There is little doubt that the metaverse has the potential to provide everyone with new and innovative ways to live our lives. Working, playing, even receiving therapy and vacationing are already becoming viable options in the digital world. In the next ten years, we will probably see virtual environments expand and become more immersive than ever.
For many, the metaverse is more than a place - it’s an unavoidable upgrade to reality. A lot of our daily activities could migrate to virtual worlds in the near future. So what can we expect to see in the coming years, and what could the metaverse look like in 2032? In this article, we will explore what comes next for this technology and the ways in which it will probably affect (and hopefully improve) our lives.
The Future of the Metaverse
The metaverse has become a hot topic in tech, a planet-wide conversation equivalent to the birth of the internet or the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. For many, the metaverse means more immersive VR headsets and slightly incomprehensible NFT asset markets. For others, a notion that could revolutionize our world in the way the invention of fire or electricity has.
The question of whether the metaverse is possible feels already a little outdated. The basic building blocks of the metaverse are already here - the exact shape of this new world is yet to be determined.
In 2023, we won’t just be walking around seeing the world through the eyes of our avatars. Chances are, we will also be having seamless meetings in virtual offices and taking holidays to exotic destinations from the comfort of our homes. But, more importantly, the metaverse economy will have perhaps become as important as the real-world one. In ten years, we will probably be spending money on furniture, art, and wearables you can only see online.
There is little question the metaverse will change the way we work and interact with each other, but we’re not sure yet what these new relationships will look like. For example, will all physical offices become a thing of the past? Will cryptocurrencies give rise to a genuinely free market filled with blockchain-based products? And more importantly: Could the metaverse completely replace reality? Let’s explore this idea a bit more.
Will the Metaverse Replace Reality?
The short answer is: probably not. At least, not entirely. There are some things that remain untouched - that is, at least for a dozen years! Two essential ones are the fact that we have a body, and some jobs will always have a physicality to them.
In Ernest Cline’s book Ready Player One, a science fiction adventure, a virtual world called OASIS has become a widespread simulation where people work, go to school and spend most of their time. The issue of physicality is brought up and explored further in the sequel, Ready Player Two. As the world crumbles into environmental ruin, people begin to feel uncomfortable in their physical bodies, opting instead to spend their days in enormous haptic machines that can automatically take care of their physical needs.
This is probably still a long way from happening; we are not there technologically, and such an invention would imply a drastic change to our lifestyle. However, if we are talking about relevance, then the metaverse can most certainly take precedence - or occupy some of the most significant portions of what we now consider our real world. In the coming years, what might happen is that virtual worlds become so absorbing we won’t want to leave them. And that, to some degree, could count as a replacement.
2023 Metaverse Job Openings
The intersection of the different technologies required to make the metaverse a reality means there are plenty of jobs that will almost definitely become popular in the near future.
The list is probably incomplete, as many specific tasks will only arise once we know what shape the metaverse takes. However, we will see some of the following popular occupations grow significantly in the next ten years.
To help the metaverse grow, we will need a large number of people working on the hardware required to maintain and allow users to join this immersive new world. For example, engineers that can design new and more powerful VR headsets, sensors, cameras, and haptic devices. Not to mention server farm architecture experts, storage specialists, and people capable of creating products such as flexible batteries, transparent antennas, and optical metamaterials.
AR/VR Software Engineers
The building of the metaverse will also require software engineers with an in-depth knowledge of augmented and virtual reality. Meta (formerly Facebook) is already hiring engineers with experience in artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and system design. In 2023, we will probably see a large number of software engineers working on metaverse-related projects.
Metaverse Cybersecurity Experts
Another job that we will probably see popularized in 2024 is cybersecurity experts specializing in the metaverse. Hackers, scammers, and fraudsters will likely try to attack this new world and find novel ways to extort and steal information. Considering the metaverse will store invaluable personal information (biometrics, financials, even brainwave patterns if Elon Musk’s trials come to fruition), we will require people who can block attacks and reinforce laws.
Other Jobs Within the Metaverse
We have mentioned the skills and roles that the metaverse will require, but what about the rest of us? The emergence of the metaverse could change how we all approach work. As we slowly break down the barriers of time and distance, we can expect workspaces to exist entirely without these restrictions. Some jobs could easily translate to the metaverse in 2023; for example, you could be a full-time virtual teacher or entertainer.
2023 Metaverse Experiences
So, what kinds of things will you be able to do in the future metaverse? The opportunities are almost endless. Companies like PandaMR are already offering beautiful, custom spaces where you can host events, run workshops, and create complex art galleries and expos using 3D virtual environments. This is just the beginning.
You could, for example, join a battle-royale game and gather en-masse using a cosplay-friendly avatar on a magical island. You might even do using virtual attires you would never wear in real life and use the same avatars to attend a concert - why not, in space. Or you could relax in your own virtual real estate, which might be decorated using digital collectibles (probably NFTs).
In terms of work, the metaverse will make it easier than ever to collaborate and collude on the same projects while feeling like you and your team are in the same room. The metaverse will also take the greatness that the internet brought to us in terms of community and add a physical presence to it. So you can still remain anonymous but participate in an incredibly immersive world.
The metaverse will inevitably be a representation of what our actual world has to offer - without any of the physical constraints. In 2032, you will most likely be able to explore new lifestyles, economies, and services. For technophiles, the metaverse will represent a sort of nirvana where anything has the potential to become a reality. But we can also expect anyone, no matter where they are, to join in, explore, and create new experiences.
How Will the Metaverse Change the World
There is no doubt the metaverse is here to stay, and we can expect to see many changes to our lives in the next ten years. The rise of virtual worlds will likely affect how we work, play online, and even make purchases.
There are endless possibilities for the metaverse to develop into new experiences and opportunities. Entertainment, healthcare, training, and even vacationing could look different in 2032. You could, for example, scale mount Everest or skydive over the Grand Canyon without leaving your living room. When fully realized, the metaverse promises true-to-life sounds, sights, and even smells.
We can expect that, by 2032, a large portion of people will participate in the metaverse in some way. Many will use it to fulfill work obligations or to educate themselves. Others to enjoy new types of games and entertainment. We can probably expect VR and AR wearables to be as prominent as smartphones are today. We will also most likely see a definitive increase in enhanced personalized realities specifically adjusted to users.
So, another question you might be considering is whether the metaverse is a good investment. If you are already working in (or consider working in) tech, this is an uncontested excellent opportunity for you to explore new venues. Several large companies are working on their own competing versions of this new digital world. We can expect the number of new apps and experiences to increase exponentially in the next years. Any of them has the potential to become a global success.
The future of the metaverse is still uncertain, but we are all actively building it. So if you have any ideas yourself, this is the perfect time to play around. Who knows, you might become one of the architects of this unique technology!