Stranger Than Science Fiction: How Imagination Is Building The Metaverse

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How Imagination Is Building The Metaverse: In a Nutshell

  • The metaverse can potentially change the way we as a society interact with technology forever. Because potential is all about developing the future, one key component will be pivotal in shaping the metaverse, its worlds, and universes — our imaginations. We're exploring how the metaverse can evolve from its current status as a hypothetical aspiration into an immersive, ubiquitous medium for seamless future societal communication, interaction, and engagement. 
  • Imagination is key and will reinvent and rejuvenate ordinary and mundane tasks we thought had reached their limits on Web 2.0. Through the emergence of our prospective parallel worlds, planets, and star systems, the creation of the Multiverse and the introduction of new worlds are a collision of forces we've dubbed the Big Bang 2.0.
  • With XR technology set to catalyze experiencing the multi-dimensional virtual accomplishments of tomorrow, Metaverse enthusiasts can rest assured with the knowledge that everyday pioneers in the field are rapidly inventing new ways to bridge the gap between the real and virtual world.

Who knew the stuff of far-flung science fiction would one day become a reality? 

Ever since Neal Stephenson first introduced the term in his 1992 best-selling novel Snow Crash, the 'metaverse' has permeated popular culture and become the newest conceptual creation set to reshape technological and societal norms. 

Stephenson's 90's dystopian novel depicts a world subjected to oppressive totalitarian rule, where its citizens escape to the comfort of virtual reality in order to live and express themselves freely. Ever since, there have been countless iterations of fictional virtual realities, from the Matrix and Neuromancer to Minority Report and Ready Player One. So many stories have depicted an existence where the virtual and real worlds are nearly indistinguishable. 

With Multiverse’s photorealistic metaverse and so many others emerging on the horizon, it's apparent that ideas once confined to the pages of sci-fi books are now on the precipice of actualizing within our contemporary digital environment — and the possibilities are endless. The metaverse can potentially change the way we as a society interact with technology forever. And because potential is all about developing the future, one key component will be pivotal in shaping the metaverse, its worlds, and universes — our imaginations. 

We're exploring how the metaverse can evolve from its current status as a hypothetical aspiration into an immersive, ubiquitous medium for seamless future societal communication, interaction, and engagement. 

Let's delve a little further into the future of the metaverse, its incredible success, and discover all the ways in which imagination will build it.

What Is The Metaverse?

Blue and pink gradient graphic of the world showcasing multiple individual nodes that display various applications.

First up, how would we describe the metaverse? Some describe the metaverse as an all-encompassing 3D, simulated reality where facets of social media, e-commerce, recreation, and administrative capabilities combine in one interoperable environment. Despite its limitations, users inhabiting today’s current models of the metaverse can already traverse open worlds, socialize, play, create, and discover just as they would in the real world. One impressive capability of today’s metaverse includes the hosting of autonomous digital economies where users can operate a decentralized finance system (DeFi), exchange crypto, and trade NFTs underpinned by smart contracts and open standards. 

Facilitated through virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and other extended reality (XR) technology, the metaverse is thought to be the next iteration of the Internet and is expected to extend the capabilities of Web 2.0. And if we want to eventually see the creation of one true metaverse, the cultivation of digital spaces facilitating complete decentralization in a secure and viable manner is a must. Creating an autonomous digital utopia may one day be on the horizon if a way for all individuals and businesses to seamlessly wander between the real and virtual worlds is found. Until then, the metaverse may simply equate to nothing more than an expensive online amusement park. And so, it’s important that rudimentary versions of the metaverse today serve as an experimental breeding ground that pushes for future success.

The metaverse may not be a singular world, but many interoperable parallel worlds that reimagine and reinvent user interaction while operating under shared universal laws. While the metaverse (in actuality) is still a theoretical concept, experts on the matter say its emergence is inevitable. 

This sentiment is backed by author and venture capitalist Matthew Ball. He says the metaverse "is poised to revolutionize every industry and function, from finance and healthcare to payments, consumer products, and even sex work. The Internet will no longer be at arm’s length; instead, it will surround us, with our lives, labor, and leisure taking place inside the Metaverse."  

Introducing Multiverse

Blue and purple gradient background with the words “Multi” positioned vertically on the left and “verse” positioned vertically on the right with a diagonal extending pattern of blue and purple oblate spheroids.

