When you talk about Metaverse and VR technology, it is not just a space you can inhabit. It is more likely a digital parallel universe, and Virtual Reality (VR) is one of its many access points.
As of October 2021, there are 4.88 billion people with internet access, and that’s almost 62% of the world’s total population. It means that over half of the world’s population interacts with the Metaverse daily. And the interesting thing is that most don’t even know it.
The Metaverse is an interactive, digital, and infinitely large information space. It is infinite because people can constantly add data and information to it. Moreover, it is persistent because it exists even if you don’t interact with it.
If the present-day internet experience you have is two-dimensional; means you browse and scroll through it on a screen, then the Metaverse is three-dimensional. It enables you to walk through it through connected glasses or headsets. The Metaverse is the version of next-generation internet that is rendered by Augmented or VR technology.
Origin of the Metaverse:
The computers in the past could simply conduct computations and store information. It was basically the origin of the Metaverse we think of today. With time computers became more advanced and created the modern digital landscape we have today.
With the progress of computer hardware, a stand-alone ‘Cyberspace’ was created. It is a metaphysical space that exists within the stored memory of the computer. This space got a new meaning when computers networked to create the internet. The Internet is the infinite collection of data. It is networked on countless networked computers.
It is a collection of cyberspaces; all merged into one. You can add any data to it whenever you want. But when you log off, the internet doesn’t shut down like an individual system’s cyberspace. Because the source of its creation is on cloud computing, so it never shuts off. With the internet, the computer became the first and original access point of the Metaverse and VR technology as a whole.
Key Characteristic of Metaverse:
- It is a digital reality shaped through the social networking of different devices. Often, it’s a shared reality that can be an individual or small construct.
- It consists of vast and infinite amounts of information.
- Increasingly interacts with the physical world.
- It is a persistent space which means it can’t be simply off or shut down.
You can think of Metaverse and VR technology as a digitally parallel and never-ending universe that connects to our physical world. You can access it and interact with it using different technologies, and its information is just out of reach of our physical bodies.
When you hear about the Metaverse, you might think of it as VR. People think it’s a fully immersive digital environment that they can access using eye goggles transporting them to a fancy virtual world. Although this concept isn’t wrong, the Metaverse is much more than Virtual Reality. VR is the technology that acts as an access point to the Metaverse.
“What is inevitable is not death but change. Change is the only abiding reality. The metaverse evolves, fractally and forever. Saints become sinners, sinners become saints. Dust becomes men, men become gods, gods become dust.”Robert Charles Wilson
Difference Between the Metaverse and Virtual Reality:
You must be thinking that when we already have Virtual Reality, then what’s the need for the Metaverse. But these two are significantly different from each other. You can think of the Metaverse as the destination while VR is the vessel. When in the Metaverse, the user does more than just play games, whereas, in Virtual Reality, it is the dominant use case. The Metaverse and VR technology allows users to socialize with other human beings around the globe, do business, shop, and much more.
When you are reading about the metaverse, it’s hard to ignore the similarities to Virtual Reality. However, the following are some prominent differences between the two.
The Metaverse Comprises of a Shared Virtual World
Metaverse and VR technology is basically a shared virtual space that people can access through an internet connection. This is something you have already experienced with VR headsets. It sounds similar to what already exists in Virtual Reality programs. Users are distinguished by personal avatars who interact with each other in virtual locations. Along with that, users can build or purchase virtual environments and items, just like NFTs.
The key difference is that existing virtual worlds are limited in size, while the Metaverse offers access to the entire internet.
Not Limited to Virtual Reality Technology
VR is an access point for the Metaverse. It doesn’t mean it is only dependent on Virtual Reality. Metaverse and VR technology is accessible by any device you already have connected to the internet and by augmented reality devices.
It contains different features that are not possible with VR alone. For instance, using augmented reality, you can project features of the metaverse into the real world. You can also design virtual spaces that are accessible anywhere without the need for a headset.
Metaverse Isn’t Well Defined
The most critical difference between the Metaverse and VR is that we now fully know and understand Virtual Reality, but not the Metaverse.
“An embodied internet where instead of just viewing the content-you are in it.” Whereas Microsoft recently described it as “A persistent digital world that is inhabited by digital twins of people, places, and things.”Mark Zuckerberg
All these definitions are quite vague as compared to how we understand VR. The tech companies might not even have the complete definition of this technology.
According to Facebook, the decision to rebrand it with the name “Meta” was a crucial step towards building the Metaverse. They believed that the name would better represent what they were working on. It was not the only reason because Facebook has an image problem too.
We can say that the Metaverse is nothing more than a buzzword that explains the technological improvements in the existing internet we have today.
The Metaverse Is Much Bigger Than Virtual Reality
We are using VR in sports, therapy, and education. But still, it is more famous as a type of entertainment. The Metaverse and VR technology are the new and improved version of the internet. It has the capability to change the way people access social media, their work, and even how they surf the web. As most people ignore Virtual Reality, the same is unlikely to happen with the Metaverse.
The Metaverse Is Accessible in Virtual Reality
To access the Metaverse, you don’t need to wear a VR headset. But the significant parts of the service might be accessible to only headset users. It means that the line between using Virtual Reality and surfing the internet is likely to fade. If the Metaverse becomes as famous and in-demand as Facebook expects, you’ll see that VR will become far less of a niche product.
With the development of new connected devices everyday, the Metaverse is now becoming increasingly accessible to the world. We can’t predict what’s in the future, but it is pretty clear that the Metaverse will become increasingly integrated with our physical lives.
If you want to explore more about Metaverse and VR technology, you can consult the technical experts. With more than 25 years of experience, we have helped hundreds of Fortune 500 companies to adapt to various technologies and use the latest tech trends to enhance their business.