The concept of a metaverse is not new. However, the term gained popularity after Facebook changed its name to Meta in October 2021. Now, Metaverse technologies are rapidly becoming an important topic for debate in the areas of economics, sociology, and technology. The Metaverse has a lot of potential, which has led many tech giants and small businesses to place significant bets on it.
According to Gartner, by 2026, about 25 percent of the global population will devote at least one hour a day to activities such as work, shopping, education, community engagement, and/or entertainment in the Metaverse. As a result, many B2C companies are making a lot of effort to establish a presence in the Metaverse, which is still in its early stages. A fully functional virtual reality is still a couple of stoplights away from becoming a reality.
Although the metaverse is currently thriving and more people are becoming aware of its potential applications, many still find it difficult to understand how it came to be. So let us talk about all the technologies that are powering the metaverse and fostering the creation of potential metaverse initiatives. But before that, let us take a quick look at the Metaverse technology meaning.
What is the Metaverse?
Imagine living in a world where your digital life and actual reality are seamlessly integrated. So if we talk about the Metaverse technology meaning, it is a virtual environment that combines augmented reality and virtual reality in Metaverse that provides a completely immersive experience. The Metaverse is an intriguing idea that could revolutionize how we communicate online.
You can use your imagination to travel through a 3D digital world using custom avatars. People of all ages can collaborate in an immersive environment in the new Metaverse without ever leaving their homes. However, the term “metaverse” is frequently used to refer to a fusion of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies, but metaverse development extends beyond these two fundamental Metaverse technologies.
The best examples of technologies used in the Metaverse to merge the physical and digital worlds are projects like Axie Infinity and Decentraland. Now let us talk about some of the key Metaverse Technologies powering this virtual world.
Important Technologies That Drive The Metaverse
The metaverse technology industry will continue to grow and innovate in 2023, and there will be new opportunities for both businesses and individuals. So what are the main technologies that drive the Metaverse or have the potential to be crucial to its growth? Let us find out:
1. Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR/VR)
Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) serve as the Metaverse’s building blocks. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are some of the crucial Metaverse technologies that can provide us with a compelling and immersive 3D experience. However, how do AR and VR differ from one another?
Augmented Reality (AR) utilizes virtual components and characters to alter the real world. It can be used on nearly any cell phone or digital camera device, making it more accessible than VR. Users of AR applications can look around them using interactive digital graphics, like the ones available in the mobile game Pokémon GO. By activating the camera on their phones, players can see Pokémon in their immediate surroundings.
VR functions differently. It creates a completely new and artificial virtual environment, similar to what we experience in the metaverse. Then, users can explore it using VR headsets, sensors, and gloves. An early metaverse model can be seen in the functionality of AR and VR. Incorporating fictional visual content into a digital world is already a feature of VR.
As virtual reality (VR) technology develops, it may be possible to add physical simulations to the metaverse experience. Users will be able to sense, hear, and communicate with people all over the world. The hype surrounding the metaverse suggests that more metaverse businesses will soon invest in the creation of AR and VR technology.
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2. Artificial intelligence (AI)
Over the past few years, Metaverse technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), AR, and VR have been extensively incorporated into our daily lives. Metaverse Artificial intelligence can be used to plan business strategies, make decisions, recognize faces, speed up computing, and more. Recently, AI experts have begun investigating the possibility of employing AI to build immersive metaverses.
Artificial Intelligence is capable of swiftly processing large amounts of data. When used in combination with machine learning methods, artificial intelligence algorithms can utilize previous iterations and take historical data into account to produce original outputs and insights. Non-player characters (NPCs) can use AI to interact with them in a variety of ways in the metaverse.
Nearly all games have non-player characters (NPCs), which are parts of the game world designed to react to player actions. NPCs can be positioned throughout 3D spaces using AI’s processing power to carry out specific tasks or have realistic conversations with users. Unlike a human user, an AI NPC can be used simultaneously by millions of players and operate independently. It also functions in a variety of other languages.
The development of metaverse avatars is yet another possible use for AI. To create avatars that are more accurate and realistic-looking, AI engines can analyze 2D images or 3D scans. AI can also be used to enhance the digital humans we create by giving them various facial expressions, hairstyles, outfits, and features. It makes the process more dynamic.
3. Blockchain and cryptocurrency
Blockchain in Metaverse technology offers a decentralized and open method of conducting Metaverse business. It provides easy accessibility, transferability, digital collectibility, and proof of ownership in the form of a digital record. Additionally, based on blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies let users send and receive money. It is useful when conducting business or engaging in social interactions with friends in the 3D world.