If you have any doubts about the metaverse, its potential, arrival, or many iterations, let us introduce you to Multiverse. For those in need of a gentle reminder, we at Multiverse envision a truly decentralized digital environment empowered by high-performance blockchain; a space where citizens will be able to inhabit a world where they can work, socialize with friends, play games, build personalized experiences, launch NFTs, and engage in commerce using our secure token system. Enterprise users will even have an added chance of promoting, marketing, and monetizing their products and services within our digital economy — all brought to life through immersive 3D photorealism and enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI). 

With our cutting-edge technological capabilities, we can continue creating and shaping meta-landscapes, worlds, and environments for all to be immersed. We're inviting you on a journey to discover more about who we are, what we're trying to achieve, and the worlds, planets, and universes we’re sculpting. Multiverse is working hard to become the first true metaverse. In doing so, we have facilitated an unprecedented digital space for businesses and individuals to operate in a decentralized manner. But becoming the first true metaverse requires more than just technical prowess. An equally major component shaping the Multiverse is our ability to anticipate the unknown and use our imagination to cultivate and shape the digital spaces of tomorrow.  

That's why it’s essential for us to harness creativity and cultivate imagination. It will allow us to actualize a digital space we all want to inhabit and enjoy. Multiverse and its photorealistic capabilities are only one area that will require creative contributions to push the envelope and bring to fruition worlds beyond what we thought were possible. In the not-so-distant future, you could enjoy a virtual chess game with friends on a never-before-seen alien planet, correspond with colleagues surrounded by views of exquisite beaches, or even dress your avatar in custom digital attire before attending Paris's virtual fashion week. 

Imagination is key. It will reinvent and rejuvenate ordinary, mundane tasks we thought had reached their limits on Web 2.0. Through the emergence of our prospective parallel worlds, planets, and star systems, the creation of the Multiverse and the introduction of new worlds are a collision of forces we've dubbed the Big Bang 2.0. Some of our best creators, technicians, writers, software engineers and executives aren't only responsible for fulfilling their respective roles, but they’re also encouraged to harness their soft skills through imaginative contributions that envision what the ideal metaverse should look like. We continue to push the limits and explore how the Multiverse can be enjoyed by future society. 

Director of New York City's The Future Today Institute Melanie Subin predicts that by 2030 "a large proportion of people will be in the metaverse in some way."

What Will Life In The Metaverse Look Like?

Blue infinity pool overlooking the Manhattan skyline at sunset with random graphical nude-colored charts super-imposed over the image.

The creation and actualization of the metaverse will rely heavily on tech innovators, cultural behaviors, and influential trends. What the metaverse will look like five, ten, or twenty years from now will be dependent on how far we as a society are willing to take it. The outmoded rules and systems of the real world prove restrictive and limited when realizing the growing potential of the metaverse and what it could become. Real-world laws, physics, and expectations can be redefined and improved in the metaverse. Say goodbye to hierarchical financial systems and exceed the limitations of the physical experience. Explore star systems beyond the borders of our natural world, all within the metaverse. Throw out the rules and forget what you thought you knew because the metaverse has the potential to go as far as our imaginations allow. 

So, what can future generations hope to experience within the metaverse? What could the ideas and dreams of today look like when realized in tomorrow's metaverse? 

Imagine this, the days of 4K are long gone, and inhabiting distant parallel planets in super-realistic brilliance is now the norm. 5G is a thing of the past, and supersonic 6G/7G wireless Internet connects users worldwide in a matter of seconds. Or how about the radicalization of work and social life capabilities by using photorealistic avatars that make real-world and virtual world interactions indistinguishable. Soon we may be able to see, hear, engage, and interact with colleagues, family, and friends halfway around the world as if they were right in front of us. Extended reality (XR) technologies serve as the catalyst that enables our existence in the virtual realm. The potential to design and construct all-encompassing 3D worlds and immersive mixed realities from scratch sits just on the horizon. 

Meta's Oculus Quest 2 already boasts impressive VR and AR capabilities. The convergence of finely-tuned and highly-evolved software and hardware will likely be used to merge a variety of different metaverses. This will result in virtual seamlessness, where users can traverse between respective worlds, fly from one interoperable program to another, and create entirely new digital economies empowered by decentralized blockchain and cutting-edge wearable XR tech. AR and VR tech will only be one side of the meta-coin, as XR l be capable of observing users and will adapt to accommodate for comfort.  

