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Is Metaverse the Future of the Internet? Decoding the Signals of Evolution

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By Immanuel J Kingsley, Metaverse Technology Officer and Head of Innovation Lab at Hexaware Technologies

Metaverse, often termed the future of the Internet, is witnessing unprecedented attention, discussion, and, probably, investment. A management consulting firm predicts the impact of the Metaverse economy can go up to $5 trillion by 2030. Individual technologies within the Metaverse are garnering momentum as well. According to an analyst firm, the enterprise digital twin market is posed to be at $183 billion by 2031. However, before the estimates acquire a definitive structure, let’s understand the indicators of this future in a relatable context.

The pandemic undoubtedly introduced one of the most crucial endorsements of virtual connectivity. CIOs were compelled to revisit their strategies to encourage digital onboarding and collaboration.

Cloud and AI/ML lead to the future
The expansive world of the Internet is as dynamic as it gets. The roots of Web 3.0 can be spotted in Web 2.0, the enhancement being the real-time rendering of information and experiences and strengthened control of users in interaction. An estimation uncovers that by 2025, the volume of data stored on the cloud will be 100 zettabytes. The maturity, viability, and acceptance of cloud computing create reliable frontiers for sharing information across realities.

Democratization of AI and ML has changed our present and is all set to transform the internet’s future. Its growing importance in the consumer space and enterprise landscapes is a testament to its extensive utilization in our lives. Its applicability is demonstrated with life-like experiences on social media, 3D motion graphics, and multiplayer games.

Technology – the efficient enabler
The increasing adoption of 5G has created incredible opportunities in the field of customer experience. We wouldn’t be wrong to expect to download 1GB of data in just a second. Pioneers in the technology field have long been driving their investment and efforts for the development of the spatial web to achieve a significant breakthrough in introducing AR apps and scalability in operating systems. Remarkable advancements in nanotechnology and microengineering have enabled managing critical workloads essential for spatial computing.

Considering the semantics
The AI/ML-powered base of Web 3.0 enables the meaningful representation of data and leads to interactive responses. Hence, it is synonymous with Semantic Web. The capabilities of 3D graphics and AI in delivering immersive experiences throughout the Semantic Web have grown exponentially. The connectivity quotient of the internet is getting boosted with immersive technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality. The advanced levels of interactive realities are merging to defy the restrictions of physicality.
There are other indicators that connect the future of the internet with the Metaverse – the confident adoption of blockchain technologies, the demand for and development of decentralized models and apps, and the emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), smart contracts, and cryptocurrencies that can drive a thriving economy. According to estimations, by the end of 2022, crypto owners are expected to increase by 178% from 2021 and reach 1 billion.

Entering the spatial web
Expanding on the spatial web, it acts as a string that integrates convergent technologies into a single network. The spatial web weaves all our physical and digital strands together through next-generation computing technologies to create a unified reality or the Metaverse, comprising components of augmented, mixed, virtual, and physical realities.

Conclusion
The disruption caused by this future will invariably impact individuals and organizations. The vision and innovation-inclined mindsets of technology enthusiasts play an integral role in carving the next phase of transition, where physical and virtual personas become one.

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