By Sumit Goswami
While the metaverse bridges the physical and virtual worlds through innovations in hardware and; software, It needs a lot of innovations at all levels. In this process, the metaverse will create new industries and new ways of working and engaging with others.
The real world today is grappling with many issues ranging from biodiversity loss and species extinction, hunger crisis, covid 19, a war in Ukraine, terrorism, rising oil prices, inflation, water scarcity, and unprecedented environmental changes leading to disasters like a rise in temperature, floods, landslides, and children’s health and education. This is not a comprehensive list but it pretty much covers all the issues we are facing in the modern tech-driven world today.
Technologies like AI, machine learning, cloud computing, IoT, robotics, clean energy, quantum computing, telemedicine, etc are in many ways trying to solve such global issues through their innovative use cases and application. Fuel cell-powered vehicles, electric cars, and innovative battery technologies are all contributing toward zero emission. Manufacturing units are looking at adopting green ammonia and green hydrogen for their internal energy requirements. A combination of robotics and AI are used in precision farming. Precision farming uses data analytics and AI to ensure the right decisions for soil and crop management. Robotics and GPS help collect and map field data to improve crop quality and profitability.
Robotic automated systems are being used for weeding, harvesting, and spraying Operations. Artificial Intelligence is being widely used for various healthcare use cases like improving diagnosis, predicting and preventing the spread of communicable diseases, enhancing patient and health system engagement, powering surgical robots, and improving health system efficiency.
Application of technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, IOT evolved over time as companies and individuals started realising the real-time benefits. Today most of them are being widely used across industries, sectors, countries, and demographics to solve real-world problems. It is gained acceptance and is now integrated as an important part of the technology ecosystem.
As per an article on educba,” machines avoid human errors, machines do not suffer from lapses in concentration or defects in sight. They have faster access to larger stores of information”.
What is metaverse?
Metaverse is a technology that reduces the gap between the real and virtual world by using a combination of augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain. During covid and post covid, the need for real-time experience in a virtual world emerged leading to the evolution of the Metaverse. The triage of technology aims to bring back the connection and experience that we were longing for during the covid era.
As per an article on futurelearn.com, “a virtual world is a three-dimensional virtual space that people, objects and locations can populate”. Using the concept of the virtual world, the metaverse tries to mimic the real world by replacing real objects, human beings, and personas with three-dimensional objects, figurines, avatars, and spaces.
The functioning of the metaverse requires the use of various technologies in tandem or in different combinations. Some of the technologies being widely used by Metaverse are augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, IOT, spatial technologies etc. On the back end, Metaverse would need high-speed data infrastructure, devices, applications, and the content ecosystem.
The word Metaverse was coined by Neal Stephenson – the writer of 1992’s snow crash. He thought of Metaverse as the convergence point of most media, computing, and communication technologies. Well, the concept of the Metaverse is indeed intriguing and many technologists say that this will shape the future of the internet. Web2.0 saw a gradual progression from the first version of the internet by supporting interactive applications like social media, intuitive search, and e-commerce as consumers and transactions moved online. As social media and search grew in terms of adoption and use cases, the need for decentralization and security started becoming important. In web 2.0, most of the internet is owned by giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Our data and privacy is controlled by them and we hardly can edit or manage our preferences.
Web3.0 is expected to change the way we use the internet today. We expect this to be portable and personal, semantic web, decentralised, more secure, enhanced user control on experience and behaviour, and a virtual world that almost mimics the real world using the Metaverse technology. Metaverse will not replace web2.0 but it will enhance the web3.0 experience.
The technology used to solve real-world problems does not require innovation or out-of-the-box thinking but a radical approach that harnesses technology to bring about change. Metaverse has the capability to bring about that change, it has the ability to change the way we work, interact, consume and transact. If the virtual world experience can be immersive, inclusive, and as real as the real world, then the need for real offices, offline events, shopping malls, etc may reduce drastically thus reducing our need to commute and consume energy.
Many companies like Google have adopted Metaverse by launching the concept of collaboration hubs. Such hubs improve employee engagement and boost innovation. Many companies are adopting the hub and spoke office concept to better manage real estate and office spaces. They have done this by adopting customized forms of Metaverse to suit their business requirements ensuring minimum disruption and maximizing profitability and engagement. Let us embrace Metaverse to bring a change in how we work, interact and transact. Let us not be just a fad but a game-changer to user in a new normal.
The author is the managing director of India with Renew Global