It is no news that there is a growing interest in virtual worlds, augmented reality, and virtual reality. Across industries, research organizations, and governments alike, there has been a serious push towards developing these technologies. To many people, this might seem like just another industry trend. But, a lesser-known fact is that the concept of Metaverse is already established in the technology world. But, what exactly is Metaverse? And, why should we care about it? This article delineates everything you need to know about Metaverse - past, present, and future.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is a decentralized platform for creating and managing digital identities. It enables users to control their data and provides a secure and convenient way to interact online. Metaverse also features a built-in identity verification system, which helps to ensure the safety and security of its users.
The Metaverse is a concept that encompasses everything computers have to offer: Virtual reality, augmented reality/visual augmentation, computer simulation and digital modeling (IoT), virtual worlds including artificial spaces or realities in which people can experience diversified environments.
The great challenge of the next generation is creating a digital economy that can drive efficiency and prosperity for people. Identity has been a barrier to this because the data is fragmented, and it is challenging to ensure that every piece of information you generate is yours alone. Metaverse provides a secure platform for users to keep their data and enjoy transactions with others.
There are many benefits associated with the Metaverse. Some of them include:
● Use of virtual spaces to avoid physical limitations.
● Cost-effective meetings and transactions.
● The ability to visualize 3D information in a non-linear fashion.
● Improved decision-making.
● Create your immersive technologies/virtual environments by building your own space
● A lot of possibilities to make discoveries.
● Create digital works that could be worth millions.
● Sell your products to a global audience and gain access to new markets.
Metaverse trends in 2022
Here are the top trends to watch in 2022:
International Data Corporation projects that the coming years will see a surge in augmented and virtual reality devices, with shipments of Virtual Reality increasing from 9 million in 2021 to 44 million in 2025 and that of Augmented Reality rising from 1 million in 2021 to 14 million in 2025.
With the growth of Metaverse comes the need for a better experience to imitate reality; this is why some companies like Meta(Facebook) are working on a biometric sensor glove that will allow people to feel virtual objects.
The pandemic made many people switch to virtual experiences that simulate real life. As physical gatherings were banned during the lockdown, we saw many virtual events on the Metaverse. Alo, a fashion and lifestyle brand, released "Alo Sanctuary" through Roblox, where people can do yoga or meditation. This trend is expected to spread around sectors as companies prove that Metaverse is not only for social interactions.
Metaverse has allowed organizations to integrate their fans/customers into an immersive experience. For instance, Manchester City is partnering with Sony's VR experts to construct a virtual replica of their stadium to become the first Premier League club to enter Metaverse. This way, their fans can take a tour of their favorite club's stadium from anywhere in the world.
Big brands jumping into the Metaverse
More big brands are jumping into the Metaverse as virtual reality becomes more popular. They're hoping to create immersive experiences that will keep customers coming back. Some companies are even making their virtual worlds, while others partner with existing platforms. Here are some of the companies that are jumping on this train:
● Coca-Cola: The Coca-Cola Company introduced a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in July 2021 that fetched $575,000 for charity at an online auction within 72 hours.
● Louis Vuitton: this fashion superpower developed a video game called 'Louis The Game.' It allows players to travel into a world where they can discover the legacy of fashion houses over the years and collect 200 monogram candles that are keys to gaining access to more levels. Some NFTs that are just collectibles will pop up at some points in the game. After their collections, they can be accessed at the end of the year.
● Balenciaga: another fashion giant that recently joined the Metaverse. Balenciaga and Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, announced a collaboration to bring the fashion house's distinctive garments and gear to the game. They both announced a new joint collection, including t-shirts, hoodies, caps, etc.
● Budweiser: In November, Budweiser announced their NFT collection of 1900 collectibles. The owners of these tokens would have access to their Metaverse platform called 'Budverse.'
● Adidas announced collaborations with platforms like Bored Ape Yatch Club, PUNKS comic, and gmoney to release an NFT collection titled 'Into The Metaverse.' This limited edition collaborative NFT is sold out.
● Facebook: this was a big announcement that Mark Zuckerberg made about Facebook rebranding to 'Meta.' In their words, "The Metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. Our company's vision is to help bring the Metaverse to life, so we are changing our name to reflect our commitment to this future."
Many more brands are moving into the Metaverse by the day, and this number is expected to continue increasing based on the current acceptance rate of the idea.
Several different metaverse tokens are currently available, and each one has its unique benefits and features. Some of these hottest tokens and where they are used include:
● Ether (ETH): Ethereum is a cutting-edge technology supporting the digital currency, global payments, and innovative applications. The vibrant community has built a thriving digital economy, created exciting new ways for content creators to earn money online, and so much more. It's open to everyone, no matter where you are in the world – all you need is an internet connection.
● Sandbox (SAND): This token can be used in Sandbox, a metaverse platform where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain.
● Decentraland (MANA): Decentraland is a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to create, experience, and monetize their content and applications.
● Axie infinity (AXS): The gaming world of Axie Infinity is filled with fascinating creatures, called Axies, that players can collect as pets. Axie Infinity is a trading and battling game that allows players to collect, breed, raise battle, and trade creatures; these Axies are in the form of NFTs.
● Gala (GALA): GALA token is the lifeblood of Gala Games, a revolutionary platform for blockchain gaming. Through GALA, players can purchase in-game items and experience an immersive gaming world.
● Enjin Coin (ENJ): Enjin (ENJ) is a powerful platform that enables developers and players to create and manage their gaming communities easily. It provides various tools and services, such as software development kits, game plugins, wallets, and payment gateways, to make the gaming experience more enjoyable and convenient.
How to invest in the Metaverse?
There are a few ways to invest in the Metaverse.
● The most common way is to buy shares of companies developing products and services for the Metaverse.
● The most direct way to participate in the Metaverse is to invest in a metaverse startup to build an environment from scratch.
● Another way is to invest in virtual reality and augmented reality companies. These companies are developing the technology that will be used in the Metaverse. They include Facebook (Oculus VR), Alphabet (Google Glass and Project Tango), Microsoft (HoloLens), Baidu (Baidu Eye), Sony (PlayStation VR), etc. Many other companies are working on the technology for a metaverse.
● You can also invest in companies building the infrastructure for the Metaverse, like Meta.
● In the Metaverse, everything will be controlled by software. This software might be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Many companies are working on cybersecurity for the Metaverse. You can invest in these companies as well. Some of these include Crowdstrike, Zscaler, etc.