Technology Futures

Hacking the Metaverse – Building the Next Version of the Internet

How the Internet will evolve to become an entirely immersive virtual world.

One of the most profound visions for our technology future is ‘the Metaverse‘.

This is explained by Marko Balabanovic in his article Who Will Own the Metaverse:

“a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet”.

Marko explores the background, industry applications and technology stack that makes up this exciting evolution.

It’s also called the ‘AR Cloud‘, “a persistent 3D digital copy of the real world to enable sharing of AR experiences across multiple users and devices” that will ‘infuse meaning into every object in the real world’. VentureBeat offers this primer, describing it as the next version of the Internet, with massive implications for every industry such as movies.

Human Co-Experience – Building the Metaverse

Another vision of the Metaverse is shared by David Baszucki, Founder and CEO and Roblox, a popular game creation site where users design and upload their own games as well as play other games in a multiplayer environment.

Speaking at the 2020 Roblox Developers Conference David gave this presentation. From 16m:20s David shares the ultimate vision of Roblox, to realize the concept of the Metaverse fantasized about for years by the sci-fi community and more recently by the tech industry.

The Roblox team envisage very fun, large-scale participation scenarios, like a medieval battle with 50,000 players attacking a destructible castle. They’re starting to pioneer the first building blocks of this through hosting their town hall meetings virtually on Roblox.

Key technology innovations to simulate the real world include great avatars and the ability to simulate how the real world sounds. For example being able to whisper to the person next to you while you can still hear the loud speaker announcements, what they call ‘spatial audio’.

Another example demonstrating the concept is their One World virtual concert, and given the global pandemic it’s likely to prove a hugely popular trend, another great opportunity for their developers.

Somnium Space

Another venture pioneering the concept is Somnium Space, an open-source social VR world powered by blockchain and shaped entirely by its users, allowing them to buy digital land where they can build VR homes and buildings.

As VR Scout reported in Feb 2020 the platform announced the launch of Somnium 2.0, a new update that promises to move us closer to a true Ready Player One virtual experience.

“Imagine standing on the top of the highest mountain inside of a virtual mountain looking down to see thousands of users exploring the world beneath in real-time; unlike a majority of multiplayer VR games where players are divided into sub servers and mirrored instanced rooms, Somnium 2.0 actually hosts all its players in a single massive world.”

 

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