October 28, 2021, the social media giant Facebook made a major announcement. The company is rebranding itself, and it’s official name changes to ‘Meta’. Until the night above, the concept of metaverse was confined to the tech industries but no more. With Facebook spreading the notion of being metaverse-first, the entire world is now wondering what it is and how it will affect them or their lives in coming years. Keeping this as the core, this article will walk you through all that you should know about metaverse.

Statistics:

A study conducted by Strategy Analytics Inc., a market research firm, it is anticipated that the global market of Metaverse would cross $280 billion by the end of 2025. This is 6x of the market size recorded in 2020 at $46 billion. Meaning that this technological shift is more than just a fad. But what is this metaverse?

What is the metaverse?

Regarded to be the future of the internet, metaverse is the combination of two words: ‘meta’ that stands for beyond and ‘verse’ meaning universe. Together, the term means ‘beyond universe’. In an ideal sense, the metaverse is where the real and the virtual world come together. It is an extension of the physical world, manifesting the same in a virtual setting. Until now, we have been interacting with each other virtually but with metaverse, the entire ecosystem would level up, pushing the boundaries of the physical world and integrating it to the virtual one. 

Facebook’s Horizon workrooms is an excellent implementation of metaverse. Avatars (the digital replica of us) connecting, interacting and communicating with each other in the virtual world, the potential of the metaverse is huge and beyond our imagination.

How is meta different?

Talking about what sets the concept apart from the existing ones, here are a few features constituting the same.

Interactive

Combining the physical world with digital spaces, metaverse is all about immersing yourself in the environment. Whether you are playing a game or attending a meeting, metaverse allows you to do more than just viewing it on the screen. Furthermore, with metaverse you can not only interact with each other but also with the elements present in the metaworld.  Imagine the 3D avatars that replicate you as a user while playing the video game. Metaverse would mean the same with its applications extended beyond the gaming industry.

Virtually Real

Another striking feature of the metaverse is its virtual experience. Even though the environment involved is not real, the look and feel rendered while you are in the virtual world feels life-like. Remember the novel, Ready Player One and their world Oasis? Metaverse is exactly the same. Like Wade Watts, you too can switch between the two worlds, experiencing the virtual ecosystem the way you do the physical world. Honestly speaking, metaverse is the replica of the real world, just that you have the flexibility to drive in and out of it.

Persistence

As said, metaverse is the future of the internet, it surely has some upgrades. The most important one being persistence. Unlike the former, metaverse isn’t something that you can shutdown or put away instantly. It is a world that exists and will continue to do so until technology lives. However, you do have the ease to tweak it a bit, add new elements and modify it on an outer scale. Like social media, the metaverse is also the by-product of user-generated content aka information. 

What do industry leaders think about it?

It is not just us but tech leaders too are talking about this new iteration of internet and her is what a few of them think about it:

“Metaverse will be an experience that spans both the digital and physical worlds” and offer “unprecedented interoperability of data, digital items/assets, content” ,VC Matthew Balls

“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, we’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are,” Zuckerberg said.

The spatial internet is the culmination of everything that AR and VR is developing today. It’s the idea of taking information about things, locations, or historical events and actually locating that information out there in the world where it’s most relevant,’ Leslie Shannon, Nokia’s Head of Trend Scouting

What do we at AjnaLens think about it?

For experts at AjnaLens, metaverse is internet matured to a level high. Beside being the amalgamation of physical and the digital world, it is what immerses the user into the virtual world without causing any change to the physical world. Meaning that there would no longer be two different worlds but one, the phigital world, digitally physical.

Conclusion

Surprisingly, the term metaverse isn’t a 21st century revelation. It was in 1992 that the sci-fi novel writer, Neal Stephenson used the term and it has been in the industry since then. Furthermore, the technology also isn’t naive. It has been part of the gaming industry for quite some time with some great organizations nailing the gaming space. For enterprises, this could be a start to something new and with Facebook making it all public, the shift has now started to gain traction.  Not to mention the physical limitations poised on everyone around post the pandemic stresses on the need for alternatives, and metaverse seems to fit the puzzle right. 

That being said, it would be too early to predict how the world will transform but we can surely expect the change to be huge.

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