Technological explosions in the last decade have pushed the digital world with the integration of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of things, Cloud computing infrastructure, and virtual reality which are becoming the major part of individual lives and as well as a growing adoption by businesses to capitalized the fairly new market. Metaverse is the same revolutionary concept that is paving its way into reality with highly sophisticated technological infrastructure, decentralized web platforms, and integration of blockchain-level security further creating a base for Metaverse. The Metaverse is a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to enable users to interact virtually. Augmented Reality superimposes visual, acoustic, and other sensory inputs into real-world environments to improve the user experience. Metaverse was firstly used in the gaming sector with virtual reality interactive games in which popularity has grown into the use of metaverse in different branches and possess high potential emerging platform in coming decade.
Key driving factors of Metaverse
User Experience in the metaverse is the main feature through which user gets to real life-like experience and feel sensations via AR, VR, and MR-based devices. Metaverse is generally used in applications such as Gaming, social Media, Esports, Theatres, and shopping marketplace. The games will continue to evolve to incorporate more events with live entertainment, such as the music concerts and immersive theatre that have already sprung up in Fortnight, Roblox, and Rec Room. Sports and online communities are complemented by social entertainment. Meanwhile the traditional industries. like travel, education, and live performances, they are being redesigned around game thinking and the virtual economy of abundance.
Emergence spatial computing by using Artificial Intelligence and three-dimensional spaces which can able to augment the real world into digital. Spatial computing has grown into a large technology category that enables to enter and manipulate 3D spaces and expand the real world with more information and experience. 3D engines to display geometry and animation allows user to experience the different dimensional perspectives and sound effects which can be exhilarating in metaverse gaming.
Decentralized technologies such as Blockchain, Web3, Cryptocurrency, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTS) are the major contributor in the metaverse development. Blockchain technology allows the exchange of values between software, sovereign identity, and new ways of separating and grouping content and currencies which is a big part of decentralization. With the advent of NFTs and blockchains optimized for the kind of microtransactions that gaming and metaverse experiences require, the Metaverse market is expected to wave of innovation in decentralized markets and applications for gaming assets as well.
Exponential growth in the components and hardware can enable to access the metaverse platform via desktop, mobile or Mixed Reality devices. Leading tech companies are heavily investing in the development of sophisticated hardware to ensure enhanced user experience and surreal virtual experience. Hi-Fidelity hardware enables to run the application seamlessly. Leading manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, Microsoft with advanced technological know-how develop AR-VR headsets, sensors, and haptic devices which can provide a reality-like experience in the virtual world. Designing and developing such devices involves hardware and software advances and integration of Artificial Intelligence allows developers to create innovative solutions to produce superior hardware. High functioning hardware enables VR experience without glitches and lags and holds the core of any device-related to metaverse products.
Challenges in Metaverse
Data and Cyber Security: Data and Security are considered key challenges in Metaverse Market. Although companies and organizations continue to revolutionize their IT security systems, data protection and security have been a concern for users in any online environment. Diving into the metaverse requires evolving security practices on a whole new level. To keep up with the ever-growing space of the metaverse, new personal data and privacy protection methods must be developed that can guarantee the security of identity and possession of one in the virtual world. However, personal verification could result in users having to provide more personal information than is currently expected to identify themselves and ensure that the security system is working efficiently and personal information is safe.
Property ownership in Metaverse: Metaverse offers the opportunity to purchase and hold possession of various items and assets. NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) have picked up their pace of growth in popularity and have been making headlines in 2021 attracting more investors and users to the digital assets and tokens. In a similar way to how NFTs currently represent real-world objects, granting and proving the ownership rights for art, music, videos, and much more, the challenge will be in creating a unified system that could be used to verify the possessors of virtual assets in the Metaverse. Many leading brands are marketing and selling their products virtually in the metaverse by offering the user to own virtual products with different verity. Gucci sells sneakers in metaverse which users can own virtually only. Such virtual transactions can possess a potential threat to virtual scams or identification of the possession of an item due to the non-existence of regulation and redressal mechanism.
Payment System: Metaverse is a decentralized platform with a lot of loose ends making it flexible as well as a potential threat on the payments and buying and selling transactions. The metaverse market is driven by blockchain-based cryptocurrencies and NFTs which allow them to possess virtual items in the metaverse. Although Blockchain provides highly secure decentralized transactions, due to the lack of an authoritarian body, such a market seems venerable for the general user which can be a major challenge in the metaverse. Regardless of currency and market format, transactions need to develop a new system for verifying individual transactions. The challenge is to convince users that they can trust and most importantly feel safe when making a trade within the Metaverse.
Competitiveness in Metaverse
Currently, the Metaverse market is at a developing stage with majorly red ocean companies are investing heavily to develop their own metaverse space. With the growing popularity in AR and VR, Metaverse holds the highest prospects with the virtual world that can be utilized in interactive gaming, avatar creating, virtual marketplaces, and virtual business meeting potential creates a highly lucrative market. Meta is expected to invest USD 10 billion in the development of Metaverse. Microsoft, Decentraland, NVIDIA are the leading competitor in the metaverse market which are pushing the augmented reality industry standards. With the development of the metaverse, substitute products related to metaverse is likely to grow as hardware and component manufacturer of VR and AR headsets, Mixed reality gears, and VR googles. Bolly Heroes, OneCare, LOKA developing virtual worlds in-game built on 3D maps of real-world towns and places. This supports the growing gaming industry around metaverse can create a futuristic gaming experience in the metaverse
Recent developments in Metaverse
- September 2021, Hyundai Motor partnered with Roblox to create ‘Hyundai Mobility Adventure’ which is a metaverse space offering form of avatars, digital characters representing the participating players. Hyundai Mobility Adventure was developed with Roblox – A pioneer in online game platforms and game creation systems.
- September 2021, Vans Collaborated with Roblox to develop ‘Vans World’ Stake park experience in Roblox developed Metaverse where customized created avatars can socialize and practice skateboarding virtually.
- December 2021, Adidas Originals announced a partnership with Bored Ape Yacht Club and Pixel Vaults Punks Comic to develop the metaverse space. Bored Ape Yacht Club and Pixel Vaults Punks Comic are the two prominent players in NFT space that aims to develop the metaverse space for Adidas originals
Metaverse possesses the massive potential to become a highly capitalized platform with many leading companies which are investing heavily into exploring the use of metaverse from a social and business perspective. Constant development in augmented reality and virtual reality creates a viable opportunity for metaverse growth as Covid19 has pushed the general population as well as businesses into a digitally active lifestyle which can be a great environment to float the concept of metaverse at mass. The growing adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based platforms enables a secure and widely connected virtual world which holds high potential for metaverse to grow exponentially over the next decade.