By Youness Rhout – Nov 2021
For those looking in from the outside, the Metaverse might just be an extended use of VR, but very soon it could be the future of how our lives operate and could potentially justify why Facebook plans to hire 10,000 people in Europe to develop the Metaverse. Instead of using a computer, a virtual reality headset would be used and people would be able to enter different environments and connect in virtual worlds. The main difference would be the actual use of the headsets as it would steer away from the traditional use of gaming but towards a more realistic angle with the ability to meet friends, attend concerts, visit cinemas and even work. The way in which it will be used is still debated as it's still in its early stages but a 3D avatar which is a representationof yourself will allow you to enter the augmented reality.
The Metaverse has suddenly burst into relevance with the biggest tech firms and investors having confidence in the future of the technology and knowing that now is the best time to get involved before it's too late. They are also being boosted with the common feeling that the technology on offer today is at its most effective rate ever and will allow the Metaverse to flourish freely. One of the biggest indications of the power and ability of the Metaverse is the backing of Facebook who have placed it as one of their biggest priorities with their ventures into virtual reality, ranging from the creation of Oculus headsets to VR apps for workplaces and leisure including ones that interact with the real world. The process of a fully functioning Metaverse won't be an easy fix and it’s predicted to take 10-15 years to fully create , which is why there will be a massive collaborative effort between different tech companies and has already seen Facebook invest $50 million into non-profit groups to help "build the metaverse responsibly".
There have been further developments to the future of Metaverse with Facebook now changing its corporate name to Meta ina major rebrand. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg announced the new name as he unveiled plans to build a Metaverse where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment, often using VR headsets. He said the existing brand could not "possibly represent everything that we're doing today, let alone in the future" and needed to change, an initiative which has seen Facebook spend $10 billion alone on Metaverse this year. It is hoped that by shifting their current business towards a future of augmented and virtual reality they will be able to unlock a massively larger creative economy than what exists today.
The Metaverse is also being pushed forward as companies battle to increase their engagement numbers with the younger demographic, something which Snapchat seems to have grasped for years now with the app allowing users to create their own virtual characters named’ bitmojis’ and customise their appearance and clothing with the addition of a map showing the location of all users where they can all come together and post content and take part in games.