Written by Branyce Wong
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is essentially a concept or idea of cyberspace made real. This virtual 3D world or worlds are interactive, immersive, and collaborative, shaped by the technology to access it. Many individuals have recently expressed their curiosity about how to gain access but are overwhelmed with where to start. We're here to reveal; entering the metaverse is easier than you might think.
Generally it is the concept of broadly transporting our physical-world experiences into mixed reality, virtual reality, and eventually augmented reality. The ultimate idea is to develop fully interoperable, decentralized, and immersive virtual communities.
Characteristics of the Metaverse
The metaverse, being a 3D virtual realm, removes all physical and other barriers. It's an infinite area with no restrictions on how many people can use it simultaneously, what sorts of activities may take place, what industries can enter it, and so on. It provides and widens the accessibility compared to current internet platforms.
A metaverse cannot be disconnected, rebooted, or reset. Users can easily enter the metaverse at any moment, from anywhere in the globe, and their experience will always be continuous. The metaverse will progress over time, rooted by the collective contributions of its users, such as the content and experiences they produce.
Decentralized Virtual World
The metaverse is not governed by a business or a single platform, but rather by all of its users, who have access and control over their own personal data. Blockchain technology plays an important role in this (more on that later) since it assures that all transactions inside a virtual world are public, readily traced, and secure at all times.
Immersive Virtual Reality
You'll be able to enter a new level of immersion and engagement, where all human senses are completely engaged and consumers feel more present in their experiences, whether you're using a VR headset, AR glasses, or simply your smartphone. The metaverse, as a highly realistic realm, will also be able to adapt to its users, who will be able to directly alter, for example, its settings, items, colors, lighting, and so on.
Participants in the Metaverse can partake in decentralized virtual economies fueled by cryptocurrencies. This includes marketplaces where users may buy, sell, and trade digital assets such as avatars, wearables, NFTs, and event tickets.
The metaverse's core and will to function is composed of its users. Every member in a virtual environment participates in co-experiences and contributes to the metaverse's future through user-generated content, which ranges from virtual creations to personal tales and interactions with AI-driven avatars.
It was previously mentioned in our past article that metaverse experiences are already present and becoming mainstream. Roblox for example is a highly interactive, open-world simulation company that plans to continue designing its current metaverse-like platform with functionality for its players. Fortnite's virtual world has also been leading the metaverse race with concerts and events from Ariana Grande, Travis Scott and many others.
According to Matthew Ball, a venture investor who has written extensively on the subject, the metaverse is the fourth wave of computing, following mainframe computing, personal computing, and mobile computing.
“It’s moving into what people call ambient computing,” he said about the metaverse. “It’s about being within the computer rather than accessing the computer. It’s about being always online rather than always having access to an online world.”
Source: New York Times
When do we enter the metaverse?
The true metaverse may take years to develop but there are many current methods that allow users to appreciate and anticipate what it will look like in the future. Much of the attention around the metaverse to date has centered on social experiences where people can meet up, however, the power the metaverse holds for the future to converge simulation and reality has vast potential.
We recommend users to learn as much as possible about Metaverse platforms as it will be a new way to access the internet browser and some would say a second life.
Platforms and devices to enter the metaverse
We are providing a few examples, however, accessing the digital world is not limited to these platforms and equipment listed below.
Individuals can access the metaverse by creating their own avatar in Decentraland, a 3D virtual world browser-based platform. This is one of the finest and most straightforward ways to obtain entrance to the metaverse. Decentraland also allows anyone who wishes to build their avatar to do so on their website.
Users should be aware that in order to acquire total access to the Decentraland metaverse, they must have a meta mask extension browser installed on their device. When you link it, you will receive access to the metaverse realm and will be able to buy land if you so choose.
To learn more, follow this step by step guide on entering Decentraland.
The Sandbox is a community-driven platform that allows artists and creators to monetize their voxel assets and gaming experiences on the blockchain.
Players interact in the virtual environments, changing the terrain and organization themselves. The non-fungible tokens (NFTs) also offer a new layer of complexity to the game. The Play-2-Earn idea states that gamers may earn SAND tokens, the utility token and in-game currency, by performing activities. SAND is still the cash used to purchase LAND and in this game, they are NFTs that represent land.
To learn more, follow this step by step guide on entering The Sandbox.
Cryptovoxels is an Ethereum blockchain-based virtual world that has gained a lot of popularity in recent months. Similar to The Sandbox and Decentraland, the virtual world of Cryptovoxels is also divided into parcels of land that players can purchase. The land is an NFT and you can build whatever you may desire on the land you own. Comparable to Minecraft, you can build structures by stacking blocks in the way you want them. The planet is made up of a city named Origin City, which contains streets owned by The Corporation and parcels owned by individual people. Users can choose to purchase a parcel as long as they have an Ethereum wallet. Additionally, the platform is compatible with the Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.
Learn more here on how to get started with Cryptovoxels.
Goggles and Controllers
Currently, to fully experience virtual worlds, having an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset is the best option. This device provides an advanced all-in-one virtual reality metaverse experience with significantly improved specs compared to the first Oculus Quest. Virtual reality itself provides the greatest immersive experience within various fields in the metaverse today.
The functionality of the headset allows you to explore the physical world initially prior to immersing yourself in the virtual space. The sensors equipped with the headset or controllers help the device track your movements and consequently translates them into in-app visuals.
Follow these instructions on how to set up and use Oculus Quest 2.
Horizon Worlds, Meta's official debut into the Metaverse, is a social program that lets users to connect and perform a variety of activities together. Horizon Worlds is a social experience in which individuals join on as avatars and socialize with one another. Furthermore, users may go to other locations, participate in a range of activities with other users, or simply rest and enjoy the experience.
Learn more about how to download Horizon Worlds.
While Meta is one firm attempting to capitalize on this premise, it is far from alone. AltspaceVR is another Metaverse-like experience app that has been around for a while. This social experience software, owned by Microsoft, lets gamers connect in a variety of digital worlds and have fun together. Users may build their own avatars and connect with folks from all around the world.
AltspaceVR is home to a plethora of different experiences and communities that individuals may share. There are numerous opportunities and live events, ranging from LGBTQ+ groups to meditation and improv comedy workshops to simply relaxing around a campfire.
Read full instructions on how to create an AltspaceVR account.
Owning Land in the Digital World
Many people are considering buying virtual land as an asset that will grow in value and diversify their assets. Metaverse currencies have also seen rapid growth in the last six months. As a result, owning property in metaverse games might be profitable in terms of possible return on investment in the long run. Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Cryptovoxels are all very popular metaverse regions for sale, available on OpenSea, and are the most direct way of entering the metaverse.
Portion has taken initiative in this with the aim of building out experiences in the Metaverse. The purchase of "Portion District," equivalent to $1.25 million, is a large estate located near Genesis Plaza within the 3D virtual world Decentraland. The acquisition is aimed at empowering connected brands and companies to evolve and appeal to a new generation of consumers.
Ultimately, much of the Metaverse still remains unclear for many of us on what it will look like in the future. Many of the platforms and equipment available today may already seem advanced, but we are certain that in the next few years, there will be more intricate and complex technologies emerging and working together to embrace interoperability within the physical and digital world. Communities and companies will face new challenges but also new opportunities. This new era of the metaverse will unleash amazing creativity and open up new frontiers and horizons for brands and businesses. The easiest way to be prepared for the meta future is to spend a little time exploring its offerings today. Who knows - you may enjoy the metaverse in the process, too.