Subin explains this will likely be achieved using a "blend of physical and behavioral biometrics, emotion recognition, sentiment analysis, and personal data…” 

XR technology is set to catalyze experiencing the multi-dimensional virtual accomplishments of tomorrow. This means that metaverse enthusiasts can rest assured with the knowledge that everyday pioneers in the field are rapidly inventing new ways to bridge the gap between the real and virtual world. In fact, a 2021 report from Statista reveals, “the global XR market size is expected to be worth 31 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, rising to close to 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.” Assuming the obstacles preventing progress within the development of XR tech are overcome, the future of life within the metaverse proves to be bright. Just imagine wandering through the halls of the Louvre and seeing every detail of the Venus de Milo rendered in 3D, or hiking to the top of Mount Everest, where you'll be able to feel the crisp cold air on your skin, or arriving on the surface of Mars, where you can explore the red planet and lay claim to your very own piece of Martian land.

It Doesn't Stop There 

A lone man on a dimly lit red dancefloor that’s accented with red, blue, and green strobe lights.

How about a future where you can watch your favorite musician perform a live concert in spectacular hyper-realism without leaving your room? 

Why spend money on airfare to travel across the country when pop stars like Ariana Grande can come to you. This is exactly what happened in Epic Games' immensely popular Fortnite. A virtual avatar of Grande performed an in-game concert as part of her 2021 "Rift" tour. Suddenly, those jacked into the Fortnite network could attend a live event and watch one of the world's biggest singers perform while remaining in-game. Collaborative moments like these exemplify how we could all one day inhabit and enjoy the metaverse. But how can we further improve and enhance the live online experiences in the years to come? We believe a live concert’s lights, atmosphere, and action simply can’t be substituted by live-streaming it from your bedroom. 

If your finances can’t afford you the in-the-flesh experience, a new and reimagined way to see your favorite artists on stage could be the answer. Enter the metaverse live experience. The metaverse of the future could not only bring your favorite musicians to life in spectacular fashion, but it could also become enhanced, personalized, and customized in ways we haven’t seen before. Imagine witnessing Grande performing in 3D photorealistic brilliance, or hearing her best hits while viewing her cyberpunk warrior princess avatar instead? Creative customization through NFT outfits (approved by Ariana, of course) will allow artists to curate and design virtual appearances that help fulfill their true creative expression and give audiences a show unlike any other.

Do you want to change the frequency of the strobe lights because they're too trippy? Then use customizable controls that allow you to change the colors and alter the brightness intensity to your comfort. Through augmented reality features, you could even embellish the show with emojis and Kawaii animated friends that join Ariana on stage–there's limitless potential. Of course, we can't forget about what you'll be wearing at the virtual concert. If Grande is adorned in avant-garde alien couture, you’ll need to dress to impress. Turn heads by dressing your avatar up in the latest seasonal items or even fluorescent dynamic-motion costumes that look like something straight off an Iris Van Herpen runway. With a quick swipe, your digital avatar could change form and appearance, something not so simple to achieve in the real world—if only. 

What about choosing the perfect seats that put you front and center of the action? In virtual environments, seating may become obsolete, making physical limitations a thing of the past. You and your friends could enjoy the show from whichever perspective you choose. Enjoy unparalleled views by floating above the stage suspended in mid-air or have the choice of moving freely around the digital arena for 360-degree views of your favorite artist. The metaverse of the future will hopefully offer all of these potential freedoms. And you shouldn't expect it to be limited to only live concerts. Soccer matches, movie screenings, and even at-work office parties will also be able to take advantage of these futuristic virtual capabilities. 

What about reinventing the retail experience? Consumer habits could be reimagined through interactive products and items you can see, touch—and perhaps (in the future) even smell. 

With newly emerging and future tech such as Smart clothing and tactile-responsive haptic gloves bridging the gap between physical and virtual interaction, the online consumer experience can be reinvented entirely. Soon we could purchase, redesign, customize, and access real-time data on the latest products and NFTs. We could try on clothes, inspect artwork, and test drive the newest Tesla model—allowing us to immersively engage and interact with products before purchasing. On the other hand, companies can avoid the time and resources lost that come with unnecessarily mass-producing products by creating prototypes that can test the consumer waters and be trialled before launch. This way, companies can produce products on a need-only basis, collect valued metrics on items of interest, satisfy bespoke customers and reduce waste within the environment.

Moreover, artists and creators can discover an untapped arena by creating and trading NFTs on the burgeoning meta-marketspace and unleash their creative potential in fantastic ways. 

