There has been quite a bit of hype surrounding the term “Metaverse” these days, however many would be surprised to learn that the term is not new, being coined in 1992 by author Neal Stephenson, who had used it in his science fiction novel “Snow Crash”. As a result of combining the words “meta” and “universe”, the term “Metaverse” had helped Stephenson describe a virtual world, where his characters could interact and get away from the totalitarian reality they were living in.
From then on, we have been witnessing an increasing interest in the possibility of creating a completely immersive world, that has finally materialized by means of innovative technologies. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, the internet of things, and blockchain, are some of the key technologies that help make the Metaverse come to life, so let’s explore each of them further, and see how they manage to power the Metaverse.
One of the technologies that play an essential role in the development of the Metaverse, is artificial intelligence. This disruptive technology, that has made its way into all areas of our lives, has successfully been applied in the Metaverse as well, and AI-powered chatbots are just an example of the way the technology has benefited this immersive virtual world. In this sense, chatbots can assist users by offering them guidance through the Metaverse, information about specific products and services, or solutions to various issues. What’s more, artificial intelligence allows users to enjoy avatars that resemble their features perfectly, thus enhancing the experience provided by the Metaverse. From facial expressions, to clothes and hairstyles, users can benefit from accurate Metaverse avatars, that meet all their requirements.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
What would the Metaverse be without augmented reality and virtual reality? Well, these technologies are crucial for the creation of the Metaverse, as they make the immersion into a virtual environment possible. On one hand, virtual reality enables users to enter virtual worlds and interact with objects and beings, through VR-powered equipment, and on the other, augmented reality blurs the lines between the psychical and digital worlds, by overlaying digital content onto physical elements in real-time. With VR, one can attend virtual events, such as concerts or theatre performances, in a highly realistic virtual setting, and even explore touristic destinations, all from the comfort of their home. Augmented reality too enhances the Metaverse, offering a more user-friendly experience for those still new to the virtual world, who wish not to lose touch completely with their physical environment.
The internet of things
We have already mentioned the important role of virtual reality-powered devices in the development of the Metaverse, but in order to truly take user experience to the next level in the virtual world, such equipment must be paired with internet of things sensors. In this regard, connecting VR headsets, haptic gloves, or other devices to the Metaverse through IoT sensors, allows for better and faster responses, as equipment can share and receive information seamlessly. Furthermore, by gathering data in real-time, thanks to internet of things-powered sensors, all activities taking place in the virtual environment will have an increased level of accuracy, much to users’ delight.
Finally, we must also touch upon quite a popular technology surrounding Metaverse applications, namely blockchain. The latter’s decentralized spirit, and the transparency that comes along with it, was just what the Metaverse needed, so it is no wonder that specialists had found a way to successfully integrate it in the virtual environment development process. Blockchain has made transactions in the Metaverse more secure and has enabled users to have superior control over their digital assets. Moreover, blockchain technologies come bundled with better storage capacity, greater scalability, and interoperability, all rewards that developers are aiming to reap when integrating technologies into the Metaverse.
The internet of things, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, and blockchain, are technologies that the Metaverse cannot do without. AI enables users to enjoy realistic avatars, while AI-powered chatbots guide them through the virtual world, AR and VR make unique experiences possible, the internet of things-powered sensors allow for seamless activities in the virtual environment, and blockchain technologies help developers provide a safe space for users, who can complete transactions without any concerns.