What is the metaverse? Meta explains all

3rd November 2022
Kiera Sowery

The metaverse will undoubtedly change industries and the world as we know it. It will become an omnipresent immersive experience where we become part of the experiences built alongside it. This is metaverse pioneer, Meta’s prediction at least.

Today, the metaverse as we understand it, is a virtual world replacing our current idea of the internet. And this feels closer than ever. However, it’s not quite here yet. Tech giants however are throwing resources into its development, and we’ve reached a pivotal point.

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s role in metaverse history began in 2014 when the company acquired Oculus. In 2021, Facebook rebranded as Meta, relating to the anticipated future of the company as a metaverse innovator with the goal to bring the metaverse to life.

Meta believes in the future we’ll be powered by augmented and virtual reality and believe we’re inside everything, and has dedicated itself to this technology. This will be achieved by our personal avatars becoming our virtual identities, allowing us to watch movies with friends, shop, explore fantasy worlds and immerse ourselves in a virtual world. Avatars will be how you represent and express yourself on the internet and in the metaverse.

Now, people experience the metaverse primarily through 2D applications for commerce, communication, NFTs/digital goods, and AR experiences.

The metaverse has already taken the gaming industry by storm as its where virtual experiences have been most immersive.

New experiences

Meta believes the metaverse will enable remote experiences that don’t exist today, and social presence will completely evolve.

According to Claire Mulhern, Director of Creative Shop at Meta, the metaverse is more than just virtual reality. It’s a variety of digital spaces where you can connect with people, businesses and creators who aren’t in the same physical space as you.

Mulhern believes the metaverse will make the time we spend online better and more meaningful by enabling richer social connections. She also explained it will help us to feel more present in the world around us, both in the virtual and physical world, which to some might seem concerning.

She recalled a moment where she entered the metaverse with a colleague during COVID. They were miles apart, but the metaverse made it feel like the co-workers were touching when they high fived in the virtual world.  

A vibrant future ahead

Technology is evolving at an extremely rapid rate which is going to make it interesting in terms of what is next for the metaverse. Meta has a solid foundation to build new technologies, including communities, creators and commerce. Its role now is to accelerate the tools needed to bring the metaverse to life in terms of the required platforms, creative tools and technologies.

We don’t yet know or fully understand the capacities of the metaverse. For now, its exciting to consider how do we fly, see the moon, work from the beach or see something incredible in the sky in the metaverse? Avatars and holograms make this feeling possible. Meta is ‘just getting started in terms of how this will be’.

Going forward, the industry needs more builders to think about how code will infuse these immersive experiences. Its vital to remember the metaverse will be built by everyone.

Soon, the industry will begin to build bridges from applications into more immersive virtual 3D experiences including building creator capabilities in-house or through third-party partnerships, and virtual identities through avatars.

Looking even further ahead, the industry will begin to imagine what the metaverse could mean for individual businesses. This could include social events and VR for businesses purposes such as training and development, and virtual working.

Mulhern urges everyone to begin to think about how we can build this future: “We need you as builders. We need diverse builders in our space to think about innovative ways. I hope you’re excited about the future of code and the metaverse.”

With so much potential, and so much to build, as an industry, let’s build what we can for now and remember, this process isn’t linear: “Build for now and dream for the future and lean into anything that’s immersive and lights you up inside,” as Mulhern said. We need to allow code to catch up to where we desire to be in the future.

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