The metaverse is an innovative technology trend that is being heavily targeted to transform interactions between people and companies. This feature gained notoriety when Mark Zuckerberg decided to invest in this technology, in addition to changing the name of his brand conglomerate (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) to Grupo Meta.
But after all, what is metaverse? When did it come about? How does it work and what is its purpose in the market? Among countless other questions that we all have about this new digital tool will be unveiled in this content.
Check out the following topics and stay on top of all the details about the infamous metaverse.
What does the metaverse mean?
Metaverso corresponds to a virtual world that can be accessed through devices connected to the internet. In this environment, the users’ experience is similar to our reality, but everything happens in a parallel universe that only exists digitally and that provides social coexistence, negotiations (purchases), investments, entertainment experiences, learning and much more.
In the metaverse, the user creates a representation of himself, called an avatar, in order to make possible a virtual life with other users through virtual reality devices that transform computational situations into real sensations.
An example is the environment of social networks, in which people consume content, make publications, make purchases, interact with other users and companies. All of this takes place in a digital space and access is via computers, smartphones and tablets.
In the metaverse, social interaction is even closer to reality, only within a virtual ecosystem. In it, you can create your avatar, make it walk in digital environments, talk to other avatars, interact with objects in the scenarios, shop, earn and invest in digital currencies.
And for this to be “palpable” for the user, just use virtual glasses, headphones and microphone. However, in the future, sensors will be launched that allow you to feel touch and smell from what happens in the metaverse. With the use of such technologies, users will experience a complete experience in the digital universe.
When did the metaverse emerge?
The concept emerged exactly three decades ago (1992) in the mind of the American writer Neal Stephenson. He described what the metaverse would look like in the 21st century – a virtual world where all people could interact with each other as if they were in the physical world.
After this concept, many information technology scientists talked about this perspective between real and digital — so much so that, in 2003, the game Second Life was launched, which was something similar to the original idea, but not daring and without the purpose that the metaverse currently presents. It has also been represented in books and films, such as Ready Player One.
The term metaverse came from this concept, but it is mirrored in the idea that came up there in 1992. With the technology we have today, it is possible for us to experience much more than Neal could assume.
What is the purpose of the metaverse?
The goals of the metaverse are very varied. As technological tools can be integrated into various systems and platforms, they can be used for almost infinite purposes.
Know some conditions in which the metaverse can be experienced.
Experimentation of products and services
The metaverse will allow people to have simulated experiences with merchandise before they buy it, revolutionizing the way online store sales are made.
Imagine that you accessed a clothing e-commerce that offers experience in the metaverse. Thus, you can select the pieces from the catalog and see how they look on your avatar, as if you were trying them on in a physical store. Finally, just choose the items you like, make the payment and have them delivered to your address.
Virtual tour is a big trend in the real estate market. It is a very practical and efficient way to look for a house to rent or buy. Just use a virtual reality headset to tour the available properties in order to analyze details of the environments before closing the deal. It is worth emphasizing that this experience can be developed in businesses of all types and segments.
Participation in events
Have you ever thought about going to the concert of famous artists without leaving home? This is perfectly possible through the metaverse. The objective is that events such as theater plays, lectures, concerts, conventions and other types of events are transmitted in real time.
In this way, you will experience the presentations as if you were personally in the environment. In addition to having the possibility to interact with other avatars in the audience and even with the main attraction.
Online meetings are already part of the routine of many companies. But in the metaverse, encounters are no longer limited to a screen, allowing you to talk to co-workers, suppliers and customers, even if you are not in the same physical environment as them. Such meetings go beyond video conferences. In the future, it will be possible to simulate sensory activities, such as handshakes, to generate credibility between the parties and increase the chances of closing a deal. The presence of the metaverse in business is increasingly evident.
In the organizational environment, the Infinite Office (infinite office) is a solution that the metaverse can masterfully provide. This condition allows the company to grow in size, without having to increase its physical infrastructure, such as the construction of new buildings.
If your company has IT teams on a Home Office basis, for example, you can create a digital environment that serves as a work department. In this way, it will be possible to carry out administrative services, serve customers, participate in meetings, carry out training through the metaverse.
The purpose of this feature is to really transform the way people work with the help of the internet. New functionalities and possibilities will appear in the future and what is in progress will be improved. The virtualization of everything is one of the great IT trends , especially with regard to software development and testing, leveraging Quality Assurance .
Learning immersively is another purpose of the resources present in the metaverse. The objective is to promote teaching within the digital environment, with a more engaging experience for students. For courses with anatomy classes, for example, it would be possible to contemplate the human organism with three-dimensional holograms, facilitating the students’ assimilation and understanding.
It is in entertainment that the initiatives of the metaverse are currently. Its goal is to go beyond conventional games, ensuring complete experiences for users, including movies, TV shows, sports and even video games.
In this sense, there is also the possibility of taking trips, checking out works of art and experiencing situations that generate adrenaline (bungee jumping, climbing, diving, etc.). Even casinos are possible to come to life in the virtual world. And people could place bets with digital currencies.
