Virtual real estate is all the rage, but do purchasers end up owning what they see on their screens?
NFTs are hailed as the foundation of the metaverse economy because they allow you to purchase unique digital assets, from art to real estate. But legally, you might not own what you think you do.
Sea of Theives/Rare
Online communities are increasingly reshaping the virtual spaces they call home. Their worlds are purpose built, but they are also fit for purpose.
Creating holographic ‘digital twins’ will significantly reduce the stress, cost and logistical issues of touring – and means artists can live forever onstage.
Users explore metaverse platforms, like Decentraland, here pictured, with customised avatars.
Eibriel | Wikimedia
The success of the metaverse – whether people use it or not – will rely heavily on the environments that are created.
A recent BBC investigation into the app VRChat has prompted concerns about children’s safety in virtual spaces.
That impossibly beautiful model on Instagram might be just that. CGI influencers are already on social media, and Meta’s commercial interest means it shouldn’t be in charge of the ethical guidelines.
Ready Player 1,000,000,0001?
Activision’s big titles have led the way in getting us used to virtual worlds. Making them VR will be a gamechanger.
Ready avatar one?
Many people are talking about this coming virtual world, but many others would rather stay where they are.
In the metaverse, your avatar, the clothes it wears and the things it carries belong to you thanks to blockchain.
Duncan Rawlinson - Duncan.co/Flickr
For the metaverse to work, people need to own their virtual bodies and possessions and be able to spend money. The same cryptographic technology behind bitcoin will make that possible.
Violent extremists could find the metaverse a useful recruiting and organizing tool – and a target-rich environment.
D-Keine/E+ via Getty Images
People may think of the metaverse as virtual, but the harm terrorists and extremists could do is very real.
Like much else, scientific labs have been shut down by the pandemic.
Cavan Images/Cavan via Getty Images
Supply chain issues, emergency science, social distancing requirements and a lot more free time offered both challenges and opportunities for research scientists.
A display in the Museum of Black Civilisations in Dakar, Senegal.
SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images
Museums allow us to delve deep into the past with eye-catching displays of artefacts, ancient textiles, high-quality images and short films that narrate how our ancestors lived.
Apple reportedly has policies designed to encourage consumers to touch its products.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
New research shows people experience the ‘endowment effect’ of valuing an object more when they can touch it, even in virtual settings.
‘Nottopia’ began as a fantastical virtual island, and has since become a floating castle in the sky.
The internet’s extension into virtual reality spaces presents opportunities for data collection and surveillance.
Facebook’s rebranding as Meta is an attempt to reposition the company as poised to move into virtual reality networks.
The commitment applies to the social network, but not necessarily to the metaverse.
This (virtual) reality is still probably many years away.
Space travel is on the horizon, with long journeys and new challenges to contend with.
Stay-at-home and quarantining orders have led to increasing isolation. Virtual reality may help alleviate some of the negative feelings of isolation, and this has potential implications for space travel.
Facebook’s parent company is now called Meta, as part if its move to embrace the metaverse - the blurring of the online and real worlds via virtual and augmented reality technologies.
Virtual reality can provide a secure and controlled environment for exploring sexual aversion.
Virtual reality could help patients with a history of sexual trauma, intimacy-related fears and anxiety.