The metaverse explained in 14 minutes | Matthew Ball

– The Metaverse is coming. There’s no turning around, We’re going to go there. Most forecasts believe that the Metaverse By the end of the decade will be between $6 and $13 trillion. There’s confusion and/or disagreement As to exactly what it is, what
it requires, when it arrives. I think many people have
heard the term ’metaverse’ Over the past year with the idea That society’s going to transform. The Metaverse is not an
all-encompassing clear vision Of the future-it is an
ambition, it’s a hypothesis. At its core, the Metaverse
should be understood As a fourth wave of
computing and networking. The first was the Mainframe era- Most of us think about IBM supercomputers- That was succeeded by personal
computing and the internet, Succeeded in turn by the
mobile and cloud era. But we, as a society,
as people, Homo sapiens, Did not evolve for thousands of years To interact with 2D interfaces, We didn’t evolve to learn
by tapping a piece of glass. That arc leaves many to believe That the next evolution is 3D experiences. My name’s Matthew Ball, I’m the
CEO and founder of Epyllion. I’m also the author of ”The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything.” It’s sometimes helpful to explain
what the Metaverse is not. First, it’s not just
immersive virtual reality, Or what many consider a
virtual reality headset. It’s also not a video game. We see now hundreds of millions of people Spending their lives, their friendships,

Inside 3D-rendered social
and virtual worlds. But of course, the
Metaverse is a combination Of many different technologies, And it is not just for a game. It will not replace the internet, It will build iteratively on top of it. But, it’s not fully predictable. Much like there was no
technical understanding in 1995 That told you exactly what life Would be right now on the Internet. Facebook, or now Meta,
was born of the PC era, And became far more
valuable and successful In the mobile era. The reason for this is
’recursive technology.’ Someone invents a new technology, And that new technology is
responded to by consumers And developers who build new
things or use that technology In ways that are predicted
and not predicted. I define the Metaverse as: A massively-scaled And interoperable network Of real-time-rendered 3D virtual worlds Which can be experienced synchronously And persistently by an
effectively unlimited number Of users each with an
individual sense of presence; While supporting continuity of data, Such as history, identity, communications, Payments, entitlements, and objects. Should I redo that? Massively-scaled is one
of the easier elements Of my Metaverse definition,
and that largely observes That the internet would
not be the internet If it just had 20 websites. The term itself comes from
dystopic science fiction

Coined by Neal Stephenson in 1992. And it refers to ’meta,’ a Greek term, As in ”greater than or
encompassing all verses”- All individual virtual worlds
and experiences as a subunit. But describing the number of dimensions Or the visual aesthetic of a virtual world Reflects just one element. A virtual world is really
any computer-simulated And rendered virtual space. It can be immersive, Which is what you would
think of as a VR headset. It can be an augmented
reality, in text, in 2D. Or it could be in three dimensions, Like a ”Super Mario” or ”Legend
of Zelda” game made today. 3D is a key specification
because at its core, The Metaverse is talking
about a parallel plane Of existence, a second
place where we can live And coexist and socialize. And by the way, we may come to find That the term ’metaverse’ does creep Into really any socially-focused
3D-rendered experience. We typically identify platforms Such as ”Minecraft” or
”Roblox” or ”Fortnite.” Some go as far as saying ”Call of Duty” Or ”Legend of Zelda” which are narrative, Non-generative experiences are metaverses, But the technical, academic,
and mainstream definition: It’s the definite article, The
Metaverse, not A Metaverse, And certainly not Metaverses. It was intended to describe
the unified experience Of all interconnected or
interoperable virtual worlds. Interoperability is
one of the most complex And yet essential
elements of the Metaverse. It effectively refers to the ability

For different autonomous systems Or independently-operated simulations, 3D-rendered virtual worlds, To not just talk to one another, But to do so safely and coherently. That’s how you go from one
destination to another. We tend not to think about
interoperability very much Because the internet, as it
exists today, is interoperable. You can download an
image from your Facebook, Upload it to Snapchat, Then turn it into a slideshow
you post to YouTube. This is why your single web browser, Your single session, can take you there. Without interoperability for
3D assets and experiences, You can’t take anything
that you did previously To any new place, you can’t communicate To anyone who isn’t doing the
precise experiences you are. Without interoperability,
it would be lost. Real-time rendering is
really fun to talk about. Rendering refers to the process Of generating a computer image. We see this in a Pixar movie, for example. But for a real-time experience,
one that we experience, A good way to think about this would be To take a look at Google Maps street view. That is not real-time rendered, The image has already been
generated, it’s static, It’s locked in time. What we’re talking
about is a virtual world That exists in response to us, To know we’re there, be affected by us. Synchronous basically means That we’re in a shared experience. Think of yourself as a video call.

There are multiple different
people all participating, And if they lag, it’s fine, right? Your system may lose a few words, It might play them back quickly, It rapidly edits out the extra silence So that you can catch up. If someone drops, if they’re
not speaking, nobody cares. But when we’re talking
about a massively-scaled Synchronous experience, it’s coexistence. We need everyone to be
experiencing it together. Now, in a computer simulation, This question of persistence
is philosophically, What endures, what continues. When you shoot a tree in a shooter game, You’ll see the bullet mark, But 10 minutes later, is it
important for you to see it? If you ran to a specific part
of a map, if you saw a friend, If you spoke to a character, Most games assume that that information Is not going to be important, And so they don’t actually manifest it. There’s no critical need
for the ground to wear As more people walk on it, Much like a traditional grass path would. Persistence of the world,
persistence of my history, Of the things that
we’ve done is understood To be essential on a data
and an experiential layer. Almost nothing in virtual
world today is persistent: It’s essentially forgotten. It’s like moving out of the movie theater And the second you’re out there, You no longer remember what
you saw, who you were with, And where even you were. How many things can the system do?

