Have you recently noticed that WhatsApp is now powered by Meta?

WhatsApp owner, Facebook Inc. is now called Meta, a name that is
derived from a concept called “Metaverse”. So what exactly is the
Metaverse, the new tech obsession that everyone is talking about? If
you were to ask me, Metaverse doesn’t really refer to any one specific type of technology, but rather a broad shift in how we interact with technology. In general, the technologies that make up the Metaverse can include virtual reality (VR) as well as augmented reality (AR) that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds. However, it doesn’t require that those spaces be exclusively accessed via VR or AR.

It also translates to a digital economy, where users can create, buy and sell goods. It allows you to take virtual items like clothes or cars from one platform to another. Right now, most platforms have virtual identities, avatars, and inventories that are tied to just one platform, but a Metaverse allows you to create a persona commonly that you can take everywhere as easily as you can copy your prole picture from one social network to another. Even global tech giants like Facebook and Google are investing heavily in Metaverse.

Even retail sector is not far behind. Retail giant Walmart is all set to venture into the Metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). It has filed several new trademarks last month that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual goods.

Artists & musicians too have jumped in to the world of Metaverse with virtual concerts, live gigs and direct virtual fan interactions. Some experts say that the prot and revenues that the artists will earn will be substantial in the Metaverse. But how does the audience gain from this? Well for instance, Metaverse concerts give audience who have logged in, the “front row seat” thrills, even without being physically present.

When everyone seems to be a part of this new tech obsession that is Metaverse, why should real estate be behind? As a matter of fact, real estate sales on the platform reportedly crossed $500 Mn in 2021, as per meta metrics solutions. That is some number. It is predicted that the sales are expected to only double by end of 2022. One can buy a piece of virtual land directly from owners using NFT marketplace. All that is needed is a digital wallet and cryptocurrency. A virtual plot of land on the Metaverse was recently sold for $4.3 Mn by Atari, a video game company.

With the Metaverse, the boundaries between physical and virtual worlds is blurring at a rapid pace. Yes, there are some security concerns w.r.t data protection, privacy, etc. but companies that are a part of it must ensure that these concerns are addressed. The Metaverse is an evolutionary next stage of the internet and offers a new suite of communication tools that will be more helpful for some things and less for others. It looks like the visuals and concept that we used to see in movies like the Matrix series, inception, etc. a few years back, is truly taking shape in the present in the form of Metaverse.

Source– Source: Anmek Report, Times of India, Me and The Hindu

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