Weekly Digest #74
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In this digest-
1. A Virtual World: Let’s get real (Part II)
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
4. Entertainment Quotient
A Virtual World: Let’s Get Real - PART II
By: Mihir Rao
If you haven’t already read my previous article in Digest #73, you can go read it to get more information about what the Metaverse is, and what the pros and cons are for it. However, there is much more that could be added on about the Metaverse, like living two lives, virtual products, and a humongous opportunity.
In my previous article, I covered what the metaverse is, and this time, I’ll delve a little bit into where the idea came from.
The oldest mention of a metaverse-like concept was in a novel called Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson. The novel featured concepts like virtual real estate, and talked about virtual reality, and in this book, Stephenson coined the term ‘Metaverse’ for a virtual 3D space.
On paper, the metaverse is not supposed to exist as property of one company. This makes it very similar to the internet, in the sense that the metaverse is not the property of one country, or one person. However, this is not the case for what is happening right now.
In this case, one company can capitalise on the metaverse, and this is very evident in the case of Facebook, since it changed its name to Meta. Since the metaverse is supposed to be hosted on servers through which people can connect with each other, companies like Facebook just need to host the servers, and can make money on the metaverse by hosting ads from other companies.
Now, there are pros and cons to the metaverse, and I did talk a little about business in my previous article, but there is a lot more to it than just the contents of one paragraph. The metaverse may even be an 800 billion dollar market, which is absolutely absurd. But why? Why is the metaverse such a big market?
A fiscal OPPORTUNITY:
As I mentioned before, the metaverse has a giant market potential, and companies could capitalise on this. How? Well, since the metaverse is basically another virtual world, where anything could happen, companies could use that technology to market their product, by placing ‘virtual reality ads’.
Also, companies could even create ‘virtual products’ to sell in the metaverse! For example, a company like Nike could market virtual sports merch, and a company like Marks and Spencer could be selling virtual clothes!
Many different events could also be planned out, such as weddings, get-togethers and birthday parties! But the crazy thing is - These are happening as we speak! Couples have actually had weddings in the metaverse! But, these events would have a certain personal connection missing, since you’re not meeting in person. There have been prior examples of this, with online school, and online work, and I can say for sure that working online is a far cry from working offline.
Living two lives?!
One of the main things that sets virtual reality apart from the Metaverse is the time you spend on it. However, it looks like the Metaverse is going to become almost like a virtual reality social media, but it could be much more than that: A person could use the Metaverse and live two lives! I know it may sound crazy, but the metaverse could in theory provide a person with another life!
Living in the Metaverse would be nice, but like I mentioned before, it comes with its fair share of questions. For example: What about the real world? If people were spending all their time in the Metaverse, then who would be taking care of real world affairs? What if something bad were to happen in the real world? What would happen to the metaverse? Even though the metaverse may seem to be all positives, this uncertainty is a major problem. Climate change is one such issue that, if left unnoticed/not cared for, would cause a problem for us, and for the Earth as a whole.
Limitations and Expectations:
Right now, most commercial Virtual Reality products only feature a headset and two controllers (Oculus Rift, PSVR, HTC Vive, etc.) which limits your movement in a virtual space. Also, since you only have two controllers, you really only have your two hands and your head as movable joints. This limits a lot of the things that you could do in VR.
However, one of the main types of technology which could improve the virtual reality experience a lot is a Haptic Suit. A haptic suit, as the name suggests, is a suit that can create an experience of touch, and can make you feel like you are in the real world. An example of this would be: In a game, when you get shot, then the haptic suit would adjust itself and make you feel like you were hit by something (without the pain, thankfully). Hopefully in the future, Haptic suits could be developed more, and we could also have full body mobility in virtual reality.
Right now, the metaverse may just seem like a dream, but it will become a reality very soon, and I am cautiously optimistic about what it has in store for us.
By: Abhimanyu Rao
1. To all the naysayers of the strength of young people, I would like to refer you to the story of Zara Rutherford. At only 19 years old, she flew AROUND THE WORLD, ALONE!!
This is an achievement of gargantuan proportions! What’s even more astonishing is that most parents are reluctant to let their 19-year-old children live alone, this is an event of great significance that shows that young people can do anything!
2. Pfizer and Moderna are working on a vaccine that specifically protects you from the Omicron variant, which has caused a recent resurgence in Covid cases. Luckily, apart from an Omicron-specific vaccine, this has brought the need for a “total-protection-against-all-variants” vaccine. This vaccine will no doubt take longer to make, but it’ll save a lot of time in the long run, and hopefully, endeavours to make one will begin soon.
3. Most of you would have watched the 2018 DC blockbuster Aquaman, but did you know that there is a real-life Aquaman too? Mr. Lisala Folau, who is differently abled, and is unable to walk properly, swam for 27 hours at a stretch! A tsunami swept him away from his home, but he swam unrelentingly for 27 hours, and eventually reached dry land! This shows that you can overcome any challenges life throws your way, if you just persevere.
4. Stories of animals being displaced, or thrown out of their homes are always heartbreaking, which makes this a great moment! In honour of actress and comedian Betty White, who sadly passed away only 17 days before what would have been her 100th birthday.
In her honour, people took to Facebook, and raised a lump-sum of 12.7 MILLION DOLLARS for animal shelters, to ensure animal welfare everywhere!
By: Agastya Rao
1. We have had asteroids, rocks and “alien encounters” from space, and now we have a DIAMOND from space. Yup! You read it right - a 555.5 carat black diamond called “The Enigma” which is apparently from space, is being sold.
This could apparently have been created by an asteroid or meteor hitting the Earth. Auction house Sotheby’s shall be selling this legendary diamond and it is projected to sell for over 6 Million Dollars. Interestingly Sotheby’s shall also be accepting payment in the form of cryptocurrency, which goes to show how much the world has changed!
(Photo Credit- Sothebys)
2. Pandas are incredibly cute animals, and it turns out that their eating habits are what keep them chubby! Certain bacteria in their gut makes them store more fat and gain more weight in the late spring and early summer, when the bamboo that they eat is the least nutritious. This method of storing fat also helps them store nutrients. In order to confirm this, scientists conducted a faecal transplant from a panda to a mouse, and they tested the diet of bamboo on mice and it seemed to show similar results.
3. For us humans, straws have been a part of our daily lives. What if I told you that straws have actually been used for thousands of years! In a prehistoric burial mound in Russia, 5000 year old drinking straws that were over 3 feet long were discovered. These straws were not made of plastic ( Disclaimer: The Paperless Press does not promote the use of using plastic straws due to their effect on harming marine life), but these straws were made of Gold and Silver. Their use was apparently for communal drinking to honour the dead.
4. Highways are a cornerstone of development and infrastructure, and in Saudi Arabia, archaeologists have discovered a 45000 year old highway network! The sides of these highways are lined with ancient tombs. Researchers also looked at using helicopters for aerial surveys and using satellite imaging. This find is amazing!
- Munich: The Edge of War
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