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    Illustrated icon of headset and controllers used to navigate and interact in the metaverse.
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    The metaverse is the concept of a centralized virtual world that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as conducting business, playing video games, socializing, online shopping, and more. It is a form of virtual reality internet. The word “metaverse” refers to a virtual universe that lies beyond or is an extension of the physical world.

    One of the metaverse’s goals is to overcome the is the technical limitations of using virtual and augmented reality platforms. Users access the metaverse through their computers, smartphones, wearable technology, and other types of devices. There, users interact with environments containing interactive elements that are analogs to places, objects, and situations in the “real world.” 

    A brief history of metaverse

    The use of an immersive virtual world is not new. The video game and entertainment industries have been advancing virtual reality technology for years. Additionally, the idea of virtual reality is not new. But the concept of metaverse gained traction in the 1990s. The term “metaverse” was first used by Neal Stephenson in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash released in 1992. In the year 2000, the IT research firm Gartner coined the term “supranet” to refer to the convergence of the physical and virtual world. The advent of the internet acted as a catalyst for the advancement of the metaverse.

    The success of metaverse-like video games such as Roblox and Minecraft games paved the way for virtual reality consoles and other games. One of the most popular games that merged the physical and virtual world was Pokemon GO, which uses real-time GPS and a camera from the user’s smartphone or tablet to interact with virtual characters.

    In 2021, Mark Zuckerburg, the chairman of Facebook renamed the company to Meta Platforms and shared a company ambition to develop a metaverse ecosystem. Most of the concepts presented by Zuckerberg are yet to enter development.

    How is the metaverse used in business?

    There is a significant interest being shown by businesses around the globe in the metaverse’s potential as an environment to teach, sell, and connect with consumers, employees, and business partners. The metaverse promises an immersive multimedia experience for its customers, including virtualized storefronts, interactive customer service, and virtual reality marketing campaigns.

    Another use is the creation of interactive workplaces for employees located around the world. Going a step beyond collaboration and communication limited by current video conferencing technologies, the metaverse’s flexibility could facilitate more efficient collaboration within their organization regardless of the location of the employee. 

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