If I were to say to my friends, “I’m going home now,” people would understand that I’d be going to where I live. But if you wanted to get more specific, which would be totally awkward and unnecessarily detailed, you’d say, “I’m going to my two bedroom one bath condo with a parking spot that also has a rooftop balcony.” That’s just dumb, right? Nobody would say that. But what if you’re talking to a realtor? When you say to a realtor, “I’m looking to buy a new home,” that’s the exact kind of detailed information the realtor requires. The questions would then dive deeper: Are you looking for a tiny or detached house or a condo, townhouse, or multi-family home? And oh, how many bedrooms and bathrooms are we talking? Do you want a backyard? There are lots of specifics to puzzle out so they can best assist you.
Okay, so what if you say, “Meet me in the metaverse”? How would you know what that means, where to go and what to do? You wouldn’t know because it’s way too vague of a place. So the danger of the term “metaverse” is that it seems to say a lot about emerging technology but at the same time it says kind of nothing at all. It just means some extension of the internet with some kind of interactive 3D content thrown in the mix. It’s so vague, it can almost refer to an extension of web 1.0 and web 2.0. Saying a “thing” is part of the metaverse doesn’t answer any of the following questions: Does it use avatars? Does it have a relation to blockchain? Is it accessible on mobile devices? Is it persistent? Is it a game with a beginning and distinct end? Is it a creator platform? Is it social in real life? Is it social only virtually? Does it overlay content in real life? And on and on.
At the end of the day, it’s the answers to the questions like those listed above that will make that “thing” appealing to certain audiences. Going back to our realtor comparison—yes, lots of people live in a home—but there’s a huge difference between a mansion and a yurt. The choices a person makes to live in one or the other depends on their personal values, interests, abilities, location, financial needs, and so forth.
Many experts are now angling to begin to define the metaverse while at the same time building it. If you want to start to dig into the questions and some of the answers that industry experts are discussing listen to this great podcast. Cathy Hackl doesn’t shy away from the fact that the metaverse is both nascent and being co-created by emerging creative communities. It’s not totally well defined yet. And now with the rebranding of Facebook’s parent company to Meta, we’re looking at even more complexity when we ask ourselves, “Where is the metaverse?”
So, how does Membit fit into the metaverse?
With Membit Channels, we have interconnected persistent content overlaid in real life that can be a metaverse in itself, which Jay, our CEO, cleverly refers to as the “Membitverse.” There are POSSIBLE future uses of that content to bring it into a virtual shared environment—into a true metaverse with either web-based, remote AR or VR interactivity. However, that’s not exactly what Membit is now. Is Membit part of the metaverse? Yeah, of course, sorta, kinda and it’s only important because of SEO and robot buzzword tracking. Membit is also part of the metaverse because of the way content can be used on numerous platforms and in many locations at once, connecting people digitally. But the more meaningful description of anything will always be more specific and contingent on the audience’s needs.
So for now, Membit is “location-based augmented reality.” But yes, we are definitely part of the metaverse or at least the Membitverse for now.