Has the age of the metaverse arrived? See what the ‘virtual universe’ that Facebook is betting on looks like Technology

But almost a year after the announcement, the company’s “virtual universe” is not available in Brazil, and other services are far from being part of the country’s users’ routine.

  • Share on WhatsApp
  • Share on Telegram

It is still necessary to make an effort to present the metaverse to Internet users. THE the word is unknown to half of Brazilian consumersaccording to research by the consulting firm Accenture.

At the same time, interest in the metaverse in Internet searches is declining. Google data shows that searches for the word peaked in December 2021 and declined throughout 2022.

Focusing on the topic, this report presents:

In order to attract the attention of users, the metaverse needs to be improved. This is the assessment of Carlos Affonso Souza, director of the Institute for Technology and Society (ITS-Rio) and professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ).

“I usually say that the metaverse has already arrived, but it’s not ready. It’s already arrived in the sense that everyone is talking about it, but the imagined version of the metaverse doesn’t exist,” he says.

He points out that the more advanced version of the metaverse depends on the power of graphics processing, the rendering of physical spaces for the virtual world, and other improvements that will take some time to complete.

“What we have today is a preparatory discussion that is only possible because the Internet has been with us for so long. So, in a way, we can predict what this future might be with the metaverse, but certainly with the metaverse that is in everyone’s mind, neither today it does not exist”, he adds.

  • iOS 16: See the top news and how to update your iPhone
  • iPhone 14: Apple lowers the prices of old mobile phones; check the new values

The term “metaverse” originated in the science fiction book “Snow Crash”, written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1992. The author described the word as “a computer-generated universe that the computer draws over your glasses and pumps into your headphones”.

  • What is the metaverse, touted as the future of Facebook

Snow Crash edition, written by Neal Stephenson and originally published in 1992 — Photo: Raaz/Flickr

The definition resembles the operation of virtual reality glasses, but there are several interpretations.

“There is no consensus on the concept of what the metaverse would be,” explains Souza.

According to him, the term can be understood as a new era of the Internet in which activities that took place in the real world get virtual versions – this is the case of distance learning, the progress of movie streaming and the use of digital banks, for example.

On the other hand, he says, the concept can also represent the recreation of physical spaces in virtual environments to make online interaction more akin to face-to-face contact.

Horizon Workrooms, a virtual reality environment developed by Oculus, a Meta company — Photo: Disclosure

“We can map the debate on the metaverse as a natural successor to the phase we are in today in the development of the Internet,” summarizes the professor.

In both interpretations, the word is used to define the approximation of the virtual world to the real world. It is a process that takes place gradually, as happened, for example, with the popularization of smartphones.

The metaverse can be understood as an interconnected world similar to the web, says Luciana Nedel, a professor at the Institute of Informatics at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).

“The web has no owner and the metaverse will be something like that, which has no owner and is a collective construction through which we can navigate,” he analysed.

How to ‘enter’ the metaverse?

This is one of the main questions people in Brazil search for the metaverse on Google, but there is no direct answer to it. This is because the metaverse is not a platform or a specific place on the internet.

If the idea is to approach platforms that relate to the concept at different levels, there are several options available. They can be used on a computer or mobile phone, and in some cases the device needs more capacity to run graphics.

  • ROBLOX: which platform has become a phenomenon among children and adolescents
  • MINECRAFT: how an indie game became one of the biggest franchises in the world

Horizon Worlds, author Goalit is only available in seven countries – and Brazil is not one of them. The service runs on Oculus VR, a device from the company that is not officially sold in the country. There are units imported from the device online for more than R$3000.

“Of course, it’s still expensive for the general population,” says Luciana. “There are other cheap options, like Google’s cardboard glasses, which are used a lot in education. But, in fact, the quality is lower.”

Google Cardboard: Cardboard glasses are a cheap alternative to virtual reality devices — Photo: Disclosure / Google

What will happen to the Facebook metaverse? — Photo: Wagner Magalhaes / g1

What do the platforms look like?

