The term “metaverse” originated in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash as a combination of the terms “meta” and “universe.” The development of the metaverse is often linked to the advancement of virtual reality technology because of the growing need for immersion. In 2021 Facebook changed its name and gave life to Meta, the real metaverse. But defining what the Metaverse is, may not be the easiest operation in the world. The Metaverse is a concept that goes beyond just the reality of social networks and it’s something much wider. Facebook has always been a company created to connect people; the metaverse is a new phase of this project in which social experiences and future technologies are mixed. Trying to put it in simple words it’s simply a virtual universe of which a wide range of initiatives from video games to social networks are part of.
The first thing the Facebook founder insists on is the desire to develop an even more immersive social environment in which the possibility of a form of digital teleportation (“teleport as a hologram”) becomes both an additional relational possibility and an environmental opportunity (“reduce your carbon footprint”). For this to be possible, it must be usable by a very diverse family of technologies. At the moment when one thinks of the Metaverse, the first thing that comes to mind are virtual reality viewers, which already allow one to enter hyper-realistic virtual worlds.
But this will be only one of the ways in which people will be able to have access to the Metaverse: it is expected that, in the future, phones, tablets, PCs and laptops will be additional points of access, although there is a need to take into account the infrastructure that will enable this. The ultimate goal of the Metaverse is the existence of a parallel virtual reality where everyone has his or her own avatar who can go shopping, to work, play, socialize.. The central idea is that the metaverse will not be created by a single company, but by a system of creators and developers whose productions will have to be interoperable so as to unlock creative economic potential.
Indeed, the Metaverse will be an ever-expanding virtual universe, much like today’s Internet.