The Metaverse

Nigel Cummings

The “Metaverse” has been described as the inevitable evolution of the internet. Is the Metaverse just another buzzword or will it become something extra-ordinary?

To get some idea of what the Metaverse is likely to be, we will enter the realms of science fiction. Imagine a virtual world where billions of people live, work, shop, learn and interact with each other – all from the comfort of their couches in the physical world.

In the real world, the computer screens we use today to connect to a worldwide web of information have become portals to a 3D virtual realm that's tangible, almost like life, only bigger and better, if we are to ‘swallow’ the hyperbole published by media resources.

If we are to believe this, we must first gain some idea of how ‘digital facsimiles’ of ourselves, or avatars, can move freely from one experience to another, taking our identities and our money with us.

This is known as the Metaverse. Enterprise leaders are expected to make use of the concept of a metaverse to fundamentally change how humans live.

It will impact on the future of work, our lives, our experiences almost in an ‘extra dimension’ of interoperability, digital twinning, spatial computing, and Web 3.0.

Back to reality for a moment, the metaverse is just a vision of what many in the computer industry believe is the next iteration of the internet: a single, shared, immersive, persistent, 3D virtual space where humans experience life in ways they could not in the physical world.


Some of the technologies that provide access to this virtual world have been around for years, such as virtual reality (VR) headsets and augmented reality (AR) glasses, which have evolved quickly; there are other critical components of the metaverse too, such as adequate bandwidth or interoperability standards, which in all truth, are probably years away from materialising.

“Metaverse” dates back to 1992 and Neal Stephenson in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash, in which he depicted a world where wealthy people could escape their daily lives in a 3D connected reality.

Then in 2003, Second Life appeared, a game which allowed players to create digital versions of themselves and wander around in an alternative 3D world, and… even buy virtual goods with virtual cash in a sort of ‘Metaverse’. The seeds of the Metaverse were sown.

In 2021 Facebook’s parent company rebranded itself as Meta, it quickly established and promoted its view on what the Metaverse would become. In 2022 Siemens and Nvidia became partners on the industrial metaverse. The rest is… your future!