They need to reflect
the world as it’s known, And reflect the world in
response to individual actions. It’s a question of: What memory can be managed? And what information can be processed? We don’t think about
that for the real world. I talk about an effectively
unlimited number of users And with individual sense of presence. And this is because when we think About limiting operations per second Or managing the complexity
of a simulation, It’s not really the Metaverse. Not a shared experience, It’s a gated one occasional to some. There’s no limit to how many
people can do something. The last part of my definition
is continuity of data: Entitlements, communications, history, The ability for one person
in one virtual world To contact another, much
like an email address From Comcast can go to a competing company Like AT&T or China Mobile. And then entitlements payments refers To your ability to pay
from one to another, Or take something that you
own from one place to another. Ultimately, we’re talking about one Of the most difficult to describe things, Which is an era unfolding
in front of our eyes. One of the fascinating
things about technological Or digital eras and waves is the fact That we think of them as a singular thing. We talk about mobile,
we talk about social, We talk about the internet,
we talk about streaming. And in truth, these are bundles- They represent and they only work

Because of many different inputs. All of these individual creations Enable transformation at large. I tend to think of the Metaverse
in seven subcategories: Hardware is the easiest
one to think about, The new devices that we
will use, augmented reality, Virtual reality, wearable devices. But we should also think of
a world filled with sensors, Scanning cameras, projection cameras That allow us to be actively
within the Metaverse Without actually holding
a device in front of us. Networking: What we need for the internet Is really unprecedented bandwidth, That’s the amount of data That can be transmitted per
second, as well as latency, How quickly data can go
from one end to another. Computing power: The computational requirements
for the Metaverse far exceed Anything that we’ve ever
contended with before- And just as a sidebar- We’ve always had scarcity
of computing resources Because we always want
to do more than we can, And this will require more
than we ever conceive. We also need to think of
virtual platforms themselves. These are, for most people, How they will directly
interface with the Metaverse. These are the 3D-rendered worlds
and experiences themselves. Some virtual worlds are intended
purely for entertainment. Others are for professional
work, training- Some represent reality as we know it, Others distort that version of reality. Think of this like
Disney’s Marvel Universe As it reflects Manhattan.

Not exactly right, but clearly Manhattan. We also need to think about interchange And interoperability standards. These are the technologies
that bring together Different autonomous experiences, Things like the domain
registry, IP addresses, So that different
networks, different pages, Could identify one another, And know how to talk to one another. Payment rails is where we start
to enter blockchain theory. If the Metaverse economy is to
be large, thriving, diverse, And healthy, we need it
to have a robust network Upon which payments are processed. And then lastly, we have what I call CAIS: Content, assets, and identity services. This is essentially what
fills the Metaverse. In some regard, what I’ve described Is like saying a mall
is a vibrant ecosystem. The escalator, maybe that’s your hardware, The store, that’s your virtual platform- But no matter how robust that is, Even if you have an integrated economy, You need people within it, And you need the supporting infrastructure For actual human life. So to bring this back to the Metaverse As a parallel plane of existence- Why is it important? Why do people believe it’s real? Take a look at education: We’re visual and experiential learners, But papier-mache, baking soda
and vinegar for a volcano, Only goes so far. Imagine being able to produce that

In a rich, real-time simulation Alongside your friend to
physically agitate the magma, Then be expelled into the atmosphere. There are many individual examples That are even harder to imagine. Johns Hopkins University Is now performing live
patient spinal surgery Using game engine-rendering technology. The U.S. and British militaries
are using Unreal Engine For simulation training for active combat. Cities are being designed
with graphics-based computing. There are airports that
aren’t just using cameras To see where you are for security reasons, But to simulate the flow
of people, the tarmac, The impact of a weather delay. The Hong Kong International Airport Is live-operated using
the Unity Game Engine. Much of the world around you Is already running
graphics-based computing. You’re in a live 3D simulation
and you just don’t know it. So why do we need to learn about it now? Most forecasts believe that
by the end of this decade, The Metaverse will likely be
between $6 and $13 trillion. And as the world’s largest
companies plow forward, We need to understand What the potential consequences will be. The ills, the side effects
of digital transformation, Of ’technocracy,’ of digital hegemony. How do we trade off societal well-being With economic incentives,
with technological innovation, With driving strong entrepreneurship, Being a part of a
globally thriving society, As well as a nationally thriving economy? And so the only way to contend
with that is to be smart.

We believe that data rights
aren’t what they should be, We believe that the concentration of power Has become too high, Online happiness isn’t
where it needs to be, And that algorithms
have become too powerful In shaping societal views. If we want to affect
change now, right now, As we start to shift to what’s
next, is the time to educate. And so, having a better sense
of what’s around the corner Is essential to being informed,
and being informed allows us To positively affect the world we live in, Real and non-real. – Get smarter, faster with videos From the world’s biggest thinkers. To learn even more from the
world’s biggest thinkers, Get Big Think+ for your business.

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