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Metaverses as the most popular 2022 projects

Metaverses as the most popular 2022 projects

Between 2020 and 2021, the number of times the Metaverse was mentioned in the news and reviews increased by 135%. However, many people still have no idea what it is or how it works. In this article, we will explore what the Metaverse is and its key features. You will find out how you can get into the Metaverse and what possibilities it provides for users, as well as the specifics of its technical implementation.

The first mention of the Metaverse dates back to 1992 in science fiction writer Neal Stephenson's book Snow Crash. In 2007, there was the first attempt to develop a Metaverse using the popular computer game Second Life. It involved social media elements, with more than 1 million players enjoying various activities in the virtual world, such as visiting places of interest, buying branded items in boutiques and salons, ordering food in a restaurant, etc. Second Life players were making money in virtual reality, but the game's popularity quickly waned. 

What is Metaverse?

The Metaverse is a virtual world (space) where people interact with each other and with various digital objects by using special technologies. It is a complete or nearly complete reflection of the real world, only in virtual mode.

You can use one of the following devices to access the Metaverse:

  • VIRTUAL reality glasses (VR-glasses);
  • Sensor gloves;
  • Smartphone;
  • Computer.

The Metaverse concept is that a person enters a simulation of the real world and can perform any day-to-day activities in it. It is enough to wear a special headset or VR glasses to enter a virtual world where participants interact with each other through custom-made avatars. The imagination has no limits - you can perform a wide variety of actions, just as you do in the real world.

Key features of the Metaverse:

  • The virtual world is structured and managed like a state, creating a replica of the people's physical life in a digital space, considering economic, legal, and social aspects;
  • Continuous data transmission - virtual life is not paused, things run their course;
  • The world is visualized in real time;
  • Full data compatibility and synchronization between users.

The Metaverse is created as a virtual world in which you can go from your home to the office, from a movie theater to a restaurant, etc., in an instant. You can meet friends, go to work, go to school, buy food and things. We are not talking about just another computer game, but about a new world and new opportunities for people to spend their leisure time or solve a lot of urgent tasks.

The global goal of the Metaverse is to recreate the world with all its people, processes, and feelings. The development process involves both individuals and entire companies.

When it comes to filmmaking, the metaverse concept has been shown in the following movies: Matrix, Ready Player One, Free Guy, Blade Runner, Nirvana, The Thirteenth Floor and others.

How to access the Metaverse

One of the key features of the Metaverse is the sense of real presence and the recreation of real experiences. This can be achieved with the help of specialized technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices. The first are responsible for creating the virtual world and providing access to it directly, while the second one adds various elements to that world. For example, when using AR glasses, you can see what virtual clothes a person decides to wear today, or you can play a virtual game on your real desk. Real-time events are updated through the device to broadcast relevant information and enhance the daily experience.

Everyone equipped with a modern smartphone can enter the Metaverse and get superficially familiar with it. Still, developing in it requires a dedicated headset.

VR devices are divided in two groups:

  • autonomous devices - they represent the latest technology generation, working independently of a PC or smartphone connection;
  • stationary devices (for PC) - they are connected via cable or wireless system to provide access to the virtual world and its functionality.

The best VR headset options:

  • Oculus Rift;
  • PlayStation VR;
  • Oculus Quest 2;
  • HTC Vive.

What are the potentials of Meraverse?

The Metaverse is useful and efficient for the fulfillment of tasks in many areas:

  • Conducting corporate business – when the global economy was disrupted by the COVID-19 virus pandemic in early 2020, businesses shifted online, and people started actively seeking remote work. The developed Horizon Workrooms product made it possible to effectively solve numerous problems faced by the company and enterprises caused by the forced change in the work format. Microsoft is also introducing its products for corporate business. The next stage is the full transition of business to the Metaverse;
  • Making new contacts and new earnings in the gameplay mode – it allows participants not only to have fun, but also to make new friends and earn money. A strong social network and decentralized economy can attract more users to the virtual world;
  • New level of entertainment – in the metaverse you can communicate with real people through their avatars, watch the performances of stars and celebrities at virtual concerts. The Sensorium Galaxy VR platform, working with David Guetta, Steve Aoki, and Armin van Buuren, is already active, making it possible to quickly attract new user audiences;
  • Real estate deals - people who cannot afford to buy a house or apartment in the real world can easily do so in the Metaverse. For example, in Decentraland a virtual estate was sold for 2.4 million dollars, and in Sandbox there was also a deal for 4.3 million dollars.

Metaverse technological implementation

As of today, the metaverse itself is not yet fully formed and functional; perhaps it will take more than one year to get there. This is caused by many technical obstacles, that require the implementation of effective solutions. There is no online infrastructure yet that can unite billions of people in the Metaverse.

Besides, the provision of uninterrupted and reliable Internet connection remains an open question. 5G and peripheral computing technologies are not yet massively deployed on our planet to meet the needs of every user and the complex structure of the emerging Metaverse, so it takes innovation and time to successfully implement them.

