How to enter the Metaverse? This is the question everyone is asking since Facebook announced to rebrand its parent company name to Meta Platforms Inc. For someone who was keeping an eye on the band’s latest hardware innovations, this was not a big surprise. Facebook was slowly focusing more on smart glasses, virtual reality headsets and life-like video calls over the internet. So the Metaverse goes one step beyond the two-dimensional social media world to a digital interactive environment.
Meta is not planning to change their social media platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook apps but it is focusing on creating a digital world through Metaverse. If the company is able to pull it out well the Metaverse opens the door for new work, social and gaming possibilities that may impact your everyday life.
But there is a big IF considering the company can pull this off. There have been VR headsets since 2016 and there has been a lot of work around virtual and augmented reality witnessed by many companies trying to create the ultimate digital experience over the past five years. But Meta is the only company with the capital and scale to successfully deliver on the promise of the Metaverse. Here we have broken down the company’s vision for the Metaverse and what you need to experience the toe-tipping world of virtual reality.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse as a concept was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash (1992) where he envisioned a parallel environment to the internet where people could use avatars to interact with each other. This is basically what Facebook has been trying to do through their Metaverse. The idea was so similar that Stephenson had to go online to clarify that he was not in any way involved in the project.
The idea for a virtual universe where people could interact with each other is not exactly a new thing. Platforms like Habbo Hotel (2000) and the Second Life (2003) already developed the virtual world where avatars could run free. But due to the rise in online gaming, augmented and virtual reality became mainstream, the term Metaverse started to gain even more attention. Therefore more enthusiasts started looking for ways to enter the metaverse.
Also Read: 4 Best Metaverse Platforms That You Can Try
Today platforms like Decentraland aim to create a decentralized world where users are also creators. There are free to build houses and neighbourhoods using blockchain to make final transactions. The platforms are also creating their own cryptocurrency and users can use it to buy digital assets that could be a character or a piece of land as an NFT.
So in summary there is not a single Metaverse today but there are many. However, all of them are in the initial stages of development. The world where users can use immersive real-time 3D interaction with each other in a virtual universe is still a scenario that today’s technology is not equipped to deal with. But in the last couple of months, we have seen so many innovative advancements in the world of Metaverse. And we hope we can have a full-fledged, easily accessible Metaverse in the next few months.
Equipment you need to enter the Metaverse
To fully experience the Metaverse you will need an Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset. It comes with graphics chip and storage components directly integrated into the headset. It includes six built-in external tracking cameras that follow the position of your head and hands within a space without the need for separate tracking sensors. Along with the headset, you also get an oculus touch controller, each featuring a joystick and buttons so you can grab virtual objects and interact with them.
When you use the headset for the first time you will see a monochromatic view of your surrounding environment. It is possible through its external tracking cameras. From here you can clearly map out places to walk around. With the augmented reality marker you will see over your floor. It is up to you to decide and confirm your boundary. Once you do that the world around you disintegrates and you’ll be able to fully experience the virtual 3D environment.
The headset also carries sound from all directions and it will also let you hear ambient noise in reality. In case you want to fully immerse yourself in the 3D environment you can connect a pair of headphones. It will eliminate background noise and you can enjoy your experience.
You can also receive your phone notifications when using the headset. Users can receive alerts such as social media updates or meeting notifications while they are using the headset. For now, it is not much popular in India but it has sold over 4 million headsets alone in the US. It is one of the most successful VR headsets so far in the market. The rise of the Metaverse opened a gateway for Facebook. The company is now working to develop more augmented reality technology.
Although not all Metaverse platforms require a dedicated virtual reality headset. Some of the metaverse platforms like Decentraland can be experienced by just using your desktop PC or laptop using your internet browser. But to best experience the platforms ultimately all Metaverse platforms might require a VR headset but right now its not mandatory.
Also read: Google brings ‘Daydream’ VR headset to India
How to Access and Join Decentraland Metaverse
Now you might be wondering how you can enter and access the metaverse? It is not rocket science, for this article, we will take Decentraland and show you how you can enter and experience the Metaverse yourself.
So for accessing the platform you will need a laptop and a crypto wallet. While smartphones and most computers can be used to access it. But they don’t have enough processing power to provide you with optimum performance. This is one of the reasons why Facebook is focusing on developing more hardware like smart glasses so users can access the Metaverse easily.
Step 1: You’ll need an Avatar
While the Metaverse is all about creating a virtual world the first step is obviously creating your own digital avatar. Decentraland offers a panel through which you can create and customize your avatar. It provides you with the option to change your hair, eye colour, clothing and even accessorize your character. If you don’t like what your character is wearing you can change it however you want.
Step 2: Time to explore the world
Now once you have spent enough time deciding what your character will look like, you will be dropped in Genesis Plaza which is a starting point in Decentraland. It might take you a bit while to adjust yourself in the space. Here characters will keep popping on your left and right. After this, it is time for you to get yourself teleported. After all, this is all the Metaverse is about, going wherever you want without walking or driving. For teleporting yourself to other spaces you Decentraland pans out the grid and you can select any of the spaces created by other users and get there.
Step 3: Play games
Decentraland offers you the option to play games also and the most popular game that everyone is playing is ‘Wonder Mine Crafting Game’. Here meteors strike the ground and players have to mine them for money and minerals. Every avatar is given off 100 Wondercoins to get themselves started.
Step 4: Make new friends
While playing the game you also have the opportunity to make new friends. You can take the opportunity to talk with other players and ask about how they feel about Metaverse. Similar to many of the online multiplayer games the platform provides players with the opportunity. They can then make new friends and experience the virtual world of Metaverse together.
And that’s a beginner’s guide on how to enter Metaverse, and you can extend this journey by buying your own piece of land and much more.