On October 28th, 2021, Facebook announced at its Connect event the company name has changed to Meta. In the presentation, the CEO and Founder, Mark Zuckerberg explained the vision of a new concept: the Metaverse, which is a theorized iteration of the internet. Zuckerberg described it as the next step after Smartphones seeing the world pivot towards 3d and move away from 2d screens.
The company is now under the name “Meta”. Nonetheless, Meta is the umbrella term for all its companies: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus Rift. The latter was the main feature of the Connect 2021 keynote speech. It was a fascinating and very futuristic video that crucially defined the metaverse, giving multiple reasons on how the Metaverse can be used to enhance our lives. Zuckerberg did put emphasis on the need for developers and creators for the Metaverse to build amazing experiences, games, or even Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
In the speech, Zuckerberg listed areas where the Metaverse would thrive highlighting gaming in particular. Gaming is already an area that is already using Virtual Reality (VR) technology. VR is the next step in immersive gaming, allowing players to feel as if they are driving their favorite Formula 1 car or piloting an aeroplane. In the Metaverse, the locations will be an amazing experience to play some of the best games. Imagine playing chess with a friend at the top of the Eiffel Tower or if it thrills you are after, playing roulette in Las Vegas. Imagine going into a virtual room where you can pick which casino you want to go to and a person talking to you and explaining the casino, this will all soon be achievable in the near future. Online casinos listed in VSO, on the other hand, provide nearly the same experience to their players, explaining casinos and different types of bonuses, such as reload bonuses, and how to use them the most beneficial way. This can be your reality in the future without even having to leave your sofa.
Many gaming companies are onboard with Meta’s vision. Rockstar Games, the maker of the best-selling Grand Theft Auto series has announced that GTA San Andreas is currently being developed for the Oculus Rift 2. Moreover, many gaming companies are onboard with the Metaverse concept. Take for example the blockchain-based VR Metaverse game: Sandbox. It allows players to own, build, play and trade virtual experiences.
An industry that has seen a major change because of the pandemic is education. Universities, colleges, and schools were forced to offer the curriculum via Zoom and this has revolutionized the education system. In the Metaverse, Zuckerberg described a history class using VR headsets to actually see Rome or the Egyptian Pyramids as if it is real. As the Metaverse will provide an immersive experience, science teachers will be able to visualize the solar system giving students a far greater learning experience.
The speech lasted approximately two hours and covered a vast array of subjects including; social connections, fitness, work, and commerce amongst others. Meta has a grand vision on how it will achieve the notion of the “Metaverse” being normalized. Work was a key part of Zuckerberg’s presentation with trade and commerce being a cornerstone to helping the Metaverse thrive. With many people working remotely today, the next step could be the Metaverse. Today, many people have numerous screens to organize their workflows and stay in touch with their colleagues. But in the Metaverse, the glasses will produce whatever you design in front of you, whether a spreadsheet, a stock chart, or your email, everything will be in reach. The opportunities are endless; companies could have a board meeting at a virtual office that would seem exceptionally real, not to mention the carbon emissions saved by not commuting.
There are some dystopian undertones to the Metaverse, but the positives outweigh the negatives. It takes the 2D internet into a hyper-realistic 3D world that has the potential to change our lives forever. The last time this happened was with the invention of the internet. It has taken 20 years for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google to become some of the most valuable companies. Is the Metaverse the next step in the evolution of the internet? Facebook, and now Microsoft seems to think so with both investing heavily. Ultimately, we do not know for sure, but this is something to look at going forward.