By Pragati Verma, Contributing Editor, Straight Talk

 

Leading technology enterprises are focused on building and delivering practical applications in the Metaverse.

By 2026, Gartner expects one in four people to spend at least an hour a day in this virtual reality – often termed Web 3.0 – to work, shop, attend school, socialize, or entertain themselves. The research firm also estimates that 30 percent of organizations in the world will have products and services ready for the metaverse by then.

While the exact outline of the interconnected immersive digital alternative to the physical world is still being worked out, key technologies driving the metaverse’s development are emerging.

Here are three technologies underpinning the next steps in Metaverse’s evolution:

AR/VR

Metaverse, at its core, is defined by its immersive experience for users in an interconnected, interoperable three-dimensional virtual world. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality devices that transport their users into enhanced or imaginary realities are one of the most popular ways to access this world today, making AR and VR the logical entry points to the Metaverse.

Morgan Stanley predicts the Metaverse presents an $8 trillion opportunity that will create new potential for VR and AR applications. In a blog post, their investment strategist (wealth management), Vijay Chander writes, “Think of the metaverse as a digital realm of the future, like the next evolution of the internet. Fully developed, it could one day allow people to interact, work and play in immersive virtual spaces. And as major technology players embrace the idea—and, in some cases, peg the future of their business on it—it’s also creating opportunities for investors, namely in VR and AR. In fact, as these technologies evolve to create increasingly connected digital experiences, total VR/AR spending worldwide is estimated to reach $72.8 billion in 2024, from $12 billion in 2020.

AI

Extended reality might be at the forefront of the Metaverse now, but it will be impossible to develop new experiences and ways of interacting without artificial intelligence. AI engines, for one, will be required to generate avatars that not only have realistic and accurate hairstyles, facial expressions, and clothes, but can also interact with others in the virtual world. AI will also be used to create accurate avatars, digital humans, multilingual accessibilities, extensive VR apps and interfaces.

That’s why Meta is building what they “believe is the world’s fastest AI supercomputer” that can perform quintillions of operations per second. Their plan is to help train AI models with trillions of parameters needed to understand hundreds of languages; seamlessly analyze text, images, and video together; develop new augmented reality tools – and eventually build technologies needed in an immersive and interconnected metaverse.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

The Metaverse will require a verifiable, immutable ownership of digital goods and currency. By offering digital proof of ownership of assets, blockchain technology provides an ideal method for facilitating quick and secure digital transactions.

Companies like Decentraland, Sandbox, and Genesis World use blockchain technologies to create virtual worlds with casinos and theme parks and enable users to build, own, and monetize digital assets and their virtual experiences. Users can purchase things like plots of land, avatars, and digital apparel that are sold as non-fungible token assets—unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on the blockchain that can track a unique digital asset's transfer, ownership, and properties. 

If you’re interested to hear more about the metaverse and it’s practical implications, HCL will be discussing this topic at the World Economic Forum. Find out more here