The Metaverse is a set of virtual spaces filled with avatars, a virtual universe shared via the Internet, where participants are represented in three dimensions. Unlike the current Virtual Reality, mainly used for video games, this new virtual world could be used for practically anything: work, concerts, travel, cinema. Or simply, as a substitute for leaving the house to meet other people.
How? With a 3D avatar, a digital representation of ourselves. In the Metaverse, one can replicate most everyday activities, such as meetings, lunches, workouts, films, games, all in a 3D version with a connection and a few clicks.
The Metaverse is developed in the digital, a cyber-space created and powered by global communication networks. It is enabled by many different technologies, such as AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). But there is also blockchain, 5G and edge computing.
Limiting ourselves to the visual aspect: current smartphones have a low level of immersiveness, while at the other extreme we have glasses that project images directly onto the retina.
There is great curiosity among investors and big tech. Facebook recently invested 50 million dollars in funding non-profit groups to help 'build the Metaverse in a responsible way', although it expresses the belief that this idea will take 10-15 years to come true.