The sprawling Metaverse is filled with a plethora of use cases that could pave the way for a more interconnected digital society. Despite the technology’s infancy, the Metaverse has already brought countless real-world benefits. Nearly every industry imaginable has ramped up its developments on the Metaverse, with companies such as Facebook being a prime example, even to the point of renaming the entire company, Meta, and now even the US Army.
The Metaverse is poised to be the next evolution of the Internet. With Web3 technologies consistently refined as we speak, a 3D representation of our physical world might be closer than we think. In the gaming industry, VR has become the main component to materialize the concept of the Metaverse. Virtual worlds such as Second Life, VR Chat, and many more have been in constant development to improve tech further.
Even the famed Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees the vast potential of VR technology in making the Metaverse a reality. In terms of development, Meta is leading the industry through key acquisitions within VR, with the company shelling out $2 billion to acquire leading VR headset development company Oculus. Over the years, Meta has made several strategic acquisitions that will help them dominate multiple markets in the future. These acquisitions include Instagram, WhatsApp, and Within.
However, while Meta is poised to become a titan in the virtual social media space, another power player is steadily making progress on its own Metaverse concept. Unbeknownst to many, the US Army has been developing its Synthetic Training Environment or STE since 2017. The project is a VR simulation that aims to provide soldiers with realistic training simulations. Furthermore, the US Army is planning to use the STE as a platform for experimentation and research, testing new technologies and tactics.
While social VR platforms are for the general populace, the US Army’s STE is the perfect testing ground for the Metaverse. In a span of over five years of development, the STE has made remarkable progress compared to that of Meta. The US Army has already created many environments, including urban landscapes and deserts. And, unlike Meta, the Army is building the STE on an open platform. That means that anyone can develop it.
This bodes well for the Metaverse, as being an open platform enables anyone to create their own virtual world and invite others to visit it. There is so much potential in the technology that it could totally dwarf whatever Meta plans to create, streaming in endless possibilities.
This unprecedented move by the US Army could usher in tremendous progress for the Metaverse. Reports have shown that their development progress is further ahead of Meta, and with the prospects of an open platform, this could very well spell trouble for the company. If the US Army’s Metaverse becomes the standard, Meta will be left out in the cold.
For this reason alone, Meta should begin to ramp up its developments and respond to the implications that the STE could bring to the Metaverse. After all, the US Army is known for bringing innovation to the Internet, developing the modern version of it and shipping it to the general public. History might just repeat itself, and we could soon see the Army’s version of the Metaverse in our households.
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