If you have a book to read about the metaverse, it’s Matthew Ball, author of “The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything”
Matthew Ball, author of “The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything,” one of the best books on the subject if you want to understand where we’ve come from and where we’re going…This book is divided into three parts, with 15 chapters, and a total of about 309 pages. In the introduction, the author outlines some of the ways in which the financial industry and even world governments have already begun to prepare for the changes brought about by the metaverse. Ball cites recent IPOs and statements from major companies as evidence of the coming changes, and also provides some historical examples of anticipating the effects of new technologies.
In Part One – “What is the Metaverse?” The book explains some basic concepts and covers the history of early proto-metaverse ideas and software. It acknowledges the early contributions of science fiction writers and documents the importance of games like Second Life. The author also includes warnings about corporate attempts to control the metaverse and the confusion that can be caused by centering the future on the metaverse. In Chapter 3, Matthew Ball gives his own definition of the metaverse and expands on each part of his definition.
In part two – “Building the Metaverse”, he begins to address some of the technical challenges that must be overcome to bring about this next generation of technology. The book covers bandwidth and latency issues, CPUs and GPUs, game engines and embedded platforms in the virtual world. It explores interoperability issues and future hardware development. There are also chapters on payment systems and blockchain technologies, detailing some potential avenues for what metaverse monetization could be.
Part Three – “How the Metaverse Will Revolutionize Everything” focuses on predicting some of the changes that will come with a Metaverse-centric culture. He discusses timelines, meta-businesses, and lifestyle and entertainment products. He briefly discusses the changes in fashion, industry… He predicts winners and losers of the Metaverse and analyzes which current tech giants are best positioned to take advantage of the opportunities in the Metaverse. Finally, he concludes this section by examining questions of identity, rights, and governmental concerns in this future metaverse world. This is a very comprehensive book on the subject!
In one of the chapters we tackle one of the most difficult problems for the metaverse, having the necessary amount of computation. We’re going to make a bunch of persistent virtual worlds that have unlimited maximum capacity, and then we’re going to potentially run blockchains to manage rare or non-rare digital assets inside those virtual worlds. There are three prevailing theories, one is just Moore’s Law, slow down or not, which keeps getting better and improves compression by the way. Companies are starting to phase out inelegant data formats and architectures, moving from GIF to MP4 for easier performance.
The other school is really organized around more efficient resources. This is the Cloud argument. There are problems with that, but basically the argument would be that it’s kind of stupid that we put the most intensive computer where the individual user is, whose device needs to be affordable, light, and replaced every two to three years, forever more power, no one should have powerful hardware at home. We should deliver it on an industrial scale. There are a large number of people, Intel or TSMC, who are starting to believe that quantum computers, another idea long considered fanciful, which is no longer a crazy thing to believe in, will end up being essential.
Last and most fun is distributed computing, not necessarily in the blockchain sense, but in the solar panel sense. For example, I have two consoles with amazing GPUs, both unused. There might be someone in my building right now who could use it. Right now, they either don’t have it, or they have to rent it from an expensive, remote data center that produces latency. Do you have a model potentially on blockchain that exists or not, Nodle? Does it need a more efficient system to rent excess capacity, like a solar panel, or as Elon Musk envisions with Teslas in a self-driving car?
It will also require your personal electric bill to rise and fall in ways you cannot predict. Your bandwidth can be stretched in ways you can’t predict either. It would be sad if the quality of our experience was currently reduced because someone ran your PS5’s GPU at 100%.
Indeed, in many countries the necessary bandwidth is not distributed evenly or fairly. Some people have really fast connections and many people have bad connections. There is hardly any competition for these connections, the infrastructure to achieve this does not really exist. One of the problems the book talks about is the fact that there are actually very poor TCP/IP systems for handling the prioritization of traffic once it leaves our screen. The author is not talking about paid peering or net neutrality, but literally the ability to distinguish whether it should be there in 10 milliseconds or 50 milliseconds. These are actually more fundamental questions. We don’t have an efficient way to partition GPUs. It’s not like you can say, “I need 80%, but the other 20% can go.” I would say there are systems for this that are being rolled out. A company called Otoy has a blockchain-based system called Render Network, it’s the fastest GPU rendering engine, and it’s designed to do just that.