Himaathri Premakumar | Undergraduate | University of Vavuniya

What if you could read this magazine in a virtual world and talk with the authors? That’s pretty cool, right? Yes, it will be possible soon with the help of METAVERSE, the game-changer of the online world which provides a virtual 3D experience to all its users. Simply said, it is the next generation of technology or the evolution of the internet. It is predicted that in a few years, we will be able to see ourselves with our friends in a virtual world as avatars, and we will be able to look and feel like we do in the actual world. The term “METAVERSE” became popular after The Facebook, Inc. changed its name to “Meta” in 2021 October, where they have a huge budget to build the technology and make it the dominant 3D internet Platform.

This may sound like a new ideology but actually, the Snow Crash Novel which was released in 1992 already described a similar view of the future as a kind of next-generation virtual reality-based Internet. Several movies and novels also portray the idea of the Metaverse in the past. The Metaverse helps to improve the Internet by providing sophisticated usage for its users. This technology is possible with the help of Virtual Reality (VR) Augmented Reality (AR) Artificial Intelligence (AI), and high-speed internet with low latency. VR provides a real-time feel and AR gives real-time action and properties to the virtual world. AI provides the overall feel and action to the virtual space. All these components help to create the avatars of ourselves where we can represent a virtual version of ourselves and give the actions, and movements and create the animations to the virtual world. Entire digital space is used with the hardware consisting of a camera, and motion-tracking controllers to control the motion of the objects.

Metaverse helps to get connected with the parallels alive in the real world via the virtual world. Office setup through metaverse will help to work and communicate with employees where it is most useful in work from home environment. Metaverse helps most of the people who play games online. Multiplayer games and deeply immersive games make use of the virtual platform to provide a real-time gaming environment. Minecraft, Secondlife and Fortnite are some of the gaming platforms working to provide the metaverse experience to their users.  This also helps to socially connect with people without any language barrier, whereas the AI bots like Alexa and Siri help to make the conversation convenient. It helps to communicate with various language speakers immediately by translating the language and eliminating the language barrier. This will also play a major role in the entertainment industry by providing a real-world feel to internet users. In the future, we can sit together with our favourite celebrities and can feel the space around them virtually. Also, virtual music and dance concerts are possible with metaverse where everyone can participate from home. Digital currency used in metaverse will help to buy clothes and gadgets for gaming such as guards and shields to be used for games. The metaverse also allows you to try on dresses without having to put them on. It adjusts the dress to the user’s avatar and displays how it appears on us.

Despite the advantages of the metaverse, there are also risks and issues associated with this technology. As everything moves to the internet, there may be a disconnect between reality and perception. It may create hallucinations and some other psychological threats to people who frequently use it. It may also cause us to become engrossed in the virtual world and, on occasion, fall into the wrong hands online.

As a result, it is entirely in our control to utilize technology responsibly and not become addicted to it. Let’s cross our fingers that the metaverse becomes the pinnacle of human creativity, transforming the world into a better place to live.