The Metaverse was made famous in the movie Ready Player One and makes its debut on Facebook today through Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. The metaverse will alter the internet as we know it and make virtual reality experiences more accessible to more people than ever before. Here’s why you should get ready for it, and what’s happening today with Facebook’s new social technology.
In virtual reality, you have access to a 360-degree view of your surroundings. You can move forward and backward, side to side and up and down—and even a few degrees diagonally. Most impressive is that you can do all of these things while maintaining a sense of presence or being there. This makes walking through a museum in VR feel very much like walking through a museum in real life; getting into an alien spaceship feels like stepping into one. Partly, presence comes from having excellent graphics and sound but also from our own mind tricking us into believing something is true when our eyes tell us otherwise.
Many gamers are well aware of virtual reality. The Metaverse—the term coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash for a persistent, shared virtual space—has inspired visions of total immersion in games ever since. Now Facebook wants to get us closer to that dream with its acquisition of Oculus VR earlier this year. Oculus is producing cutting-edge tech that makes you feel like you’re really in a virtual world, which could provide amazing new experiences. At the same time, you have to worry about privacy and safety issues that have plagued social media sites over recent years; imagine being able to stalk your friends or harass them without repercussions! It’s definitely exciting times for techies and luddites alike!
Researchers at Stanford University and Beijing’s Tsinghua University predict that virtual reality may provide new opportunities for online dating, both in terms of finding a partner and actually meeting them. Because VR can generate realistic environments, users might be able to interact with representations of others in various settings, such as on a beach or flying through space. People who would normally be nervous about initiating contact with someone they’ve just met might feel more comfortable interacting virtually than in person.
4) Knowledge Sharing
The sharing of knowledge in virtual worlds is already being used to educate people in ways that are different from how schools work. For example, when students at Jefferson High School were taught about genetics using Second Life, their retention of information was nearly double that of students who learned about genetics through traditional methods. Teachers are also starting to use programs like Minecraft in classroom settings to give their students a well-rounded education. It’s no surprise that many educators see virtual worlds as one of the most effective educational tools available.
In the Next 5 to 10 years
Its going to be mainstream
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