Range of Tech Supporting Metaverse Construction
BIGANT is the key to metaverse development. (PHOTO:VCG)
By YU Haoyuan
The metaverse is a futuristic Internet product based on Web 3.0. As a parallel reflection of the real world in virtual reality, the metaverse is defined differently by multiple experts in different industries. However, no matter what or how it is defined, BIGANT is the key to metaverse development.
According to Yu Jianing, executive director of China Mobile Communication Association Metaverse Consensus Circle, BIGANT is an acronym for six technology clusters, namely Blockchain, Interactivity, Game, AI, Network and Internet of Things (IoT).
Blockchain provides data trust in the virtual world
The metaverse needs a cryptocurrency to build the digital economy as a reflection of the real world. Blockchain's bitcoin can support the metaverse's economic construction as the first cryptocurrency.
A report published by Binance Academy, a blockchain & cryptocurrency think tank, says that blockchain technology provides a transparent and cost-effective solution, making it ideal for the metaverse.
Replacing stuff from the real world to the virtual world with reliable and accurate data is essential to the metaverse. According to Barron's, a financial and investment website, a blockchain can bring trading trust among net users. It outlined that the technology could allow metaverse -like games to be decentralized and interoperable, which signifies that individual players can swap tokens and trade digital assets.
Interaction drives the digital community
People wish to get physical and mental real senses in the virtual world. As a result, interactive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being further developed. The designers have constructed the Internet with VR and AR from a 2D community to a 3D world, enabling people to do several activities online.
David Touve, an expert in new technologies and digital experiences at the University of Virginia's Batten Institute, said that technology may no longer be the major barrier to experiences within immersive, virtual environments. He outlined that many smartphone manufacturers have already put some AR functions into new productions, and with a headset, users can get a decent VR experience.
Zuckerberg's Meta has recently put its Horizon Worlds online in the U.S. and Canada. By wearing an Oculus Quest 2 helmet, people's avatars can meet friends or strangers in the application. It is also reported that many users' hands and fingers can move in the digital world when they show gestures in the real world, and mouths can open and close when they speak.
Gaming: leading the metaverse development
According to Yu, games are the manifestation of the metaverse, with flexible connectivity and abundant content. They provide an innovation platform, interactive contents and a social sense to realize the flow aggregation. Specifically, metaverse technology contains gaming engine -related 3D modeling and real-time rendering, which support the building of the metaverse.
Many gaming companies have already taken the lead. In June 2020, China Central Television reported that the students of Communication University of China recreated a pixelated campus almost the same as their college in reality in the video game Minecraft, to hold their graduation ceremony. U.S tech blog The Verge also reported that U.S. rapper Travis Scott held a concert in Epic Games' Fortnite, with more than 12 million fans in attendance.
AI-humans co-build the virtual world
The metaverse was described as a world where humans, as avatars, can interact with machines. AI is seen as a technology that can help create the environment, and it is ubiquitous in all levels, applications and scenarios of the metaverse.
According to The Path to Metaverse, AI can be estimated as the integration of computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, and intelligent speech. While computer vision technology creates more "reality" in the metaverse, the other three technologies can give AI characters intelligence to interact with humans and reduce communication barriers among human avatars.
As an immersive tech news website, XRToday claimed that AI technology has already been used for five aspects of the metaverse -like platform, including Accurate Avatar Creation, Digital Huams, Multilingual Accessibility, VR World Expansion as Scale, and Intuitive Interfacing.
Advanced Network provides the basic foundation
The network technology for the metaverse should include some basic technologies, such as 5G/6G Internet, cloud computing and edge computing, according to The Path to Metaverse, "The cloud-based integrated intelligent network is the lowest-level infrastructure of the metaverse, providing high-speed, low-latency, high-computing power, and high AI access at scale. As such, it provides a real-time and smoothly immersive experience for metaverse users," the book writes.
To get realistic modeling, textured media and immersive sound require heavy digital files to be uploaded and handled online. It is difficult for user's computers to function as processing terminals supporting billions of players online at the same time. With network improvements, 5G/6G provides a better data transmission tunnel to reduce network latency, and technologies such as cloud computing and edge computing can provide more functional, lighter terminal equipment to solve the problem of letting huge numbers of users access the metaverse effectively with no network congestion.
Metaverse drives IoT to IoE
Though IoT is probably the predecessor of the metaverse, only with the "Internet of Everything", the virtual world can coexist with the real world. "The high likely scenario for the metaverse to work efficiently is using a group of IoT devices employed by the metaverse platform to collect data," Enis Abo Alhasan, a blog writer, wrote in The Times of Israel.
Alhasan outlined that the metaverse should not only be a digital world, but also a "physical" one, which means the metaverse will need data synchronism at any given time. Thus, such data-collection behavior needs to connect to many hardware, controllers and physical objects. IoT technology can help with this. "Implementing IoT to these objects, along with special sensors, will allow users to connect to the metaverse and 'move' both physically and virtually. This exclusive ability of the IoT is the basis of operating the metaverse," said Alhasan.