Technology is undergoing a number of changes that will affect how we interact with the Internet. The metaverse is rapidly being developed and NFTs are going to play a big role in its development.
The metaverse has been the buzzworld ever since Facebook (now Meta) introduced it in late October 2021 and when Mark Zuckerburg referred to it as the next generation of social media or the Internet.
It refers to a virtual reality (VR) where people can socialize and interact with each other. VR and augmented reality (AR) headsets will play a big role in making online experiences look and feel real.
The concept of a digital world was shown in Steven Spielberg’s Sci-fi movie ‘Ready Player One’ that brought the concept to a wider audience. Many companies have started working on the metaverse and its developments.
Meta, Microsoft and Apple are just a few examples of companies who are focused on building new innovations and features to allow users to interact with others efficiently in the digital world.
Video games already have a metaverse but it’s pretty basic. Fortnite, for example, is focused on its battle royale experience but still has to make big moves into the digital metaverse space. Users can interact with the avatars of the other users online and can also customize their own avatar by claiming virtual currency that unlocks a variety of outfits called ‘skins’.
Virtual reality is already advanced in video games. Sony is planning to launch a second generation VR headset for PlayStation 5. This headset would plug into the console to play virtual reality games.
The 3D world of the metaverse won’t specifically be just for VR and AR headsets. Developments will allow people to experience the digital world and the interactivity that comes with it on computers as well as mobile devices.
At the moment, in video games like Fortnite and Roblox, users exchange money for virtual currency that can be further exchanged for digital items but remain on the centralized servers. Users can’t exchange them for money on third-party marketplaces. However, in an NFT-powered metaverse, users will have ownership of these digital items such as avatars, land, and other things. NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens. These are digital assets such as graphic design, animation, audio/video file or even a meme. They exist on a blockchain and are unique, irreplaceable and cannot be replicated. It’s like owning an artwork online. Many artists and brands are issuing NFT collections as a way to build and grow a community among their customers. One brand that has introduced NFTs is Nike. When you purchase a pair of shoes, you automatically get a digital version of the product which verifies authenticity and ownership and it is stored in your ‘virtual locker’ called Cryptokick. This initiative shows that digital fashion is another use for the NFTs rather than the standard artistic application.
In the metaverse, users would be able to interact together in 3D spaces and experience real-life interactions such as, chatting with others, checking out an NFT art gallery, or go visit a live concert. There is a high chance that NFTs could become the optimal currency in the metaverse. At present, one way people are making use of NFTs in the metaverse is to buy land. Owning a specific piece of land gives users ownership of specific locations in the digital world. Decentraland, a metaverse-style game lets players buy plots of land-sold as NFT assets-and build buildings on top creating interactive experiences.
Companies other than those in the gaming industry have started to lean towards discovering possible potential in the metaverse. Even though there is so much potential and opportunity ahead for companies when it comes to the metaverse, it is still years away and needs enough time to build the infrastructure for this digital world.