Hi, have you heard of the “Metaverse”?
In 2021, a new concept term will quickly become popular on the Internet, attracting extensive attention from the scientific and technological circles and the investment community. This conceptual noun is “Metaverse”. As we all know, facebook has change the name to META.
Now, Mr. Deepetal will introduce it to you in a few words.
1. The Origin of the Metaverse
In 1992, Neal Stephenson, a famous American science fiction writer, launched his novel Snow Crash.
In the book, Neil Stephenson describes a network world parallel to the real world and names it “Meta World”. All people in the real world have a “network separation” in the meta world.
This “Meta World” is called “Metaverse” in the book. It consists of Meta and Verse. Meta stands for “transcendence” and “meta”, and verse stands for “universe”.
Yes, Metaverse is the main character of our article today – the meta universe.
It is worth mentioning that the word “network separation” in the book is Avatar. Do you look familiar?
Yes, Avatar is “Avatar”. In 2009, the famous American director James Cameron’s classic film was named after it.
The original meaning of Avatar is “incarnation”. In Hinduism and Buddhism, it specifically refers to gods in the form of humans or animals. Nowadays, the virtual identity used by players in computer games or chat rooms is also called Avatar.
It is believed that everyone will soon realize that the Metaverse is not a real world, but a virtual world. In fact, more accurately, the Metaverse is the virtual world of the future (it does not exist yet).
When it comes to the virtual world, I believe you will soon think of another classic film, which is the 2018 American director Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One”.
In fact, Neil Stephenson is not the first person in the world to propose virtual world.
As early as 1981, American computer professor Flovinci conceived a virtual world that can be accessed through brain computer interface and has sensory experience in the science fiction Real Name. Neil Stephenson has sublimated and strengthened on the basis of Flovinci.
However, Neil Stephenson is still recognized as the official proposer of the Metaverse.
2. Is Metaverse Just a Game?
After talking for a long time, it’s either a novel or a movie. It’s too ethereal. Besides, virtual worlds are all in our games. Did we enter the Metaverse when we played the game?
This statement is also right and wrong.
According to Roblox, the “first company in the Metaverse” (also a game company), a real Metaverse product should have eight elements: identity, relationship, immersion, timely, diversification, anyplace, economics and civilization.
- Identity: You can have a virtual identity, which has nothing to do with your real identity. You can be a president or a beggar.
- Relationship: You can have real people or AI friends, and you can socialize, whether you know them in reality or not.
- Immersion: You can immerse yourself in the experience of the Metaverse and ignore everything else.
- Timely: everything in the Metaverse happens synchronously, without asynchrony or delay, and the experience is perfect.
- Diversification: The Metaverse can provide rich and differentiated content, including playing methods, props, etc.
- Anyplace: You can log in to the Metauniverse anytime, anywhere, without space restrictions.
- Economics: Like any complex large-scale game, the Metaverse should have its own economic system.
- Civilization: people gather together to create a unique virtual civilization and digital civilization.
By comparing games, we will find that even the most advanced computer games can not fully meet the requirements of the Metaverse.
Identity and Relationship can be satisfied. Players can create their desired roles, complete interactions with other players, and form social relationships.
Immersion and low latency, which we explained repeatedly when introducing 5G and VR/AR. According to the current technology, it is barely enough, but there is still a big gap between perfect experience (720 ° high-definition images above 16K, refresh rate above 180Hz, and delay below 5ms).
Diversification involves content creation. Just like App development, it depends on ecology. Once the ecology is mature and driven by the market, a large number of content creators will join in to produce content and make elements in the Metaverse, including play methods, props, characters, scenes, etc. At present, it is far from perfect.
AnyPlace, this is another technical problem. On the one hand, it depends on digital infrastructure, and on the other hand, it depends on access means, that is, terminal equipment. The cheap and easy to use access terminal can facilitate users to access the Metaverse anytime and anywhere. Of course, users need to have enough time (in the real world).
Economic system. Today’s games basically have economic systems, but they are very simple. However, our real economic systems have been digitized, and it seems that it will not be too difficult to transplant them into the Metaverse in the future. Moreover, digital currency is becoming more and more popular, which is likely to form the base of the financial system of the meta universe.
Civilization, this is a bit mysterious. It seems that the current game has not formed a civilization yet, right? At most, it is culture.
In a word, games can be regarded as the primary form of the Metaverse. In terms of technology, there is still a big gap between the two. In terms of philosophy and ideology, the Metaverse has just started.
In the future, the Metaverse is likely to take games as a starting point, develop into a substitute for the Internet, and deeply integrate digital entertainment, social networks, and even socio-economic and commercial activities.
3. What technologies does the Metaverse rely on?
In other words, the Metaverse, which was put forward in 1992, suddenly became hot after 29 years?
