Ever since Facebook became Meta last year, nearly every industry imaginable has attached itself to the Metaverse concept. But, of course, when talking about the Metaverse, things tend to get really confusing, real quick.
While the Metaverse all of us imagine is the next step in the evolution of the Internet – a 3D representation of the physical world in which we can interact with others in real-time – the reality is that no company is close to delivering that vision.
Yes, we’ve had several virtual worlds in the gaming industry – Second Life, Axie Infinity, and so on – but in reality, we’re far from a functional Metaverse.
Nonetheless, Meta is leading the industry in terms of development. In addition, Mark Zuckerberg has made several key acquirements, including nabbing Oculus, a VR headset development company, for a cool $2 billion.
Over the years, the company has made a number of strategic acquisitions that will help them dominate multiple markets in the future. These Acquisitions include Instagram, WhatsApp, and Within.
All of these products have something in common: they’re all social media platforms. And that’s what the Metaverse is all about – being social in a virtual space. The intention here is simple – monopolize the Metaverse market before anyone else has a chance to.
That’s ambitious. And it certainly isn’t impossible.
However, while Meta is leading the industry, another player is not getting nearly as much attention but is making much more progress: the US Army.
The US Army’s Synthetic Training Environment
The Synthetic Training Environment, or STE, is the Army’s VR project that will help them kill a few birds with one stone. It’s a project that’s been in development since 2017 and is intended to provide soldiers with realistic training simulations.
But the STE isn’t just for training soldiers – it’s also a platform for experimentation and research. The Army uses the STE to test new technologies and tactics and train commanders.
In other words, the STE is the perfect testing ground for the Metaverse.
While the STE is still in development, the progress that’s been made is impressive. The 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 for it.
The implications of this are huge. Imagine a world where anyone can create their virtual world and invite others to visit it. The possibilities are endless.
The US Army’s progress towards the Metaverse is a big deal. Not only is the Army further along in terms of development, but it’s also building the Metaverse on an open platform.
That could spell trouble for Meta. If the US Army’s Metaverse becomes the standard, Meta will be left out in the cold.
Remember what the Army did for the development of the Internet? They developed the modern version of it. And, if history repeats itself, the Army could do the same for the Metaverse.