The Metaverse

What exactly is the Metaverse? 


The Internet is flat. It hides in the screens and displays. The Internet is 2D, but we are made for a 3D life. The Metaverse will make it possible for us to truly be inside the Internet and not just at it.  

Today you go from one website to another with one click, in the Metaverse you go from one virtual world to another. It feels like teleporting, or more simply, beaming. The Metaverse is not one virtual world, but many interconnected virtual worlds. Hence the word meta. 

In a broader sense, the Metaverse also includes the digital virtual layer that is placed over our real world. Virtual reality plus augmented or mixed reality. 

Today, we look at our smartphones when we walk through an unfamiliar city. In the future, but only if we want to, we will look out into the world again with smart glasses and see everything we want to know at that moment, added as a digital layer onto the real world. 

Even if you do not want to go into the virtual Metaverse, you will hardly get past the Metaverse in the future because it will also come to us in our real world. 

You can also use the Metaverse with a normal screen, but the three-dimensional experience we will only experience with headsets and smart glasses. In some situations, also with full body suits to be able to physically experience the virtual reality. 

Do we think we will spend our days in the future with clunky displays right in front of our eyes? No, of course not. We will dive in when we want to or when we need to. And headsets will be much smaller and lighter. 


Why should I take the Metaverse seriously? 


We now have the computing power, the bandwidth, the AI, the software, the blockchains, and the smart contracts to create the Metaverse. And there is a massive investment in infrastructure. 

Today, the visualizations of the experiences are already amazingly lifelike. The boundaries between reality and virtuality are disappearing in the coming Metaverse. 

If you have seen Disney’s 2019 movie ‘The Lion King’ you have seen how lifelike the Metaverse will be in the future. The movie was created in Unity, a development platform for virtual worlds.  


Now big and important companies are investing billions in the Metaverse 


You may not be familiar with virtual world developers and providers like Epic Games, Immersive Tech, Roblox, Matterport or Unity, but names like Facebook, now Meta, Microsoft, Alphabet and Google, Apple, Amazon, SAP, NVidia, Disney, are some of those you may know. 

Each of these companies are already investing billions over the next few years to make the Metaverse a reality and to play a vital role in it. Not just because they want to grow, but because some of them have so much to lose. Facebook and Instagram could go under as social networks if they miss the Metaverse. 

Apple wants, and needs, a successor to the iPhone. An Apple headset for Virtual Reality (VR) and/or Augmented Reality (AR) has long been in development. Apple’s AR Creation Tools provide the software to create your own virtual world as part of the Metaverse and, of course, Amazon will not miss the chance to create virtual shopping worlds. 

Even the older companies like Siemens, BMW, Daimler, all the big industrial companies, have been developing their products and businesses with virtual and augmented reality for years. All of this will be part of the Metaverse. 


How will the Metaverse change your business? 


Just like the Internet 1.0 and then 2.0, it brings threats for those who realize it too late, and it brings great opportunities for those who join in early. Mind you, not as early as possible, but in time. 

In engineering, you will design and test your machines in the Metaverse before you manufacture the machine. Digital twins are just the beginning. Each physical machine is then just a copy of the digital original. What each machine learns through its application will be sent to the digital original, which will be continuously improved. 

In the real estate business, the digital original will be authoritative from the moment the idea for a building is conceived, the construction and for the entire operating period. BIM, building information modelling, is also just the beginning. You can already be amazed at how many millions are already being paid for virtual properties today. Incredible, but true. 

If you run a bakery, you will be able to use artificially intelligent bots from the Metaverse in sales. And progressive artisan businesses will train their apprentices and employees using the Metaverse. 

The virtual experience, selection, and shopping of real as well as digital products will shape the future of retail. 

If you are a trainer, coach, or teacher, you will see how the Metaverse can create much more effective experiences that people know will help them learn more easily and successfully. And for psychotherapists it will open entirely new possibilities for therapies, for example, for all kinds of phobias, starting with arachnophobia. 

Just as virtually every industry today is dealing with Internet 1 and 2, in the future every industry will be on Web 3 and thus in the Metaverse. 

If your gut says that is nonsense, it is not because it is really nonsense, but because you have not had enough experience with virtual reality.