Industry commentators’ views
Different companies and participants interpret what metaverse means differently. We provide views from some prominent industry commentators, one a venture capitalist and another an entrepreneur, regarding what a metaverse entails.
Definition of the metaverse and its development Vectors
Venture capitalist (VC) Matthew Ball defined (here and here) the metaverse as a “massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications and payments”.
The metaverse, in his view, should be viewed as a quasi-successor state to the mobile internet as it would not replace the internet but will build on it and transform it just as mobile devices changed the access, companies, products/services and usage of the internet. As with mobile internet, the metaverse is a network of interconnected experiences and applications, devices and products, and tools and infrastructure. The metaverse places everyone in an embodied, virtual or 3D version of the internet on a nearly unending basis.
Some characteristics of the metaverse are that it would be:
(2) synchronous and live;
(3) without caps on users and providing each user with an individual sense of presence;
(4) a fully functioning economy;
(5) an experience that spans digital and physical worlds, private and public networks, and open and closed platforms;
(6) offer unprecedented interoperability of data, digital items/assets and content; and
(7) populated by content and experiences created and operated by an incredibly wide range of contributors.
Metaverse around eight core categories:
Technologies and devices to access, interact and develop the metaverse (VR, phones, haptic gloves).
Development of persistent real-time connections, high bandwidth and decentralised data transmission.
Enablement of compute to handle the demanding functions (physics, rendering, data reconciliation and synchronisation, AI, projection, motion capture and translation).
(4) Virtual platforms:
Creation of immersive and 3D environments/worlds to stimulate a wide variety of experiences and activity supported by a large developer and content creator ecosystem.
(5) Interchange tools and standards:
Tools, protocols, services and engines to enable the creation, operation and improvements to the metaverse spanning rendering, AI, asset formats, compatibility, updating, tooling and information management.
Support of digital payments including fiat on-ramps to pure-play digital currencies/crypto.
(7) Metaverse content, services, and assets:
The design, creation, storage and protection of digital assets such as virtual goods and currencies connected to user data and identity.
(8) User behaviour:
Changes in consumer and business behaviour (spending and investment, time and attention, decision making and capability) associated with the metaverse.