What Is The Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a term that has been around in pop culture since Neal Stephenson wrote it into existence in his 1992 book, Snow Crash. It has taken many forms since then and can be debated as to what it actually means. That said, the general consensus is that the Metaverse is or will be the next evolution of the internet where anyone can be entertained, work, socialize and learn, with the help of 3D technology. The term has gained popularity over the past 6 months as Facebook has changed their name to ‘Meta’ to represent its commitment to building the Metaverse.
If they succeed, Facebook will be transformed into a Metaverse that focuses on virtual social interactions. To ensure they succeed, Facebook has already spent over 10 billion dollars on wearable AR and VR technologies. As wearing VR headsets or glasses gives a realistic experience in the computer environment, this is a safe bet on how to capture the market.
However, many companies apart from Facebook are heading in this direction. Companies like Microsoft, Epic Games and Roblox all have projects that utilize Virtual Reality and are eyeing the Metaverse space.
Benefits Of The Metaverse
Even though we are yet to see the full potential of Metaverse, this technology is promising and will likely change how every organization and individual operates. Here we have highlighted some of the benefits we will see with the Metaverse.
Virtual reality is still relatively new in our world today. Although, we have experienced a portion of its capabilities in games like GTA5. If you have played this game, you have an idea about what the Metaverse will be like. People can do just about anything in the 3D virtual world. The Virtual world is a simulation of the real world, but you get to be in your space.
Provide Work Solutions
Virtual reality will have a huge impact on the workforce. During the pandemic, many businesses had to work with their employees remotely. Most interactions were done online. Even in the medical field, doctors attended to patients virtually. With the introduction of the Metaverse, it is inevitable that many companies will key into this technology. Especially as the latest reports by PWC show, VR learning is up to 4x more effective for soft skills training. Plus we’re already seeing many companies like Walmart and Bank of America now train their staff using VR technologies.
Engagement For Businesses And Marketers
Businesses are already benefiting from social media platforms. These platforms provide businesses access to meet millions of customers worldwide. So, imagine the possibilities a virtual version of social media will bring. The Metaverse will bring businesses close to their customers. Benefiting business by reaching more customers. And benefiting customers through more interaction, engagement and better services. Especially for e-commerce businesses, the Metaverse brings endless possibilities.
How Will Metaverse Bridge The Gap of eLearning
We have seen just the tip of the iceberg of what the Metaverse will bring to the business world and entertainment. But possibly much more important is the evolution the Metaverse will bring to education. Kids and really anyone who is a kid at heart loves to play, and we can take advantage of this by introducing kids and adults to play-based learning. Or more commonly gamified learning. We have already seen the explosion of gamified learning and its benefits in 2D based eLearning. Here are some of the impacts we expect from this in the VR and AR technology integrated into the Metaverse.
Better Learning Resources
Incorporating virtual reality into learning will change how students learn. Most students today spend a lot of time on their smartphones and are already adept at online learning. Bringing virtual reality to the education space will give them practical experience. When they can visualize what they learn, it will improve their learning. This practical learning paired with a fun or gamified virtual space is a great learning environment for kids, as they can learn while they play. Through these gamified features, students will be able to explore new potential career paths or interests easily. While teachers will have the tools to easily explore and explain difficult-to-understand subjects like history by virtually travelling back in time or having a student build a replica of the pyramids. Overall there are many subjects this technology can assist from K-12 basics like history and science to post-secondary specializations like firefighting or engineering.
This technology will improve learning and help students understand what they are taught. Beyond the gamified resources mentioned above, this will come through teachers being able to tell stories shaped around their lessons. For instance, when a teacher wants to explain the parts of a computer, they could take students back to the scene of the first computer being built and then walk them through important computers in history, finally ending on a 3D version of a modern computer that can be completely taken apart. If students are interested they could then use their free time to explore their interests by going back to the important computers in history and learning more about them or the concepts surrounding them. This puts the concepts and experiential learning tools in the hands of the students, unlike the theoretical knowledge in traditional learning practices.
Encourage Teacher and Parent Interaction
With experiential learning, parents can easily view AI-based feedback from the simulation to understand where their kids are performing well and where they are struggling. Also, the platform will encourage parents to monitor their child’s learning, so they know they are getting a quality education. This could help parents and teachers have a deeper relationship so they can both help each other. But as well, may allow parents to have more input on the direction of their kid’s learning and what subjects are going to excite them to go further.