Very simple, timing. Imagination that is unconstrained is madman when it is early. It is genius to seize the opportunity.
Today, the reason why the meta universe is so popular has something to do with the popularity of VR/AR technology a few years ago. Moreover, the rapid development of cloud computing, chips, 5G and artificial intelligence technology has also stimulated the conceptual recovery of the meta universe.
From the perspective of technology, we (it seems) have reached the threshold of the meta universe, which is no longer as remote as before.
What are the underlying technologies of the Metaverse?
Roughly speaking, the Metaverse includes such technologies as chip technology, network communication technology, virtual reality technology (VR/AR/MR/XR), game technology (game engine, game code, multimedia resources), AI artificial intelligence technology, and blockchain technology.
The meta universe is a digital universe and a parallel world. Therefore, the meta universe is based on digital technology and is inseparable from IT and CT technology.
To support the operation of the huge meta universe, we must first have extremely powerful computing power and algorithms.
Computing power is based on chips, don’t you need to explain it? What about the algorithm? It is software, but also long-term talent accumulation and ecological management. People gather firewood and fire is high. Only more talents join in and invest more resources can we build the universe brick by brick.
Virtual Reality technology, game technology and AI artificial intelligence all belong to the IT category. From the perspective of CT communication, the metaverse is also a hot spot that can be rubbed.
Didn’t it say “anyplace”? Without communication and low latency 5G/6G/all-optical network, users cannot access the Metaverse and can only enjoy themselves in a single machine. What’s the point?
Finally, there is a blockchain. What is the relationship between blockchain and meta universe?
Of course, it does. Didn’t it say that the meta universe needs a financial system and virtual currency?Behind the virtual currency is the decentralized blockchain technology. Otherwise, why do you think people in the currency circle are so excited about the universe. At present, the author of several books on the meta universe which published has a background of currency circle or chain circle.
4. Metaverse, the Carnival of Capital?
The birth of a new concept, of course, is not without the hype of the capital circle. Excited investors can’t wait to get on the bus.The Internet technology giant in the United States was the first person to layout the meta universe.
In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus, a virtual reality company, at a high price of $2 billion. At present, on the surface, it is for VR/AR, but actually for the “meta universe”. Now Facebook has changed the company name to META.
In addition to Facebook, Google, Amazon, Disney and other giants have also carried out the strategic layout of the metaverse.
Tencent, a Chinese game company, also keenly observed the opportunities of the meta universe. At the end of 2020, Ma Huateng put forward the concept of “Real Internet”, claiming that it can “help users achieve a more real experience from the real to the virtual”. Now, it seems that the concept of “Real Internet” is very similar to the concept of “meta universe” both in terms of overall concept and specific details.
In April 2020, the shooting game Fortnite under Epic Games held an online virtual concert for American hip-hop singer Travis Scott in the game, which attracted more than 12 million players to participate online and shocked the whole network.
In 2021, the concept of the metaverse will really start to explode.
On March 10, 2021, the game company Roblox was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its share price rose 54.4% on the first day, with a market value of more than 40 billion dollars. A year ago, Roblox was valued at only $4 billion. Roblox is the first company in the world to write the concept of the meta universe into the listing prospectus, known as “the first share of the metaverse”.
Soon after, at the end of March, the game platform Rec Room completed a new round of financing, with a total amount of $100 million.
Then, in April, Epic Games received an investment of 1 billion dollars to build the metaverse.
Zuckerberg of Facebook proposed to transform Facebook from a social media company to a meta universe company in the next five years or so. Now the new name of Facebook is META.
Nvidia, a well-known hardware manufacturer, has launched a virtual collaboration platform called Omniverse, which is known as the engineer’s universe. Huang Renxun said: “We are on the cusp of the meta universe”, “Omniverse is an important part of building the meta universe”.
In fact, you should also understand that the game software companies, game hardware companies, social networking companies, and blockchain companies are the ones who vigorously advocate for the meta universe. Behind the platform endorsement, there are certain interests.
Experts believe that with the development of digital technology, mankind will surely complete the digital migration from the real universe to the meta universe in the future.
The whole migration process is divided into three stages, namely: digital twins, digital primitives and virtual reality.
After digital migration, a whole set of economic and social systems will be formed in the digital space (meta universe), creating new money markets, capital markets and commodity markets.
The digital part of human beings in the meta universe will live forever. Even if the physical body in reality is annihilated, you in the digital world will continue to live in the meta universe, preserving your character, behavior logic, and even memory in the real world.
If this is the case, the metaverse will bring not only technical problems, but also ethical problems – is the digital me? Can he fulfill human rights and obligations? Can I inherit my property? Is it still the father of my children and the husband of my wife in the real world?
All these problems require human beings to constantly think about and formulate corresponding guidelines.
Well, that’s the basic introduction to the Metaverse.