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The Ultimate Guide To The Metaverse.
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The Ultimate Guide To The Metaverse. 

What is the Metaverse?

Films like Ready Player One, The Matrix and Free Guy have popularized the concept of the Metaverse to pop culture nerds and movie enthusiasts alike.

In the matrix, for instance, a race of superintelligent artificial intelligence has a fallout with humanity. Feeling threatened, they decide to enslave humans in a virtual world (what they call The Matrix), while maintaining control of the actual world and using humans as “bio-batteries”.

The virtual world is so realistic that no human is able to figure out that it’s fake. Everything is exactly what you’d expect in the real world.

People have jobs and families.

Human emotions still exist, meaning people still fall in love, and get angry.

Sensory perceptions work just like they would in the real world; food tastes like food, and the sand feels like sand.

In fact, The Matrix is so realistic, that when the main character in the movie is told that he’s living in a fake world, he doesn’t believe it!

what is the metaverse
The Matrix’s depiction of the Metaverse

The term Metaverse was first popularized in a 1992 science fiction novel authored by Neal Stephenson.

The novel, which is called Snow Crash, features a Metaverse that users perceive as an urban setting built along a single road, The Street, that is one hundred metres wide, and circles the whole 65,536 km (216 km) perimeter of a featureless, black, perfectly spherical planet.

In the novel, a company called The Global Multimedia Protocol Group, a fictional division of the actual Association for Computing Machinery is the owner of the virtual Real Estate, which can be purchased and developed.

the metaverse
A woman wearing a VR headset.

Users can access the Metaverse either via low-quality public terminals in booths or through personal terminals that transmit a high-quality virtual reality display onto the user’s goggles (with the penalty of presenting a grainy black-and-white appearance).

In addition, Stephenson envisions a subculture of people who choose to use portable terminals, goggles, and other devices to constantly stay linked to the Metaverse.

These people are known as “Gargoyles” due to their bizarre looks.

In Snow Crash, the Metaverse is experienced by its users in the first person.

what is the metaverseSo Hiro’s not actually here at all. He’s in a computer-generated universe that his computer is drawing onto his goggles and pumping into his earphones. In the lingo, this imaginary place is known as the Metaverse. Hiro spends a lot of time in the Metaverse. It beats the shit out of the U-Stor-It.

Neal StephensonSnow Crash (1992)

Users appear as avatars of any type within the Metaverse, with the exception of height, to prevent people from strolling around a mile tall.

Transport within the Metaverse is limited to analogues of reality by foot or vehicle, such as the monorail that runs the entire length of the street and stops at local ports spaced one kilometre apart, stopping at 256 express ports, uniformly spaced at 256-kilometre intervals.

The Metaverse in Computer Science

The Metaverse is a new era of interconnected virtual experiences that makes use of technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. The premise at its heart is that by increasing one’s “virtual presence”, online interaction can become much more similar to in-person interaction.

virtual reality
The Metaverse in Computer Science

Unlike the existing web, the Metaverse will be a virtual 3D world where individuals interact with an online environment.

In order to properly understand the Metaverse, we will first look at common terminologies often associated with the Metaverse:

  1. Extended Reality (XR): This is a word used as an umbrella for all realities other than physical reality. It is used to show that reality is artificially generated (extended) regardless of the technology used to do so. Extended Reality can further be divided into the following realities:
  2. Virtual Reality (VR): This is probably the one you are most familiar with. Virtual Reality allows people to be entirely submerged in a digital environment. These environments can either be artificial, computer-generated environments, actual 360-degree video content, or a hybrid of both. Today, people connect to Virtual Reality using VR headsets and haptic controllers.
  3. Augmented Reality (AR): Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. A key characteristic of AR is that the physical world remains intact, the only change is that one can use a computer to overlay digital details on top of it. Think of all the photo applications on your phone such as Snapchat, which can overlay “filters” on your face. Those applications use augmented reality to superimpose digital details (filters) onto the physical world (your face).
  4. Mixed Reality: From the word itself, Mixed Reality is a combination of both Virtual and Augmented Realities. In Mixed Reality, one can take objects from the digital environment and overlay them in the physical world. Think of Sci-fi movies where characters slide objects from a computer screen to a physical table. Currently, Mixed Reality is mostly used in industrial design, military training and the medical field.
  5. Mirror Worlds: Mirror worlds are VR inventions that replicate the real world. The purpose of mirror worlds is to mimic the social and physical aspects of the real world. One such instance is Upland, a virtual-property NFT game (non-fungible-token game) where players may purchase, sell, and trade virtual assets that are linked to real-world objects, such as a baseball stadium or museum.

If you want to know what experiences we will have in the Metaverse, read this post.

 

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The Ultimate Guide To The Metaverse.

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