Metaverse: Interdependent Architecture and Applications

Metaverse: Interdependent Architecture and Applications

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7348-1.ch005
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Metaverse is the future of internet and an amalgamation of VR, AR, blockchain technology, AI, and 5G, and beyond. Metaverse can be seen as a self-sustaining system with its economy, structure, and trade of virtual items. Currently, there is no common platform for this in a decentralized manner. Thus, there is a need for an interdependent architecture that can provide interaction amongst layers. This chapter focuses on a seven-layered architecture that is simple to comprehend theoretically but cannot represent the true essence of all aspects of Metaverse. Hence, a novel interdependent architecture that includes physical and virtual world interaction is proposed in this chapter. Next, some potential applications and services of Metaverse are discussed. Later, two case studies, that of a virtual city and a virtual university campus using Metaverse, were analyzed based on the proposed architecture. Finally, the chapter is concluded with the open issues and challenges faced while dealing with Metaverse.
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2. Architecture Of Metaverse

Since Metaverse is in its nascent stage, there is no particularly defined architecture of Metaverse (Duan, et al., 2021). The architectural divisions of Metaverse are based on the interaction between the virtual and physical worlds. The most common, seven-layered architecture (HoloNext, 2022) (Takyar, 2022) conceptualized by Jon Radoff, has been discussed in section 2.1. In this section, its architectural divisions, or simply, its layers are introduced in brief. This architecture is common and simple to comprehend theoretically, but it cannot truly represent the essence of all the aspects of the Metaverse. Hence, a novel three-component, interdependent architecture is proposed in section 2.2, outlining its advantages over the first. Its components include the virtual world, hereby named anatomy; the physical world, named ecosystem and the interaction between the two, named convergence. All of its components are explained in detail, including the technologies used in each.

Key Terms in this Chapter

User-Generated Content (UGC): UGC is the combination of all types of content, such as images, videos, text and audio that has been posted by users on online platforms. These platforms may include social media, discussion forums, blogs etc.

Digital Twin: Digital twins are the digital replicas of any physical object in the physical world, in terms of its physical properties and its behaviour. They are modelled by acquiring information about their characteristics using sensors.

Avatar: An avatar is the user’s identity or the digital self in the entire Metaverse. Users will be able to create and use an avatar just like his/her real self in the physical world. The avatar will be able to wear clothes according to the user’s choices, can change skins and learn, play, and work as the digital counterpart of the real user.

Augmented Reality: Augmented reality is the superimposition of a simulated image over the user’s view of the real world. This composite view can enhance the perception of the user. The most common example is the Pokemon Go game which became popular in 2016.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT): NFTs are cryptographic assets on blockchain having unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. The difference between them and cryptocurrency is that they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency. The most popular example of NFT is crypto kitties, launched in 2017 using the Ethereum blockchain.

Metaverse: A simulated virtual-reality space in which users can interact with other users, using their digital selves, called avatars. They will be able to shop, learn, play and work without any physical boundaries or space limitations. Metaverse environment is computer-generated. It can be achieved by the amalgamation of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, along with blockchain and networks with 5G and beyond.

Blockchain Technology: Blockchain, as the name conveys, is a list of blocks where each block is a record of transactions made in cryptocurrency over a shared system. This list keeps on growing and can safely store information. These blocks give viewing access but no editing access to the users.

Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality is the computer-generated simulation of the physical environment. This is accomplished with the use of IoT sensors which send and receive data from the real world in real-time. The use of special equipment like smart glasses or screens, makes the user perceive virtual scenes as real ones.

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