The Metaverse is only at the beginning of its journey to create a fully immersive virtual experience for users. Niall Norton, Managing Director of Networking at Amdocs, explains how ubiquitous connectivity, edge computing, security and interoperability of different metaverses are all key challenges that still need to be overcome.
The Metaverse is on the minds of many, but are we really ready to support it?
The metaverse is envisioned as a seamless integration of virtual worlds, with each world being developed by separate vendors. According to recent to research from Amdocs, over 80% of consumers have seen promises in the metaverse. Still, there were hurdles to overcome, including concerns about security and identity (37%) and the fact that their internet connection couldn’t handle them (21%).
But how can it exist and sustain human experiences if it is still essentially missing the basic components of reality? There are still significant material and security deficits that need to be addressed before we can all truly migrate, so to speak, into our collective meta-reality.
Connectivity devices for users are improving and will increasingly become very smart ‘fashion accessories’ much in the same way mobile phones have become. But the foundation of the metaverse will be interoperable, immersive, shared virtual ecosystems navigable by user-controlled avatars. Low-latency connectivity and near-edge computing power are two fundamental capabilities needed to make the metaverse a reality, most likely provided by communications service providers (CSPs). Pervasive connectivity will be needed as the foundation of the metaverse, which it will be up to them to provide.
Along with this new level of connectivity, we must consider several challenges that the industry must overcome for the metaverse to succeed. Let’s take a look at the top three challenges that are currently standing in the way along the meta-road and how we might overcome them.
Interoperability to tackle the “metaverse of madness”
One of the significant advances of the metaverse will be to offer a single virtual universe, where we can join from anywhere and do different activities together (playing games, watching movies, working, etc.). The Amdocs report also revealed that more than 60% of respondents believed the metaverse would unlock exciting new ways to interact with others, play (36%) and work (21%).
There will likely be several different metaverses that people will seek to join depending on their specific interests. We may need to enter multiple metaverses to be able to interact with our other friend groups.
We don’t know if we’ll need to connect the different universes to jump between them quickly, so interoperability between metaverses is critical. Interoperability suggests standardization, a 3GPP-like approach to 5G or TMform promotion of the open API, necessary to ensure consumers have a seamless experience across metaverses.
So who is going to take responsibility? Some commentators suggest that Meta could play a role here. However, for this to succeed, whoever fills the gap will need to assume a platform-like part to allow various metaverses to run side-by-side. By expanding the platform analogy, they need to act as “The Salesforce” of the metaverse.
Consumers worried about safety
The metaverse will require the transfer of large amounts of data, most of which is personal and critical (eg location). The risk of cyberattacks will be heightened and pervasive, primarily as consumers become increasingly dependent on them over time.
But like the question of interoperability, who will protect the metaverse? Will it be the responsibility of cybersecurity or the interfaces of each metaverse? Who will test weakness permanently? What can individual metaverse operators do to mitigate the risk? Does decentralized data storage reduce this risk?
Any single attack can only affect a small part of the network rather than destroying the entire metaverse. Some experts suggest that blockchain could play a role in the cybersecurity solution by storing and transmitting non-centralized information and reducing risk. This will be an important factor requiring innovative solutions to effectively protect end users from the metaverse.
Learn more: We already tried Metaverse and failed: get it now
Real-world resources to build virtual reality
Although it may be virtual, the metaverse impacts our physical world to activate it on a large scale. A high level of resources will be required to make it work, which are real and limited, such as rare metals for electronic devices, energy sources for powering data centers, etc. The more the number of users increases, the more we risk exhausting these resources. If the metaverse succeeds, it will require ubiquitous connectivity and exponential growth in advanced computing capabilities.
In particular, the high volume of data exchanged to support AR/VR services that travel between virtual worlds and the physical world requires a highly efficient state-of-the-art network and communication infrastructure that optimizes the trade-offs between throughput, reliability and latency. .
Data throughput supports end-user experience and ultra-low latency is required for enhanced AR/VR services. Latency determines how quickly players receive information about their situation in virtual worlds and how quickly their responses are relayed to other players. Mobile edge networks bring computing power closer to the end user. For example, a player taking part in an outdoor multiplayer game relies on the computing power being closer to the hardware to ensure a seamless experience without any delay between command and execution. The metaverse will need these high data transfer rates, ultra-low latency, and edge computing to succeed, but the flip side is a greater impact on resources, the right balance of which remains have.
The Metaverse is a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted reality. Being essentially virtual, the biggest hurdle to overcome is that of the perception of reality and security. Metaverse proponents are still only at the beginning of the journey to create a fully immersive virtual experience for users. How can all aspects be merged seamlessly to create a cohesive, safe and immersive experience? Ubiquitous connectivity, edge computing, security and the interoperability of different metaverses are all key challenges to overcome. It will be interesting to see how this evolves. The parts all exist, but who is going to put them together?
How do you plan to handle the obstacles discussed to get the most out of the metaverse? Tell us about LinkedIn, Twitter, Where Facebook. We would like to know!
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