The tech industry has invested billions into the metaverse concept, with some of this investment already yielding tangible items. Companies like Microsoft and Meta that have already created augmented and virtual reality devices.
With many analysts proposing that the metaverse is set to become a trillion dollar industry, it’s clear that key innovations need to occur before this sector explodes. What exactly needs to happen for mainstream metaverse adoption?
Allow our team to explain what we mean by each of these key points; let’s start with immersiveness.
A core concept of the metaverse is that it will be a fully immersive experience – making it somewhat difficult to distinguish the virtual world from the real one. In order for this to occur, metaverse devices like haptic gloves need to become cheaper and more accessible.
At this point in time, the cheapest headset devices are still hovering in the couple hundred US dollar range, which limits accessibility by making it unaffordable to many.
While these devices are impressive – mainly due to their built-in sensors and processors – many still find them uncomfortable to wear; additionally, the current devices don’t provide a fully immersive experience. For example 3D spatial audio is available with these devices however users aren’t able to experience many key sensations like smell and touch.
Once these devices become widely accessible and increasingly advanced in the capabilities they have, more people will be willing to try out a ‘virtual world’ as this will make the metaverse a more engaging experience – and therefore more fun.
Cloud storage and bandwidth are two core infrastructure related concepts our team covered in our guide to investing in the metaverse; that article can be found here.
The core cloud storage needed for the pinnacle metaverse (one that is widely used) is not here; this is simply because of the sheer amount of data that needs to be stored – this includes data for worlds that makeup the metaverse, audio files, 3D models, and much more.
Once metaverse users are able to pick up where they left off, having their avatar as well as other essential pieces of information be saved, more people will be willing to join.
Moving on to bandwidth; the bandwidth required for the metaverse is simply not widely available.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred at a given point in time; this means if there are 1 million users at a given place in the metaverse, all users will be able to see each other and have the option to interact.
This is currently not possible, we have seen this with games like Fortnite when Travis Scott had a concert. Of the 12 million people in attendance, only a limited number of people were able to witness the event together (in the same server).
All viewers were split into different servers, constrained to say 100 people, instead of witnessing the event together as a true metaverse experience. If you logged on with hopes of attending the concert with your colleague or cousin, it was incredibly unlikely you would have been able to find one another and share the experience.
Other regulations like how disputes will be solved also need to be established and widely understood for the metaverse to function as an optimal and enjoyable virtual experience. Additionally, basic laws about what can and can’t be done need to be enshrined and participants need to be educated to ensure users don’t see the metaverse as an opportunity to run rampant.
Our final point regarding the need of compelling reasons to get people interested in the metaverse brings us to the next section of our article.
What Is The Main Weakness Of The Metaverse?
The main weakness of the metaverse – aside from the need for technological advancements that we previously discussed – is that people lack interest in the idea; this is because there is currently a lack of compelling reasons to partake in the metaverse.
Grouped into technological advancements is interoperability which can be thought of as the ability to transport your avatar and items across all virtual worlds. This is something many people find compelling and is a by-product of NFTs; NFTs allow you to prove you own a digital item to any interested party with access to the relevant blockchain.
In addition to technological advancements, there is a need for a creator economy and the tools to give people the freedom to effectively and efficiently build out their ideas in a virtual setting. These two aspects are missing in existing metaverses, and were they to be present, they would expedite the speed at which the metaverse is built – especially from a casual participant’s standpoint.
Since the metaverse is envisioned to be a social experience, technological advancements with regards to real time language and text-to-voice translation need to be developed.
Without real time translation, language barriers vastly limit people’s opportunity to explore different areas of the metaverse and therefore limit capabilities. An example of this is Russians only being able to speak with other Russians – or people who speak Russian – in the metaverse.
Aside from these technological advancements, there are social and cultural barriers to the metaverse as again, there is currently a lack of reasons for people to partake in these virtual worlds.
In our article about the different sectors that the metaverse will affect, which can be found here, our team talked about the learning process being expedited – especially for industries that are dangerous.
With surgeons being able to practice surgery via image overlay – which is achieved through augmented reality – a real, compelling reason to partake in the metaverse arises.
Without these types of compelling reasons – like advanced levels of education that are unavailable without augmented and virtual reality and a fully immersive experience where people can meet/get to know each other – interest in the metaverse will be a problem.
All these developments that need to happen before mainstream adoption – so when is that going to happen?
What Year Will Be The Pinnacle Of The Metaverse?
It’s impossible to say when the pinnacle of the metaverse or metaverses will occur as many technological advancements including compelling use cases need to occur before mainstream adoption happens. That being said, these pitfalls are being addressed at an astonishing rate.
Tech conglomerates have expedited this development through the stunning amount of money that is being invested into the idea; some of the major players include investments from Meta, Google and Microsoft.
The exact year for the peak version of the metaverse is impossible to say; this is because the growth of the augmented and virtual reality field plays a major role as well as the way consumer behavior changes over time (amongst many other factors).
One thing we know is that the development of new technologies progresses at an astonishingly fast rate – especially when large companies are investing meaningful resources into an idea.
If you would like to see how far the development of the metaverse has come, we’d recommend you check out our article covering the history of metaverse technology and games.
This leads us to the final section of our article: will there ever be a metaverse?
Will The Metaverse Be A Flop?
As a general statement, it’s impossible to say if the metaverse will thrive or be a flop; however it is incredibly unlikely the metaverse will be a flop given the amount of resources being invested into the idea by top companies. The metaverse has clear potential to improve education and entertainment – however it remains unclear exactly how the metaverse will be adopted into our everyday lives.
The metaverse is set to be a trillion dollar industry, but how the metaverse will evolve and change is something we will have to wait in order to find out.
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