Some might say that October 21, 2021, may go down in history as the moment the world embarked on another transformational digital journey. This was the day when Facebook changed its name to Meta, and while this corporate rebranding exercise might not be taught in the virtual classrooms of the future, its role in kick-starting the accelerated development of the metaverse just might. As such, it has the potential to have far-reaching consequences across the technology ecosystem, going beyond entertainment and requiring the attention of enterprise tech leaders.
Meta imagines a future where we live in a “hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together.”
While it shows where we are perhaps heading, this visionary language illustrates where we currently are with the overall metaverse story—some way off from (virtual) reality. From technologies and use cases to live applications, today the metaverse is just one of many nascent digital concepts that will seek to capture our attention in the years ahead.
The metaverse, however, has some in-built advantages, not the least of which is it brings proven technologies and online experiences together so that our digital lives can become much more immersive and integrated with the real world. Indeed, many people are already familiar with elements of the metaverse, particularly those who enjoy online gaming, where there is no shortage of compelling “worlds” where you exist as an avatar, interact with others and spend virtual money, among many other activities with a real-world equivalence.