Although so far the 3D technology, especially in film and television, seems to be a mere fad that has not transcended into the mass habits of use, large Internet technology companies are betting on its implementation along with augmented reality, to create much more immersive and realistic experiences in the use of the Internet.
What is the Metauniverse and how will it transform the Internet?
By: Gabriel E. Levy B.
The concept of metaverse, or meta-universe in English, was first proposed in 1992 by Neal Stephenso in his novel: “Snow Crash” which described virtual spaces in a fully immersive third dimensional reality, as a collective and shared fictional virtual world, connected to the network and interacting with real physical spaces.
In practical terms, Metauniverses are environments where humans interact socially and economically as icons, through a logical support in a cyberspace, as an amplified metaphor of the real world, but without the physical or economic limitations.
For now the Metauniverses in the broad conception in which science fiction has conceived it, only exists in the conceptual and literary level, however, the big Internet technology companies, such as Facebook and Google, are working intensively in its materialization, seeking to redefine the experience of use and consumption on the network.
Mark Zuckerberg’s initiative
Facebook’s controversial CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently in a streamed conversation with The Verge‘s Casey Newton  , defined his company’s strategy for the development of a Metauniverse model, in which users will enjoy the Internet as if they were part of the network.
“You can think of the Metauniverse as an embodied Internet.
Instead of watching content, you’re in it and you feel present with other people as if you’re in other places having different experiences that you couldn’t have in a 2D application or website.
Mark Zuckerberg Ceo of Facebook  .
Although Zuckerberg’s words seem more like a work of fiction than a business project, in reality it is a serious and long-term initiative, in which not only Facebook invests large amounts of money, but also companies like Google or Amazon.
Currently there are several large research projects funded by companies like Facebook or Google, in which billions of dollars are being invested, both for the development of software and hardware, involving not only the Internet technologies, but suppliers, academics, developers and even users.
“In tomorrow’s metaverse, we won’t be on Zoom calls or in Facebook groups. We won’t be posting messages or watching YouTube videos. We will be transported there. We will be at the conference. We will be at the meeting. We will be with our colleagues, friends, and family. And we’ll do it through the use of lightweight, modern, normal-looking glasses that will respond to our commands and transport us, or holograms of us, to all these different places, immediately and no matter where we are.” Forbes Magazine’s analysis of Facebook’s proposed Metauniverse Initiative  .
For Zuckerberg “interactions will be significantly richer and more real”, to the point that it will be difficult for the user himself to differentiate reality from fiction:
“Instead of just having a meeting over a phone call, you’ll be able to sit as a hologram on my couch or I’ll be able to sit as a hologram on your couch. It will feel like we’re in the same place even though we’re in different states.” Mark Zuckerberg Ceo of Facebook  .
The Horizon Workrooms Pilot Test
At the beginning of August and precisely with the purpose of materializing the Metauniverse initiatives, Facebook launched the beta test of the Horizon Workrooms app that will allow work meetings with a personalized avatar, allowing users of the Oculus Quest 2 headset to hold meetings as recreated avatar versions of themselves.
Facebook’s goal is to take advantage of the fact that many companies around the world are still working from home because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Facebook’s vice president of its Reality Labs group, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, told Reuters that the new Workrooms app gives “a good idea” of how the company envisions the elements of the Metauniverse .
“This is one of those fundamental steps in that direction,” Bosworth told reporters during a press conference  .
Impact on the Business World
While Metauniverses could be seen by many as a kind of social media eccentricity, its potential is much more extensive and can become a very lucrative business, on the one hand, will enhance the growing market for NFT, translated as “Non-Fungible Token”, or cryptographic token, which serves to represent something unique and non-reproducible, a graphic evolution of cryptoassets that is already becoming a multi-million dollar business and that thanks to the “Metaverse” or “Metauniverses” will possibly become a digital art market that could be even more lucrative than traditional art  .
Additionally, Metauniverses will have an impact on businesses such as real estate, which will allow the client to see a property virtually before buying it.
In the field of retail, Metauniverses will allow customers to try on clothes before buying them, or explore the features of any product beforehand, virtually and immersively in 3D.
In conclusion, Metauniverses, or metaverses, is a big bet in which companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon are investing a lot of money, time and knowledge, to offer immersive experiences much more attractive to their customers, while this type of development will significantly transform many businesses such as real estate, clothing or vehicles.
Only time will tell if this initiative ends up being a fad as happened with 3D TVs, or if it will effectively transform consumption habits on the network and the digital cyberscape, as promised by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.