XRSI defines the Metaverse as “A network of interconnected virtual worlds with the following key characteristics: Presence, Persistence, Immersion and Interoperability. Metaverse is the next iteration of the internet enabled by several converging technologies such as Extended Reality (XR), Artificial Intelligence(AI), Decentralized Ledger Technologies(DLTs), neuro-technologies, optics, bio-sensing technologies, robotics, improved computer graphics, hardware, and network capabilities.”
The four key characteristics are defined as follows,
Presence. Presence refers to the feeling of being present or physically located within a digital environment. By simulating realistic sensory experiences and enabling participants to interact with objects and other participants, it creates a sense of immersion and engagement within the virtual world as if they were in the same physical space.
Persistence. Persistence refers to the ability of virtual objects, environments, and experiences to persist over time, even when participants are not actively interacting with them. Persistence allows participants to make progress, own virtual property, and build ongoing relationships, virtual worlds can provide individuals with a sense of investment and long-term engagement within the digital environment.
Immersion. Immersion refers to the degree to which a participant is fully engaged and absorbed in a virtual environment, to the point where the individual may forget about their physical surroundings. It can be achieved by creating an environment that feels believable and responsive to participant’s actions and inputs, through the use of various technological and sensory inputs, such as virtual reality (VR) headsets, haptic feedback devices, and 3D audio.
Interoperability. Interoperability refers to the ability of different virtual worlds and systems to communicate and interact with each other seamlessly, allowing individuals to move freely between different digital environments and experiences. In the context of the Metaverse, interoperability is essential for creating a cohesive and interconnected virtual world that allows individuals to seamlessly move between different experiences and platforms.
The Metaverse is generally referred to as the next iteration of the Internet, that is persistent, shared and 3-dimensional. The Metaverse has been called the ‘successor state’ to mobile computing. Just as mobile phones didn’t replace desktop computers, the Metaverse will increasingly come to dominate individual time and attention, however, it may not replace the personal computers and mobile devices entirely. Instead of scrolling through mostly 2-dimensional screens, individuals will spend more and more of their time in digital experiences that are 3-dimensional, immersive, social, and increasingly indistinguishable from ‘reality.’ There are competing visions for the Metaverse, and regardless of the direction in which it evolves, both centralized and decentralized architectures will co-exist in competition.