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Metaverse: The Man-Made Universe

Photo Source: SoftCon Website

Have you watched Ready Player One, Free Guy, Wreck—it Ralph, and Avatar and blew your mind about how these narratives break the limits of natural order of realism with the portrayal of different worlds intersecting into one space? Have you played Bondee, Axie Infinity, Roblox, and built the ideal character in exploring otherworldly adventures with just the tap of your fingers? These movies and games are among the early adaptors of the new age technology called Metaverse.

Metaverse is a technology that aims to merge the physical and virtual world, made possible through continuous innovation. Foretold by the American sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson in his book Snow Crash in the year 1992, the once imaginary concept is now an inevitable reality.

So, what exactly is Metaverse technology and what is all the rage about?

During the SoftCon 2022 event hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) last October 24 to 26, 2022 in Marriott Grand Ballroom, Pasay, Metro Manila, Metaverse has become the face of progressive technology. Attended by software developers and IT professionals, the concept was thoroughly discussed and explored to provide a glimpse on what the future awaits.

“Accenture defines metaverse as an evolution of the internet that enables a user to move beyond ‘browsing’ to ‘inhabiting’ in a persistent, shared experience that spans the spectrum of our real world to the fully virtual and in between”, shared by one of the mentors, Arvin Yason, lead of CIO team from Accenture in one of the highlighted sessions.

The thirst of our present society to expand into the wonders of virtual reality increased the demand of Metaverse technology which is believed to be the next phase of the internet age. The technology aims to reduce the gap between real and man-made world, heightening human social interaction, addresses problems present in the common society through perceived new and harmless approach, and particularly, enforce collaborative business processes and potentials. Meta, Niantic, Nvidia, and Roblox are among the tech giants who have started building the technology, focalizing on the true purpose of change by creating components of realism.

In the Philippines, this technology is yet to be adapted in full throttle. This is why building a knowledge base through trainings and conferences provide opportunities for IT professionals to have a deeper understanding on the subject and create opportunities for real world applications.

SM Malls Online, being at the forefront of ecommerce innovation, recognize this need in understanding and establishing close and interactive relationship to customers. And Metaverse is a technology that is seen to bridge the gap. Software Engineer Rodelio C. Quillosa Jr., a SoftCon 2022 attendee and one of SM Malls Online tech leads shared that it might take time for the new technology to be adapted in the local market. However, he sees it as an avenue where he can apply the digital mall concept, or to be precise, a virtual mall that will assist the customers in viewing the products even without their physical presence in the store. An exciting paradigm shift from our current view of the best shopping experience. Given this, Rodelio and his team is banking on their continuous exploration and knowledge to make the first step in creating the ideal solution powered by Metaverse.

Technology is boundless and it will keep producing unthinkable things. Metaverse is proof that we might expect another fictional story become our reality soon. It’s just a matter of what, when, and how. With this trend, do you think all the sci-fi movies and novels will be the new norm in the next generation? I think so, too. And we are all here for it when it unfolds.

By: Andrea Larraine Salimbao