Many deals can be closed within the metaverse. After all, an integral economy can exist within the digital environment, with consumer transactions, land, real estate, transport, services, digital art, among other commercial conditions.
All this resource would be anchored in the blockchain, in cryptocurrencies and in the infamous NFTs . In 2021, the Gucci brand launched its first pair of NFT sneakers costing $12, with the physical world costing $850. In the future, it would be possible to buy clothes, accessories and other customizable objects for the avatars. Such a condition would make the virtual economy spin, becoming profitable for users and companies.
What does it take to enter the metaverse?
Now that you already have a broader understanding of what the metaverse is, let’s find out how to enter this universe. See the topics below to understand the process.
Have a computer or smartphone
It is possible to access the metaverse through devices such as desktop, laptops, smartphones and tablets. It is true that in the future it will be possible to enhance the computational capacity of the devices currently used. Thus, users will not only facilitate their entry into the metaverse, but will take full advantage of it. However, this is a little far from being consolidated, being only speculation in the technology market. For now, it is possible to be part of this universe through current devices.
Have a stable internet connection
Having a fast and stable connection is essential to access the metaverse. Without this feature, you cannot enjoy all the features available in the virtual environment. With the consolidation of 5G technology in Brazil, this scenario tends to become more favorable for the user. So if you have slow and unstable internet, you will have poor data transfer which will detract from the metaverse experience as a whole.
Choose a platform to create your avatar
To transit and experience the metaverse it is necessary to create an avatar. To do this, just choose a creation platform, such as The Sandbox and Decentraland. Evaluate these two options and see which is more compatible with your virtual profile. Some factors that need to be considered are the resources offered for the generation of your avatar, such as biotype, physical characteristics, personality, gestures, clothes, accessories and much more.
Use augmented reality glasses
To experience the metaverse in its entirety, it is necessary to use specific devices, such as augmented reality (AR) glasses . They contain cameras that capture the view of the real world and recreate its version with digital components in order to project the virtual world to the user.
AR glasses are essential for experiencing an immersive experience in the metaverse. Whether you are a simple fan or entrepreneur looking for new possibilities to spread your enterprise.
have a joystick
Another piece of equipment needed to enter the metaverse is the joystick, controller. Also called manual control, it is useful for controlling your avatar in the virtual world to ensure a genuine experience. The more sophisticated it is, the more immersive and realistic the interaction with the metaverse will be.
Beware of Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies, like NFTs, are widely used in the metaverse. After all, they are essential for users to have an efficient experience there. After all, it is through cryptocurrencies that it is possible to take a step beyond visitation and face reality. With digital monetary resources, it is possible to buy and represent virtual assets, which go beyond products to real estate and land, as we will see later on.
Build a digital wallet
As seen, it is necessary to transact business in the metaverse to experience a more complete experience. Hence, setting up a computerized wallet is fundamental for any individual who needs to be important for this new world.
The digital wallet stores cryptocurrencies through blockchain resources. Thus, the user can use his virtual money whenever he wants. It is worth mentioning that it is not mandatory to have this feature to enter the metaverse. However, it makes for a more faithful experience in that universe.
Online stores, for example, may decide to market their wares in the metaverse. And an efficient and quick way to receive for sales made is through the digital wallet.
What metaverses exist?
There is a modest range of metaverses to participate in. The most used by the adepts of this technology are:
Second Life: electronic game that appeared in 2003. It corresponds to the first initiative related to the metaverse. It corresponds to a 3D virtual world that simulates the daily life of our society. In it, players create avatars and interact with each other;
Decentraland: launched in 2015 with the purpose of offering a digital environment to negotiate digital lands and provide interactions through challenges, exhibitions, games and negotiations. Decentraland contains its own digital currencies to run its economy, MANA and LAND;
Horizon: created by Grupo Meta in 2021, Horizon (horizon) invites everyone to seek theirs, offering experiences that please all player profiles. In it, there are relaxation environments, multiplayer action experiences and borderless interaction. It is currently available for a few countries: Canada, United States, Spain, France, Iceland, Ireland and United Kingdom;
The Sandbox: emerged in 2011 and like Decentraland, The Sandbox has its own digital currency, SAND. In this world, people can manufacture their avatars and simulate physical everyday life in the digital world;
Virbela: launched in 2012, it is a platform focused on education and business events. In it, user avatars can learn, work, train and interact with each other. Its main focus is to favor the construction of professional relationships.
How much does it cost to enter the metaverse?
The cost will depend on your goal in the metaverse. As a user, spending varies depending on the experiences the user wants to have, considering the necessary devices and a digital wallet. As an entrepreneur, the investment will be greater considering the marketing resources.
However, it is worth mentioning that the most common is to enter metaverses through social platforms with free access. Reinforcing that only some functionalities are paid, such as the creation of avatars, the purchase of products, the acquisition of land, among others.
