Human Centric Metaverse

by February 22, 2022 0 comments

We as human beings have a few dreams which we can’t realize due to so many constraints – could be financial, skills, stamina, IQ and others! Due to natural calamities and other reasons like a pandemic, you cannot travel to the places to meet your extended family, friends, relatives, customers etc.

A few examples of human dreams are given below:

V. Srinivasa Rao (VSR) Chairman – Open Digital Innovation, IET Future Tech Panel Chairman & MD, BT&BT

V. Srinivasa Rao (VSR)
Chairman – Open Digital Innovation, IET Future Tech Panel
Chairman & MD, BT&BT

I dream of conversing with Karna and Lord Srikrishna, Bheeshma, and Suyodhan in Hastinapur in the Raj Darbar. I could meet them and can have a conversation to stop Mahabharat War. Yes, it is possible for you just by sitting at home (https://bit.ly/32wgTw0)

I want to meet my close friend who is 8000 miles away but not able to do. So, imagine within a few seconds, I will be at my friend’s home in the USA, and we both have personalized conversation. Once done, I will come back to my home in India. All I could do without even going out just from home.

Ghantasala, SP Balasubramanyam, and Kishorekumar’s music program is happening, and I want to attend that concert, enjoy the show in a big crowd just sitting at home.

My daughter is struggling to understand the planet Mars. So, my daughter and I go to Mars and then explore and experience the geography of Mars, all just by sitting at home. We do not need to spend millions of dollars to go to Mars using Elon Musk’s Space Shuttle.

All this looks like fiction and probably remind us of old mythology films. But do not worry; Metaverse is here to give that experience.

Meta means BEYOND, and Verse means UNIVERSE. That means we are creating a new universe beyond our physical limitations using technologies and will get immersed into this new universe to explore and experience the unexplored things in our life due to various constraints.

Technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, sophisticated modelling techniques, electromyography, Blockchain, 3D reconstruction, Internet of Things create this new universe.

Metaverse is a new imaginative three-dimensional virtual universe created with the digital version of physical places and things (the virtual replica or digital twin), virtual places and things and People (in the form of Avatars).

Web 3.0, Hardware, Variety Of Metaverses And Its Affordability

In Web 1.0, People started viewing static web pages over the internet in which the provider-maintained content. In the era of Web 2.0, people started generating content themselves using social media; there is a lot of interaction over webpages and software applications and have been communicating and collaborating using audio/video conference, telepresence, accessing videos and seeing movies.

In both Web 1.0 and 2.0 eras, people just viewed and interacted with the internet /web. Welcome to Web 3.0, in which people live and immerse into WEB. Metaverse is the real-life application of Web 3.0

In Metaverse the virtual universe connects with the physical universe (where we live) and allows the people (in their digital avatar) to work, play, stay connected with friends, attend conferences, concerts, make virtual trips, and do virtual shopping in their preferred places anywhere in the world.

Many complex technologies are required to connect Virtual Universe with Physical Universe to unlock the true potential of Metaverse

• People need to wear Virtual Reality (VR) headset, VR Suit, Haptic gloves (for human body motion and touch), and Augmented Reality (AR) glasses.

• Brain Computer Interface (BCI) to send the human brain electrical pulses in the form of actions to its Virtual Replica (Avatar)) of the person in the Metaverse

• Internet of Things (IoT) to send the data from physical places/things to its virtual replica in Metaverse (Digital Twin)

Metaverse is still in the incubation phase, and it will take a few more years to reach its mature stage. Having said this, Metaverse could be used in education, healthcare, entertainment, eCommerce, and other industries. There will not be one Metaverse, and we might have Consumer Metaverse, Business Metaverse, Industry Metaverse, Society Metaverse, Government Metaverse, Entertainment Metaverse, Healthcare Metaverse, Education Metaverse etc.

Metaverse creates a virtual world and helps people get experiential learning of new skills, helps innovators explore various alternatives before designing best in class products, and youth enjoy entertaining events and many more. As Metaverse is run on the internet, it can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, irrespective of cities or villages. However, the hardware to get an immersive experience within Metaverse is expensive at this juncture. Therefore, to unlock the full potential and to experience all features of the Metaverse, it may not be affordable to all people at this juncture.

Real Life Applications Of Metaverse

• Nike bought a virtual shoe company to sell the same within Metaverse using Blockchain Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). That means Nike set up its showroom in Metaverse, and People (in their AVATAR form) purchase virtual shoes by paying for cryptocurrencies.

• Decentraland established a REAL ESTATE Metaverse in which people purchase virtual land parcels using Blockchain Non-Fungible Tokens. Later, they could construct their own virtual offices, virtual shopping malls, virtual entertainment theatres in Decentraland.

• Facebook has started many Metaverse initiatives like Horizon Home, Gaming, Fitness and Education.

• Microsoft Mesh has been creating Collaboration Workplaces within Metaverse to improve employee productivity and engagement.

• The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences in the Ethereum blockchain.

Minimizing The Side Effects / Negative Effects Of Metaverse

While Metaverse has many advantages, we can’t ignore the negative implications. A few examples are

• Metaverse Bullying with griefers (A person who harasses or deliberately provokes other people (Avatars) to spoil their enjoyment) creates a lot of challenges for people. Male Avatars may create an embarrassing situation for Women Avatars.

• Metaverse needs a lot of moderators and safety measures to ensure that they block the people (Avatars) who involves in hate speech, spread misinformation etc.

• Develop Metaverse Etiquette to unlock the true potential of Metaverse with minimal or no side/adverse effects

• Mobile phones, the Internet, social media have impacted culture, family relationships and family values. With Metaverse, imagine if all the family members wear VR headsets or AR glasses and spend longer time in the imaginary virtual world, that would impact relationships and lead to physical and mental illnesses.

• Dark Metaverse may emerge in which illegal and unethical activities may be performed by a few people in the form of their AVATARS and may impact their behaviours to involve in crimes in the real world.

• Many youths may get addicted to Porn Metaverses to get immersive sex experience, and it may cause significant distractions and may seriously impact their education and future.

• A lot of data about people will be available through AVATARS (actions, conversations, connections, etc.) in the Metaverse and hence safeguarding people’s safety and privacy is crucial.

Need For Metaverse Hardware And Avatars Innovations

The Metaverse’s AVATARs need a lot of improvement to exactly resemble the actual person. A lot of work is happening in this area.

We used to have massive computers a few years back, and now we are getting computers in miniature forms like wearable devices and mobile phones. Similarly, the innovations are required to optimize the size of VR Headsets, AR glasses and other Metaverse infrastructure. Metaverse also requires high processing GPUs and high bandwidth using 5G. It may take 5 to 10 years to enjoy the fruits of Metaverse at an affordable price.

Author: V. Srinivasa Rao (VSR) 

Chairman – Open Digital Innovation, IET Future Tech Panel 

Chairman & MD, BT&BT 

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