One of the key technologies that will define the future over the next two decades will be the Metaverse. One of many portmanteaus summoned into the lexicon by new technologies, the term combines “meta” and “universe,” capturing the grand scale of what we are about to experience.
The Metaverse, which should be capitalized in the manner of “Internet,” combines multiple technologies and concepts to create a persistent network of virtual worlds that can be experienced in three dimensions using hardware worn over the eyes. Just as the term “Metaverse” itself is a linguistic portmanteau, it’s implementation is a kind of “technological portmanteau,” combining the experiences of traveling to places and landscapes that are pure fantasy (virtual reality) with the ability to see information overlayed atop the real world a person is physically present in (augmented reality), or a melange of both (mixed reality).
For example, imagine joining your friends in a lobby area, as avatars from across the country or visible sitting in the room with you, and then passing through a portal to something outlandish like a disco in an orbiting space hotel, or to simply travel to people-watch live as a tourist sitting in an actual cafe in Paris. In the fantasy space hotel, participants can dance and flirt. In the live view of Paris, travelers could see small call-out information boxes that translate French language street signs or that give the details of a painting hanging at the Louvre.
The Metaverse will be:
- And, most probably, Addictive
Adoption and implementation of the Metaverse will take time, as all new technologies require the kinks to be worked out in a way that only actual consumer usage can do. But there’s no doubt that the Metaverse is poised to change everything, and it deserves a day of its own to raise awareness and celebrate!
National Metaverse Day will be celebrated every May 14th.
Zombies of Things
The upcoming Zombies of Things books, set in the 2040’s, deal heavily with the Metaverse. Like the Internet, this technology clearly has the potential to be a two-edge sword, bringing in near miraculous new abilities to connect and communicate, but as in the case of the Internet, also introduce pathologies like cyberbullying and cybercrime. In the case of the Metaverse, addictive behaviors, easily called Metaddictions, are one of the many dangers associated with creating something so immersive that it blurs the distinction between reality and fantasy. Like binge watching a series on Netflix, some people may become so absorbed as to appear to be near catatonic to an outside observer. Zombielike. Heaven forbid, but what would such people do if real zombies ever showed up?
How to Celebrate
Hopefully, people won’t wait until the 2040’s to celebrate the Metaverse. The goal of Metaverse Day is, initially, to raise awareness of the technology and begin the necessary conversations that need to be had about both the benefits and pitfalls of the ‘Verse. People need to discuss the shaping of laws, regulations and norms, before the “wild west” that characterized the rollout of the original Internet puts a black mark on the Metaverse’s adoption
Take the day to learn more about the technology. Experiment with some of the simple Virtual Reality adaptions that are available for your cell phone. Seek out and vote for representatives that understand the implications of this upcoming societal transformation and are prepared to be proactive rather than reactive. Lastly, use the hashtags #MetaverseDay or #NationalMetaverseDay on social media to promote and celebrate this amazing technology.
Metaverse | Wikipedia
What Is the Metaverse, Exactly? | Wired