Our digital world is in a state of continuous change. Hardly any development has gone through as many stages as the Internet and all the services and offerings associated with it. Now a new stage of development is on the horizon and, as is so often the case, one can quickly get bogged down in the terminology. So what does the future look like? Is it the metaverse or Web3 and what can we even imagine by it?
A brief explanation of the Metaverse
The Metaverse is essentially about how we will experience the Internet in the future. While we currently access the Internet via smartphones, tablets, or desktop, the Metaverse aims to expand that choice. In the future, immersive technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality will also play a bigger role and we will move between worlds using avatars.
These virtual worlds are called metaverse. Whether it’s Fortnite, Paris Hilton or Decentraland, there are many digital environments we can already explore today. But in the future, VR will drive the issue even further and we will enter the Metaverse as easily as we enter a room today. Of course, digital devices will continue to play a role, but freely following the omnichannel principle, it is possible for everyone to enter the digital worlds as it suits them best at the moment.
A brief explanation of Web3
Web3 – or Web 3.0 – is based on the assumption that after its beginnings in Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, the Internet now needs to tighten up and write decentralization and security bigger. A very strong criticism of the Internet as we know it today is that some tech corporations have the most power in it and do what they want with our data. This is always causing lawsuits, complaints and accusations against Google, Meta and co. The Web3 aims to change this and takes blockchain technology as its backbone to do so.
NFTs and decentralized web browsers, as you can read and hear almost everywhere right now, are the first manifestations of this decentralized Internet. Essentially, the idea of Web3 means that we no longer spend our time on a few websites like Facebook or Instagram, which own and monetize the content we create, but that we can use blockchain and NFTs to gain control over our data and content, monetizing and distributing it in the process.
Do Web3 and Metaverse fit together?
Are these two future scenarios for the Internet now compatible or not? That’s a good question. While the Web3 is concerned with who will provide the Internet of tomorrow with content and who will own the data, the Metaverse is concerned with access into it. Therefore, they are not competitors to the Internet of Tomorrow; in fact, the overlap between the two concepts can be beneficial.
For example, avatars, clothing or the like can be developed for the metaverse and sold using NFTs. Conversely, it is also possible to log into all conceivable metaverses with a decentralized profile, for example to work, party or network.
However, for either version to even become possible, some tech hurdles need to be removed, as VR is still far from the general public and the headsets with their price still scare off many users. NFTs and blockchain also need to be better understood so that they are used by the masses rather than just a few.