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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Is the metaverse the next internet revolution?

Josh Kotler
Public computers in UMass Boston’s Campus Center. Photo by Josh Kotler / Mass Media Staff

The internet had two stages of revolution so far. Innovations and advancements are plenty in number, but only two revolutions. The first was “Web 1.0.” A single-sided internet where users could only view content but not respond. The second was “Web 2.0,” a complete game-changer, where users could not only receive information but respond as well. Talks of a new “Web 3.0” are taking place, and this is where the metaverse plays a huge role. 

The technologies used at the very base of the metaverse are blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Simply speaking, complete human immersion into a virtual world can happen with the help of equipment such as virtual-reality goggles for sight, sensory attachments that mimic real-life touch and other miscellaneous equipment that mimic Earth’s natural conditions. Facebook is so highly invested in this idea that they briefly considered shutting down Instagram in the EU region to use those servers for the metaverse, and Facebook has officially changed their name to “Meta.” 

The vision behind the metaverse is to incorporate real-life businesses and land into a virtual world to let users experience these from the comfort of their homes. The metaverse is already selling huge plots of virtual land for several million dollars being bought by enthusiasts all over the world. An extravagant idea of this magnitude requires a pool of resources and investments, Facebook itself is a very wealthy company, but other giant multi-national corporations who have invested in the metaverse are Microsoft, Google, Nvidia, Qualcomm and many more. It is truly exciting to see how this idea is going to pan out in the long run because it is a once-in-a-lifetime idea with its complications. Imagine trying to replicate the entire earth into a virtual platform. Sure, Google Earth did manage to do this more than a decade ago, but this brings back the question of revolution, which is the fact that Google Earth offered only one-sided information. There was a lack of interaction on Google Earth at that moment. The metaverse is going to offer interaction at any point on their virtual Earth; for instance, GAP, the clothing brand, sells their products as Non-Fungible Tokens and purchasers will also receive a physical hoodie. This puts an amazing balance of physical and digital services working hand-in-hand within the metaverse.

The metaverse capabilities are endless, not only just for shopping. You can have virtual meetings with office members by the Eiffel Tower from the comfort of your bed, or you could be attending a Justin Bieber concert while sitting on your couch. The level of immersion is constantly improving as the metaverse looks to immerse the user into their world to make the experience almost as real as the physical world. The ideology also supports a famous paradox known as “The Simulation Theory.” Many people, including Elon Musk, believe that our current Earth and universe are nothing more than a simulation.  What if we are continuing the paradox by inventing the metaverse? What if our characters in the metaverse become so artificially intelligent that they create their own metaverse? It is an extremely revolutionary vision and one that technology enthusiasts around the world are anxiously awaiting.

About the Contributors
Preetan Natesh, News Writer
Josh Kotler, Photographer