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Explore The Metaverse In Israel

Are you exploring the metaverse? That’s what big tech companies want you to do. Geared up with your virtual reality headset, your non fungible token and cryptocurrency, plus a good idea for your avatar, you’re ready to roll!!

But is it really something you want to do? Let’s explore what this metaverse is all about and how the Israel tech industry is making it happen.

The hype surrounding metaverse is largely driven by the tech companies who believe it is the future internet and will define a wholly new and different online experience. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are investing heavily in programming for the metaverse. You may think that Facebook defined metaverse since they officially changed their name to Meta in 2018, but the concept has been around for decades. The term, metaverse, was first used in a 1992 book by Neal Stephenson called “Snow Crash.”

Metaverse is being billed as the “next wave” of computing after mainframe, personal, and mobile. Considered an “ambient” experience, metaverse platforms encourage active participation within your computer rather than just accessing it. Gaming and Social Network platforms were some of the first entry points into the metaverse using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, Augmented Reality (AR) glasses and smartphone apps to create your own community. Newer applications include ways to monetize your experience with crypto currency and non fungible tokens (NFTs)

While it is a nascent technology, numbers show that participation has increased significantly, in part due to the pandemic and people being cooped up at home. Consumers in the top 10 mobile markets now spend a staggering third of their day on a mobile device. Facebook/Meta shipped 10 million virtual reality headsets in 2021!

Companies like Meta aim to capitalize on these behaviors and create virtual communities where people meet, work, and play using these devices and their avatars. Some examples include traveling using your avatar to destinations that are potentially dangerous or playing a new sport you’ve always wanted to try.

Venture companies are investing heavily in metaverse start ups and Israel is high on their list. In fact, Meta recently announced they will collaborate with Inomize, an Israeli company, to develop advanced chips. They’ll pick 100 of Ionize’s best employees to work on cutting edge VR and AR technologies in Meta’s “reality labs” development center in Tel Aviv. Another company, The Glimpse Group, announced a partnership with Israeli creative reality start up D-ID, a company that has developed software that allows you to take a still photo and transform the image into a video with realistic speech and expressions. D-ID also teamed up with Warner Bros. to allow viewers to create their own scenes with Hugh Jackman in his film “Reminiscence” by just using a photo of themselves.

This technology is years away from being developed to its fullest “reality” but the question remains whether that reality is one you would want. After 2 years of the pandemic, when we were forced to be in our homes and work remotely, we suffered emotionally from the lack of social contact. Although the metaverse maintains that it will enable you to develop a “rich and varied” social experience through virtual communities, do we really want to be working in a virtual office, sitting “next” to co-workers or traveling to a made up fictional place to shop, “engage” in entertainment or sports, all while we’re sitting in our own homes??

Big tech is betting you will. What do you think?

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