20 June 2022
Are you ready for "The Metaverse"
A recent headline by the New York post read – “Experts predict living in the metaverse by 2030”. Another headline from the Gartner group read – “Gartner Predicts 25% of People Will Spend At Least One Hour Per Day in the Metaverse by 2026”
This had me intrigued.
What is this metaverse and how will I find myself living in it. I set off to find out more about the Metaverse.
Gartner have defined “The Metaverse” as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality. It is persistent, providing enhanced immersive experiences, as well as device independent and accessible through any type of device, from tablets to head-mounted displays.” - https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/what-is-a-metaverse
In reality we are looking at a virtual space, with some of the following as part of our everyday:
- Digital currencies (crypto currency)
- Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
- Interaction with 3D Avatars
- Our very own Artificial Intelligence (AI) twins
Some aspects of the Metaverse that are already in action, such as:
- Virtual reality games where players interact with each other as avatars
- Theatre productions and Musical events hosted in virtual spaces
- Virtual sporting events
I still wanted to know more, so while writing this article I explored ReadyPlayerMe to create an avatar for my life in the Metaverse. The image for this blog is what I created. I haven’t customised it. It seemed a fair likeness to me.
However, it got me thinking about the size of the database used to generate the avatar and if there were any considerations that we need to take into account when looking at a world population? What do you think?
There are also lots of other questions starting to emerge regarding the Metaverse:
- Who owns the intellectual property rights for all of the items that we are creating freely in the Metaverse?
- The levels of energy consumption needed to power the metaverse, especially when thinking about Digital currencies
- The overall impact upon the planet
- The overall impact upon mental health
There isn’t one quick answer to any of the above, it is all still up for debate. It is important to note that there won’t be just one metaverse, but that there will be many metaverses. Think of it this way. The internet as we currently know it, will be and is disappearing. Our current internet is web2.0, the newly emerging version is web3.0 that will be supporting the Metaverse – below, is my attempt at a summary of the differences.
Apps to share
Decentralisation at its core
Digital assets for individuals and companies
Digitalisation of everything
Democratisation of access
Non Fungible Tokens
Great collaboration for individuals and businesses
Could you add a few more items?
With my education hat on, I found this BBC Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6VsxcVpBVY which sums up the current state of the Metaverse and can be used to spark classroom discussion. My further questions for you are:
- What will education look like in The Metaverse? For pupils and teachers
- Do some subjects lend themselves better to the Metaverse?
- What legislation will be needed in the Metaverse?
- Are there any security implications in the Metaverse?
For further background reading - this Gartner article has an infographic which can be used to sum up the Metaverse when teaching.