In practice, most of the possibilities within such worlds are related to the socialization of users, especially with regard to the exchange of experiences, knowledge and cultures, with financial transactions coming soon after.
What types of businesses exist in the metaverse?
The metaverse is an extensive trend that offers numerous investment opportunities that fit different profiles. Whether for investors who want to diversify their portfolio, or for entrepreneurs who want to acquire virtual goods and boost revenue.
Therefore, before venturing into this new universe, it is necessary to know the main types of investment. In this way, it is possible to detect possibilities to achieve your business objectives.
Find out about the investment modalities present in the metaverse.
In general, financial operations in the metaverse are carried out using cryptocurrencies. Therefore, to buy and sell in the digital world, you need to have a wallet full of virtual currencies. Therefore, investing in cryptos is a way to enhance the experience, in addition to being a monetary modality that is used on a large scale both in the national and international markets.
Non-fungible tokens, which corresponds to non-fungible tokens, or simply NFTs. They consist of a resource of irreplaceable virtual goods, that is, when a digital asset is classified as an NFT, it obtains a certificate and becomes unique in the market.
Investing in NFTs helps seize opportunities in the metaverse by generating revenue from trades. With the appreciation of invested assets, it is possible to sell them for a higher value, depending on market variations.
Stocks are conventional financial market products and there are options for the metaverse segment. It is possible to acquire shares of technology brands that operate in the digital universe, such as META (Facebook).
To buy and sell shares it is necessary to open an account at a stockbroker and study the market, considering the risk levels. Thus, you mitigate risks by investing in promising and safe products.
Buying and selling virtual land is another form of investment in the metaverse. In the digital environment, it is possible to visit properties and purchase them with cryptocurrencies to generate medium and long-term revenue.
It is an investment that works in the same way as the physical real estate market, especially when expressive values gain strength. It is a modality created to expand financial performance in order to build assets in the virtual universe.
Investment funds are collective investments, where investors invest money in promising financial products. There is an infinity of funds on the market, which are managed by teams of professionals who work in different areas.
In this sense, opting for investment funds specializing in assets in the metaverse is a way to explore opportunities. They are alternatives that are available on the market, but it is important to analyze very carefully before applying.
What are the dangers of the metaverse?
Since it is now so obvious what the metaverse is and the way that it works, now is the ideal time to see whether it’s protected. As with any virtual system, risks exist and the best way to protect yourself is to be informed about them.
Know the vulnerabilities of this technology.
There have already been several news and reports showing millionaire purchases for developments and land in metaverses. All this popularity within a segment significantly increases the likelihood of fraud. Which investments in these environments need to be carefully studied and carried out, always considering the potential for crimes and financial bubbles (speculation).
violation of privacy
Devices used to access the metaverse, such as computers, virtual reality glasses, and motion sensors, constantly collect and mine data . In addition, interactions within the digital world require the collection of users’ personal data, opening loopholes for new possibilities of violation. However, developer companies are already aware of this vulnerability and are constantly developing cybersecurity mechanisms to ensure the protection of the public.
fake news circulation
The metaverse is naturally risky because it immersively simulates reality. In this sense, fake news appears, which already alarm our reality and which can be explored more comprehensively in the digital universe.
It is worth mentioning that within the metaverse, users assume active postures in interactions and events, increasing their involvement with the environment. That’s why it’s important to stay alert to discredit manipulations.
As with other connected platforms, such as communication apps, social networks and online games, outrageous behavior by people who feel protected by anonymity and the distance between the physical and virtual world is common.
One of the most striking situations is that of a participant in the beta phase of Horizon (from Grupo Meta). She was harassed by another participant, and the other participants did not intervene. However, Grupo Meta claims that from now on all users undergo training and that there are moderation resources to denounce virtual offenders.
Impact on self-esteem
If not properly worked on in the user’s mind, the metaverse can become an unhealthy environment. This is because one of the objectives of this system is to be a space for digital coexistence in which people create their own avatar, whether representing themselves or creating fictional characters.
This creative condition can awaken mental triggers for users with low self-esteem to use the digital world to expose “perfect” versions of themselves. This impacts their perception of themselves in the real world and can accentuate preexisting distortions — since outside the metaverse it is not possible to change physical characteristics.
Identity theft and scams
Identity theft is a very common occurrence in messaging apps and social networks, and there are concerns about this type of situation. Furthermore, it is a fact that the metaverse allows financial transactions to be carried out, increasing the interest of cybercriminals in stealing logins to access users’ digital wallets.
It is evident that the popularization of this system will bring a new era of online crimes. This is quite a challenge for the companies providing these experiences — which need to invest in data protection technologies — as well as for their supporters, who also need to adopt good practices to protect themselves.
The metaverse is a resource that is revolutionizing experiences, interactions and negotiations so that it will be quite common for people to have their avatars to carry out day-to-day demands without having to leave home or move to other locations. As it is a resource that has no owner, except for companies that provide their own virtual worlds, there is no creative limit to block the emergence of new solutions and opportunities.