The term metaverse is probably the most viralized word in recent months since Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, current Meta, began to introduce the non-current concept of multiverse adapted to virtual reality in all its forms.
There is a lot of talk about the metaverse that Facebook and other digital platforms promise to become, about augmented reality glasses and avatars of ourselves in the virtual world living a non-physical parallel existence that is equally perceived as real.
It is also said that the first psychological effects have already been manifested in people who had their first approach to Facebook's metaverse, in which they came to confuse virtual reality with physical reality, experiencing more uncertainty about what they see and they feel that a functional use of the tool to project actions in other domains of knowledge where organic matter does not reach.
But the truth is that beyond these isolated cases, the expectations in the field of business are more than high, given the range of possibilities offered by the metaverse to increase productivity in companies, erasing the last frontiers that remained in the digital world. In this article, we aim to delve a little deeper into the metaverse, how many of these already exist, and how they can impact digital shopping today.
What is the metaverse?
“We can consider the metaverse as a personified internet, where instead of only seeing the content, you are part of it”
- Mark Zuckerberg.
The metaverse, as Zuckerberg explains it, is a virtual world to which we can connect using a series of devices that will make us believe that we are inside that virtual universe, parallel to the real world. In the metaverse, we will be allowed to interact with the elements of that virtual environment as if they were part of us or we were part of it.
The term metaverse comes from the 1992 novel called Snow Crash and has been used to represent three-dimensional or virtual workspaces. Hence, Zuckerberg maintains that we can interact in this virtual reality as if we lived in it.
We will have the feeling of teleporting to a completely new world through virtual glasses and other accessories to feel part of that world. Certainly, virtual multiverses are not new, since there have been plenty of them in video games. On a video game platform, you create a character or avatar to live that world of adventures more intensely.
However, the metaverse does not have the purpose of becoming a fantasy world, but a kind of alternative reality in which we can carry out the same activities that we do outside the house but in front of the computer.
In this sense, to access this virtual parallel universe, we must use tools designed for that, based on virtual and augmented reality devices that allow us to obtain a much more immersive experience than the virtual reality that we knew.
What can the metaverse offer people?
The metaverse is a strong commitment by developers who see in it a more than profitable business in exchange for an experience that will change people's perception of reality. Zuckerberg wants to take Facebook and its sister platforms to that level or higher because he knows competition from other leading tech companies will be fierce. But let's see what different the metaverse can offer us to tempt us.
Virtual business and economy
At first, the metaverse is expected to offer the possibility of creating our virtual businesses. In that world, you can freely create the avatars that represent you, whether they are similar or different without losing your identity, which in turn will be able to interact with the avatars created by other people for that world.
These same avatars that will be our virtual personifications will attend virtual meetings for us in digital rooms in which other avatars that participate in those meetings would also be integrated. In this way, the physical world is giving part of its power to these entities in the virtual world created so that they can interact as if we were ourselves.
Another interesting aspect that the metaverse can bring us is the possibility of introducing an economy inherent to that world, through some virtual money to be bought with real money. If this were feasible, much more profitable new businesses could be created within the metaverse, as well as generating new jobs with more diverse and perhaps more challenging alternatives than in the real world.
Deeper levels of interactions
The metaverse, in addition to exhibiting possibilities only imagined in video game environments, offers interactions with geographically distant people in a way that is realistic enough for us to believe we are there with the other person, increasing the level of physical and emotional sensations.
If many people came to feel through social networks without knowing each other physically, the metaverse would raise the possibility of never reaching the physical plane of interaction but maintaining the link between their avatars inserted in virtual reality.
In conclusion, the metaverse is still in the testing phase, but the technological boom of the last two years with the pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated development times as few expected. The goal is to immerse ourselves more and more in this virtual world so that we depend on it in the same way that we depend on the physical world today. All the sensations of the physical world without its setbacks.