Tech experts from across the globe have been putting their hard work and creative ideas into redesigning the initial Metaverse concept coined by Neal Stephenson in 1992. He coined the term in a science-fiction novel, and now it is used in mainstream technology.
Even though the concept of the Metaverse has existed for more than a decade, it has become popular worldwide, with big companies such as Facebook and Microsoft announcing related projects. The buzz around this persistent shared virtual world grows as more people comprehend its exciting possibilities.
The Metaverse concept rose in popularity during the recent pandemic when people preferred to avoid in-person interaction, companies implemented remote working policies, and adopted digital modes of communication. As a result of such emergence, people wanted to learn about Metaverse and understand its utility.
The Metaverse represents a highly interactive three-dimensional virtual world. Like the real world, users can trade land, buildings, and other digital assets in the Metaverse and explore the space using their personalized avatars. These avatars are replicas of the user that can do everything a human can do in the real world.
Companies can choose to build centralized or decentralized Metaverses. However, the demand for a blockchain-powered Metaverse has increased since industries already benefit from blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology is also essential for Metaverse development, and the future of the web is decentralized. With that, blockchain use cases like NFTs and cryptocurrency will have more impact than now. For a deeper examination of Metaverse’s utility, let’s discuss its use cases and benefits.
- What is Metaverse?
- What are the benefits of Metaverse?
- What are the use cases and applications of the Metaverse?
- What are the top technologies powering the Metaverse?
- What are the top Metaverse projects that exist today?
- What are challenges likely to occur in the Metaverse?
- What Metaverse development opportunities does LeewayHertz offer?
What is Metaverse?
The Metaverse is popular worldwide, with many definitions representing diverse opinions. To quickly define the meaning of Metaverse, we must think of a three-dimensional web powered by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The Metaverse is persistent, self-sustaining, infinite, interoperable, and in real-time, and these features are its key characteristics.
Persistent means it exists regardless of the user’s physical presence.
Infinite supports countless contemporary users and VR worlds.
Self-sustaining means that users can earn within the Metaverse and pay for their utility.
Interoperability helps users move their virtual items, including avatars, from one Metaverse project to another.
Real-time allows users to relish live experiences.
Understanding’ Metaverse’ with a real-world example
The world has changed considerably after the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, shopping malls began following social distancing practices. A few even temporarily shut down. Organizations have adopted remote working models, and people isolated themselves from huge gatherings, meet-ups, and other events.
However, people have missed in-person interactions, unique office environments, and gatherings. Imagine you are thinking about a friend. Suddenly, you call that friend, ask them for a meet-up, and they arrive in a couple of minutes. Can this be possible? Yes, it is with the Metaverse.
A VR headset is all you need to augment the real-world things around you virtually. Although Metaverse’s virtual world is not real, it is close to reality. With technological advancement, the Metaverse may get even more exciting and real, and users will soon touch and feel virtual objects through haptic gloves.
What are the benefits of Metaverse?
With the growing telecommuting trend, more people rely on virtual spaces and digital modes of communication like video and web conferencing to socialize and interact online.
To take their existing digital experience to the next level, Metaverse brings a range of real-world capabilities to users in a 3-D immersive world. Following are the key benefits that Metaverse brings to us.
Addressing remote work challenges
Metaverse has the potential to address all the existing challenges of remote work. It provides managers with a virtual environment where they can meet employees (their avatars), communicate with them, read their body language, and retain in-person interaction. Moreover, the employer can resolve problems like time theft and goldbrick at the workplace by keeping track of the team inside a virtual office.
Great tool for healthcare professionals
A metaverse is a boon tool for healthcare professionals and medical staff who were previously unable to visit patients due to geographical limitations. In the virtual world of the Metaverse, they can interact with the patient and have clear insight into their health condition.
Making online games more exciting
Today, most Metaverse games are decentralized with an integrated economic model to support play-to-earn gaming. Such games allow users to buy, sell, and trade in-game assets in the form of NFTs. Additionally, the idea of avatars exploring the vast virtual space is enticing for players.
Providing the experience of virtual tours
Traveling is adventurous, but not everyone can travel to their chosen destinations. That’s where the Metaverse comes into play, and it allows people to visit places virtually where they can’t go physically. Using the combined power of the Metaverse, AR, and VR, an advanced virtual world is being developed that offers a first-person experience.
Monetization of benefits
Many people show interest in the Metaverse. Some are development enthusiasts looking to use the ecosystem to build their business-specific projects, and others are looking for opportunities to generate income. Fortunately, the Metaverse holds the potential to meet the demands of both groups. Due to the open-source nature of the Metaverse, anyone can build a relevant project on top of the ecosystem. Likewise, people can join the ecosystem as common users and create and trade NFTs to earn money.
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What are the use cases and applications of the Metaverse?
