Get off the internet, enter the metaverse – your 3D online future

FifthVenture capitalist Matthew Ball first wrote about the metaverse in 2018 and his articles have become essential reading for entrepreneurs and tech watchers trying to understand or take advantage of Mark Zuckerberg’s network and many others expect it to replace the internet. Paul is the former head of strategy at Amazon Studios and his first book, metaverse: How He. She Will Revolutioncostume everythingto be published later in July.

What is the The metaverses?
It is a static network of three-dimensional spaces. Almost everything on the Internet today – all applications, digital operating systems, and web pages – runs on common protocols and technology that connects them. The metaverse is a 3D elevation of the online world, which extends to augmented reality – an invisible virtual simulation of the world around us – as well as much consumer leisure and socialization.

So Metaverse does not mean virtual Reality (VR)?
I think it’s important to separate access devices and specific experiences from the metaverse in general. A good analogy would be to talk about the mobile internet: apps are not the mobile internet. Not only can you access the mobile internet from a web browser, but you can do it without any visual interface at all. You can say: “Hey Siri, what time is it now?” And you connect to the mobile Internet from your phone. VR or AR (augmented reality) headsets may be a common way to access the metaverse, but they’re not a prerequisite.

Would you describe anything that exists today with an extension metaverses?
The closest examples are consumer gaming platforms like Minecraft or Roblox: popular experiences that reach tens of millions of people daily, tightly merging millions of different virtual worlds. But this is still fairly modest and it would be a bit like characterizing the GeoCities, Yahoo or AOL portal from the 1990s as a manifestation of the Internet as we know it today.

The computer game Second Life is seen as a pioneer in the metaverse. Photography: Friedrich Stark / Alami

Going back well beyond Minecraft, Second Life of the online virtual world is often thought of as the primitive metaverse. What distinguishes it from the real thing?
It’s a good example. Second Life refers to the fact that this is not a new idea. In my book, I talk about the fact that the term comes from 30 years ago, but the theory and early literature about it spanned nearly a century. One of the most important and successful examples was Second Life. It had a relatively self-contained economy where users could transact between each other by paying a tax rather than mediating through the platform. It was designed around unstructured play, and there was no purpose to the game. It was about what you wanted to do and express with the people around you.

But it is also important to compare it today. Second Life was at its peak around 2006 and had a few million monthly users. It is very possible Immediately Roblox has more on the platform. Part of that reflects fundamental improvements in the ease of creativity: We’ve gone from something that amateurs and professional hobbyists can do to something that an infant can do. And so in Second Life, we not only see the bloodline of the metaverse, but we can also trace the path. Over time, the capabilities of these platforms grow, the time and reach of these platforms increases, and so does their economic value.

Should we expect the messy equation to be a chaotic utopia?
There are those who believe that this is the end of the nation-state civilization and society, but I think this is unlikely. The combination of the increased influence of regional players as well as increased government regulation is likely to result in a stronger regional identity.

The Internet is based on pipes in the ground, and pipes in the ground are a physical infrastructure installed in national borders. That’s why Kuwait can shut down the internet if it so chooses. That is why Middle Eastern and Asian governments can choose to block certain opportunities and access to information platforms. Regulation [of the internet] It is getting stronger and more different globally every year. As more culture moves online, we tend to discover that the businesses best able to cater to relevant business opportunities are local businesses.

What problems must be resolved before we see something begin to approach your vision?
We are at a stage where we do not have agreements. There is no English, no US dollars, no metric system, and no multimodal shipping container. And so when we want to participate in the virtual world, we often can’t. Expanding it is now a top priority.

What real world problems does he do metaverse actually solved?
In many, if not almost all cases, having an immersive 3D environment is a much more intuitive and productive way to communicate information and ideas. Humans have not evolved for thousands of years to touch two-dimensional interfaces.

