While the lines between the real and virtual worlds grow increasingly blurred, the two remain distinct entities that we choose to connect to (or disconnect from) entirely separately.
The world of the metaverse may be a wonderful, connected vision where all things become possible, but the jarring jump both into the metaverse (perhaps via VR) and out of it (when other media or social requirements come calling) has seemed always set to be a barrier between the real and the not so real.
Now Web3 company Dropp has plans to blur these lines further by creating a bridge between the two worlds.
The company is building its own social metaverse app and, by utilising their $25 million acquisition of 3D real-world modelling company Flyy – who model real cities for use in virtual 3D worlds – Dropp is building an app that merges our real-world activities with virtual ones.
The platform essentially works as a social media app that presents you with a fully modelled virtual recreation of your city. Users are then able to find points of interest, share live updates, and pin areas on the map. The platform enables the use of video and picture sharing so you can see what your friends are doing and where they have visited.
The app allows you to access a friend’s journey – if shared publicly – so you can see in chronological order what they have been up to. A slide will appear that shows where your friend was and any pictures or videos they uploaded, users are then able to tap through the post and see what their friend did next.
The next step for social media?
As we have already seen, social media has become a massive part of many people’s everyday lives and metaverse-like experiences are only gaining more traction, so could an app that attempts to merge those two ideas together be the next big thing? Instead of a Facebook post that tags which restaurant you ate at, users could pin their location for friends to see a fully realised 3D version of it (and track what you did next.)
Did someone say ‘privacy’?
One of the first things that comes to mind when discussing these types of future innovations is the safety protocols behind them. Having a 3D city that shows you someone’s location could seem invasive but is it much different than what people are already doing on social media?
Facebook and Instagram geotags already grant access to the locations and highlight it on a map, other apps such as Snapchat show your avatar at your exact location if the setting is enabled. Dropp’s metaverse social app would simply be utilising this same technology on one single platform with the visual aid of a 3D world. As with any form of social platform users should make sure to be aware of the privacy settings available to them to create an experience that suits their needs.
The rise of the metaverse seems inevitable and as such its collision with social media almost as assured. Could an app such as this (or one like it) generate help blend virtual and real world interactions and experiences? And is that something end users will desire and enjoy? Time will tell.