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Exploring the Metaverse: The Next Wave of Technology and Why It's Worth Paying Attention

Article Image Craig Hume - MD @ Utopia

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There is a technological wave coming, and it could be of tsunami scale. It has the potential to be the biggest of our lifetimes. With that, it has the opportunity to create prosperity and opportunity for those who spot it. It's called the Metaverse, and in this article, I'm going to help explain why it's exciting and what the heck it is!

Continuing with the wave metaphor, please consider a surfer searching for the perfect wave. They are similar to entrepreneurs looking for the next big opportunity. You see, as a great surfer, you start by looking at the storms happening far out at sea. Those winds are creating friction over the ocean that will build up to more and more powerful swells over time. Once those swells reach the shallow waters, they fold over themselves, causing what we call breaking waves - or surf. From a business standpoint, think of this like great entrepreneurs watching the distant trends and new technologies coming over the horizon. Where will the next big opportunity come from?

Once great surfers have spotted their opportunity, they head to where they think the surf will happen, and they wait and watch. What is the ocean doing? They are looking for the peak. Where is the wave starting to break first? For entrepreneurs, this is akin to trying to invest in new technology at the perfect time. Jump into the market too soon, and nobody wants your product, too late, and you've missed the opportunity.

Finally, once surfers are on the wave, they need to constantly adapt their surfing and plans depending on how the tide is breaking. Think of Steve Jobs. He was known for being brave and changing plans to align with what the market wanted, not necessarily what Apple had developed.

So, what has surfing or even entrepreneurship got to do with the Metaverse? Well, I believe the Metaverse is the next big wave. Facebook changing its name to Meta is like the storm brewing far out at sea. Something is coming, and it's now down to entrepreneurs to think about where that storm will land and how they are going to ride that wave.

OK, Craig, the Metaverse is coming, but what exactly is it? 

Well, let's start with the name. The word "Metaverse" was used initially in Neal Stephenson's book, Snow Crash. In his book, the Metaverse was described as a shared "imaginary place" that's "made available to the public over the worldwide fibre-optics network" and projected onto virtual reality goggles. Isn't it amazing that fiction and the language that we use so often creates our world? So, in short, think of the Metaverse as a colossal extension of social media platforms. It's like mini virtual universes that we can access over various digital means, from phones to virtual reality headsets and augment reality glasses. In essence, it's the natural evolution of the internet.

When the internet first launched, text was all we had to communicate. Then we got mobile devices with cameras, and pictures became prevalent. As internet speeds further increased, we now see that video is the necessary form of communication. In the Metaverse, we will choose the type of communication that best suits us. Imagine conversing with your work colleagues in a virtual space using your VR headset or working collaboratively with a friend represented by a hologram through your augmented reality glasses? Or after work, jumping into a virtual space to work out or play games with friends and family. This might sound far fetched, but we are as little as five years away from this being the norm. 

I am excited about this new wave. I'm seeing a perfect storm of emerging technologies like 5G, blockchain and NFTs (Collins Dictionaries word of the year) and now the Metaverse. There will be many opportunities in this new online world, and I look forward to exploring how Utopia will be involved with my team. Got any questions? Just ask.

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