The most popular Metaverses:  

 Second Life

This is a Metaverse prototype, which is just a computer game. However, the attempt made in 2003, marked the beginning of the development of a full-fledged virtual world. Liden Lab is the developer of the project.

The feature of Second Life is that the game features elements of a social network. About a million users can visit virtual versions of world-famous locations, buy food and clothes, make new acquaintances, and even find their love. Players can also earn money in the game.

This is not just a computer game, but an entire virtual space with its own features. Once you register and get your own account, you can choose how you want to interact with other players and how you want to play - whether you want to join a hobby club, create your own virtual goods, participate in chat rooms, or travel around the world, etc.

Once registered, the user gets an avatar that can be upgraded:

  • choose your body type;
  • set skin color, facial features, and body texture;
  • choose a hairstyle;
  • choose clothes.

Players can use a special LSL scripting language to create their own content so they can add it to the virtual world.

Release year: 2003

Developer: Liden Lab

Blockchain and internal cryptocurrency: no/no

Decentraland

This is a virtual reality platform that operates on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform acts as a decentralized virtual world, a Metaverse, whose participants can buy and sell digital real estate, explore the surrounding world, and interact with each other in various formats.

The main feature of Decentraland is that the entire territory of the metaverse is divided into 90,601 land plots. These sites are represented in the form of NFTs (a counting unit which is used to create a digital cast of any object).

Users can perform the following actions in the virtual world:

  • Create, use, or monetize content;
  • Buy available real estate plots;
  • Interact with other participants;
  • Attend social events;
  • Promote the created content;
  • Manage other projects.

Digital property owners can hold concerts, lotteries, and any virtual events. In addition, they can sell their properties to members of the Ethereum network to expand opportunities and increase income.

Decentraland is the first metaverse project that combines ownership and social gaming functionality, while being compatible with blockchain.

MANA token, which is the official form of pledge on the MakerDAO platform, is used as an internal cryptocurrency. The coin can be purchased on the cryptocurrency exchange.

To access the full functionality of the Decentraland virtual world, it is recommended to use a cryptocurrency wallet to store MANA tokens. The best option is Metamask.

Release year: 2020

Developer: Decentraland Foundation

Blockchain and internal cryptocurrency: Ethereum blockchain, MANA cryptocurrency

Horizon Worlds

This is a famous Metaverse developed and launched by Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), in 2021. It is an online virtual reality video game with an integrated game creation system.

Canadian and U.S. users over 18 can access the virtual world for free. To enter, users need an Oculus Rift S or Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, which provides full three-dimensional motion for effective interaction with members of the Metaverse.

The Horizon Worlds experience begins at the square, the central world. It features portals to other worlds that are created by the users themselves. According to Meta, at the end of winter 2022, the user community consisted of 300,000 people, and there were already about 10,000 different worlds.

So far, the Horizon Worlds platform is the first version of Mark Zuckerberg's vision of the Metaverse, and he is striving to make it perfect. You need to have an active Facebook account to access the platform, where you can simultaneously communicate with 20 participants of the virtual space.

A key feature of the project is that you can write basic code that sets up operating rules for various objects (e.g., a ball bouncing when it touches a surface, a gun firing when the trigger is pulled). Such code is similar to a layer in a graphic editor: overlaying several layers creates a complete picture, while combining several codes in the Metaverse enables all users to create complex interactions with objects.

Currently, there is no possibility of earning money in Horizon Worlds, but the developers intend to introduce this feature in the future. In the world, there are assistant guides, represented by skilled users. They meet newcomers and help them get into a separate world, explaining the key rules of behavior in the Metaverse.

Release date: 2021

Developer: Meta Platforms

Blockchain and internal cryptocurrency: no/no

Sandbox

This is a unique Metaverse project that brings together three worlds so that participants can create their own NFTs and merge them together, as well as sell and exchange token on the Sandbox trading platform.

The virtual world project dates back to 2011, when an ordinary game for mobile devices was created. Four years later, a PC version appeared, and in 2018, after Animoca Brands purchased the product, the blockchain version was launched. In 2020, Sandbox evolved into a Metaverse. Today, it stands as one of the most popular products in the industry, with a capitalization of more than $6 billion.

The Sandbox virtual world is similar to such games as Minecraft and Roblox, except it is decentralized and uses Ethereum blockchain. Users can monetize their assets and game experience. All assets are in the form of NFT and are used to develop their unique worlds using available resources and elements (water, people, land, machinery, etc.).

The following tools are available on the platform:

  • VoxEdit - it is used to create objects and then animate them. Assets exist in the form of an ASSET token with the ERC-1155 standard, and can be exported to other worlds in the future;
  • Game Maker - it is needed to create your own virtual game or interactive installation;
  • Marketplace - it acts as a trading platform for exchanging assets.

The internal cryptocurrency of the meta-universe is the ERC-20 standard SAND token. It can be used to transfer values, place stakes, and run management options. The Sandbox world also features LAND plots, and each plot is converted to an NFT token with the ERC-721 standard. The purchase of land is conducted through an auction.

Release date: 2020

Developer: Animoca Brands

Blockchain and internal cryptocurrency: Ethereum blockchain, SAND cryptocurrency

 

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