The metaverse is not bullshit
Buzzwords and tech are like bread and butter. The tech industry is never free from buzzwords and it probably never will, at least not anytime soon. The “Metaverse” is the the new song in town and many tech companies and their grandma are beating their drums to that song. Many companies might have different definitions of what the Metaverse is or should be, but they all have the same underlying concepts. A virtual 3D interactive world where individuals are represented as 3D avatars of themselves and can interact with each other, as well as the virtual environment. Many people have expressed skepticism about the Metaverse, calling the entire idea bullshit. Others believe it’s just a buzzword for tech companies to get funding from uninformed investors. Some others even think that the idea is a complete delusion, and even go as far as claiming the these CEOs (Zuck and others) have probably smelt a lot of their own farts during the lockdown. I belong to a different camp that believes in the idea of the Metaverse and I’ll give some points on why the metaverse is not only plausible (in terms of out ability to implement it) but also a very useful technology.
The underlying technology is getting a lot better, quickly
This decade has shown how insanely fast technology is moving. We had real-time ray-tracing technology. Also, the Unreal Engine team at Epic Games slapped us with virtualised geometry (Nanite) and real time ray-traced global illumination (Lumen). Epic Games as well as companies like Nvidia are constantly solving the hard problems of large-scale 3d worlds. Problems like rendering lots of polygons (3d characters, environments, etc) at once. Problems such as network latency are also being solved by other tech companies. We are getting closer to implementing an actual realistic Metaverse. I’ll argue that the department that is lacking the most is internet speed (we need 5G globally, or at least in most countries). Facial-scan photogrammetry has also received a lot of love from modern powerful GPUs and doesn’t take as much time as before (just couple of years back).
Metaverse would put E-learning on steroids
Imagine a 3D virtual environment (in VR) where multiple student around the world can be in the same virtual room with the best pianist in the world, watching and listening while he/she plays and also being able to practice along. Not only can we do this for the piano, but also with the guitar, saxophone and just about every other instrument. You will be controlling a virtual 3D prefab of the actual instrument in a virtual reality. The sounds of that instrument would be programmed into the 3D version as well as the controls to give as much realistic result as possible. Aside from musical lessons, some other areas could benefit from this as well.
Scientists can simulate dangerous experiments
With improved GPU particle systems as well as physics engines in multiple 3D engines. There are lots of ways one can carry out experiments in the virtual world. Testing how different chemicals will react to each other. You can also do such experiments in front of your students in the virtual room without worrying about anyone getting hurt.
It would help immobile people tour the world
From attending live concerts to visiting virtual wonderlands, the Metaverse will be a dream for the immobile. Believe it or not, everyone does not have the privilege to move around the world as they like. From people in the “3rd world” countries with visa restrictions and not so powerful passports to people who have physical limitations to their movement. In the virtual world, movement will be limitless and people can finally go to different places in the virtual world. Ride a boat in the middle of a virtual ocean? No problems! Your life is not at risk.
Metaverse would help companies sell products faster
Car companies will have their customers test drive their cars to the limit in virtual reality. Drive the car on full speed, bash the car up and don’t worry about having to pay for it. Fun, right? The fashion industry will also benefit from this making customers able to try different clothings at a faster pace. Also, allowing customers to try concept clothing products before they are made and mass produced will help fashion companies cut down cost.
I think we all just need to give this tech a chance and view it with an open mind. While there are lots of bull-shiters, lots of junk startups claiming they will be the key to the Metaverse and looking to make quick cash from people, it is important that you do not write off this idea completely.