Ever since Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the future technology launch of Meta (possibly Facebook’s new name) in October 2021, a lot of confusion is hovering around the whole concept of this metaverse.
When Zuckerberg suggested the name change for Facebook, it all seemed like a corporate step but the reality is quite deeper than that. The CEO of Facebook seems to be introducing a new world of virtual reality – metaverse; something beyond the real world. He claims to incorporate virtual experiences into real life with the use of advanced technology and gadgets that can blur the line between reality and imagination.
But what exactly is Metaverse?
Well, at this stage, one can only come up with various imaginations regarding the actual world of the metaverse. It sounds more like Google being introduced in the early 60s or 70s when no one had an idea of what it was. At that time, the world might have been aware of the internet but not about the power of search engines, websites, or digital marketing, for instance.
Same doubts and confusion are coming up regarding metaverse right now. Only assumptions and debates about various aspects are revolving around it. No one can clearly say what or how it will be.
Recently, Zuckerberg released a video explaining his plans for the metaverse and what it will look like. Many suggest that the video and concept were quite exaggerated as the virtual is still much developed to fully incorporate the high plans of Zuckerberg. In an explainer video, a girl, for instance, is shown to be interacting with a friend through a high-tech gadget that appears in the air (which remains to be seen in real life). The friend is shown to be present in another country, attending a concert. The girl virtually enters the concert immediately, apparently, through her hologramic appearance.
Well, this video has raised another question: are holograms being incorporated for virtual communication? But this technology is still much advanced enough to be used by every person on daily basis.
Besides, the AR and VR gadgets are too bulky and expensive that not everyone can afford them. So, is this metaverse only for the privileged ones?
There are ethical questions as well regarding this new idea; how will it affect human relations and physical contact? How will human minds evolve in the future with the onset of this idealistic world? Would it be available to all without creating a technology–based economic accessibility gap among various cultures and economic strata? Would it be sustainable to the environment? How would it impact the human health and psyche of the coming generations?
Apparently, metaverse doesn’t seem to be able to answer all these questions, at least for now.
With a lot of technological advancement surfacing every day, human life is being rapidly transformed in all areas. But metaverse seems too much more than just a name change for the social media giant that has already taken over our lives. With the announcing of another leap forward, the technology seems to be going beyond the imagination lines and stepping into a combination of a virtual and a real world.
Let’s hope this brings more peace and connection in the future rather than more division or threats of attacks.