As the idea for the metaverse starts to come together, everyone is thinking about an important, if not futuristic, question: how will the metaverse development services affect the real world?
Almost every time there is a big change in technology, there are debates like this one. People all over the world have wondered if artificial intelligence (AI) will take over human jobs, if automation will get rid of all jobs, and if remote work will make offices obsolete.
What does it mean for the future of real-world connections that companies like Decentraland, The Sandbox, and others are working on real and liveable metaverse platforms?
A Sneak Peak To The Metaverse and Its Common Concerns
The metaverse is a combination of spatial computing and the Internet. It aims to create 3D virtual worlds and include several important new technologies, such as the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, cloud computing, and edge computing, among many others.
The idea became popular after Snow Crash, a book by Neal Stephenson that came out in 1992, and other books like Ready Player One. At the same time, games like Second Life and Minecraft that let players build their own worlds together opened the door to a new kind of virtual life that runs alongside our real lives.
It may not be a coincidence that the first social media boom happened in the late 2000s. At that time, people’s virtual footprints became almost as important as their real ones.
There is some reason to worry about these kinds of threats to the real world. Internet users all over the world already spend a lot of time online and put in a lot of work to improve their online presence, both for personal and professional reasons. Once the Metaverse turns the internet into a three-dimensional virtual space, will the physical world no longer be needed?
Why the Metaverse can’t take the place of the real world in its entirety
The metaverse is a place that people can live in besides the physical world, which is ruled by the laws of physics in our universe. However, it is still subject to those laws.
This is because blockchain and computing based on blockchain still use a lot of energy and natural resources. This is only possible because the real world exists.
Without coal or the Sun to make electricity, it would not be possible to mint cryptocurrency to support blockchain ecosystems. This would mean that metaverse platforms would no longer exist.
At the moment, every other part of how the Metaverse works uses a physical resource or law. The way users interact with these platforms is based on how we see light, so we can put on VR headsets and step into an immersive digital world. Aids for navigation like remote controllers, eye-tracking, hand controllers, and omnidirectional treadmills use the human body and the laws of motion to make experiences feel more real. Even in the virtual world, developers use things like gravitational anchoring to give every experience a sense of being real.
Also Read Here: How Metaverse Development Is Revolutionizing Digital Art
Possible Effects of the Metaverse in the Real World
With major technological advances, the Metaverse could become more important than the real world. Even though this is a futuristic idea that is years or even decades away, the Metaverse could soon take over parts of the real world.
Physical offices could be replaced by the Metaverse:
One of the areas that will be most affected is remote work and collaboration. Companies could have whole office campuses in the Metaverse. Accenture already has a Metaverse office in Microsoft’s Mesh platform called the Nth Floor. This hints at a possible future in which office buildings no longer exist and every company has a global VR campus with a metaverse address.
The Metaverse could replace face-to-face interaction:
During the pandemic, a lot of people turned to the Metaverse for social activities and gatherings. Some even got married on the platform. It could become as important to our lives in the future as social media is now.
- Some users may still prefer the real world over the Metaverse, and others may try to keep a good balance between the real and digital worlds. However, a part of the global user base could move a large part of their social life to the Metaverse, replacing all physical interactions.
- Some jobs could be taken over by the Metaverse: Almost every new technology brings with it new ways to make money. Users can also earn a steady flow of cryptocurrency in the Metaverse, which can be used as a regular source of income. When you can make money with just an internet connection, some jobs that have been around for a long time might become obsolete.
- The economy of the Metaverse could become as important as the economy of the real world: In the last three years, the number of people interested in crypto and related investment activities has grown by a factor of 100. The value of a cryptocurrency can’t be changed by a single entity, which shows that the market is really free. Metaverse platforms have their own economy based on crypto ownership and blockchain-based consensus. They do this by using decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), which give everyone a say in how the economy works.
The Bottom Line
The Metaverse has a lot of potential, but it will be a few years before it really comes to life. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platform, said in his October 2021 Founder’s Letter, “We hope that the Metaverse will reach a billion people in the next ten years.”
Even then, it will only be a small part of the world’s population, and the Metaverse won’t be able to replace any parts of the real world until more people use it.
But over the next few years, the technology could become more and more important to certain groups of users, to the point where it almost replaces their real-world equivalents.