The world of the Metaverse What does the future hold for us?

 "There are no limits to reality except your imagination... You can do whatever you want and look the way you want... You can go anywhere, without leaving your place..", These phrases were uttered by the hero Wade Watts, in his description of the virtual oasis in the science fiction novel "Ready Player One"  by the American author Ernest Klein, which Steven Spielberg turned into a film in 2018.

The film is set in 2045, about competition in a virtual world (OASIS), in which the heroes move through virtual reality glasses. 

This film paints a picture similar to the world of the Metaverse (Metaverse), which is being prepared today.

Talk about the Metaverse has spread widely recently, and some see in it a three-dimensional version of the web, the detailed features of which are still mysterious. 

The Metaverse integrates entities from the real world through their digital twins into three-dimensional digital worlds using virtual reality technologies and symbolic characters (avatars), and perhaps holograms will join them in the future.

The Metaverse in general is a virtual place where we work, learn, entertain ourselves, earn and spend money, and most technology experts agree that it will radically change our lives. 

The Metaverse will not only change the way we see the world but also how we participate in it, from the factory to the boardroom, "says Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

Metaverse momentum

The company "Meta" led by Mark Zuckerberg currently employs about 10 thousand people in the Metaverse project and has allocated 1 10 billion to spend this year alone on this project. Major international companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Nvidia are also paying unprecedented attention to preparing for the Metaverse, reorganizing their internal organization, writing job descriptions suitable for the Metaverse era, and preparing to launch multibillion-dollar products suitable for this era.

Management consulting firm McKinsey estimates the volume of investments associated with Metaverse in just the first five months of this year at about $ 120 billion.

Metaverse and social activities

Fortnite is one of the most successful games over the past decade, with 350 million registered in 2020. 

The developers of this game have been working for years to integrate the ideas of the Metaverse into its worlds, so users can organize public or private virtual parties with friends and even make new friends in this virtual world.

A few years ago, the developers of the Fortnite game launched a series called Sound wave. 

In April 2020, music artist Travis Scott held a virtual concert within the game, which was watched by 12.3 million people.

The virtual "sound wave" series includes singers from around the world, in one of its episodes, Egyptian singer Mohamed Hamaki participated in a musical show including the song "Night Of Life".

Last April, the Japanese Sony Group and the parent group of the Danish Lego company announced an investment of two billion dollars in the developer of the Fortnite game to contribute to the development of the Metaverse world within this game, aimed not only at children but also for social activities in general, raising the market value of the company to 31.5 billion dollars.

Metaverse and e-commerce

The Metaverse will change retail sales websites from their current status as web pages to three-dimensional virtual shopping centers. when you cross the portal of one of these centers with your actual or symbolic image (avatar) of your choice, a sales employee will receive you, guide you to the stand of the goods you want to buy, and recommend the right product to you if you ask for advice.

And it's not just about buying physical goods that need to be delivered to you in the real world, you can buy programs, movies, and authentic digital images protected by NFT technology that are delivered to you via the internet. 

The online store allows you to choose the method of payment with bank cards and, possibly, with one of the cryptocurrencies.

Metaverse and virtual conferences

It is expected that many future meetings and conferences will be designed and implemented with Metaverse technologies, where company representatives will meet together in their actual or symbolic forms (avatars) in virtual halls. The use of hologram technology in the future may support Metaverse conferences, making it possible to dispense with virtual reality glasses.

Metaverse and participatory design

Metaverse technologies allow products to be designed in innovative ways. 

Suppose an automobile company is planning to manufacture a new model of a car, then using Metaverse technologies allows us to see how people react to the proposed design and their reactions in a virtual world similar to the real world, which allows modifying the design to suit people's needs. 

Metaverse also provides great marketing opportunities to design contests and promotions, which raises the level of public awareness of the brands of these companies.

Metaverse and governments

In November 2021, the South Korean capital Seoul announced that it would be the first major city in the world to adopt the Metaverse platform. 

This platform is supposed to provide a new form of government services in its various fields using technology.

Over the course of 5 years, the city authorities will work to create a full-fledged virtual system that will overcome many challenges and raise the level of services provided to citizens and visitors.

This master plan includes 20 promotional missions distributed over 7 areas, namely economy, education, culture, tourism, communications, Urban Development, Management, and infrastructure. 

The platform is a high-performance project that represents a parallel system for the city of Seoul, but it is based entirely on virtual and augmented reality and includes the Municipal Administration of the city in its seven areas identified by the government.

The "Metaverse" project for the city of Seoul will include symbolic images of government employees (avatars), who will provide consultations, complete transactions, and finalize civil proceedings. 

These services are usually available only through the Civil Service Center located in the central building of the Seoul government. To increase the efficiency of employees, the local government is working to expand the application of the statute to all areas of Municipal Administration.

Metaverse and training centers

The Metaverse enables training scenarios that are traditionally difficult to implement except at a very high financial cost, as trainees in the virtual Metaverse world move with their full bodies, just like in real life. 

Training through the Metaverse saves expenses for equipment, consumables, and travel, allowing optimal use of available training budgets. It also provides audio and video recordings of all training scenarios, replaying them whenever required.

Metaverse and artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence expands the world of the Metaverse by automating business, educational, and entertainment activities, more than any other technology. 

Chatbots enhanced by natural language processing make it possible to understand words, images, videos, and texts and respond to interlocutors according to that understanding and independently of the language in which they are speaking, but achieving this requires a large amount of data necessary for training.

Artificial intelligence will enhance the world of the Metaverse by creating three-dimensional images, animations, stories, articles, and musical works within this digital world.

The future of the Metaverse

A recent study by the Gartner Research Foundation predicted that about a quarter of internet users will spend at least one hour a day working, shopping, learning, and social and entertainment activities within the digital Metaverse by 2026.

The study also expected that 30% of organizations with their products and services around the world will participate in the Metaverse space, due to the communication and cooperation opportunities it provides at various levels, and the impact on how to accomplish business, as organizations will not need to create their own infrastructure to do their work, due to the Metaverse providing the possibility of working in virtual offices.

The world of the Metaverse promises innovative achievements in all areas of life, but will the need to use virtual reality glasses limit its spread And will some areas of the Metaverse, such as virtual meetings, be supported in the future with the holographic "holodeck" room technologies introduced by the movie "Star Wars", which do not need to use virtual reality glasses to participate in virtual reality

This is what Mark Zuckerberg sees, who says: "in the future, instead of contacting me with a phone call, you will be able to sit as a hologram on my sofa, or I will sit as a hologram on your sofa, and you will already feel as if we are in the same place, even if we are in different places or hundreds of miles away".


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