When will we have a metaverse?
In order to fully understand how the future of work is being developed, let’s revisit some history. Over 2 decades ago, in 2009, an idea came up that would change how people do things forever. That idea was called Virtual Reality, it represented the new generation of computing. VR technology has been around for many years but its origins have been in the 1970s when a colleague made some interesting advances. VR was used by NASA and other agencies to aid astronauts in space exploration. In 1990, The Atari Company introduced virtual reality games which were very popular and many developers took notice. For example, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and most recently, Apple did some great work with their ARKit to create augmented reality experiences. A decade later and the technology still isn’t perfect and there are still problems such as glasses that can wear out or the brain fog associated with computer use, however, VR will never be like it was then. Now people no longer feel they need fancy headsets. It seems real life is much simpler now.
In the first few years of 2019, we have seen the beginning of major developments regarding the “metaverse.” With billions of spending on social media and mobile, we also began to see something more relevant become the focus of our attention like artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT devices, and AI. Let’s take a look at what these three technologies mean for us in the metaverse.
Artificial Intelligence has been a buzzword over the past year or so and seems to be one that was needed more than ever. We have already reached Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which means computers can think and adapt to their environment and develop human-like capabilities that humans may not be able to accomplish. Some examples of this include Facebook’s autonomous car company driverless cars and Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo program which beat Go world champion Fan Hui after just 14 days. This shows artificial intelligence is becoming a lot more practical and can be useful in our daily existence. However, even though AI represents the largest advancement in machine learning, it is still far from being perfect.
Blockchain technology involves several different blocks and coins that are connected together. Each block contains two numbers, data, and transaction history. Any type of digital information stored by a user can be recorded on these blocks. Data is written on the block, transaction history contains the information to start another block along with all transactions done throughout those blocks. As you read through your Blockchains, you can track down any information about the creator, his/her financial status, his/her personal preferences including how often he/she uses cryptocurrencies and so much more. But it is important to note Blockchain has been proven safe and secure. People want to believe Bitcoin is the greatest innovation of them all but according to Forbes, Bitcoin is worth less than $100,000 USD and is now considered a scam. The cryptocurrency of the future won’t be a good investment unless everyone understands and embraces it.
We live in the 21st century and this includes everything we know today. Smart homes, fitness trackers, wearable tech, and more all have been developed by companies such as Apple, Samsung, and others. While each device works well in doing what they intend to do, they are sometimes too small, bulky, expensive, etc. When I say they are too big, I mean they might be just right, especially if you live somewhere where having a smart home might be costly if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi. So the question becomes, what sort of devices will be available within the next few years? Should we expect every phone to come with a camera, microphone, or streaming screen? Or should we only buy the most high-end smartphone that supports Internet capability?
IoT has found itself to be one of the biggest developments in the industry. There are tons of products going into production and soon it will be impossible to find which one is best. These are all possible because of the cloud, internet coverage, and the increasing amount of communication across physical and digital borders. Think about how fast a car in New York can go, imagine a robot washing your office or your house, and imagine a whole new kind of lifestyle and culture. All of this is possible thanks to the network that is the Internet of Things. And the bigger question remains: How do you utilize it in the smartest way possible without breaking the bank?
AI & Machine Learning
As humans we have always been interested in the unknown or better yet, have wanted to make the unknown and give someone else the power to explore uncharted territories. Well with AI and ML, we have created machines that mimic the ability to act and react like humans, and we have given them access to massive amounts of data.
This isn’t to say AI will replace jobs, it definitely will. For now, workers will continue to manage our infrastructure and run applications. This could lead to job elimination and some industries may even fall. Yet it could lead to a new dynamic. One where machines can interact with humans for more complex tasks.
IoT devices are already helping us connect to the outside world. Maybe in the near future, robots will not only cook for us but give medicine to our pets, doctors will have a holographic vision and diagnose diseases much faster than ever before and maybe most importantly, they might have a mind of their own and can think like humans. If that is true, then the possibilities are virtually endless!
I have been quite intrigued with the topic of robotics, although I am not sure if I will be working on my first robot someday, I have seen more robotic innovations over the last couple of years than I had in my entire lifetime. Robots are making amazing strides in a variety of areas and I do believe that the same can be said for the metaverse. Even though not everyone can afford a nice mansion or a new Tesla, all we need is to have a little bit of imagination and creativity and the future is a bright place.