Those struck with inspiration can create their own products, design artwork, purchase collectables, etc,. And artists and creators can rest assured knowing smart contracts with their concrete transactions (secured on the multi-chain) will allow them to safely and efficiently trade in the creator economy. In the metaverse, creators will have the potential to build their own personalized brand and identity from the ground up, breaking the barrier to entry and allowing creators of all kinds to enter a globalized space free of corporate bureaucracy. We're always working alongside a diverse range of partners to help showcase new ideas, services and products in our Multiverse, because we hold collaboration at our core and know that the metaverse will need contributions from everyone if we want to see these interoperable worlds come to life. 

The future of the metaverse and its robust capabilities are yet to be realized. One thing that's certain is that our imaginations will be a critical component of its success. 

It's not enough to simply recreate the world we already see around us. We should aim to construct an entirely new environment that inspires and cultivates a space for endless potential. Within a decade, next-generation virtual and augmented reality technology may be ubiquitous in every household, seamlessly rendering jaw-dropping, photorealistic environments shared with users from around the world. We may be able to assemble beautiful, never-before-seen fantasy environments that extend beyond our comprehension. We could buy virtual land, pay our utility bills, attend classes with friends, and fulfill work objectives all in one place. Utilizing the imagination will allow us to shape the metaverse we want to see and live out our daily lives in an entirely new way.

But There's Still Much To Be Done

A silhouette of a man in a suit stands in a hallway with neon blue walls on either side staring at two people walking towards him with an orange background.

The metaverse may be the most anticipated cultural phenomena of the decade, but it's wise to remember it's still an aspirational construct. There's no guarantee it will be successful. 

In what would become the Internet we use today, Nikola Tesla predicted the emergence of a "world wireless system" back in the early 1900s. The parallels between his predictions and today's forecasting of the metaverse are somewhat similar. The only difference is that the world-changing introduction of the Internet came about because of the hard work and individual philanthropy of dedicated computer scientists, programmers, and engineers throughout the mid to late 20th century. 

The Internet's success is due to the cross-sector efforts of various entities—public and private. Whether we cultivate one true metaverse or have multiple different versions, we must place unprecedented collaboration and commitment above privatization and profitability. The metaverse is a chance to rewrite the rules we've become accustomed to. Not only will the metaverse depend on imagination, but also a collective willingness to see it come to fruition. 

Imagination will build the metaverse, and in turn, the metaverse will make our imaginations stronger. 

But if we hope to see our wildest dreams come to life in the metaverse, it must be built by the many, not the few. No one ultimately knows what life on the various planets and worlds within the metaverse will look like—that's up to us. The metaverse will be pioneered by talented technology innovators and state-of-the-art digital apparati. Still, our imaginations will act as the critical cornerstone, pushing the envelope, forging new ideas, and exploring the previously unimaginable. 

Building Imagination

Man in a north face jacket stands on the edge of a tall building using his camera to take a picture of the brightly lit cityscape below.

Unafraid to venture down new avenues and chase distant horizons, we as a society have explored almost every corner of the natural world, sky-high and sea deep. From the depths of the Mariana Trench to the surface of the Moon, history has proven that our desire to explore and uncover new frontiers is hard-wired within us. We’ve discovered that external exploration is only one vertical to investigate in modern times. Researching metaphysical spaces such as the metaverse provides an entirely new and exciting avenue to venture down — and what's more intangible than the imagination? 

Much like artificial neural networks enabling the creation of the metaverse, the equally fascinating neural network of the human mind has proven to play an important role in the fruition of the metaverse through the power of imagination. Like the convergence of subatomic particles igniting the Big Bang— every invention and idea that ever existed began as a spark within the imagination. The stepping stone from the unthinkable to the tangible, the developmental complexity of the imagination empowers every great idea we as a society will ever have. 

Imagination allows us to dream, create, and invent ideas that aren't yet realized or entirely comprehensible. It is the fuel that will drive the metaverse's success and be the force fueling rampant technical innovation and abstract creativity. 

With an understanding that the evolution of humanity and technology are—at present, intertwined, shifting societal paradigms are starting to reassess finite materialistic value. 

Society is now choosing to turn away from the palpable, and toward the infinite potential of artificial digitization brought on by the imagination. That's why the metaverse exemplifies an environment perfectly suited to accommodating far-flung creative expression. 

We couldn't say it better than Albert Einstein himself: “I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination, which I think is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”