Metaverse: discovering the future universe of the Internet…

Metaverse: discovering the future universe of the Internet…

A set of interconnected virtual spaces destined to change people's lives is making its way into society: let's find out what it consists of

Metaverse (in English Metaverse) is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in "Snow Crash", a cyberpunk science fiction book dating back to 1992, in which it is described as a sort of virtual reality shared via the internet, where one is represented in three size through your avatar
Metaverse (in English Metaverse) is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in "Snow Crash", a cyberpunk science fiction book dating back to 1992, in which it is described as a sort of virtual reality shared via the internet, where one is represented in three size through your avatar

In recent months, the Web has been invaded by a new word, or rather, by one that already exists but of which very little was known and which has now become the protagonist of online fiction. We are talking about the "Metaverse”. The word indicates the convergence between the physical world, virtual and augmented reality: a coexistence of connected virtual spaces that offer new ways of action and interaction.

Why is there so much talk about it today? Because the technological progress made since the term was coined (therefore almost 30 years ago) is incredible and we can say that now the time is ripe to speak concretely about this world and think about all its applications"extension" of the dynamics of the Internet that we know.

The Metaverse is destined to enter more and more into our lives and influence them in so many ways. Let's see what it is and why we can talk about a real one digital revolution (and not only).

From Velvet Media and Anothereality the… Metaverse for SMEs

Metaverse (in English Metaverse) is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in "Snow Crash", a cyberpunk science fiction book dating back to 1992, in which it is described as a sort of virtual reality shared via the internet, where one is represented in three size through your avatar
Metaverse (in English Metaverse) is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in "Snow Crash", a cyberpunk science fiction book dating back to 1992, in which it is described as a sort of virtual reality shared via the internet, where one is represented in three size through your avatar

What the Metaverse really is: science fiction made real

The term was coined by Neal stephenson, American science fiction author, in the 1992 novel Snow Crash. In his book, the Metaverse represents a sort of internet sequel which takes the form of a three-dimensional virtual world, inhabited by avatars ( "digital twins"). These depict people communicating with the help of virtual reality glasses, tools that are increasingly being developed and spread today.

This concept was then the protagonist of many science fiction products, one of the best known is Spielberg's film Ready Player One, released on the big screen in 2018 and inspired by the 2011 Ernest Cline novel of the same name. This film offers a rather realistic and faithful representation of how the Metaverse will evolve from now to the next 20 years. In fact, even here interconnected virtual worlds are depicted in which users interact with virtual reality viewers e haptic gloves, buy digital objects and carry out entertainment activities in totally immersive and engaging contexts.

Scuderia Ferrari and Velas united in advanced digitization

Ready Player One
The poster of the movie “Ready Player One”

Currently, one of the definitions clearer and more comprehensive than Metaverse is the one offered by Matthew ball, investor and author of a compendium on the subject called “The Metaverse Primer”, divided into nine parts and published on his blog:

“The Metaverse is an enduring network of 3D worlds that expands in real time, which restores a continuous sense of identity over time, in which objects remain and which keeps track of past transactions. An unlimited number of users, each with their own sense of physical presence, can experience it synchronously.”

It is therefore one true e own revolution which will allow us to "being in a place without actually being there“. We will be able to meet up in the office "in presence" sharing the same space with colleagues while not physically with them, participate in a festival on the other side of the world without having to take a plane or buy virtual land.

Let's see how what many call "the future of the Internet" could transform itself.

"Immersive" 3D offices for smart working to come…

Metaverse (in English Metaverse) is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in "Snow Crash", a cyberpunk science fiction book dating back to 1992, in which it is described as a sort of virtual reality shared via the internet, where one is represented in three size through your avatar
Metaverse (in English Metaverse) is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in "Snow Crash", a cyberpunk science fiction book dating back to 1992, in which it is described as a sort of virtual reality shared via the internet, where one is represented in three size through your avatar

Metaverse: what already exists and what we can expect for the future

The Metaverse has one space-time structure and is composed of a matter made of information and data that belong to the real world. With the latter it has a strong bond: exploit devices o uses that we are already used to using on our PCs or smartphones, to access them are VR headset required, to handle virtual objects you have to wear some gloves and relates to real economic systems to allow you to attribute the maximum value to virtual items.

