Emerging technologies are a huge part of the present and significant role for the future. Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, augmented reality, 5G and blockchain have all evolved and found their niche applications. Each technology is maturing while overcoming challenges.

The technologies’ timeline of progress will likely converge over the next several years. In that convergence, the sum will be far greater than the parts. The belief is the catalyst for this convergence will be the metaverse — a connected network of always-on 3D virtual worlds.

The metaverse is a combination of multiple elements of technology where users live within a digital universe (think Ready Player One). Supporters of the metaverse envision its users working, playing and staying connected with friends through everything from concerts and conferences to virtual trips around to the world.

The belief is there will be multiple metaverses, at least initially, with some tailored to specific interests such as gaming or sports. The key distinction between current technology and the metaverse is the immersive possibilities the metaverse offers. This is why so many giants in the industry are investing so heavily in it. Could it be the next version of the Internet?

Several of the technologies that will enable the metaverse have been slow to mature but are approaching a level of capability that is critical for success. Up until now, each has been missing the application that will drive development and widespread adoption forward.

Are we ready to live in a 3D-navigable, socially connected, conscience-curving, carefree virtual world? 

Instead of watching the news, you could feel as if you are in the news. Instead of learning history by reading about an event in a book, you could virtually witness the event from the shore or from a boat. Instead of watching a basketball game on television, you could experience it in 360-surround. People could attend a conference virtually, watch the keynotes, and meet with others. In the metaverse, our digital presence will increasingly supplement our real one.

There are many who can’t comprehend how what they perceive as a video game could become part of real life. Think of the metaverse as another change of perspective.

Digital environments will be common in our future, that is without doubt. Just like metadata makes digital content findable, emerging technologies will enhance our digital experience.

Data Harmony is Access Innovations’ artificial intelligence suite of tools that leverage explainable AI for efficient, innovative and precise semantic discovery of new and emerging concepts to help find the information you need when you need it.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the intelligence and the technology behind world-class explainable AI solutions.