But first, here is why we are confident that we can comment on this topic…
ISBX was launched in 2009 on the bet that Mobile would be the next big thing, and with more than 250 mobile apps and websites launched we can say we called that one correctly. Our current client roster and projects include many web 3.0 projects (Crypto, NFT’s, VR gaming platforms, etc.), and in the early days of the web our core team started working together at the end of the 90’s on high profile web projects for Sony, Honda, Coca-Cola, and many others. We have been “on it” with software design and development for the Next Big Thing many times before, and we are obviously paying close attention to the developments of the Metaverse.
Ok, about that coming Metaverse… If you are old enough to remember a time before we had the Internet, the idea of a “Metaverse” world where we would all be wearing headsets to experience something like Ernest Cline’s 2011 book “Ready Player One” for all our enjoyment is a little scary. However, after diving further into the predictions of this coming tech evolution, and having been an active participant in the leap from Web to Mobile experiences, there is no reason to fear this future. We also have a fair amount of time in 2022 to get ready for what is coming, or for what the major players are planning, but more on that later.
But first, let’s take a step back first to get some context on what exactly we are talking about with this “Metaverse”. The concept of a Metaverse was originally coined in Neil Stevenson’s 1982 novel, Snow Crash (basically a dystopian future), and in 1999 the Wachowski’s created the Matrix universe influenced by Snow Crash. In 2017, Spielberg directed the Ready Player One movie (based on Cline’s book), which brought the Metaverse concept further into popular culture (again dystopian future). So, there should be no wonder why many people are concerned about this potential future for mankind.
But for now, these worlds are closed off from each other. The Metaverse promise is that one day all will link together in both the virtual and real world with the ability to have digital currency earned, NFT’s purchased, Avatars created showcased in all worlds. The problem is that currently there are software interoperability issues that make this a far off dream. There is currently no crossover between Unreal Engine and Unity softwares which dominate this space, and there is a long road to develop the infrastructure needed
To build a Metaverse as envisioned by Hollywood in Ready Player One (or God forbid — the Matrix) we are many years out from the required infrastructure needed in terms of networking, latency, and computing power to be able to push real time gaming for millions of players, even thousands of simultaneous players. Epic Games/Fortnight touted its 2020 Travis Scott live concert with 12.5 million viewers by producing over 250,000 separate copies of the events (with roughly 100 users in each instance) that didn’t even start at the same time, it was the only way to make this happen.
A “Social” Metaverse (non-gaming) will be probably be next, especially if Facebook, now rebranded Meta, has anything to say about it! Meta been on a buying spree to ensure its future in the Metaverse. In addition to owning Oculus VR headsets, which are the gold standard in the VR world, Meta has recently (2022) acquired one of the earliest Metaverse — Second Life, this is notable as Second Life has been around for almost 20 years with over 70 million registered user accounts. Meta has also acquired five VR game studios in the last three years alone, and was recently stalled by the FTC with its most recent acquisition of a VR Workout app “Within”. The FTC is concerned that Meta is trying to “buy its way to the top, “ according to FTC Bureau of Competition Deputy Director John Newman. This has not stopped Meta, as they have been spending quite a bit lately on a mainstream media explaining their vision of the Metaverse. It is on billboards, TV spots, etc, so it is hard to miss.
Regardless of what comes next, rest assured that ISBX will stay on top of these trends, so sign up for our blog for the latest updates as this continues to develop!