In general, companies exploring the metaverse do not strive to faithfully reproduce the real world and have a very colorful appearance. In some cases, the appearance of the services is criticized.

This is the case with Horizon Worlds, which became a joke among some users when Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo of the platform. The negative fallout prompted the executive to explain that the service would soon receive graphics improvements.

“The graphics on Horizon are capable of so much more — even on a VR headset — and Horizon is improving very quickly,” Zuckerberg said in another post with an image featuring more realistic graphics.

There are services that suggest immersion, but do not have a 3D look. Epic Metaverses, for example, has a platform that recreates corporate offices and presents them from above, in 2D. The idea is to promote integration among employees while working remotely.

“The metaverse doesn’t necessarily have to be exactly as Mark Zuckerberg presents it, which is a 3D metaverse with virtual reality glasses,” says Luiz Guilherme, founder of Epic Metaverses.

“In the two years of the pandemic, it has been proven that tools like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams are tools for teleconferencing, but they are not tools for social coexistence, culture, training. They did not work for that,” he said. he says.

Epic Metaversos created a virtual version of Central Perk, the cafe from the series ‘Friends’ — Photo: Disclosure / Epic Metaversos

Since Facebook’s name change to Meta, several initiatives have emerged that attempt to explore the potential of the metaverse.

In Brazil, the Mato Grosso labor court has recreated its physical space in an immersive system that can be accessed on a computer or virtual reality glasses. The platform is experimental in nature and is not yet used for holding discussions.

The Labor Court in Mato Grosso inaugurates a fully digital environment

Another experience is that of a hospital in São Paulo that performed a neurosurgery simulation under the guidance of a virtual character that could be seen with augmented reality glasses. The idea is to use the avatar in the future to teach students about medical procedures.

There are also virtual cities that allow renting land on their platforms. One of them is Xepa World, which intends to offer its premises to companies. The surroundings still have a few occupied spaces – for now the most important are the two virtual art galleries.

“The artists made us realize that this new space acts as a new support for art. Through it, it is possible to tell the same stories we told before, but in a new way,” says Jonas Davanço, co. -founder of Xepa World, a startup that created a virtual city.

Xepa World is a platform with a virtual city focused on art and entertainment — Photo: Disclosure / Xepa World

Another Brazilian platform betting on the metaverse is PK XD, a mobile game focused on children. Players create their own characters and can earn goods such as clothes, cars and virtual houses through activities they perform with other people.

“It’s a world where kids are socially interacting with each other and having experiences,” explains Charles Barros, co-founder of game maker Afterverse.

The PK XD game has a virtual world where users can perform activities together to earn items — Photo: Disclosure / PK XD

The CEO believes that the fact that the game is available for smartphones (rather than virtual reality glasses) helps democratize the idea of ​​a virtual universe.

“Social networking took off a lot not just because of the concept, but because you needed a very low barrier to entry. On any computer or cell phone you’re browsing the internet, you can get into social networking and the metaverse is no different,” he says.

Metaverse can also be useful in some segments of e-commerce, says Luciana Nedel, professor at UFRGS. She assesses that the concept has potential for research in virtual shopping in supermarkets, for example.

“There’s a way to shop at the supermarket, and that’s: I have a list, but there’s what I buy on impulse. So I look at things on the shelves and remember things I didn’t put on the list. The supermarket metaverse is great,” he says.

In order to understand whether the platform explores the metaverse, it is possible to compare it with other forms of interaction on the Internet, explains Professor Carlos Affonso Souza from ITS-Rio and UERJ.

“To what extent this relationship [virtual] seems to replicate the sense of presence? Because if it sounds like a WhatsApp audio call or a Zoom video conference, you can’t tell it’s the metaverse.”

What to do if the cell phone memory is full?

Learn how to avoid WhatsApp scams

Whatsapp scams: learn how to protect yourself

Whatsapp scams: learn how to protect yourself

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *