The technological strides that have been made have created room for a different approach to how we approach several aspects of life, from the social aspect of it through the professional side. Web3 is one of the major talking points in the tech world, a more advanced form of the internet as we know it that is more decentralized and where blockchain technology-based applications are more central. This growth and changes in the tech we use daily come with a different level of interaction between different users, and between individuals and the tech itself. One of the topics that are getting continuously growing attention is the metaverse.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is one of many concepts whose need and use cases have grown as a result of the global pandemic. Simply put, a metaverse is a future form of the internet that is dominated by virtual spaces. These virtual spaces are three-dimensional and they are designed to give people experiences that are as close to reality as possible while operating within the rules and means of technology. Different virtual spaces come together to form what is known as the metaverse, a completely virtual world.
What are the practical applications?
Three-dimensional virtual spaces that offer their users an interactive real-time experience that can be shared with other users around the world have potentially limitless applications depending on the ability of developers to replicate scenarios in the real world. While several of the conversations around the metaverse revolve around its applications in the gaming industry, the technology has other potential applications. Here are some potential applications for the metaverse:
The metaverse has the potential to transform the way people shop online. Three-dimensional virtual spaces can be made to resemble physical spaces and users can conduct their shopping in the virtual space using their avatars. The metaverse will slow them to “handle” products before they make a decision on whether or not they want to purchase the particular item, something that current online shopping experiences do not have. Players in the retail industry will be able to give their customers
The global pandemic has forced a change in the way education is approached and conducted. Around Africa, institutions have had to apply protocols that protect students and staff from covid-19. Part of these measures is employing different e-learning methods. While education can still be conducted through distance learning, there is an absence of critical human interaction that is vital to the progress of students, especially those in the early stages of their education. The metaverse can be a solution to this challenge as it provides educators and learners with a virtual space that has some resemblance to the physical spaces that are used in education. Video chat applications such as Zoom can also provide human interaction but they are limited in terms of the necessary replication of physical spaces.
Similar to the education sector, the metaverse has the potential to be pivotal in the future of work. Air Bnb co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, recently announced that the company now allows its employees to work from anywhere they consider best for themselves. In the same Twitter thread, he also mentioned that some of the best work is done when people are in the same room and as a result, some employees would have to be in the same working space and that they are working on a solution that allows for meaningful human connections while still allowing people to work remotely. Such a solution is what the metaverse is designed for, and it can make it easier for remote workers on the same team to share the same virtual space to increase productivity.
These are just a few examples of what the metaverse can be used for but the potential application of such a technology are limitless. It will be interesting to see how much the technology can push the boundaries of technology and what other applications can be built within the metaverse when people begin to fully utilize these virtual spaces.