Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist who first wrote about it in 2018, and his essays became essential reading for entrepreneurs or tech watchers trying to understand the network Mark Zuckerberg and other futurists are anticipating will outshine the internet. The ball is a former head strategy at Amazon Studios, and his first book, The Metaverse: It Will Revolutionize Everything, is out in July.
What does it mean?
It refers to a persistent network that consists of 3D space. Everything online, including web pages, digital operating systems, and applications, is connected by standard protocols.
Does the Metaverse not refer to virtual reality?
I believe it is essential to differentiate access devices and particular experiences from the entire Metaverse. It would be an excellent analogy to discuss that mobile apps are not mobile internet. It can be accessed via a web browser like if You can say, “Hey Siri. What’s the time?” Your phone will access the mobile internet.
What distinguishes it from real things?
It’s a good example. Second-Life highlights the fact that this idea is not new. I discuss that the term originated 30 years ago but has been used in theory and early literature for nearly a century. Second Life was one of the first and most successful examples of it. It featured a relatively independent economy in which users could conduct transactions among themselves without the need for intermediaries. It was designed to be unstructured, and there was no goal.
Are we to believe that the Metaverse will become anarchist utopias?
Although some believe this is the end of nation-state civilization and community, it is not my view. It’s more likely that the growing influence of regional actors and increased governmental regulation will result in a more assertive regional identity.
Almost all cases, a 3D immersive setting is more intuitive and productive than any other way to communicate information or ideas.
What issues need to be resolved before we can see something that approaches your vision?
We’re now at a stage where we don’t have any conventions. There isn’t English, USD, or metric, and there’s not even an intermodal shipping container. It is often impossible to share the virtual world with others. That is why it is essential to expand it.
What real-world issues does the Metaverse solve?
In many cases, if you don’t count nearly all, 3D immersive environments are more valuable and intuitive ways to communicate information. We know from education that YouTube videos do not make learning easy, and Zoom school is not very engaging. The immersive education model allows us to understand the potential advantages not by looking at a TV screen but by using a haptic sensor with 3D gait and gait analysis representations. We can conclude that certain elements will enhance our experience and have more impact than the current web. Technology is fundamentally irreversible.
Are there ethical concerns we should be pondering now, rather than after there have been a billion users?
One of the core objectives of my book is to give users, regulators, developers, consumers, and voters a better picture of what the future will look like so we can positively impact that outcome. Big tech is moving to the Metaverse as they know what happens during a platform shift. Philosophies that are supported also change. The future is nearing, and if they can see it, consumers will have the chance to choose who or how they want to lead. This intra-cycle is very complex. It is unlikely that many of us will switch to a new smartphone provider, a social networking company, or change the content networks we consume. But platform shifts offer us that possibility.
How confident do you feel that this is the future?
There are certain things that we can be sure of. I am confident that 3D simulations of the world will become more prevalent in construction and operate it. It is already used today to design and operate airports and cities. The One-esque version, in which we go to school, collect virtual currency, and have our favorite skin, is our future’s most essential and predictable aspect.
Although we may find that much of what I wrote is confirmed, we may refer to the internet in various ways. I’m also confident that virtual environments and virtual support environments will become a more significant part of our lives. That is the fundamental change. What that means for you daily, and what it means for you at 5 pm when your return from work is uncertain.