What is the metaverse, the next big ambition of the tech giants? – Technologies

The concept of ​​a metaverse, a world the place 3D avatars work together in the digital universe, is removed from an unique concept that emerges from the minds of the tech sector. In truth, it is a idea that was first seen in books, particularly science fiction. This kind of writing has lengthy imagined the world, by which avatars can dwell in a totally digital atmosphere, as if it had been a illustration of the actual world.

About 30 years in the past, the American author Neal Stephenson launched the e-book “Snow Crash”, by which the characters use advanced computer systems to hook up with a digital world the place there are roads, buildings, bars or highways, exactly with the identify of the metaverse.

But, earlier than “Snow Crash”, in the 80s, the creator William Gibson described in “Neuromante” a digital world accessible by means of a sure terminal, pointing to digital actuality even earlier than there was no expertise for this – even on this work. the time period “our on-line world” somewhat than metaverse was used.

Decades later and with expertise already growing quickly, the metaverse has turn out to be a “buzzword” in expertise and the ambition of a number of corporations on this sector. For years, digital actuality has been touted as the next big factor in the tech business however, till now, it has been restricted to purposes in video games and multimedia.

The need to maneuver ahead on this digital atmosphere, in a imaginative and prescient the place every individual could be represented by a 3D avatar, has had its waves, however gained power since the big expertise corporations started to incorporate the topic in a very long time. deadline.

In addition to the big names which might be excited by expertise, from corporations like Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, to Microsoft, for instance, the principal distinction is that “big expertise” doesn’t need to be in the world of sports activities and video games. even discovering a job in the world of work – particularly with the views shared to date.

Zuckerberg’s formidable wager

Here and there, Facebook had already left indicators of its curiosity in combining the bets it makes on {hardware} with the many social initiatives which have turn out to be a multi-billion greenback firm. To this finish, the firm made an acquisition – in March 2014, it purchased the unique Oculus glasses, for 2 billion {dollars} (about 1.74 billion euros).

Since then, when the gadgets have modified, digital actuality has additionally discovered more room in the enterprise of Facebook, whether or not it is a social community and even in the office, the place the firm has a spot with the Workplace, a communication device aimed toward the enterprise atmosphere. Almost two years in the past, in October 2019, the firm already detailed the challenge referred to as Horizon, which by means of Oculus will create a digital world the place it is attainable to work together.

At the finish of October this yr, the plans of Mark Zuckerberg’s firm got here to a head by explaining these plans for the metaverse, together with even altering the identify of the firm. From right here, the firm is referred to as Meta, which means the formidable targets of the metaverse. In the announcement made by Zuckerberg, on October 28, it was defined that the new identify desires to determine a press release “as a result of of the firm’s mission to deliver confusion and assist folks join, discover communities and develop companies”.

According to the firm, the identify ought to point out that the firm desires to maneuver from “two massive screens to immersive experiences comparable to digital actuality or digital actuality to help the next evolution of expertise”.

In addition to this identify, the firm’s companies will probably be divided into two ideas – one referred to as “household of packages”, the place Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger will probably be current, and “digital laboratories”, the place experiences are actual, as a result of. instance.

In addition, as of the next 1, the firm will commerce with a brand new “ticker”, MVRS.

These developments are too big to be the sole duty of one firm

It’s a herculean process and one which these in cost of Meta/Facebook understand from the begin that it is too big to do alone. Nick Clegg, in a press release made through videoconference at this yr’s on-line convention, confirmed that the firm is attempting to “be as clear as attainable” about this metaverse idea.

“I feel it is essential that we present as clearly as attainable and understand that the metaverse won’t solely belong to Mark Zuckerberg, it will likely be a really interconnected story”, after which give examples from corporations comparable to Magic Leap or Microsoft, which they’ll additionally take part in these actions.

“This expertise will take 10 to fifteen years to be efficiently applied, it won’t occur all of a sudden”, emphasised the vice chairman of the firm in the space of ​​”international affairs”.

Who is excited by the metaverse?

The names of the totally different plans for the digital atmosphere, with roughly avatars, differ between corporations, however the willingness of corporations to go to this kind of digital world is well-known.

Epic Games, the creator of the recreation “Fortnite”, is one instance. Since it grew to become a phenomenon, with thousands and thousands of customers, the firm has already created digital concert events, by which the actual avatar of the artist is created, the stage is created in the recreation and gamers can watch the live performance on-line. The numbers are spectacular: in February 2019, Marshmello examined the waters of digital concert events, instantly successful 10.7 million gamers.

The following yr, in April 2020, the American rapper Travis Scott, who has been making ink this yr for the individuals who died at the AstroWorld occasion in Texas, joined virtually 27 million customers in an internet live performance.

After Scott, there have been names like J. Balvin, at the Halloween live performance in Fortnite in 2020 or, earlier this yr, with the pop star Ariana Grande – removed from the world of sports activities and, due to this fact, a restricted selection, at the least at first sight.

Online video games final only some minutes – at the least in comparison with actual concert events – however they contain quite a bit of planning and 1000’s of hours of work, as occasions are created that don’t mirror the look of the artist himself, making a “digital twin”, and in addition made actual components. Travis Scott’s Fortnite live performance, for instance, took a yr to organize; Ariana Grande is about six to 9 months pregnant, Phil Rampulla of Epic Games instructed Billboard.

Games apart, Microsoft sees purposes for digital avatars in the office. The firm already had plans to develop alternative ways to entry distant conferences. But the firm desires to go additional and has plans for Groups, which embrace holograms or digital avatars.

The query now is whether or not the expertise is able to sustain with these plans. Virtual actuality and the instruments for accessing the digital world have been evolving, that is true, however there’s nonetheless quite a bit of work to be finished.

The large Nvidia, for instance, is additionally on this race to the metaverse – though on this case the phrase “Omniverse” is taken. At least in keeping with the CEO of the “chip maker”, Jensen Huang, the firm “now has the expertise to create new 3D fashions of international locations or fashions of our world”.

The firm already has initiatives on this regard, by means of the Omniverse platform, which was launched final yr as a take a look at platform. Earlier this yr, the firm raised the bar for a brand new expertise, referred to as Omniverse Avatar, which creates avatars based mostly on synthetic intelligence expertise.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *