Metaverse refers to a shared virtual world environment which people can access via the internet. Though this concept has been around for years in games such as Second Life, the interest in it has revived due to the immersive experiences that are now possible due to the availability of technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and the possibility of owning assets in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
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Facebook’s ambitious plans to become a Metaverse company, which includes an investment plan of $10 billion to build its Metaverse and changing the parent company's name from Facebook Inc to Meta Platforms, has also generated a lot of interest in the new version of social media which will allow users to interact with friends, family, colleagues and even customers using digital avatars.
Some of the non-tech companies are also excited about the new Metaverse and have started working to be a part of it. For instance, in November, sporting goods company Nike launched an online gaming platform called Nikeland where users can create digital avatars and play sports in a virtual world.
Last week, Nike announced the acquisition of RTFKT Studios, a digital collectibles company. The company has also filed a patent to sell branded Nike sneakers in Metaverse.
Microsoft too has showcased its vision of Metaverse that will be more enterprise-centric, given the company’s core user base. Microsoft’s Metaverse will allow professionals to join Teams meetings as digital avatars.
Interest in Metaverse has also started to grow in India. For instance, BolleyHeroes NFT Project is building a metaverse on the Bollywood film industry called Bollyverse where users including members of the film industry can create and launch films and shows and also create and sell NFTs. Another NFT platform, Fantico is creating a Metaverse where people can have their virtual world.
Actor Kamal Hassan will be the first to launch a digital avatar on the platform. The avatar can be used to interact with fans and the virtual world can be used to showcase and sell NFTs.
India is going to play a huge role in building the Metaverse, said MEta CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook Fuel for India virtual conference last week.
According to DappRadar, more than 500,000 Indians have shown interest in NFTs and metaverse projects since November, which puts India in the fifth position in the list of countries generating the most interest in them.