Metaverse, a shared virtual world where people can interact with others through avatars, has been the talk of the town in the second half of this year.
While some doubt metaverse will be able to take off or see it as just another marketing strategy, others seem to believe it is the next giant leap in information technology.
Regardless of the perceptual divide, Kim Beom-joo, head of evangelism at graphics developer Unity Korea, says the coming of the virtual platform was inevitable and its arrival signifies shift from text-oriented communication.
"The difference (of the metaverse) from the various types of digital services we already had is that it allows us to see the things that we could not see before through visualization and embodiment. The metaverse lets us see things in a more integrated way and this leads to more productive and efficient work," Kim told The Korea Herald on Nov. 29 in an interview.
Unity, headquartered in the US, operates the world’s most widely used 3D graphics development platform. Over 70 percent of the world’s top 1,000 mobile games were made using Unity engines, according to the company.
"Unity began with the motto of the democratization for games, but recently our goal has become the democratization of the metaverse. Our object is to help people who create content by using our technologies in the space of the metaverse," Kim said.
Two of the better known metaverses in South Korea -- SK Telecom’s ifland and Naver’s Zepeto -- were created using Unity engines.
As part of the efforts to allow a broader use of the technology needed for the 3D world, Unity announced in November its plan to acquire visual effects powerhouse Weta Digital. Weta Digital is known for its tools being used in the award-winning productions such as Avatar, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
With the combination of Weta Digital’s cutting-edge visual effects tools and the Unity platforms, Unity said the acquisition aims to support worldwide creators and artists to draw up the future metaverse in a more creative way.
Kim pointed out that more industries are turning to the visualization of their work process instead of the text-oriented approach regardless of the metaverse, because it is beneficial for them.
"By turning online spaces into realistic spaces, companies are seeing a growth in the number of cases where workforces and businesses from different sectors integrate. Before (the metaverse), we thought of technologies being developed in their own separate ways. Now we can think that they can all be connected to create an online world," he said.
"I feel that we have planted a flag somewhere far away. I think it is meaningful that we have a goal line."
By Kan Hyeong-woo (email@example.com