Posted Oct 18. 2021, 12:07Updated on Oct 18, 2021 at 2:18 PM
Will we ever be able to meet a loved one who lives thousands of miles away, in a parallel reality, but with the very real feeling of being with him? Impossible to say today, but companies are working hard on it: it’s the “metaverse” project.
While Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg believes this parallel universe is “the holy grail,” his social network announced on Monday the creation of 10,000 jobs in Europe to accelerate the search for the metaverse. Here’s everything you need to know about this project.
1. A concept that is difficult to define
The “metaverse” is an English concept (meta-universe), which describes a digital universe quite broadly. Before it is a technological project, it is a literary concept: it is first mentioned in 1992, in the science fiction novel “Snow Crash”, by Neal Stephenso.
In fact, it is about going beyond the possibilities that the Internet currently offers, from a two-dimensional reality to a three-dimensional reality. Thanks to virtual reality and augmented reality, this new digital reality aims to offer an immersive experience, in its own space-time.
An avatar or a hologram would allow the different actors of this metaverse to meet in conditions as close as possible to reality. So it would be a matter of going beyond the experiences currently allowed by virtual reality headsets or even holograms.
2. Several companies on the subject
Driven by its founder, Facebook is one of the digital giants most interested in developing this metaverse. For Mark Zuckerberg, the goal is to turn his social network into a metaverse company within 5 years, to offer users an ’embodied internet’. The company recently launched Horizon Workrooms, a collaboration tool accessible with a virtual reality headset.
Other players in the metaverse, various video game developers, such as Epic Games, the publisher of Fortnite or even Roblox, want to advance in the development of their digital universe where players can already meet and interact. Another industry example, the game Pokémon Go had already distinguished itself as a foundation stone in the construction of the metaverse, allowing players to capture imaginary animals scattered across the street with their cellphones.
3. A Still Inaccessible Universe
If the beginning of the metaverse can be experienced at all, the “Grail” is still very far away. In order for this universe to truly become one, it would first be necessary to create a completely unified digital space, where the user’s avatar could wander through the different sites of the metaverse, as he can move from store to store on the street. to go.
In addition, to make the experience total, it would be necessary to be able to mobilize the five senses in fully synchronized way, while the user can influence this digital environment with his whole being. This requires a coordination effort between the different services that is far from obvious, as Zuckerberg admits.
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