What is the Metaverse?
Published 03 Dec 2021

The term “metaverse” feels quite new and seems to be mentioned more frequently each passing day.  I asked a few friends, colleagues and customers and didn’t get a definitive answer and so I thought we should dive into “what is the metaverse”

As a Microsoft house, lets start with Microsofts definition...

Microsoft says a “metaverse is a digital space inhabited by a digital representation of people, places and things.

Think of it like a new version, or a new vision of the Internet. Many people talk about the internet as a place, and now we can go into that place to communicate share and work with others. It is an internet you can actually interact with - like we do in the physical world.

Right now you can go to a concert and experience a show with other real people inside a video game. You can walk a factory floor from your own home. You can join a meeting remotely but be in the room to collaborate with your co-workers.”

Microsoft Teams Meeting

While Wikipedia states “The metaverse (a portmanteau of "meta-" and "universe") is a hypothesized iteration of the Internet, supporting persistent online 3-D virtual environments through conventional personal computing, as well as virtual and augmented reality headsets. Metaverses, in some limited form, have already been implemented in video games such as Second Life."

Current metaverse ambitions are centred on addressing technological limitations with modern virtual and augmented reality devices, as well as expanding the use of metaverse spaces to business, education, and retail applications. Numerous entertainment and social media companies have invested in metaverse-related research and development.”

While this may all sound a little farfetched and out there – the truth is it is already here, and maybe closer than you think.

Your children may already be playing with a metaverse through games such as Minecraft and Roblox.

Facebook and the Metaverse

Mark Zuckerberg is very vocal about Facebook and its metaverse ecosystem. Facebook recently announced a rebranding to “Meta” and the coincidence here isn’t accidental. Facebook wants to build a maximalist, interconnected set of experiences – a world known as the metaverse.

Meta

Facebooks companies (including WhatsApp, and Instagram) have focused on products for communities, creators, commerce and virtual reality and they will work together to help achieve Zukerberg’s goal. “What I think is most interesting is how these themes will come together into a bigger idea,” Zuckerberg said. “Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.” Facebook, and Meta “will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company”. For more about Zark Zuckerberg's vision, see here.

How Could This Impact On Business?

Microsoft acquired the virtual reality company AltspaceVR way back in 2017 and has recently announced they are planning on introducing metaverse features into Microsoft Teams, using a product called Mesh.

Microsoft Mesh

You can read more about Mesh for Microsoft Teams here.

Pro-Networks will continue to monitor this exciting technology for ways to benefit our customers and will share updates in future blog posts and customer communications.
 

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