The concept of Metaverse originates from Snow Crash, a science fiction novel published in 1992 by an American writer, Neal Stephenson. “Metaverse” is a virtual world

What is the Metaverse?

The concept of the Metaverse originates from Snow Crash, a science fiction novel published in 1992 by an American writer, Neal Stephenson. “Metaverse” is a virtual world in which people can interact with each other in a virtual identity. The term “Metaverse” is coined from “Meta” which means “beyond”, and “Verse” which means “universe”.

How to enter the Metaverse?

All the thing you need to enter the Metaverse is a VR kit, a mobile phone or a video game. People can use their virtual identities to engage any daily activities, such as playing games, watching movies, meeting friends, even as an extension of the reality world to establish virtual social groups, hold conferences and all other sorts of commercial activities, blurring of the lines between reality and the virtual world.

What technologies are relied on?

Via Immersive Experience, e.g. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and other wearable devices, users can interact in the Metaverse and feel like they really are in that virtual environment. For example, a game user wearing a haptic vest can feel pain when being punched.

The low latency feature of 5G telecommunication technology reduces the latency in human-human interaction or human-machine interaction into milliseconds, almost the same as real time interaction.

The history of crypto asset, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and users in the Metaverse are recorded by blockchain so that every “existence” and transaction is unique and cannot be modified.

Every online device forms the Internet of things. Data (e.g. weather, patronage, temperature) are collected in the real world and uploaded to the virtual world, resulting a closer connection between the Metaverse and the reality.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will develop more realistic virtual characters. Can you imagine seeing virtual doctor in the Metaverse, virtual police patrolling on the digital streets?

Is a game or a virtual economy?

Different Metaverse platforms are rapidly developing nowadays. The future of the Metaverse is full of possibilities. Today, artworks, virtual properties and other virtual concepts can exist in the form of NFT. On the virtual platforms, users can interact in virtual communities by gaming, buy virtual lands to create various contents, like holding fashion shows, opening theme parks, to attract paid experience or even re-sell properties to other players for profit.

Is there risk for the Metaverse?

All risks online would extend to the Metaverse. Without law regulations, all cyber pitfalls like deception, identity theft, personal data breach, misinformation, crypto ransomes can possibly happen in the Metaverse. Besides, the price of a virtual plot of land has been marked up to over US$6,000 recently. In case of platform sudden shut down or cyber incidents, the concerned asset may become zero value. As there is a lack of local legislation regulating virtual asset investments at this moment, it will be hard for investors to recover compensation for any loss.

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