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Metaverse: An Introduction to the Latest Tech Fad

Jan 13, 2022

Metaverse: An Introduction to the Latest Tech Fad

You must have heard the word 'metaverse' floating around these days.

It's everywhere. Literally.

But, if you are like most people, you are wondering...

What exactly is it?

Let's try to understand this today...

The metaverse is an extension of our real world into the digital realm.

It is a space where you can do everything you do in this real world, on the internet.

And...many more things that would not be possible in the real world.

Now, before we move ahead, you should know that the metaverse is not an entirely new concept.

It has been around for a while now, with a more primitive name - the internet.

How is the metaverse different from the internet?

The current metaverse we are talking about is a fictional iteration of the internet, created by 3D graphic design, and supported by the help of augmented and virtual reality.

Let's understand what these terms actually mean in real life...

Augmented Reality (AR) is when a computer (or other appliance or gadget) superimposes a graphic onto a real-world space, on your screen.

The infamous game PokemonGo is an example of this - where one opens their camera and scans neighbouring spaces and finds digital avatars in various places.

PokemonGo - A Perfect Example of Augmented Reality


In short, it is the addition of virtual/graphic features onto a real-life space, viewed on the screen of your digital device.

Virtual reality (VR) on the other hand is simply a simulated environment i.e. the whole thing is made up. It could mimic a real space or even one that is not present in reality. For e.g. video games like Mario Run.

What the metaverse does is that it integrates both AR and VR to create a whole new digital universe allowing endless possibilities.

Now that you have a brief idea of what the metaverse is, let's find out how it will change the world as we know it.

Start with something that you and I are constantly engaged in...

Banking in the metaverse

Imagine...

Walking into the neighbourhood branch of your bank...

Taking a seat in the premier waiting area for select bank customers...

Being greeted by your personal bank representative...

...and then conducting your business.

And then when all is said and done...you say your goodbyes.

But then...instead of navigating back home...all you do is simply take off your headset...or change your screen browser...and, while still sitting in your home office, in your PJs probably, you plan your next visit.

That's going to be your typical banking 'metaverse' experience in the future.

In fact, South Korea's KB Kookmin bank has already done this. It's one of the first financial institutions to carry this out.

You can walk down the bank's hallway and VIP lounge via simulation. Personalised financial interactions continue as usual. This is accessed via a VR headset.

The future is already here.

Now imagine how your other interactions with the outside world could change...

All from the comfort of your home.

And this is just the tip of the metaverse.

In the metaverse, you will also live "virtually".

Yes, there will be effectively two 'yous'...or maybe even more!

One, in the real world.

Another, in the metaverse...

Let that sink in for a moment.

Your alternate life

Let's go back to the banking example above.

Now when you walked into the premier lounge of the bank...you probably imagined yourself to be any virtual character. The kind you see in any video game for instance.

However, the truth is that in the full metaverse experience, that virtual avatar is you.

Yes, verifiably you.

In the metaverse you will actually have an alternate life.

You will have a home, you will have a job, you will earn money et cetera...basically everything that you do in the real world.

We know. It's a lot to take in.

But this is what companies are betting billions and billions of dollars on. Meta (earlier Facebook) alone has committed US$10 bn to this.

Let's take one aspect of this alternate life that we all engage with very day to dig in a little deeper in the Metaverse.

Let's check out virtual real estate

Now if you are living an alternate life in the metaverse, you need real estate...

...to build your home...

to do your business...

to do your shopping...

to attend concerts and cricket matches...

and everything else.

Well, if you thought is going to be a problem, you are in for a surprise.

Already, there is a booming virtual real estate market in the metaverse.

Millions of dollars are being spent to purchase virtual land in the metaverse.

By people like you who may want to build a home.

Or for instance by companies who want to sell you something.

In fact, luxury goods companies like Louis Vuitton and Gucci are spending money hand over fist to set up shops to sell you 'virtual' luxury goods to your virtual self!

If you are someone like us...all this may seem a tad crazy.

But the fact is it's happening. And if one were to believe the Zuckerbergs of the world, this is going to be the next big thing.

What else is in the metaverse?

The metaverse is virtual banking and the virtual real estate and everything else you and I know as real-life people.

It's too much to be explained in any one single note.

In fact, it will probably take an entire series of Britannia Encyclopedias to understand its scope and purpose.

For now, we recommend you let your imagination run wild. The truth is that whatever you may come up with, is going to be probably real, in the virtual world.

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