Are We Prepared for The Metaverse?

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The Metaverse has recently been a popular issue of discussion. Not only the IT business, but nearly every industry, wants to be the first to get involved in this issue. Several companies have announced their official entry into the metaverse. For instance, by constructing virtual outlets or activating themselves there. For example, Microsoft’s work-based metaverse environment development project, as well as Mesh and Nike’s decision to invest in Roblox by building Nikeland.

Is Indonesia then prepared to handle the technological advances brought about by the rise of this metaverse?

With the outbreak of a pandemic and the rapid adoption of high-tech advancements, Indonesia is thought to have a big potential to establish the metaverse. However, it should be noted that there are other factors to consider before implementing this technology. Starting from competent resources, ownership of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology, telecommunications infrastructure, internet connectivity, security, and various other complex elements.

Many people believe that the growth of the metaverse in Indonesia will be slow and gradual. Many parties have now attempted this development, particularly the government, which believes that there are numerous chances to be explored in the metaverse. Regarding this, President Joko Widodo said he believes the metaverse is capable of changing the world sooner or later. Because this technology can significantly benefit people all over the world when they interact, work, learn, enjoy entertainment, and purchase in an interactive virtual world.

Before discussing this any further, what exactly is meant by the metaverse?

This issue has gotten a lot of attention, not only in Indonesia but throughout the world. According to Google statistics, internet users searched for this keyword more than five million times as of January 2022. Despite the popular interest, there is currently no understanding of the widely accepted description of the metaverse. Gartner defines the metaverse as a 3D virtual realm generated by the merging of physical and digital realities that have been virtualized.

Many people believe that the metaverse is a continuation of internet-related innovation. Metaverse represents the integration and advancement of the use of digital technologies such as cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence (AI), AR, VR, and many more. Even though it has received a lot of attention recently, the metaverse has been present for decades. The term, however, is still difficult to define. This appears to be related to the metaverse potential, which is still evolving and will be examined in the future.

Essential Technology For Metaverse Development

When it comes to how the metaverse works, two innovations in technology are seen to be crucial to its development and progress. They are virtual reality and augmented reality.

Virtual reality (VR) is a 3D simulation that allows users to interact with but also experiences a virtual environment through their senses. This experience can be perceived by using equipment such as VR goggles and haptics, which use muscle electrical stimulation technology to provide users with authentic feelings from touch. VR technology is immersive and has been widely used in areas such as gaming, retail, tourism, and property. VR is utilized to assist sales in the property sector. This technology eliminates the need for property buyers to visit the location or marketing gallery.

Meanwhile, augmented reality (AR) provides a more immersive experience than VR since users may interact with real-world environments. One example is the application of AR in the automotive sector through the head-up display system (HUD) on cars. Since drivers can be fully aware of their surroundings, this technology allows them to digest digital data while driving safely.

Challenges Ahead

Aside from the numerous potential available in the metaverse, we must not overlook the obstacles that must be overcome. One of the most fundamental problems is determining the true form and function of the metaverse.

What is currently happening in the metaverse is that technology companies are incorporating VR with its characteristics, namely the virtual world continues to run even if the user is not conducting activities there, and AR, which blends digital aspects with the physical world. However, in this scenario, consumers may not always need VR or AR equipment to access it. This metaverse is a virtual world created by Epic Games through the game Fortnite. PCs, game consoles, and smartphones can all be used to access the metaverse. With the concept of an open world and in-game currency, Fortnite invites players to enter a world that is connected without boundaries for an interesting and immersive experience. They may visit museums, purchase in-game clothing, and even go to a concert.

Then, when users carry out various activities in Fortnite, have they shown what is meant by the metaverse? Can technology users regard this virtual world to be their first or second life?

We have talked about some devices that allow technology users to interact with the metaverse. Some of them are fairly expensive. This has to do with the price of devices that can connect us to the metaverse. It is similar to VR glasses. And, as we all know, the cost of these devices is too expensive for the majority of people.

The next challenge is user protection and cybersecurity. Data security is a challenge in the age of the internet. Regulations regarding metaverse privacy have become seen as a concern to corporations and their consumers. Another issue that remains unresolved for Indonesia is the uneven distribution of infrastructure.

If the metaverse is the aim of technical advancement, there is still a lot of work to be done in the next years. From constructing the metaverse’s form and function to investing in resources and capable technologies.

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