No doubt, you have heard the buzz about the “metaverse,” but if you’re like me, you probably don’t know what that is exactly. So I asked our technology expert Marc Saltzman to help us all understand what’s to come…

For companies racing to build it, the metaverse represents the next stage of the Internet, blending virtual (digital) and physical (real) worlds and allowing us to share hybrid experiences—regardless of where we may be on the planet.

Imagine this: You are at a concert, wearing augmented-reality (AR)–powered eyeglasses. You can see the band, stage and audience, but digital data is layered on top of the scene, perhaps the song name or lyrics. Even better, your friend at home can enjoy the same show at the same time by watching your live feed through your AR glasses…by looking at his phone or wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset. In fact, there may be a hologram of him next to you at the venue—and you can interact with each other as if he were there.

Whether this will play out is an open question. The infrastructure for these experiences has to be created on one platform. The technological pieces are making rapid progress—artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and wearable devices. At some point, they will converge. How long that will take and what it will look like, no one can say for sure.

But will we even want this? The metaverse could bring us together in ways that the current Internet can’t…or it could mire us in a world of physical inactivity and electronic addiction. Are you ready to jump into the metaverse?

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