Access and Feeds

Metaverse: The Evolving Nexus of the Internet with Virtual Reality

By Dick Weisinger

The Web 1.0 refers to the Internet from about 1990 to 1994. Sometime around 2004, some analysts and writers, like publisher Tim O’Reilly started talking about a more participatory experience and dubbed it Web 2.0. Since then we’ve pretty much lost track of the numbering and no one ever really announced victory in that that we had achieved Web 2.0 goals.

Mark Zuckerberg though has staked a claim on a vision for how he wants Facebook to evolve. He is calling the vision the Metaverse. It’s a visual world dominated by virtual and augmented reality.

Zuckerberg described it as follows (from theVerge): “The metaverse is a vision that spans many companies — the whole industry. You can think about it as the successor to the mobile internet…you can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example… I think a lot of people when they think about the metaverse, they think about just virtual reality — which I think is going to be an important part of that… But the metaverse isn’t just virtual reality. It’s going to be accessible across all of our different computing platforms; VR and AR, but also PC, and also mobile devices, and game consoles…”

Matthew Ball, venture capitalist and writer, wrote that “the metaverse not as a virtual world or a space, but a sort of successor state to the mobile internet. There will be no clean ‘Before Metaverse’ and ‘After Metaverse’. Instead, it will slowly emerge over time as different products, services and capabilities integrate and meld together.”

Zuckerberg set a five year timeline to Facebook’s attempt to build a Metaverse by improving Virtual Reality and Facebook collaboration. Will it happen? Maybe not on the terms and five year time frame that Zuckerberg envisions, but ultimately there is no stopping the convergence of various technologies like social collaboration, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

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