As Facebook announced its rebrand to Meta, along with their exciting plans for developing what they have termed the Metaverse, the world began to anticipate this earth-shattering virtual world.
Mark Zuckerberg has explained how the Metaverse will be like Facebook, only a Facebook that can be physically entered and interacted with, much like a VR video game.
News of the Metaverse has encouraged many people to sell tech for cash and grab themselves a pair of Oculus VR goggles so that they are ready to dive into the action.
But the Metaverse promises much more than just gameplay. This virtual environment could contain its own economy, enabling people to work and buy things in the Metaverse, in addition to socialising.
Augmented reality and virtual reality will enable us to experience the Internet in our daily lives, instead of just through our devices, meaning the digital world and physical world will merge like never before.
Instead of merely being represented by an avatar in a digital space, the Metaverse will eventually enable us to physically immerse ourselves in a virtual/augmented environment.
The Metaverse is the next frontier for online interaction, and so every business in every industry will take notice.
How online shopping will change
The Metaverse will form its own economy because clothes, property and vehicles will have their own value in this digital reality. This means that services will likely be exchanged so that people can earn ‘Metamoney’ (not the real name, but a good suggestion!) and purchase items. This certainly sounds like an episode of Black Mirror, but it does have the potential to be extremely interesting and will change the world of e-commerce.
People will be able to try on ‘skins’ that allow them to become whatever character they can imagine and companies will have to create digital assets for people to purchase.
Some experts believe NFTs will become huge in the Metaverse, as this blockchain-based technology can prove ownership of digital assets.
How businesses will change
The Metaverse is going to enable things like virtual stadiums, malls and factories, among other things. BMW currently uses a simulated version of their factories to test how changes will affect the entire system. In a similar way, businesses will be able to create virtual spaces for people to come and visit, or even work.
Businesses must put themselves in front of the people, wherever they may be congregating. We have seen how businesses use social media networks to advertise to us, and this will be enhanced dramatically when businesses are able to physically interact with us when advertising.
How culture will change
The Metaverse is going to have a huge impact on worldwide cultures, and may even eventually lead to more of a global culture as we all experience more and more of the same stuff.
Networks may form between people who are thousands of miles apart in the real world, and entire communities may form. Our attitudes may also shift as we delve into this new kind of reality, and things like morality will have to be reexamined, as what is right and wrong in the real world, may not seem as clear-cut in the simulated world.