A world beyond the real world, in which we move as avatars? In which we meet with our loved ones, enjoy concerts together, cultivate hobbies, work, shop ...? Many are eagerly awaiting such a "metaverse". We explain it simply.
Imagine this: You put on special glasses and find yourself in the Louvre. You have your own figure, a so-called avatar. This is unique. No one may or can copy it. Maybe the figure has a similarity to you or it resembles you completely. You have chosen this beforehand. Around you is your clique. Together you look at everything. You turn your head and see paintings as if they were real in front of you. You look at sculptures from all sides. You tell a friend that you have a similar sculpture at home. You scan it briefly in the real world with your phone, hoist it into the museum as an object, and show it to everyone.
After the museum, you go to a Telekom Shop, renew your cell phone contract. Or browse in any number of other stores, rooms, halls and worlds. Pay? There's a separate currency for that, a "cryptocurrency." Walk? No need, you "teleport", so you can get anywhere instantly at the touch of a button.
The next big thing?
This world, which is supposed to exist one day, already has a name: Metaverse. In October, Mark Zuckerberg renamed his company, which unites Facebook, Instagram and others, from "Facebook" to "Meta. The Greek prefix means "beyond" or "after". "Verse" would be as a short form leaning on Universe. The name came up in literature in the early 1990s, albeit more in dystopian, i.e. critical, future scenarios. Another name is "Web 3.0". The reason: previously two-dimensional content is to appear three-dimensional in the new world.
Zuckerberg's new company name underscores how focused he is on the vision. Other companies and startups are following suit, as are the media, analysts and investors. Everyone smells "the next big thing."
Roblox is showing the way: Companies are getting on board
Important key technologies behind it: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. The first is the immersive experience in completely different worlds. Augmented reality is when users are shown additional information on top of the visible reality in their glasses, such as in Pokémon Go. In Metaverse, this would be useful for staying in constant contact with the parallel world.
Utopia or dystopia? Pandemic shows how helpful something like this can be for staying in touch. One example is the Roblox platform, where people spend a lot of time together. And already, companies are crowding the platform to appeal to younger people in particular. The South Korean company Hyundai recently opened its own world there.
As with all innovations, the main task must be to ensure that ethical principles are upheld. One thing is certain: the laboratories of manufacturers and network operators such as Deutsche Telekom are already running at full speed to make networks, software and devices fit for such new applications. The 5G communications standard, with its low delays, high throughput and flexibility, is already a major step in this direction.