Explained: What is metaverse which Facebook is touting as the future of internet
Facebook is betting big on creating a 'metaverse', a nascent online world where people exist and communicate in shared virtual spaces. The social media giant announced on Sunday that it plans to hire 10,000 in the European Union over the next five years to create the virtual world.
It encompasses augmented and virtual reality.
In September, Facebook committed $50 million towards building the metaverse, where companies like Roblox Corp and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games have an early foothold.
What is metaverse?
The term is believed to have been coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel 'Snow Crash'. He referred to it as a virtual world where people interact with each other using their avatars.
It's being touted as the next step in the evolution of the internet, including creating new infrastructure and real-time 3D worlds. So, will people go for a cyber lunch or dinner instead of a normal one? Well, Facebook is striving to make that a reality.
Is it a totally new concept?
No really, not for the gaming enthusiasts at least. Fortnite and Ready Player One are examples of such products which take the player inside a virtual world.
The way Facebook is imagining it, meetings can be held using VR headsets, in your chosen avatar and background setting. Pretty cool, isn't it? All of us have saw glimpses of such technology in movies etc.
An alternate world
A metaverse can be broken down into two parts. One of them deals with building a blockchain-based metaverse, using NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Some of the examples are Decentraland and The Sandbox, which allow people to purchase virtual parcels of land and build their own environments.
Another one is a simple, virtual world where people can meet and greet each other. Facebook is working towards creating this version.