Understanding the metaverse is complicated, especially because it doesn’t exist yet. As big tech companies like Microsoft and Facebook keep talking about it, a lexicon is developing to describe it. This article provides simple concepts (that most people know) that will help your grandparents understand the metaverse.
In October 2021, Facebook renamed its group name to Meta. It’s been almost 10 months since the company announced that it would focus its future on the next metaverse. But since then it has not been agreed upon what this term means. Basically, the metaverse conjures up different meanings for people. For some, it’s an immersive virtual reality experience in a persistent landscape. For others, it is the vision of the society of the future.
Admittedly, the metaverse is difficult to describe, and no one knows what it will actually look like. In February this year, Yougov, an online polling company, conducted a study to find out how attractive the French are to this virtual world. The survey concluded that 61% of the French are completely unaware of what it is. And only 19% of people over 55 say they understand the metaverse. Among seniors, explaining this virtual world is still a difficult task. That’s why we’ve given you a guide to explaining the metaverse to your grandparents.
Set the metaverse for your grandparents
The modern internet experience is said to be two-dimensional. In other words, you navigate and scroll through it on a screen. The metaverse, on the other hand, is In 3D. This means that you “search” via headphones or connected glasses. It is a virtual environment where people can perform various tasks.
Your grandparents will be able to meet new people without having to travel long distances or even leave the house. This can be extremely useful for those living in remote locations and for users with physical disabilities.
Metaverse users can become what they want. Grandma or Grandpa can change their hair color, body shape, gender and even appear as a fictional character. Besides, they have the option participate in concerts, fairs and learning events. Create scenes, buy and earn money on real estate, acquire real and virtual products, play virtual reality games… There are a thousand and one things you can do in this virtual world.
Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, augmented reality
Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Extended Reality are technical terms that are often mentioned in connection with the metaverse. But it’s not always easy to navigate, especially for grandparents. Here are some easy to understand definitions.
virtual reality (VR)
Virtual reality is one immersive experience where you put on a headset and you can operate in a digital world. She currently wears full face helmets rather than goggles. In addition, it has the specificity to immerse the user in a 360° virtual world in which he can move as long as he does not run into physical walls.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality is one digital overlay projected onto the real world. It is the real-time use of information in the form of text, graphics, sound and other virtual enhancements embedded in real-world objects. It is this element of “real” that distinguishes augmented reality from virtual reality.
One of the best ways to explain augmented reality to your grandparents is to take the example of the game Pokemon Go. In the game, your phone tracks your location, the camera films your surroundings, and the app overlays digital pokemon upstairs so you can catch them. So when you are in the game it looks like Pokémon appear right in front of your feet !
Mixed Reality (MR)
mixed reality incorporates elements of virtual reality and augmented reality, but the exact definition is unclear. A person can interact with virtual and real objects, and virtual objects can interact with real objects. In short, mixed reality is happening in a hybrid of our physical and digital worlds. He is at something similar to augmented reality.
But mixed reality includes both augmented reality and augmented virtuality. It aims at create an environment with interactive digital objects. Augmented reality, on the other hand, requires a screen to live the augmented experience. Mixed reality is normal experienced through headphones (similar to virtual reality). This technology is already used today in various ways to enhance our physical world with digital objects and visualizations.
Extended Reality (XR)
Augmented reality is a collective term for virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, often overlapping concepts. Eventually, the lines between VR, AR, and MR may blur as the metaverse becomes a reality, making augmented reality a more appropriate term.
Any new technology that blends the physical and virtual worlds will also be classified as XR. The “X” in XR stands for any variable which could be used in the future for such technologies.
Good terms to know around the metaverse
In the context of the metaverse, your grandparents will often hear terms often associated with it.
An avatar is yours character in a virtual world. Metaverse avatar options are one of the best parts of the metaverse experience. An avatar gives you the option to look the way you want in any environment. You are not limited by territory or any other physical aspect. You can look the way you want and taste any fashion or sports equipment.
Neal Stephenson is the science fiction writer who coined the term metaverse in his popular 1994 novel “Snowfall”. In his writing describes the metaverse a persistent virtual world. People who use digital avatars of themselves to explore the online world, often as a way to escape a dystopian reality.
“Snow Crash” imagines a bleak future: the global economy has collapsed and federal governments have lost most of their power to a handful of giant corporations. that metaverse is an escapeand the novel’s protagonist – a hacker and pizza delivery driver who goes by an ironic name, Hiro main character – spends a large part of his time there. He accesses the metaverse wearing glasses and “headphones” and appears in the digital world as his own personal avatar.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG)
MMORPGs are interactive games that form the basis of what many believe to be the metaverse. Millions of people interact in common spacesparticipate in games, build items, visit virtual shops and even go to concerts.
The virtual world in which takes place the game is never static. Even when a player is disconnected, events occur throughout the world that affect the player when they reconnect.
Oculus and Horizon Workrooms
Social media company Facebook bought Oculus for $2.3 billion in 2014. It is a leading virtual reality platform for years. Facebook has already introduced a virtual work experience called Horizon Workrooms. Existing video conferencing tools like Teams and Zoom leave many remote workers feeling disconnected from the dynamics of the office. The rebranded company behind Facebook, Meta, created Horizon Workrooms for remove these barriers and enhance collaboration with VR enhancements.
Second Life, a virtual online world introduced in 2003, is one of the earliest examples of social experiences in the metaverse. While not quite an MMORPG (it’s not designed for gaming), Second Life is still one open world social network with avatars. The metaverse might look like a VR version of Second Life.
Residents of Second Life, as the users are called, have no designated goal and there are no traditional game mechanics or rules in place. Second Life strives to focus on social interaction, user-generated content and user freedom. As such, the virtual world is much more closely linked to social media than to the gaming industry.
What really sets it apart is not only citizens’ freedom to travel the world and interact with each otherbut also its thriving, fully-fledged global economy and user-generated content.
Non-fungible tokens (NFT)
imagine buy digital art over the Internet at a reasonable price and get a known unique digital token that proves your authority over the artwork you have purchased. Well, that possibility now exists, thanks to NFTs.
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique digital asset that represents ownership of real-world objects such as art, video clips, music, etc. NFTs use the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies, but they are not currencies. Although NFTs have sold for millions, they are highly speculative assets which does not suit everyone.
A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object or system. The technology behind digital twins has expanded to include buildings, factories and even cities. Some have even argued people and processes can have digital twinswhich further expands the concept.
Objects such as aircraft engines, trains, offshore oil platforms and turbines can be designed digitally and tested before being physically produced. These digital twins could also be used for help with maintenance operations.
For those of you who have decided to teach your grandparents about the metaverse, this common language and practical information will help you. Thus, you will avoid them the crisis of clicking on the Internet while you talk to them about the new technology. Either way, it’s never too late to learn.