Advanced blockchain use cases
Blockchain or decentralized technology is essential for the mass adoption of the Metaverse across major industries. Although blockchain technology powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin, blockchain does much more than complementing and maintaining cryptos. It can function as a distributed ledger for recording peer-to-peer transactions and supports the creation of digital assets called non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and dApps.
With Metaverse, companies can design more exciting and realistic NFT marketplaces where users can interact with other users, look at desired NFTs, and make better buying decisions. Because Metaverse offers a shared realm of virtual space, it has been promoting new NFT or blockchain games in which players can acquire in-game collectibles and trade them with other participants. Blockchain-based game developers use the Metaverse to develop these next-gen online games.
Virtual work and learning spaces
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled worldwide businesses to adopt digital modes of communication. Video conferencing platforms have also become much more popular for remote work, online classes, and other work-from-home arrangements. These platforms fail to provide a compelling, engaging experience because of real-time audio and video interaction.
Metaverse provides users with a more engaging experience to address this limitation through its graphically rich virtual environment, 3-D avatars, and immersive meetings. Instead of seeing the participants on a computer screen and communicating through microphones, the Metaverse allows us to navigate a virtual environment with lifelike participants’ avatars.
Virtual businesses and markets
Technology creates new opportunities for businesses, helping them promote their services and offerings effectively. With the increasing implementation of the Metaverse, enterprises are coming out of the two-dimensional surface of e-commerce and adopting lifelike virtualized spaces for a profound experience.
E-commerce business owners can interact with merchants in a virtual space and perform trading formalities such as product inspection, negotiations, and finalizing deals. Plus, they can better influence customers using interactive and realistic marketing content rather than relying on digital marketing tactics.
With many new business concepts, Metaverse technology also complements the creation, ownership, and trading of digital assets and tokenized versions of real-world assets to empower cryptos and NFTs.
Expansion of social media platforms
Mark Zuckerberg and the minds behind Meta platforms understand that technology can do much more apart from connecting people through social media. Their idea of embracing the Metaverse is to introduce a three-dimensional space that is not limited to watching people on computers or mobile screens and listening to their voices.
A platform based on Metaverse provides a more immersive experience for social media users by enticing a feeling of presence among them. Combining virtual reality and augmented reality enables a more realistic digital experience beyond the present social media universe’s abilities.
Of course, we have seen the expansion of social media from simple text-based chats to sharing memories and stories, and now we are entering the virtual world of the Metaverse. Content in the Metaverse is graphic intensive, and the users become content creators themselves as they live virtually inside this universe.
What are the top technologies powering the Metaverse?
Companies are on a mission to make the Metaverse more immersive. They use big technologies such as blockchain, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and 3D reconstruction to power the virtual world. In this connection, let’s understand these technologies that augment the Metaverse.
Blockchain and cryptography
Blockchain technology is crucial for the development and constant evolution of the Metaverse. With blockchain, enterprises can build decentralized and transparent solutions to provide digital proof of ownership, digital collectability, value transfer, and interoperability.
Moreover, cryptocurrencies act as a medium of exchange to support the transfer of value between users while exploring and socializing in the 3-D virtual space. For instance, gamers on popular games like Decentraland require native digital currency MANA to buy virtual land and other accessories to continue playing games.
We are most likely to see a future where people contributing to the development of the Metaverse ecosystem will receive incentives through cryptocurrencies, similar to how miners are paid for validating transactions and adding preceding blocks in the blockchain. Seeing such possibilities, we can expect breathtaking innovation related to a blockchain-based Metaverse in the future.
3-D technology is not new, but it has become powerful over time with multiple iterations. The implication of 3-D reconstruction has increased in many industries, especially real-estate businesses.
Due to long shutdowns and social distancing practices, people missed in-person visits to the properties they wanted to buy. As a solution, real-estate agencies adopted 3-D reconstruction technology to take potential buyers on property tours without forcing them to come in person.
Much like the Metaverse, 3-D reconstruction facilitates the creation of a natural environment where the users can navigate using their avatars to check out the replica of a physical building or object. To further intensify their experience, developers combine 3-D with 4K HD technology.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is widely applicable in our day-to-day lives: business automation, strategies and planning, facial recognition, faster computing, and much more. Likewise, AI has enabled the creation of immersive virtual spaces.
Regardless of the project (gaming, commercial, or general niche), AI is adding value to the Metaverse in many ways:
- Data processing and management have become easy and faster with AI.
- For gaming in the Metaverse, AI empowers nonplayer characters in different instances, improving their actions and interaction.
- AI technology analyzes 3-D scans and images to generate more realistic avatars that align with the real participant.
- The technology is also crucial to make the entire Metaverse process more dynamic so that the user experience is enchanting every time they enter the space.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
AR and VR are crucial to Metaverse because they give users an engaging and immersive 3-D experience. These two technologies are the entry points to a virtual world, Metaverse, or similar digital spaces. But what’s the difference between AR and VR? Let’s define them.
