Is the metaverse already a reality?

Isabela Cintra

Metaberse is a term that is gaining prominence today. The concept began to gain a lot of space and power in the media and in the world with the Covid-19 pandemic, as society had to communicate entirely through the Internet, in addition to learning how to do everyday tasks again through this digital space. But what if society could extend its life by shopping, working, going to shows, going to classes, building buildings and houses, and doing many other activities in a digital space? This is already happening and is a reality because of the metaverse.

This is the topic of the conference, which was promoted by the Dean of Research and Innovation of the UFG (PRPI / UFG) on Wednesday, 13 April. The discussion was given by Professor Pedro Henrique Gonçalves, General Coordinator of the IPElab / UFG Network, under the supervision of Professor Rodrigo Bombonati, Deputy Director of the Samambaia Technology Park.

Professor Pedro Henrique Gonçalves shows a virtual environment, similar to a metaverse, in which he taught classes during the pandemic

According to Professor Pedro Henrique Gonçalves, the term metaverse originated in the 1980s, when it was first used in the book “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson. In the book, the metaverse brings the idea of ​​the possibility of entering into a parallel reality. With the advent of the Internet in mid-1994, the first virtual environment, AlphaWorld, was created, with the goal of bringing an immersive environment that connects the entire world.

In this first moment, the concept of metaverse is built on the idea of ​​immersing oneself in another reality. Over time, the concept has changed and adapted to new technologies and IT infrastructures. The teacher explained that one of the meanings of the metaverse is to believe that it is the vision of the future society, but also that the metaverse is no longer the future, because it is already happening.

The main drivers of this were the creation and evolution of games, which made possible the technological development of computational processing, as well as gamification – that is, the use of game techniques in everyday situations to encourage and facilitate learning – and the emergence. on the internet.

“The verse is for everyone”

In the talk, the teacher highlighted the issue of decentralization of the metaverse. Decentralization is one of the main goals and points of this new universe. To achieve this, the speaker explained the evolution of the Internet, which is currently divided into phases, Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. In Web 2.0, large companies and conglomerates have the power to centralize user databases, but the goal is to decentralize with Web 3.0, which is to “stop giving data to large corporations and control the information that is ours.” So the Web 3.0 paradigm of control and centralized governance comes with this huge change, ”said the professor.

Today, large companies like Facebook, Google, Instagram, etc. are connected and control user information. However, the teacher believes that this logic is changing with Web 3.0 and the metaverse, as the metaverse cannot belong to anyone. Within the metaverse, users are free to choose what information and data they want to display.

Layers and characteristics of the metaverse

Professor Pedro Henrique Gonçalves also explained the seven layers of the metaverse, how the user will access this reality and go to the social experiences he has provided. The first three layers relate to the need for cloud-based processing and graphics power, respectively, for Internet access, how users can access it (via mobile phone, computer, etc.), and decentralization.

The fourth layer deals with the subject of spatial computing, in which one has to think about who will design the virtual environment. It is then necessary to have a creative economy that will create a market and from there shops and companies will be embedded in the metaverse to create a seventh layer that refers to the social experiences that the user may have.

In general, the metaverse is a world without limits, disconnected, immersed, decentralized, with its own economic system and allowing for new experiences.

Metaberse applications

The teacher gave some examples of how the metaverse works and how it can work. Users will be able to take part in events and conferences that mimic the city, in which they can visit and walk through the spaces if they are in person, in addition to participating in the shows.

In the field of education, metaverse can be used to insert students into historical scenarios, as well as to simulate classrooms. In the field of health, professionals can use augmented reality to train procedures. Metabertso is also being used in architecture, engineering and construction.

To see the full talk, click here.

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