Let's see which ones items are already available to make the journey in the Metaverse faster and more immersive and what are, instead, the possible implications of this world about the future, although it is almost difficult to make certain predictions in such a dynamic and rapid context.

The “Swiss Virtual Expo”? Today there is nothing more… real

Second Life is an online digital electronic virtual world launched on June 23, 2003 by the American company Linden Lab following an idea of ​​the latter's founder, physicist Philip Rosedale
Second Life is an online digital electronic virtual world launched on June 23, 2003 by the American company Linden Lab following an idea of ​​the latter's founder, physicist Philip Rosedale

Augmented reality vs virtual reality: possibilities and tools

Augmented reality e virtual they are the two great allies to immerse yourself in the Metaverse and exploit its full potential. Although they are often confused because both have the power to create a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, there are several elements that differentiate them.

Indeed, the first amplify the real world superimposing digital contents and makes use of smartphones and tablets on which an application is downloaded, or more sophisticated systems, such as Smart Glasses for example. We also exploit this technology without realizing it, for example when we scan a QR code. Or we can use it with geolocation, when virtual objects appear on the screen that overlap with places that are part of the real world. If you've never used it, you've at least heard of the Pokémon GO phenomenon, which depopulated in 2016.

La virtual reality, however, represents a digital environment which completely replaces the real one. Wearing some specific viewers, in fact, we are transported to a different and distant world, which we can touch and with which we can interact at 360°. It is enough for us to wear these particular devices to drive a very modern car or to visit a city physically remaining within the four walls of the house.

From a technical point of view, building devices capable of seeing digital elements superimposed on physical reality is much more complex than creating virtual experiences from scratch.

There is talk of glasses with 5 mm thick lenses (therefore decidedly much less voluminous than the current viewers) if not even of subcutaneous microchips need contact lenses with eye sensors, which will allow you to interact with the virtual world through facial expressions and body movements.

As we can therefore see, there are many possibilities to make the experiences related to the Metaverse even more engaging and real, but they still require time and above all scientific skills to fully exploit them.

Video, the "Swiss Virtual Expo" usable from 15 October 2021

NFTs (or Non Fungible Tokens) in the Metaverse
NFTs (or Non Fungible Tokens) in the Metaverse

Blockchain and NFT: the new economic frontier is already here

The future of the Metaverse certainly includes an evolution of the aspects related to Blockchain and to NFT. The business of non-fungible tokens it is certainly destined to explode and the results recorded up to now, however, are remarkable. In fact, in 2021, according to a Chain analysis report, the NFT market has generated worldwide $26,9 billion in cryptocurrency transactions.

If before it was a phenomenon that seemed to mostly interest the world of art and collectors, now there are various companies, of the most disparate dimensions and sectors, interested in oversee the opportunities offered by the virtual world. For example, the news of the designer's investment is very recent Philipp Plein in a large plot in Decentraland, the first user-owned virtual world in the Metaverse. Here will arise a virtual property called Plein Plaza which will include luxury shops, museums and residences. Or we invite you to discover, on our blog, the article on Lamborghini project called "Space Time Memory”. It is a work composed of more than 600 million pixels and created by the artist Fabian Oefner for the Casa di Sant'Agata Bolognese, depicting the super sports car Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae taking off towards the stars.

But the list of brands interested in investing in cryptocurrencies is very long. From Microsoft to Nike, via Facebook that we will see in the next paragraph, there are many companies that are starting their journey in the Metaverse.

Photogallery, a journey inside the "Swiss Virtual Expo"

NFTs (or Non Fungible Tokens) in the Metaverse
NFTs (or Non Fungible Tokens) in the Metaverse

The value of Non Fungible Tokens within the Metaverse

THEMetaverse economy will be based on one unified cryptocurrency, like the bitcoin, and on the sale of NFTs, which being stored on the blockchain are not interchangeable.