AR utilizes visual elements and graphical characters to morph the real world. AR-based applications allow users to view their surroundings through attractive digital visuals close to what we enjoy in games like AR Dragon and Pokemon GO. Anyone with a digital device and a smart camera can access AR applications.
VR differs much from AR, and it resembles Metaverse’s concept. It creates a complete computer-generated digital world that users can explore using VR headsets, gloves, and digital sensors.
The initial capabilities of VR and AR represent the early model of the Metaverse. These technologies are becoming more mature with time and may redefine our digital experiences in the future. AR and VR have produced much hype that has encouraged big tech giants to invest in equipment development to accommodate futuristic Metaverse projects.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT, as a system, bridges the gap between our physical world and the internet, enabling the sending or receiving of data through sensors. For the Metaverse, the IoT collects from the physical world and renders items into virtual space, which increases the accuracy of digital representations. IoT data feeds can determine the functioning of objects within the Metaverse based on the changing environment and other instances.
IoT technology seamlessly connects the 3-D virtual world to real-world devices and enables the recreation of real-world processes in a digitally interoperable infrastructure. To further upgrade the Metaverse ecosystem, IoT can use AI and machine learning technologies to manage the data it accumulates effectively
Comprehensive development services to help you lead the future-ready Metaverse projects.
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What are the top Metaverse projects that exist today?
With the Metaverse being the trendiest tech topic, every industry is jumping into its horizon, resulting in the exponential growth of Metaverse projects. Let’s take a look at the top Metaverse projects right now.
Decentraland is a gaming-based decentralized Metaverse project designed to facilitate a realistic and immersive virtual world for worldwide users to create, explore, and trade NFTs. It allows users to buy land inside the world, host live events, play games, and do more exciting activities, which are also possible in the real world.
Powered by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), the platform is fully owned and regulated by its users. Users can vote for decisions such as feature upgrades and optimization, propose significant changes, and participate in governance. Decentraland will enable interoperability with multiple other Metaverse projects as its next big upgrade.
Real estate Metaverse—Upland
Upland is a blockchain-powered gaming Metaverse project designed to support buying, selling, and virtual trading of properties mapped to real-world addresses. The properties on this platform are represented via NFTs that users can own to become a “digital landowner” and trade these NFTs to earn profit in the form of UPX coins.
Perhaps a unique project compared to other existing Metaverse projects, Upland seeks to build a digital economy that intends to blur the gap between the digital world and the real world, allowing people to benefit from the utility of both the worlds.
Enjin is a Metaverse project built and run on the Ethereum blockchain that supports the creation of marketplaces on its horizon. Enterprises, based on their industry niche, can create decentralized NFT marketplaces, create NFTs, integrate them, and trade them to earn money that has real value. The platform set no bar on the project types, allowing developers to create a marketplace ranging from gaming to real estate, branding, and e-commerce.
Users can conveniently store and manage their NFTs on Enjin’s platform by leveraging its security benefits to avoid potential complexities. Enjin can be explained in a few simple steps—acquisition, minting, gaming, trading, and melting.
What are challenges likely to occur in the Metaverse?
Metaverse is undoubtedly the greatest innovation in the virtual reality world, and it will change our perception of the internet and social media interactions. But the Metaverse is still in its initial stages of progression. Like every emerging technology, the Metaverse presents some potential challenges and considering this, let’s take a look at those limitations.
- Contrary to what we experience in the real world, it’s challenging to identify people in the Metaverse. One has to verify users through an avatar’s voice, facial expressions, and features.
- Scammers or bots trying to damage someone’s reputation can pretend to be an avatar to accomplish the end objective.
- Another vital challenge is privacy concerns. The Metaverse’s dependency on VR and AR devices can leak personal data because they are equipped with camera capabilities and unique identifiers.
Note that these challenges do not link with every Metaverse project. With complete knowledge about Metaverse development and a professional team, one can easily design and launch a personalized virtual world, escaping those potential challenges.
What Metaverse development services does LeewayHertz offer?
LeewayHertz offers end-to-end Metaverse development services for diverse industry niches. Our developers understand the Metaverse and supporting technologies like blockchain, NFTs, cryptos, VR and AR tools, 3-D technology, and more required to develop futuristic projects.
We support the development of projects spanning gaming, social media, trading, and NFT marketplaces. Our team also customizes the project as per your project-specific needs. Our Metaverse services include the following.
- Metaverse Avatar Development
- Metaverse NFT Marketplace Development
- Metaverse Integration Services
- Metaverse Gaming Development
- 3-D Space Development
- Metaverse App Development
Please connect with us to hire Metaverse development services or optimize your existing blockchain Metaverse project. We are happy to hear about your project requirements.
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