Posted: Date Posted – 12:15 AM, Fri – 17 Jun 22
Hyderabad: What started as a fictional concept in 1992 is slowly becoming a reality – albeit in the virtual world.
Metaverse, which was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his fictional book Snow Crash, has risen to prominence over the past few years – thanks to Facebook morphing into Meta. Facebooks, Microsofts, and Apples around the world have already ventured into this, and now small businesses and startups are getting into this niche as well.
The concept of real humans interacting and communicating in a virtual scenario has always been part of the world of fiction with films and books illustrating this through visual effects and graphics. But now it has become part of the real world with many companies using the same graphics and visual effects featuring a virtual avatar of a real person.
In simpler terms, Metaverse is an online/virtual world in which human avatars connect by playing games, buying and selling things, attending events of similar interest, or simply being the audience of an event of their choice. Many see the Metaverse as an extension of the Internet in which people can now communicate with each other not only through text, images or video, but also through their virtual avatars.
With this mode of communication also came the need to develop a currency for the digital world through which humans could make purchases, buy tickets or simply collect different things. Thus, digital currency was born in different forms like bitcoins, cryptocurrency and others.
While some of the metaverses can be accessed through his computer by logging into the virtual world which will create his virtual avatar, some may also require external gadgets like the virtual reality (VR) headset to have a fully immersive experience. So, all of the above put together – cryptocurrency, bitcoins, virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain – is what constitutes an evolved metaverse.
A Mckinsey report says, “The metaverse – like many innovations – is shrouded in mysticism and skepticism. Proponents believe the Metaverse will be revolutionary and completely transform the way we work, shop, socialize and play. Others are more skeptical and see a hype-fueled fashion that appeals to gamers and celebrities alike.
While bandwidth requirements for Metaverse may vary depending on usage, many believe that a typical bandwidth of 2 and 5 Gbps would be required. A Credit Suisse report also mentioned that this network of three-dimensional (3D) virtual worlds focused on social connections will increase data consumption by 20 times over the next 10 years across the world. The report suggests that the 5G service already supports the Metaverse ecosystem, but the emergence of 6G in the coming years would further enhance its usability.
Application of the metaverse
From healthcare to virtual offices and from real estate to retail, the Metaverse is poised to change the way we live. From being associated with gaming and a technologically advanced species, Metaverse is slowly making its way into our daily lives.
For example, in real estate, developers are using Metaverse to showcase homes that haven’t been built yet using 3D images and VR sets. Elsewhere in healthcare, doctors are using this technology to improve outcomes and for better diagnoses.
Likewise, with the pandemic taking over office spaces, many companies are toying with the idea of virtual offices in which employees come to the office virtually from the comfort of their own homes.
Meet startups creating digital avatars
While the most popular among the Metaverse startups in the city is Gamitronics founded by Rajat Ojha, there are other startups in this space that are doing groundbreaking work in this space.
NextMeet, a Hyderabad-based startup, offers an avatar-based immersive PC/VR Metaverse platform that enables remote working, collaboration, meetings, distance learning and networking for business, l education and events. According to the company’s website, one needs to install the app on Windows/macOS PC/Laptops with minimum requirement of i3 with 4GB RAM, register and verify email to login, and enter the NextMeet world to explore the Metaverse.
Similarly, another start-up in the city, Imaginate, helps companies create digital avatars of their employees to collaborate in the virtual world.
Gamitronics rose to prominence by hosting India’s first-ever concert on Metaverse by Daler Mehndi, then hosting the unveiling of the state’s SpaceTech policy on Metaverse and recently, it partnered with Airtel to launch the India’s first Metaverse multiplex.
Tech Mahindra announced in February the launch of TechMVerse, its Metaverse practice to deliver interactive and immersive experiences in the Metaverse to its customers. The platform aims to transform the customer experience and deliver real business results and Tech Mahindra will leverage its network and infrastructure capabilities along with its core technology capabilities including artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, 5G, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and quantum computing to create B2B use cases across industries.