The Metaverse is a combination of numerous components of technology, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and video. In the Metaverse, users can “live” within the digital universe by themselves, or with their friends, family members, and loved ones. This digital universe is Facebook’s to produce a new platform for robots and humans to interchange, and associate with each other through dating, shopping, socializing, business planning, and playing games.
According to Mark Zuckerberg’s statement at Connect 2021, the Metaverse will work as the successor to the mobile internet, and it will possess extensive groups of interrelated spaces which will allow human beings to do things that were otherwise impossible in the physical world. Zuckerberg’s statement further mentions, “Metaverse’s vision further includes being characterized by its social presence, which will make the users physically present with the person they speak to on the internet, no matter where they might be located in the world.”
Despite the metaverse representing the next iteration of mobile internet, virtual, immersive, and interactive, there are certain challenges and opportunities that come forth with the upcoming technological virtual space brought forth by Mark Zuckerberg.
Data Security and Privacy Advancement
The privacy of confidential information and crucial data on the internet has been a long-running concern for organizations and corporations globally. This concern has led firms to continually improve and fix their online security systems. The introduction of Metaverse will compel corporations to develop their security processes to a whole advanced level that resonates with the expanding space of the Metaverse. Due to the sharp advancement of IT systems in the Metaverse, companies will have to construct new modes of privacy protection and personal data. They will have to construct modes that will ensure the protection and safety of one’s possessions and identity in the virtual environment of the Metaverse. To further tighten the privacy of different individuals, corporations, and organizations, personal verification might require further personal data than today for identification processing, ensuring that the system of security operates successfully.
Payment and Currency System
Digital payment methods have been prevalent for the past few years. With online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon connecting billions of users in different parts of the world with the products and services they need. There is no denying that the Metaverse might have its very own online marketplace, connecting digital currencies and online methods of payment. However, one of the challenges that might arise with the development of a virtual marketplace is convincing users that they can feel comfortable and secure purchasing any product, service or digital currency from the virtual environment of the metaverse.
Space and Time Metaverse
In the Metaverse, the concept of time can be different from the real world. Because in the virtual world, individuals aren’t as aware of their bodies, as they are in reality. Metaverse’s feature of full immersion could lead users to spend more time than necessary in the virtual world. It is crucial to set up mechanisms to assist users to keep in check with the real world to avoid the possibility of a distorted sense of time.
Moreover, users who immerse in the metaverse might find it difficult to comprehend a variety of information at once, since the Metaverse is expected to pose an infinite space. During the first steps of submersion into the Metaverse, users might require proper guidance in terms of both space and time to ensure users attain a valuable, and comfortable experience in the Metaverse.
Virtual Learning Space at Home
The spread of the covid-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the education sector, which enforced remote learning for K-12 and universities across academic institutions globally, which brought forth many challenges which couldn’t be overcome with technology platforms such as Google meets or zoom. However, the Metaverse aims at changing the traditional online learning route and promises to overcome the restraining barrier of Google meet or Zoom. In the Metaverse, students will attain an online experience where their avatars can move between the spaces of their academic institutions such as a science laboratory or a lecture hall. VR simulations will assist students, especially those in demanding fields such as architecture, engineering, and medicine, to practice the necessary skills required to pass and succeed in professional endeavors. Even though the students saw a shift in learning from traditional to online classes, the Metaverse promises to provide its students a more immersive experience, one they wouldn’t attain solely through online lectures on one’s laptop/mobile screen.
Virtual Office Space
Similar to online classes, corporations, and organizations worldwide resorted to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, and skype as a means of virtual communication for work. However, the Metaverse aims to provide next-level participation through a virtual office environment. For instance, companies such as Virtuworx have created an avatar-based virtual and mixed reality environment that helps employers get a productive and meaningful experience through their remote work by manufacturing virtual conferences, training, trade shows, and events.
The Metaverse’s virtual office will allow employees to engage and work in different ways instead of staring at their screens all day. VR developers can create customized virtual workplaces that will suit an organization’s management and employees.
Travel the World through Virtual Reality
The technological developments in the past few years have allowed us to experience a country’s culture, tradition, and sights without being physically present at a particular place. At present, we have a million different videos, and pictures on the internet that allow us to see, hear and experience different cultures, traditions, and languages. However, with the development of Virtual Reality (AR) and Augmented Reality (AR), we will have access to an enhanced immersive experience that will allow us to enjoy and experience any particular location through a first-person experience, which will feel as though you are physically present in the place, country, or state of your interest. Virtual reality tourism is a brand-new entity in the mainstream media and is yet to be adopted in its entirety. Content hosting sites such as Youtube are broadening their horizons by letting creators upload 360° video content.
Even though we are only able to see a glimpse into the Metaverse at present, the upcoming virtual environment could pose many challenges and opportunities. It is essential that we make the Metaverse a complimentary space, instead of replacing it with the real world. Despite looking forward to the uncertain future with hope, we can’t help but remain alert, aware, and secure of this new universe.