What Is Metaverse
In the 1992 science-fiction novel "Snow Crash", author Neal Stephenson described a virtual world that runs parallel with our reality called the metaverse. In the novel, people use digital avatars of themselves to interact with each other. The metaverse connects people and objects in the virtual world to reality, thus integrating the digital world and the physical world, digital life and social life, digital economy and real-world economy, digital assets and physical assets, and digital identity and real identity. The pandemic accelerated the coming of the metaverse. Many real-life scenarios, such as O2O e-commerce, remote service hall, online education, online concerts, online exhibitions, remote healthcare consultations, and smart manufacturing are being realized rapidly online. The metaverse is the next generation of the Internet, based on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Watch the full video from the Apsara Conference 2021 to get a better idea of Metaverse.
The Four Technology Pillars of the Metaverse
The metaverse is composed of four technology layers. The first layer is holographic construction, the second layer is holographic simulation, the third layer is the integration of the virtual and physical worlds, and the fourth layer is the linkage of them.
- Holographic Construction:
Constructing Models of Maps, People, and Objects in the Virtual World
Hologram technology is used to construct a geometric model of the entire virtual world and display it on various terminal devices to create an immersive environment for users. Currently, it is typically used in applications, such as VR house tours and VR stores.
- Holographic Simulation:
People and Objects in the Virtual World Simulating the Physical World Dynamically in Real-Time
The dynamic process of constructing the virtual world makes it infinitely close to the physical world. The people and objects in the virtual world follow the physical rules of our reality.
- Virtuality-Reality Integration:
Blending Information from the Virtual World and the Physical World
Virtuality-Reality Integration builds a high-precision 3D map of the physical world to achieve accurate positioning, realizing virtual information overlay accurately, and breaking the boundaries between the virtual world and the physical world. For example, the Alibaba Cloud AR Parallel World solution helps enterprises achieve augmented reality and mixed reality effects easily, covering AR-based navigation, information overlay, virtual customer service, and other functions.
- Virtuality-Reality Linkage:
Transforming the Physical World by Changing the Virtual World
Alibaba Cloud Data Center's second-generation "Tianxun" robot is an IDC O&M robot with controllable arms. The complex operation control algorithms that integrate vision and tactile data give it three core business capabilities: automatic hard disk replacement, fine inspection, and automatic asset inventory. Each capability provides a complete solution of unattended monitoring, unattended inspection, and data security for IDCs.