We know in education, for example, that Zoom’s school hasn’t been particularly compelling and that YouTube videos aren’t the best way to learn. So that we can understand the potential advantages of immersive education: getting into the circulatory system, building the Rube Goldberg machine [one that accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated way possible]Crossing different gravity environments, or learning physical therapy, not by watching a video screen, but by using tactile sensors with 3D representation and gait analysis. We can certainly conclude that certain elements of that will enrich our experience, and will have a better effect than the current internet.

Matthew Paul:
Matthew Ball: “Many of the fundamental problems of the mobile and cloud age will be exacerbated in the metaverse.” Photography: Gabor Gorina

I work hard in the book to talk about the basic techniques and their effectiveness. This is because technology is fundamentally iterative. There was no understanding of TCP/IP [transmission control protocol/internet protocol] or the internet in 1995 that would lead you to understand, believe in or vividly envision life in 2022: TikTok’s role on the Billboard charts; The importance of temporary messages, filters and emojis for one of the largest communication platforms in the world; Commission-free stock trading role during the pandemic. This is because what happens in all technological eras is that a new technology is created that shows or reveals a basic behavior.

Will people do their banking and apply for a mortgage in the metaverse? Or are there some things that you think will remain 2D Internet only?
We will continue to do a ton in 2D. In fact, we have a clear case study for that, which is how much we still do on computers rather than mobile devices, and how much we do using our landline internet rather than our mobile phone. It’s very likely that emails, phone calls, and quick texting will still be better in 2D, or at least for the foreseeable future, but when it comes to digital banking, or applying for a permit, there are really areas we can see some of. This progress. Here is the volumetric video, or what many might call a 3D drawing. There is a classic line from nerve cancer, one of the first science fiction novels to focus on the ideas of the metaverse, which says that the future does exist – it’s not evenly distributed. The hologram is here and the proceeds from it are extraordinary. We see a 30-50% increase in memory retention with 3D video, a 30-50% increase in nonverbal communication, and a 20-30% increase in eye contact. And so in the coming years, we shouldn’t be surprised to find 3D renderings at the DMV [local office of the US department of motor vehicles]high-end fashion retailer and more.

Are there any ethical concerns we should consider now, not after there are a billion users?
In 2022, we still face many fundamental issues from the age of mobile and cloud: data rights, data security, data literacy, platform strength, platform regulation, misinformation, extremism, the role of algorithms in our daily lives, online happiness Toxic and harassment. And all of them will be exacerbated in metaverses.

In many cases, the few lessons we learned will become more difficult. Moderation in 3D space requires different techniques and different policies for moderation in 2D text. One of the challenges here is that many of the biggest problems of the social age were unanticipated and actually required a great deal of testing.

One of the primary goals of my book is to give voters, users, developers, consumers and regulators a better view of what the future is likely to be so that we can positively influence this outcome. Big tech companies are rushing in the opposite direction because we know what’s happening during a platform transformation: companies driving change; business models that thrive and change; The philosophies that are supported, change. And if they know this future is on the horizon, then at that point, during the transformation of the platform, we as consumers have the opportunity to choose who is driving and how. This is a very difficult course. Very few of us will change our smartphone provider, very few of us will change social network companies, and very few of us will change the content networks we consume. But during platform transformations, we have that opportunity.

How confident are you in this future will pass?
There are things we can be sure of. I’m pretty sure that we will increasingly use 3D simulation to build and operate the world around us. We already use it to design and operate cities, airports, and more today. The Ready player one– A cool version of the future, where we go to school, collect virtual coins, wear our favorite skin – this is the least important and least expected aspect of our future.

We might find that most of what you’ve written happens but it’s very likely that we don’t use the term metaverse: we might just be talking about the internet, we might say the 3D internet, and we might be talking about an entirely different word entirely. I am also sure that an ever-increasing share of our time, work, leisure, spending, wealth, happiness, activities, and learning will take place within virtually simulated or virtually supported environments. This is the basic revolution. Exactly what that means on a daily basis, exactly what it means at 5 p.m. when you get home from work – that’s not certain.

  • Metaverse: How it’s going to revolutionize everything By Matthew Ball Posted by WW Norton & Co on 19 July (£22). to support guardian And the observer Request your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply

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