other in an augmented reality. Yes, it’s kind of trippy.
Consumer, tech, entertainment and other companies are looking at this as the next frontier as people can live, work and socialize together in a virtual world. It’s predicted that the metaverse will be the next important step up from the internet.
Instead of Zoom calls, you can interact with co-workers and clients in a virtual environment that feels real. You can purchase homes, play video games, interact with family and friends, attend concerts, shop, try on clothes at a store and buy items.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is one of the leaders of this mission to make the metaverse available and accessible to everyone. Zuckerberg told his employees that he believes that this will be a big part of the future of Facebook. “It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces,” he explained. Zuckerberg predicted, “You can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at. We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.”
We’ve already seen this happening. Epic Games’ Fortnite, Roblox and Animal Crossing offers metaverse-type of experiences. It’s anticipated that cryptocurrencies or digital assets will be used to buy products or services. Clothing designer and retailer Ralph Lauren and credit card company Visa are looking to get involved, seeing the long-term potential.
There will be work-related aspects. “In the future, working together will be one of the main ways people use the metaverse,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. Facebook is testing out Horizon Workrooms, a free app used on its Oculus Quest 2 virtual-reality headset. This feature will allow people to enter virtual offices as avatars and participate in meetings in real time. The product will connect people in our new hybrid and remote-work world.
Zuckerberg says that the metaverse will offer new, exciting opportunities to people. It could be an enhanced work-from-home experience that makes you feel part of the team and not isolated alone in your apartment. You can interact with co-workers, go on interviews, find a new job, communicate with clients and build businesses. It feels that if this works, there’s an unlimited possibility of what can happen in a new virtual reality.