The Metaverse has brought about a real globalization of industry first of art and then gradually also of other creative sectors such as architecture, fashion, music and especially the gaming world. As we have just seen with Philipp Plein's example, the real estate sector is also assuming a virtual dimension in which it will be increasingly easier (and probably interesting) to invest.

Thus, NFTs have the power to carry the concept di property need uniqueness even in the digital world, becoming new status symbol, which, as stated by Andrea Daniele Signorelli on Wired, represent “a way to stand out from the crowd thanks to a remarkable purchasing power and knowledge of the most particular and innovative trends".

But the strength of NFTs, also at an economic level, does not lie here alone. Digital objects can also be copied an infinite number of times, but the buyer is always recognized property of the original, which determines:

  • un high value in case you want resell;
  • a decrease in the risk of fraud, as every minimal transaction is marked on gods decentralized registers leveraging the blockchain.

The lunar year kicked off Lamborghini's NFT project

Meta's logo
Meta's logo

Facebook and the recent transformation into Meta

Facebook will be called Meta and is committed to building the future of the Internet, the Internet Incarnate: the Metaverse. This does not mean that Facebook, the social network to which we all connect every day, will be called something else, but that the company that acts as an umbrella for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger will change its name - a bit like the story of Google with Alphabet.

With these words Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the now ex Facebook, announced the rebranding of the Group's holding (which controls the Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Oculos platforms), during the Connect conference, which took place in live streaming on October 28th.

The decision is the result of a well thought out strategy and observing the road map developed over 10 years that Zuckerberg showed over 5 years ago, it is certainly an ambitious intention, but far from being linked to science fiction and not very feasible.

Facebook Roadmap
An ever deeper and simpler Connectivity, combined with an ever more precise development of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality, are no longer utopian goals, but represent the evolution of a sort of "it was post-mobile".

The founder of the Web giant has in fact stated: “We have these phones. They're relatively small. A lot of the time that we're spending, we're basically mediating our lives and our communication through these small, glowing rectangles. I think that's not really how people are made to interact.” (Mark Zuckerberg – The Verge Interview)

From these words, the idea that devices are starting to get tight and that they are necessary is clear new ways to nurture our relationships.

The reason for the name change, therefore, is clear: “Facebook” was too binding for the company and would lead to confusion. In fact, many still associate it only with the homonymous social network, ignoring the fact that its package of services is considerably wider. The first major revolution will be linked to the possibility of using the company's services even without having a Facebook account.

Lamborghini's advance towards NFTs winks at the Moon

Mark Zuckerberg is president and chief executive officer of Meta, owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp
Mark Zuckerberg is president and chief executive officer of Meta, owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp

Meta and the business opportunities it will bring

Although it is difficult to predict the consequences of the "Meta revolution” on businesses, we must first of all focus on the transformation of the Facebook for Business page into Goal for Business, with the aim of teaching companies to grow and take advantage of the opportunities offered by all the group's products. This change suggests that apps will probably be increasingly interconnected with each other, giving life to a single large ecosystem that can be accessed with tools produced or co-produced by the Web giant. Let's think, for example, of Oculus Facebook viewers.

Furthermore, two significant elements have provided a clue on the possible evolution of Meta from a business point of view:

  • the investment of 10 billion dollars for the Metaverse project (although, as reported by the news of these days, it seems to have turned out to be a flop) and the creation of 10.000 jobs in Europe to support the activities;
  • the anticipation, by Zuckerberg, that the digital Creators will be able sell your 3D content on Meta.

Therefore, although no one questions Mark's will to change and improve relationships and users' lives in general, we must also admit that his customer-centric statements also seem to have the purpose of sweetening the truth that, for a reality like Meta which still grinds hundreds of billions of dollars, the turnover orientation is rather primary.

From this point of view, therefore, we are especially curious to know how the way of doing Adv, from which we can certainly expect an ever more incisive use of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

The Swiss Fabian Oefner "digital" artist of Lamborghini

People together in the Metaverse thanks to their headsets
People together in the Metaverse thanks to their headsets