Tim Cook Says The Metaverse Isn’t The Future Because People Don’t Understand It – They Might Not Have To – Forbes
It seems like everyone has spent the last year or so falling over themselves to tell us what the metaverse is. This week, though, Apple CEO Tim Cook showed he still “thinks different” by telling us all what it isn’t – “the future. ”
As reported by CNBC , Cook told the particular Dutch publication Bright that “I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is. ”
It’s a fair comment. Ever since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, one thing that has become clear is that there isn’t a great deal of consensus on the matter.
Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg talks about it as a more immersive, VR-enabled version of Facebook. The success of Fortnite and Roblox points to a future heavily influenced by the mechanics and aesthetics associated with video games. Proponents of the web3 platforms – such as Decentraland plus The Sandbox – insist that decentralization is core to the particular metaverse experience. And giants of the world office and productivity software – Microsoft and Adobe, for example – talk associated with the “ enterprise metaverse . ”
Make, on the other hand, has mostly avoided the “m” word entirely, until now, and is keener to talk about the related technology of augmented reality (AR). Apple has not announced any plans to release VR products, but will be strongly believed to be developing an AR product known while Apple Glasses.
My own take on what the particular metaverse will be – or in fact , is – is usually quite simple. It’s the catch-all term that describes what the internet will evolve into next.
We’ve already had the particular static web pages from the world wide web, the user-generated internet of social media, and the particular app-driven, internet-everywhere world of the mobile web. Each new “generation” of the internet offers brought profound and widespread changes to the way we interact with technology plus use it to help us go about our daily lives, radically transforming the way all of us communicate, socialize, work, play, and shop. All of them have taken place within the particular space associated with a quarter of a century, and one thing is with regard to certain – it won’t end there.
There will be other developments further along the road – perhaps not too far in the future – that will certainly make the particular digital domain we inhabit today look as antiquated as the Geocities web page from 1998.
And even if the term “metaverse” itself fades out of use before we all arrive at that will point (which, personally, I don’t think will be a bad thing at all), whatever that happens in order to be may effectively be the metaverse.
It may very well become that it bears little resemblance to what we currently think of as the metaverse today – the particular kiddy cartoon worlds offered by the gaming platforms, the strangely unsettling, hollow-eyed avatars of Horizons, or the particular anarchic, free-spirited domain of the decentralized web3. Prepare could end up being right that these are all too weird or too niche regarding mainstream adoption. After all, it was grandmas, not gamers, that drove Facebook to achieve stratospheric success.
But that doesn’t mean that will the core components of those platforms – the elements that define them as being a generation beyond the most popular platforms of today – will not be the building blocks associated with the “next level” internet.
Basic Elements of the Metaverse
Let’s look in those building blocks, then. Firstly, it’s generally assumed that the particular internet can become more immersive plus experiential.
The closely related technologies that, together, are often labeled as extended reality (XR) or mixed reality (MR) are the tools that are most likely to allow us to achieve this greatly enhanced level of immersion. In other words, VR and AR.
It seems unlikely that the ongoing trend associated with us spending more plus more of our time online and on screens is likely to reverse any time soon. If this is the case, its very likely we may look towards environments that will engage a lot more fully along with our senses and make our time in virtual worlds more stimulating and exciting.
Will this mean we spend increasing amounts of our amount of time in VR? Possibly – but I agree with Cook when he says that, in the short term, at least, AR has the potential to be more transformative. The the majority of interesting and exciting aspect of the metaverse, to me, is not the ability to lock us in to imaginary virtual worlds yet to blend the boundaries between the real and the digital. Allowing all of us to take the particular best of each domain – such because the people we know and love from the actual world as well as the speed plus convenience of the digital world – and merge them with each other into one hybrid experience.
Another primary component of the metaverse is definitely persistence. This means that although all of us will be able to do anything we all want – working, playing, socializing, shopping – it will all take place on a good unified platform, with a common set of rules, and presenting ourselves within a consistent way – probably via an avatar.
Thirdly, there’s the particular element associated with decentralization. Blockchains and other aspects of distributed computing, in theory, give us the opportunity to create virtual sides that are outside of the control of monolithic corporations. The concept of the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) could potentially allow people to produce true democracies online – social networks and similar platforms which are under the control of their users rather than whoever happens to own the servers that will run the service plus store the particular data. Distributed storage – as used by blockchain – means there can be no 1 place where the data is stored centrally that one person, business, or government may potentially take control of. If it achieves widespread ownership, then web3 could lead to an internet that’s radically different from what we have today, owned and administered since it is certainly by global mega-corporations.
In brief, buying directly into the metaverse might not really require all of us to believe in, or even actually understand, any kind of these basic elements. If the architects of the brave new web manage to pull them collectively in a way that makes it easier, more interesting, and more fun intended for us to do more things online, after that could be enough. After almost all, it wasn’t necessary for the general public to have a deep understanding of how cloud-hosted media streaming works for Netflix and Spotify to utterly transform the particular movie plus music industries.
It’s true that we may not call it “the metaverse” – just as all of us don’t frequently hear individuals these days talking about “the world broad web” other than in a historical context. But I believe that the digital environments of tomorrow will be built around immersion, persistence, and, to some extent, decentralization – no matter what name we all choose to use for all of them!
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