The Metaverses are increasingly shown as a new technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A technology that adds to the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, robotics, augmented reality, or 3D printing.
Metaverses are in fashion, and those built with Blockchain technology even more so. Every day we meet amazing graphics, otherworldly interactive features, and integrations of all kinds. But the reality is that the Metaverses, painted to us, are still a technology in early development.
In any case, the idea of Metaverses is not new. The first Metaverse was the famous Habbo Hotel, still operating with a whole Meta version experience.
Another old acquaintance is Second Life, Born in 2003, it could be said that it is one of the complete centralized Metaverses today and can be accessed for free. Thanks to its centralized currency (the Linden), a market, and 3D graphics, it has its economy, with which a high-level experience can be obtained.
However, the Metaverses currently being built seek to take a step forward, including concepts as new as 3D graphics, virtual reality, haptic capacity (feeling the virtual world as if it were real), augmented reality, AI, social networks, and Blockchain. In the sum of all these technologies lies the progress of the Metaverses currently being developed.
The Metaverses and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The first experience of the current Blockchain Metaverses came from the hand of Decentraland, a project that seeks to unite the power of the Blockchain and its ability to create fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFT), together with a 3D Metaverse that can be executed from the web browser of a computer. Arguably, Decentraland takes advantage of the increasing Blockchainization of web browsers and the unique capabilities that Web 3.0 showcases. In short, it is as if Decentraland wants to show us the future when many of these technologies can still be considered experimental.
In this sense, Decentraland is the pioneer that destroys the mold of what is known and accepted to show us a new way of doing things. Of course, depending on the perspective, Decentraland can be considered a success or a failure, but the truth is that its concept has aroused the interest of this type of project.
Facebook and the Boom of the Metaverses
MetaverseMe, (Enjin), Xi Rang (Baidu), Zepeto, Roblox, The Sandbox, Somnium Space, and projects under construction, such as Bloktopia and Star Atlas, are Metaverse business models. The Metaverse boom arose from the hand of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the former Facebook when he announced his commitment to the Metaverse and the change of the company’s name to Meta.
Zuckerberg worked the miracle of putting the word Metaverse on startups looking to surprise the world with innovative products. As a result, there is an avalanche of investors willing to put up large sums of capital to develop these new virtual realities.
Although it is still too early to conclude, many people are asking whether we are witnessing the creation of a great bubble or the business is as buoyant as it is painted.
Although the Metaverse concept is not new, current projects seek to take the interactivity of its participants a step further. Some projects such as Meta even seek to unite the real and virtual worlds through augmented reality, which can have broad uses in work and leisure.
But first, technology must advance hand in hand with R&D (Research and Development). For example, the fields of robotics or artificial intelligence were seen as the stuff of science fiction 50 years ago.
However, now they are part of our daily lives. Today, we have drones, autonomous or semi-autonomous driving systems, and significant advances in advanced computing and machine learning.
This reflection leads us to think that behind the Metaverse, there may be a real need to transform our natural world into something digital, without borders.
For those who think that decentralized Meta-verses built on Blockchain are still crude and unfriendly, we could say that we live in similar situations in the field of computers.
At first, they were analog, not very powerful, complex, and very slow. Now they are digital, with a power that dwarfs the old achievements hundreds of millions of times.
A Game that is Not a Game
Many people consider the Metaverse to be just a game. If Metaverses are playful in origin, it does not mean that they can provide functional tools for other uses. Again, history teaches us that sometimes “a game is not just a game.”
In the ’80s, computer graphics were more needed for engineering, photography, or film.
But it changed radically in the ’90s, with the arrival of graphic accelerators for computers. From that transformation, the PC Gamer and an industry that today mobilizes billions of euros around the world were born.
Advances in computer graphics technology have also led to an acceleration in other research. Fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, realistic computer simulation, and Blockchain technology have benefited from this technology.
Thus, something intended to “entertain “became a fundamental pillar of the so-called technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
So, the question that should be asked is how the Metaverses can help us develop innovative tools in health, education, or the workplace. Undoubtedly, the consequences of its overcrowding can be incalculable.