165 Halsey Street’s Guide to the Metaverse in 5 Minutes or Less

The term “metaverse” has been bubbling up to the surface more and more. The term is not new, so many readers might be surprised to hear it was first coined by author, Neal Stephenson in his 1992 sci-fi novel, “Snow Crash.” A myriad of articles exists on the metaverse today, with most of them digging very deep into the alleged seven layers of the metaverse and dissecting various topics. These topics for the general reader with little to no background knowledge can be overwhelming and bewildering. That’s where we come in, so keep reading for your 5 Minutes or Less breakdown of the metaverse.

What It Is

Everyone seems to have a bit of a different take on what the metaverse is, or rather what it can evolve into. Which one resonates most with you?

Matthew Ball, Venture Capitalist, says “It’s moving into what people call ambient computing. It’s about being within the computer rather than accessing the computer. It’s about being always online rather than always having access to an online world.” (You can check out his blog here.)

Kristi Woolsey, Associate Director at BCG Platinion’s take: “The term Metaverse is used to describe a combination of the virtual reality and mixed reality worlds accessed through a browser or headset, which allows people to have real-time interactions and experiences across distance.”

Lastly, this blog wouldn’t be complete without a quote from Facebook, now of course, Meta, “The ‘metaverse’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.” Yes, we were also surprised at how simple of a definition Meta published. Perhaps they’re leaving it open-ended to evolve into something new.

What It Isn’t

There isn’t an actual portal or gateway to connect to the metaverse. It doesn’t exist yet, and we don’t know if it ever will. It also isn’t a privately owned entity, nor is it regulated or policed. It’s possible the metaverse won’t ever be an actual destination, but perhaps an all-encompassing system of online worlds. 

What It Could Become

The definition of the metaverse can and most likely will alter dramatically in the next few years. There are a lot of theories of what the metaverse could become. Will there be a portal? Does it exist as an extension of VR with a range of hardware that can “transport” you there? Perhaps there will be specific applications to download in the Apple App Store. Whatever the case may be, one fact stands true: building a virtual reality world is not a small feat. Data centers will need to rely on edge computing, zero latency, and of course, be sustainable. 165 Halsey is staying on top of the latest news for all of our clients. For questions on this topic and more, we’d love to hear from you! More to come on this next time around, so stay tuned!