Updated: Jan 20
As the Metaverse is the “next chapter” for the Internet, it is important to understand the tools that make technology innovative. Thus, Evenness provides you with a glossary of the terms that are becoming increasingly relevant in the online environment.
- a digital network of virtual, augmented, and extended reality that bridges the gap between online interactions and real life. It combines components of social media, virtual and augmented realities, online gaming, artificial intelligence, edge computing, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies to create an immersive and interactive online experience. In this shared virtual reality space, users can interact, collaborate, work and learn with people from different locations.
Cryptocurrency: also known as crypto, a digital asset and form of currency that is virtual, decentralized, and encrypted. It is built on blockchain technology and secured with cryptography. Online cryptocurrency payments allow for secure transactions without the control of central authorities, which are securely stored in a digital ledger.
Blockchain: a type of shared database that records and stores digital information in a secure, transparent, and immutable way. These features of encryption and immutability guarantee security, creating trust in the blockchain system. Data is stored in blocks which is independently verified.
Decentralization: the shifting of control from a central authority to a distributed network. This distributed network allows for peer-to-peer transaction of digital assets, coupled with irreversible tracking of the information and history of transactions and ownership of these assets. Advantages include transparency and fidelity by spreading records across many nodes in the computer network.
Augmented Reality (AR): enhanced version of the real physical world by combining simulated digital imagery with the real world on a screen. Examples include the IKEA Mobile App, where you can see how IKEA furniture looks in your real house, and Nintendo's Pokémon Go App, you can see Pokemon by looking on your phone at the real world around you, but with enhanced images.
Virtual Reality (VR): an immersive experience based on computer-generated simulations where when the user puts on a VR headset, their 360 degree view is entirely contained within the 3D digital world. Using headsets, users can realistically explore and interact with the virtual environment with the VR system accurately translating users’ movements into VR, so they feel truly present.
Mixed Reality (MR): combines elements of both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to create a blend of the physical and virtual world, where real-world and digital objects interact in real-time. Mixed reality can be experienced with the help of devices like VR headsets and Hololens. MR can be taken to the next level by creating holographic representations of people.
Extended Reality (XR): refers to the set of immersive technologies that combine the experiences and environments of the real and virtual worlds; including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). XR technology allows users to experience different immersive experiences altogether across the metaverse space. The application of XR can be seen across various devices and industries. For example, in training medical staff, conducting field trips, or in architecture and design.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): a field that combines computer science and robust datasets to enable problem-solving via automation. It consists of AI algorithms which create expert systems using machine learning and deep learning to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, like visual perception, speech recognition, decision making, and translation between languages.
Web 3.0: the new third-generation of internet services for websites and applications that is built on the open, decentralized blockchain technology. Web 3.0 allows users to have ownership stakes in applications and platforms. This framework contrasts the current Web 2.0, where vast amounts of data and content are centralized within a central authority. Web 3.0 encompasses AI-based semantics, AR/VR-based immersive-ness, and blockchain-based decentralisation to process information in human-like ways and create transparent and open internet experiences.
WebXR: an interface that enables applications to interact with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) devices in a web browser. In technical terms, WebXR is an API for web content and apps that is integrated with augmented reality features. It provides users a way to access the immersive content online, via a link, without installing a dedicated application or using a mounted display. Also, enabling businesses to integrate their immersive environments and solutions into a landing page.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): blockchain-based certificates of authentication for digital objects, which allow proof of ownership of goods in the Metaverse. Each NFT is one-of-a-kind, meaning that an object cannot be replaced with an identical item and is thus not mutually interchangeable. Assets like cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin) are considered fungible, where an original art piece on the blockchain is deemed non-fungible.
Avatar: your digital persona in a virtual world. Your avatar may look like you, resemble a cartoon, or appear fantastical. The word “avatar” [Sanskrit: avatāra (“descent”)], refers to the incarnation of a deity in human or animal form. Examples of avatars can be seen in games such as “Assassins’ Creed”, “Returnal” or “Horizon”, and in the movies such as “Ready Player One”, “Avatar”, and “Free Guy”.
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