Metaverse is likely to be playing an active role in virtual Realm: how “Ready player one movies have been portrayed?”. By simply wearing the VR glasses one can enter into the virtual world and make money through winning virtual car races in that virtual world. Many companies have devoted themselves to connecting their business with Metaverse. Many countries have established new rules to work safely under Metaverse. Are they really guessing/predicting the big impact of Metaverse in the future? Let us unravel the idea of Metaverse: what exactly Metaverse is and its application in various sectors
Metaverse would be a fascinating 3d world and we humans connect using high end internet connection with VR / AR gadgets. Imagine a virtual world where you can have a second chance to live as you wish. One can buy an avatar character that looks like how he dreams to be and can-do job, business and live like in the real world. The term Metaverse was used in games long ago but recently it became popular because Mark Zuckerberg has renamed his FACEBOOK brand name as Meta. According to experts in the field, The Metaverse will have a big market in the next 10 years. It is a new emerging field that still requires more powerful machines and speed internet to visualize and feel.
“Second life” Virtual World released in 2003 is a good example for early Metaverse which was much like playing a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer online Role-playing game) gameplay. The main attraction was users can create their own character virtually called as “Avatar” and start exploring the world, meet other player avatars and interact with those Virtual residents.
Generally, Metaverse means 3D internet (Providing the content in 3D visuals). Particularly people in future will access the internet via Virtual Reality gadgets like VR headsets and Augmented Reality. Truly a life immersed experience based on the Virtual world are created using advanced technologies. Imagine a ZOOM meeting where people conduct meetings with their images/video could be replaced by their avatar in a virtual place.
Metaverse, Virtual reality and Augmented Reality are the same?
Virtual reality is an experience where the user travels into the virtual world completely made up of Computer codes. We do this by using gadgets like VR glass and tracker etc. AR means bringing those digital assets into the real world (enhanced version of VR). It adds digital information on top of the real-world objects / environment. Virtual reality delivers an experience in the artificial world where Metaverse is one such independent artificial world.
Though the complete version of Metaverse has not yet arrived for public use, the companies have started framing the modules required for uplifting their business through Metaverse.
Companies like Nuke have already created an application Swoosh where users can experience their product via VR gadgets and competitions to participate like codesign products with Nuke’s staff via 3D internet.
Former Facebook company has started its pre-mature version of Metaverse gameplay. One requires an Oculus Quest (VR gadget) and Facebook account to experience the virtual world.
Famous companies like Nvidia which is considered to be Mighty God in the Graphics world have started building its own 3D shared Virtual Universe platform OmniVerse. Indian based online shopping Application Flipkart has started building their business in Metaverse.
Metaplay will be a virtual wallet that lets the people who use Metaverse buy land in the digital world and run e commerce there.
Before understanding what, is Digital Scarcity, one should get to know what is Digital Abundance? In the real world, assets like gold, land etc. has a potential value and one have their own limitations to hold possessions. Comparing this with Digital world, All the assets are made up of lines of codes. Copying these codes and generating many duplicate assets is very easy. There is a chance of copying someone else’s hard work like Songs and painting. Hence the Internet has created a standard to prevent digital Piracy to proliferate.
Firstly, add a value to the goods available in Digital World and Secondly ownership of those products should be identifiable to get entry in a digital ledger. Blockchain Technology is involved in creating such Digital Ledger where it stores all the transactions electronically in a digital format.
Also, Normal real-world currencies like Dollar, Euro, Rupees are controlled by Government authority. Bitcoin is a popular crypto currency and Digital payment system. It is built in a way that it is decentralized and independent from any Government.
To run this decentralized system, we should build a structure that can verify and authenticate any digital transaction. In the real world this is done by the Banks, but in the Digital world this is done by a technology called Blockchain. Decentralized blockchains are immutable, which means all the data entered are irreversible. Like in Bitcoin all the transactions made were permanently maintained as a chain and viewed by anyone.
What is the Nvidia omniverse doing?
Popular Graphic chipset company Nvidia has released a new set of tools to connect the 3D virtual world to collaborate and communicate. An omniverse can be used as plumbing where the metaverse is built on. It is a toolkit to build a 3d Virtual world like metaverse and then link both the physical as well as Virtual world to interact.
Omniverse uses a combination of technologies like AI (to quickly create and modify a 3D content), Physx (a physics engine to create a real-world scenario), MDL (to create photorealistic accurate visual looks of the assets look like real world), RTX (hardware processor dedicated for graphical works like simulate real time lights and shadow) and USD (a framework to interchange the 3D data).
Omniverse is based on three aspects:
- Nucleus: Omniverse Nucleus is a database engine which connects users and enables them to create and interchange 3D assets. Once connected, designers can do Modeling, texturing, animation and special effects collaborate to create a scene. Multiple users are able to connect with Nucleus.
- Second aspect is the composition, rendering and simulation engine to mimic Real World scenarios. Set of programs written to create photorealistic assets in real time and simulate them in real time using the latest RTX cards (photorealistic results will take hours/ week to render a single scene has now become real time within a seconds).
- Third one is CloudXR where this digital realistic content can be delivered to user systems / android devices hassle free.
Omniverse is fully integrated with NVIDIA AI, which is core to advancing robotics, self-driving vehicles, etc. Omniverse is cloud-native, scales across multiple GPUs, runs on any RTX platform, and streams remotely on any device. “You can teleport into the Omniverse with virtual reality, and AI can teleport out of the Omniverse with augmented reality,” as per NVIDIA.
Omniverse offers us to take part in the development of autonomous machinery and self-driving vehicles, stunning 3D design technologies and engaging simulations, acceleration of AI usage and industrial automation.
The Omniverse contains an infinite number of universes whereas the Metaverse and Multiverse consist of finite universes. It is similar to watching the same object in a different perspective. The Metaverse is a similar interconnected space while the multiverse is a collection of unrelated universes. Omniverse on the other hand is a sum of all realities present in both the metaverse and Multiverse concepts.
Apparently, there is an abundant growth and income aspect in this concept, many top leading companies are racing to find their place in Omniverse. Companies like Meta, Google and Microsoft are in the leading race. NFT (nonfungible token) are considered to be experimental investments in the Metaverse whose value cannot be replaced or transferred compared with Crypto currency. Hence it is used in Digital arts, gaming etc. NFT in the metaverse plays an important role in the rapidly growing crypto economy. The major setback in metaverse evolution is lack of interoperability where each platform remains fragmented and fails to connect with another one.
There are some health issues and privacy issues concerning metaverse growth. Metaverse being the future internet has a concern about tracking the individual’s private data like tracking someone’s emotions in a particular object or product. Also using VR headset longtime may lead to VR Hangover phenomenon and Post VR sadness. Virtual Avatars are used in Metaverse then tracing the violators real identity becomes more challenging during any Digital crime issues. Certainly, it will provide a chance for the kids to play more violent games (could lead to desensitization to their behaviors) and replicate the same level of violence in the real world too.
Currently Metaverse is in its preliminary stage. To access this technology, we need to afford expensive gadgets like oculus quest or Samsung gear or HTC vive headsets and trackers. There is a huge group targeted for metaverse business similar to how we get engaged in social media platforms presently. In the future, all business, sales, ecommerce and money transactions can be done using the metaverse. There must be some strict protocols to be followed and laws to be established to avoid piracy and digital crime issues.
Author Thilak Kumar Devaraj-
Assistant Lecturer -ISBAT University