For instance, you can use the game’s MANA cryptocurrency to purchase virtual lands in Decentraland. Therefore, you can purchase the land parcels using Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Blockchain maintains a record of who owns these virtual lands. Each piece of virtual real estate has a defined owner and is secured with transferability.
We are noticing that more and more businesses are moving their offices online for remote work. We anticipate a future in which Metaverse-related jobs may also be available. Companies might even offer incentives to work in the Metaverse. Payments for these roles would be made in cryptocurrency. The possibilities are endless for these Metaverse technologies!
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4. 3D reconstruction
Despite the fact that this technology is not new, its adoption has risen since the global epidemic, especially in the real estate sector, where lockdowns prevented prospective buyers from physically touring properties. Because of this, some organizations have started using 3D reconstruction technology to create online virtual property tours.
In a manner similar to the metaverse we imagined, buyers can look for potential new homes from any location and make purchases without ever entering. The metaverse faces a number of challenges, one of which is creating a virtual environment that closely resembles our real world. Spaces that look genuine and organic can be produced through the use of 3D reconstruction.
By rendering precise 3D photorealistic models of real-world structures, landscapes, and objects, specialized 3D cameras enable us to bring the world online. Computers are then given the spatial data in 3D as well as the photography in 4K to process and create a user-experienceable virtual replica in the metaverse. The term “digital twins” can also be used to describe these digital copies of actual objects.
5. Internet of Things (IoT)
It was not until 1999 that the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) was first put forward. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system that connects all that is physical to the web via sensors and devices. These devices will be able to send and receive information automatically once they are connected to the Internet and have a distinctive identifier.
Today, voice-activated speakers, thermostats, medical equipment, and many other devices are connected to a variety of data via the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT in the metaverse is used for a variety of purposes, including the gathering and transmission of data from the physical world. In doing so, the digital representations would become more accurate. For instance, depending on the weather or other factors, IoT data feeds might change how some metaverse objects behave.
IoT implementation enables a seamless connection between a significant number of real-world devices and the 3D world. This makes it possible to build simulations that take place in real time within the metaverse. For further metaverse environment optimization, the IoT may use AI and machine learning to manage the data it collects.
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6. Edge Computing
For superior immersive experiences within virtual spaces, edge computing provides faster data transport with less latency. The Cloud is no longer a practical option as the Metaverse is expected to have millions of users. Edge computing becomes relevant in this context. Edge Computing can greatly improve the user’s experience with the Metaverse by putting shared computing and data processing within reach.
Edge computing, also known as edge nodes, is a collaborative computing concept that embeds logic into edge devices, allowing for real-time analysis and processing of data near the point of accumulation. Data does not have to be directly uploaded to the Cloud or an automated data processing system with Edge Computing.
Edge Computing analyzes data near the source of data accumulation, eliminating the need to send data to a cloud server or a data center located on-site for analysis and processing. This method decreases the burden on the network and servers.
The ability of Edge Computing to handle data in real-time with quicker responses is useful for the Internet of Things, particularly the Industrial IoT (IIoT). In addition to driving the digital transformation of industrial and production companies, Edge computing equipment enables new advancements such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).
7. 5G Technology
Virtual reality networking can use enormous amounts of data, despite the Metaverse’s focus on connecting virtual experiences. 5G technology has advanced in recent years, supplying the greater bandwidth and power required for real-time data transmission. More crucially, 5G will allow users to have access to these virtual and augmented reality experiences from any place, not just at home.
While a single individual can have a fantastic VR/AR experience, the Metaverse is about more than just one person. It is a virtual world that provides vast volumes of information. As of right now, using a 4G connection to enter the Metaverse is not possible due to its inability to connect quickly enough. Instead, a strong Wi-Fi or cable connection is required. We need a lightning-fast connection in order to download the majority of the experience locally before entering it. Users require a speed of at least 100 Mbps, which can only be obtained through 5G, to connect directly to the Metaverse.
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We live in exciting times, and it will be fascinating to see how the Metaverse evolves. After all, this technological innovation has the ability to downsize the world, making it considerably smaller and more approachable. However, the Metaverse is an emerging open digital environment that anyone can explore, but it is still in progress.
Several organizations, like Decentraland and The Sandbox, have already begun to investigate its potential. These are just a few of the most prominent metaverse technologies that we might anticipate seeing in 2023. As technology advances, we may anticipate new and unforeseen changes that will impact the future development of virtual worlds.
Snehil Masih is a professional technical writer. He is passionate about new & emerging technology and he keeps abreast with the latest technology trends. When not writing, Snehil is likely to be found listening to music, painting, traveling, or simply excavating into his favourite cuisines.