“You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Morpheus
In the 1999 movie, The Matrix, Morpheus said those words to Neo, He offers Neo a choice between a red pill and a blue pill. Wonderland is now referred to as the metaverse and we are only just discovering how hare-raising this rabbit hole is. Yes, that was a rabbit joke.
It is nothing as terrifying as the movie depicts. We are not stuck in a pod, unaware of the real world. We are conscious that the metaverse is not real. Maybe, it is our readiness to escape reality for something else or it could just be evolution. Regardless, human beings are the champions of this cause. Well four corporations are championing the cause.
Tech corporations like Google, Facebook(now Meta), Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are in a race to be the leader in the metaverse.
What is the Metaverse?
Simply put, the metaverse is a virtual world. Then again there is nothing simple about the concept or definition of the metaverse. The definition of the term hasn’t become cohesive yet, between Facebook’s name change to Meta, its creation of a platform for virtual reality, and many companies offering their version of a video game world with NFTs attached.
The metaverse means different things to different people. Some envision a place where users will be able to make, purchase, and sell things. This is already happening with games like The World of Warcraft where players can sell, trade and swap items. Fortnite hosts virtual events like concerts and exhibitions. By donning an oculus ( a virtual reality headset), you can transport yourself to any virtual location
Applications of the Metaverse
The Metaverse is more than just a tool to rename legacy technologies or newer iterations of video games. Metaverse effects go beyond these circumstances. Some of the other effects are:
- Education — With the help of realistic Virtual and Augmented reality technology, children can already learn by sending themselves to other locations and times. This has already happened in Poland, where science classes are being taught via the virtual reality game Half-Life: Alyx. Virtual reality is being used by businesses like Skanska to deliver health and safety training.
- Health — The metaverse offers cutting-edge solutions for maintaining our health. e There is already virtual reality counselling accessible, and therapists are employing the oculus to administer exposure treatment to patients so they can confront their fears in a secure, controlled setting. Surgeons can guide some surgical procedures using augmented reality technology, and digital twins can be used to practice surgeries. Numerous VR and AR wellness apps are available for use at home; you can even practice guided yoga with augmented reality.
- Travel and Tourism — To attract new customers, hotels are already adopting VR as a marketing tool by developing immersive experiences. As consumers, we have access to global VR trips. We’ll be able to travel almost anywhere in the metaverse by simply donning an oculus. There are also guided augmented reality tours available, which will improve travel experiences and help reveal more details about a location.
- Innovation — Innovation will change as a result of the metaverse. Engineers, business owners, and designers are already simulating how things will seem in the real world using digital twins, or virtual reproductions of real things. For example, Formula 1 is using digital twins to build new race vehicles and test them on the virtual racetrack.
Back in the movie, when Morpheus offers Neo the choice between the red pill and the blue pill. It was a decision to face reality or continue living in an unrealistic world. Ironic that the opposite is the case now seeing as the Matrix was their reality.
Unlike the matrix, the metaverse is an unrealistic world that is having far-reaching effects on the real world. So, how realistic is an unrealistic world? It’s subjective. I’ll advise you to take the red pill because the metaverse is just beginning to gain traction.