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Building the Open Metaverse: What is the Metaverse?

Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi and Marc Petit, VP and General Manager of Unreal Engine at Epic Games, recently launched Building the Open Metaverse, a podcast where technologists come together to share insights as they build the metaverse. The first episode focused on defining the “metaverse”—what it is, how to explain it to people not working in technology, and whether or not it’s here today.

Building the Open Metaverse podcast episode 1

Patrick and Marc were joined by guests Matthew Ball, metaverse investor and author of The Metaverse Primer, and Samantha G. Wolfe, founder at PitchFWD and adjunct professor, NYU Steinhardt.

So what is the metaverse? Samantha said that she tries to explain the metaverse by analogy. “Remember how the internet changed interactions and mobile phones changed the way that people operate? With the next generation of computing, computers will be able to see the world, and you'll be able to experience the world differently.”

“It's not going to be an out-of-this-world experience. It's going to be a new world experience.”

- Marc Petit

VP and General Manager of Unreal Engine at Epic Games

The metaverse—the next generation of the internet—will bring together advances in game engines, AR wearables, VR, real-world datasets, and a growing Internet of Things. According to Marc, in a metaverse world, “every window becomes a screen.” 

It may all sound foreign, but everyone agreed that the metaverse will actually be more natural than the computing environment we live in now. As Matt said, “It's important to recognize that humans never evolved for 2D interaction. … We didn't evolve to interact with information or objects through a 2D grid of apps. And so I think the optimistic perspective is not just that the metaverse is a more intuitive way to interconnect with the internet or computing, but it's also a much better forum for connection for socializing.”

The metaverse should be more intuitive to use since, as Patrick said, “3D is so much more immersive and intuitive than 2D.”

The development of the metaverse promises to fundamentally change the way we connect socially, the way we produce creative content, and the way we collaborate. It will, as Patrick said, “change the face of computing.” 

Listen to the full episode and subscribe for future discussions about building the metaverse.  

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