What do the technology companies “Metaverse” intend to build?

You may have heard the term “metaverse” to describe a new one virtual world that the major technology companies seek to develop. What are some of the goals of this planned world and how can it change our lives?

What does metaverse mean?

The word is a combination of the prefix meta, which means beyond, and verse, which relates to the universe. The term appeared in the 1992 science fiction book Snow Crash, by writer Neal Stephenson. In its history, people wore it virtual reality (VR) to interact within a game-like technological world.

Metaverse describes a non-physical world in which individuals can interact using different types of virtual technology.

For example, a metaverse could allow people living in different parts of the world to come together through technology and practically go on vacation, play sports, or work together on projects. People linked to the metaverse would be connected at all times and physical distance would not limit their ability to interact.

What technologies will be used?

The main technologies that would drive this world would be virtual reality or VR, and augmented reality, AR. Other technologies that have not yet been invented will also be used to improve experiences within the metaverse.

Which companies are involved?

One of the biggest fans of a proposed metavers has been Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. Over the years, he has talked about how such a world would fit in with his company, a massive social media service of international scope.

In this photo from the file, Peijun Guo brings the Oculus Rift VR headphones to the Oculus booth at CES International in Las Vegas on January 6, 2016. (AP)

Facebook has supported the idea by investing a lot of money in VR and AR technologies, including the development of headphones that promise to create the most realistic virtual interactions possible. The company also announced in July that it had created a new team to specifically develop metaverse products.

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg called the metaverse the “next generation of the internet and the next chapter for us as a company. ”He said the plans would create“ completely new economic experiences opportunities“.

Google has also been developing virtual reality and virtual reality tools that aim to “unite the physical and digital worlds.” One of its latest tools is called Google Lens. Allows users to use a device’s camera to capture an object. The technology then uses image recognition and Google’s search system to describe what the object is and provide information about it. This system could be used one day with headphones on a metaverse.

According to reports, Apple has also been working on the development of RA smart glasses that could be launched as early as next year.

FILE: In this photo from the May 11, 2017 archive, members of a Cirque du Soleil design team demonstrate the use of Microsoft's HoloLens device to virtually help design a set at the developer conference of Microsoft Build 2017 in Seattle.  Federal contract records

FILE: In this photo from the May 11, 2017 archive, members of a Cirque du Soleil design team demonstrate the use of Microsoft’s HoloLens device to virtually help design a set at the developer conference of Microsoft Build 2017 in Seattle. Federal contract records

And in May, Microsoft explained how it was developing a series of “metaverses.” applications”Designed to help business users of its Azure cloud computing service combine physical and virtual elements.

How can the metaverse change our lives?

With the help of augmented reality glasses, individuals could see a lot of information pass in front of their eyes as they moved around a city. This could include traffic and pollution data, information about the natural environment or local history.

However, most predictions for a future metavers see that technology goes much further. These include the ability to transport people to digital parameters that feel very real, such as night club, a sport stage or a mountain top.

A girl grabs her father's hand while using a virtual reality (VR) device at the First Airlines check-in desk, which offers virtual reality flight experiences, including 360-degree city and meal tours, amidst COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo, Japan, August 12, 2020.

A girl grabs her father’s hand while using a virtual reality (VR) device at the First Airlines check-in desk, which offers virtual reality flight experiences, including 360-degree city and meal tours, amidst COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo, Japan, August 12, 2020.

A metaverse environment can resemble many of the popular online video games today. This means that players around the world interact in virtual environments and even allow users to buy digital items with real money.

Cathy Hackl is a technology expert who advises companies on metaverse. He told the French news agency AFP that the younger generation is much more willing to give real meaning to virtual experiences and objects. An example he gave would be a musical performance.

“My first concert he was in a stadium. My son’s first gig was (American rapper) Lil Nas X at Roblox (the game system), ”Hackl said.“ Just because it happened at Roblox, it didn’t make it any less real to him. “, added.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Facebook. Susan Shand was the editor.

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Words in this story

virtual – adj. it is used to describe something that can be done or seen with computers or the Internet instead of happening in a physical place

virtual reality n. a set of images and sounds produced by a computer to represent a real place or situation

augmented reality – n. an improved version of reality that uses technology to add digital information about an image of something

chapter – n. a period of time in which something happens

opportunity n. a situation in which it is possible for a person to do something

application – n. a computer program that performs special functions, usually found on mobile phones

night club – n. a place where you can dance and drink at night

stage – n. a large open area with seating around it where sports games and other events take place

concertn. a performance of music and singing

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