Here, we will analyze the Metaverse concept and its benefits. Then we will compare it with other life-changing technologies. At the end of this comparison, it will become abundantly clear to us, even though Metaverse is somewhat helpful, it’s overhyped.
Metaverse is a hype for three reasons. It’s not solving any existing critical problem, doesn’t improve or make our lives easier.
We see that various useful technologies came into existence and became well-accepted and popular because of our needs for those techs in our daily lives. Sometimes, technologies came into existence and made our lives easier even though we didn’t know we were missing them.
Here we will answer the following questions:
- What Problem Does Metaverse Solve?
- Are We Missing Metaverse?
- How Will Metaverse Make Our Life Easier?
The answer to these questions will show us the Metaverse is overhyped.
In Summary, What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse is an interconnected, interoperable 3D virtual world. There can be many virtual worlds, but only one Metaverse. We can consider each virtual world as a parallel universe where a different universe is created by a different company.
The following sections will analyze a few technologies we need to make our lives easier. And a few technologies we never thought we needed. Then we will examine how it correlates to Metaverse.
Global Positioning System (GPS):
The US military first invented and implemented the GPS. In the early days, it was a secret military technology. However, later President Ronald Reagan opened this system to the public on September 16, 1983, for public benefit.
Nowadays, we can’t think of our travel without GPS maps. Planes, ships, cars, cargos, satellites, rockets, researchers all use GPS. And recently, with the advent of the smartphone, and mobile internet, we have Uber, Lyft, which are entirely GPS dependent.
If the GPS goes down, the entire world will suffer. We never knew we needed it 50 years ago, and now we use it daily.
Satellite internet is not a new concept. HughesNet, ViaSat have been providing us with satellite internet for a long time. However, this internet has serious issues.
Conventional Satellite internet uses Geostationary satellites to provide services. As a result, the internet speed is painfully slow, expensive, and unreliable.
However, rural and isolated communities were forced to use that miserable internet because no current ISP will lay fiber optic cable to these rural areas because of high cost and low return.
These communities needed high-speed broadband internet, but no one provided a practical solution. Then SpaceX came up with the low earth orbit satellite internet – Starlink. SpaceX can create the Starlink constellation because of its reusable rockets, making launching satellites cheaper.
Therefore, Starlink is solving a problem that was necessary to solve.
There was a time; there were no streaming services such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, etc. There were only TV channels and radios such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX, etc. But nowadays, we can’t even think of a day without those streaming services.
Once upon a time, BlockBuster was a prominent American company that rented CDs, Movies, Games, etc. But the popularity of Netflix made them bankrupt. Movie theaters are also in decline throughout the world.
Netflix, Hulu provide the same services as BlockBuster, but it makes our lives easier. We don’t need to go outside to a physical store to rent movies anymore. We can rent movies online or watch free with a streaming services subscription.
Therefore, Streaming services replaced an inferior service with a superior one and made our life easier.
Waymo (owned by Google) has been working on self-driving cars for a long time. MobilEye, Tesla, and Cruise are also trying to develop self-driving cars. Even though we don’t have Level 5 autonomy publicly, we are getting close.
This technology is not available yet, but we can see the potential benefit of self-driving cars. Here’s are a few:
- Truck companies will buy self-driving trucks to transport goods, saving them millions of dollars each year.
- Taxi companies will have self-driving cars that operate 16-20 hours a day, making them more money.
- Self-driving cars are not distracted, don’t become emotional (road-rage), break laws. Therefore, it will make our roads safer than human drivers.
- If fewer accidents are on the road due to self-driving vehicles, the insurance will come down, and we will indirectly benefit from lower insurance costs.
Therefore, even though we don’t have self-driving vehicles on the road right now, we can see the vision and benefit of this technology. Thus, we need it.
In light of the previous discussions, let’s answer the questions we raised before.
What Problem Does Metaverse Solve?
When Mark Zuckerberg talks about Metaverse, he frequently gives an example of an office meeting. Mark misses human interaction. Instead of human faces on the computer screen, he wants to see 3D avatars in a room in the digital world. Mark also gives examples of virtual concerts, virtual offices, etc.
But these examples show Metaverse doesn’t solve any critical problem humanity faces. We are just putting ourselves in a virtual world. Metaverse will not improve our life like other compelling technologies such as GPS, Streaming services, or Self-driving cars.
Are We Missing Metaverse?
Second Life, Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, Microsoft Mesh, Horizon Worlds, etc., all are virtual worlds. We can consider each one of them as a universe. The only difference is that they are not interconnected and not interoperable.
Are we missing anything because they are not interconnected? No. As of right now, we are not missing Metaverse. We are not in dire need to take our digital assets from Minecraft to Fortnite.
Without demand, most companies will not try to make Metaverse a reality. Therefore, we don’t see the vision or urgency of Metaverse.
How Will Metaverse Make Our Life Easier?
Metaverse does not improve our life. We have to remember that Metaverse is not simply Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR). AR and VR have many compelling use cases, but Metaverse doesn’t.
In the early days of the Internet, we knew what it was and how it would revolutionize the future.
But we can’t envision how Metaverse would make our life easier or revolutionize the future. Attending a concert or a meeting in the virtual world means nothing. It’s a novelty thing but doesn’t massively improve our life.
In conclusion, Metaverse is the newest hype in the tech world. Though it has a few new concepts, it’s an old idea presented in a new way.