Think of a beautiful virtual world where users, digital platforms and businesses can easily exist & interact with each other, a place where people can do everything from socializing to playing or working, while this world can benefit from real world places virtually adapted such as parks, football fields, mountains, seaside, workplaces like office buildings, favorite bars & clubs or any other landmarks replicated or created from scratch by creative minds who dream so nice. This is the metaverse, your own virtual universe where by 2026 you might spend 1 hour each day to do things your way.
Constructing virtual houses by buying virtual land, purchasing a top car that you can virtually drive whenever and wherever you feel like doing it, going to concerts, parties, visiting your friends to share ideas & experiences as well as attending virtual classrooms or masterclasses might not be so far away from us. This single environment where experiences and technologies intertwine with various destinations It’s actually being built as we speak and it’s called the metaverse.
Even though the metaverse may seem like a totally new concept, the whole idea of a digital world with multiple platforms has been alive for many years in forms of famous movies like Ready Player One or Tron, in forms of renowned video games like Runescape or World of Warcraft that have been part of our lives and helped in the early foundation of the metaverse.
Perhaps the best example and confirmation of the metaverse being built is the rebranding of Facebook to the new Meta that owns Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook. A change of the long term vision to becoming metaverse first, taking into consideration elements like cryptocurrency, NFTs and VR businesses like Oculus that has been purchased by Facebook in 2014 and transformed also to the name of Meta recently. The investment of $10 billion last year in the metaverse alone is clearly another proof that Meta aims to integrate every edge of the metaverse into its plans of building this intriguing new virtual world.
The differences between metaverse and other virtual worlds that have been accessible in the past years might be the fact that the real world is deep integrated into the metaverse, keeping everything somehow defined while you can customize your avatar – virtual persona – with your favorite apparel, footwear, sports equipment, sunglasses and so on, replicated digitally for your comfort and viewing pleasure that make the experiences feel unique and your own.
Whether the metaverse is resumed to immersiveness enabled by VR, a detailed integration with the real world, decentralization, interoperability or a multiple combination of these elements that will activate and feed the metaverse – is still something yet to be discovered.
Some companies have already made their first steps into the metaverse. Selfridges premiered their first virtual city called Electric/City and inspired by the world’s capitals of fashion, created with designer Charli Cohen and with Yahoo RYOT Lab. Here the visitors will discover three areas: Festival Park, Central Square and the Backstreet Afterparty where they can explore shopping at a whole new level. An exclusive physical collection of clothing signed by Charli Cohen x Pokemon and an exclusive digital collection of garments that can be shopped and worn with a customized digital AR avatar or with AR Snapchat lens with body tracking, all specially designed for Electric/City and usable on many other virtual platforms.
In this new digitalised world we’ll be able to network and virtually socialize with users, brands and digital platforms, we’ll be able to invest and do business in the pillars of the metaverse which are NFTs and cryptocurrencies, do shopping in multiple forms such as buying a piece of virtual land in the digital real estate market and many more activities that we’ll discover together as the metaverse continues to grow.
Our lives might be enhanced by some completely new experiences imagined, created, drawn and lived with ourselves, with digital platforms, with companies we like and with other people we could interact with in a more interactive and immersive way that was never possible before and this just might win us all. The time will pass and we shall see what it’s really like to be virtually living.
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