It’s probable that the 2D internet that we all use today will seem absurdly antiquated in 50 years.
Not only will the internet likely no longer exist behind a screen, but it is probable that we will interact with it differently.
We’ll manipulate objects using augmented reality (AR), explore virtual-reality (VR) worlds, and meld the real and the digital in ways we can currently not imagine.
And what will that mean for the world of work? We are already transitioning away from the nine-to-five commute, and turning our backs on the traditional office setting. This is thanks to two years of pandemic lockdowns, and a newfound love of, or tolerance for, virtual meetings.
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So will the logical next step be working in the metaverse, the planned virtual universe where cartoon-like 3D representations of everyone will walk around, and talk and interact with others?
The metaverse has become an over-hyped term, so it’s important to note that it doesn’t actually yet exist. And even those invested in the concept disagree about exactly what it will be.
Will rival virtual worlds interconnect in a way that simply doesn’t happen at the moment between competing technologies? Will we spend more time there than in the real world? Will we need entirely new rules to govern these new spaces?
None of these questions have answers yet, but that hasn’t stopped a barrage of interest and hyperbole as firms see a new way of making money.
We’ve seen businesses opening in nascent metaverse worlds, from Meta’s Horizon Worlds, to games such as Roblox and Fortnite, and newly created lands like Sandbox and Decentraland.
Meanwhile, Nike now sells virtual trainers, HSBC owns land in Sandbox, and Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton and Sotheby’s have presences in Decentraland.
The term metaverse was coined nearly 30 years ago by author Neal Stephenson. In his book Snow Crash, the hero finds a better life for himself in a virtual reality world.
Perhaps the boldest move to make that fiction into real technology came in October 2021.
That’s when Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta and started to invest billions of dollars turning itself into a metaverse-first firm – a vision very much led by its founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg.
Continue from BBC