The metaverse has so many exciting features from its distinct internet technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and extended reality. interesting features such as virtual real estate, avatars, VR games, metaverse casinos, and other entertainment avenues.
With these exciting features, it’s safe to say that the metaverse is a technology that will (in numerous ways) help experts in different industries simplify parts of their day-to-day activities.
However, merely discussing the benefits without also highlighting the disadvantages of the metaverse to its users will render the concept incomplete.
Here is what the metaverse is all about and the major challenges of the metaverse.
Table of Contents
- What exactly is the Metaverse?
- 9 Major Disadvantages of the Metaverse
- Interoperability Issues
- Loss of connection with the physical world.
- Health risks
- Privacy and security challenges
- Too expensive.
- Final thoughts
What exactly is the metaverse?
The metaverse is the internet version of our world.
It’s a virtual world in which, by making use of internet technologies and systems, people can work, socialize, own properties, attend virtual events, play games, do research, and do many other things that people do in the real world.
The metaverse uses different internet technologies to make all this stuff happen, the two most notable of which are:
- Virtual reality (VR) consists of computer simulations used to construct artificial (virtual) environments for users.
- Augmented reality (AR) is a combination of both virtual and real-life properties. The computer simulations (auditory, visual, and sensory models) serve as an overlay on the physical objects and provide additional information on those physical objects.
These two internet technological concepts currently play a huge role in the metaverse’s $50 billion industry.
9 Major Disadvantages of the Metaverse
The metaverse offers incredible benefits such as global connectivity, new business opportunities, better and more immersive social experiences, and advancements in e-learning, education, and research.
There are some limitations to the metaverse that users and experts in the metaverse need to be aware of so as to ensure a better immersive experience in the metaverse.
The following are major disadvantages of the metaverse:
1. Interoperability issues
The metaverse lacks the ability to integrate avatars, lands, and other metaverse properties across different ecosystems into one place.
There’s currently a huge disparity in the economic values and technological systems across metaverse platforms, which makes it even more difficult to make all these metaverse platforms interoperable.
This disparity is because some metaverse ecosystems only operate on VR headsets, some can be accessed through your laptops, and some have better graphics.
These ecosystems also make use of different concepts, which makes it difficult to utilize each other’s virtual assets, features, and services as the basic ideas of their virtual worlds don’t align.
For a technology concept that could potentially replace social media, there needs to be improvement that makes it possible for metaverse platforms like Decentraland, Sandbox, TCG World, and Nextearth to interoperate.
The internet is currently plagued by various forms of cybercrime, with corporations and government institutions spending billions of dollars to combat these crimes.
Internet fraud, hacking, identity theft, money laundering, and other forms of cybercrime will thrive in the metaverse unless metaverse platforms make use of necessary cyber security measures to combat these crimes.
The majority of people who use the internet are currently addicted and can’t take their eyes off their mobile phones and other gadgets. To make things worse, the metaverse offers users an immersive experience, with people potentially spending a lot of time in the metaverse.
The metaverse could have a negative impact on society with users unable to moderate the time they spend in the virtual ecosystems.
In a nutshell, addiction as a challenge in the metaverse will be difficult to combat. With VR and AR systems being more seductive and entertaining than the internet,
Teenagers and young adults may end up spending most of their time playing immersive VR games or attending virtual concerts.
4. Loss of connection with the physical world
Using the metaverse means that your visual and auditory senses are connected to the virtual world, which means you lose awareness of your physical environment when you’re in the metaverse.
Apart from not being aware of the happenings around you in the physical world, you might also lose your grasp on reality and connection with your physical environment.
Especially if you’re addicted to the metaverse.
Related: Pros and Cons of Augmented Reality In Education
5. Health risks
The psychological and physical health risks of using the metaverse are overwhelming.
Addiction, mental exhaustion, depression, attention deficit disorder, fatigue, motion sickness, eye strain, sleep deprivation, and injuries. These are some of the numerous health concerns associated with the metaverse.
In addition, there have been reported cases of head-mounted displays such as VR headsets causing some of these health defects in users.
6. Privacy and security challenges
Metaverse technologies such as VR and AR can collect sensitive information about their users through their finger tracking and eye tracking features.
Furthermore, they can use this biometric data to evaluate the behavioral patterns of users and invade their privacy.
In terms of security; sexual harassment, Bullying, data/information theft, and blackmail will be critical issues in the metaverse.
With hackers being able to manipulate the systems using sounds and visuals, they can access other users’ accounts and commit different crimes with the user’s account.
The metaverse is designed to be a decentralized environment.
However, the values of digital assets, features, and services of metaverse ecosystems are not decided based on consensus but rather by corporations.
With big companies such as Meta already taking over and investing billions of dollars in metaverse projects,
These corporations are the ones inventing devices used in the metaverse and control most of the metaverse ecosystems that currently exist.
Since they control both the ecosystems and the devices used to access them, they dictate how the metaverse ecosystems operate.
The immersive experiences of the metaverse blur the line between the virtual world and the real world.
Unfortunately, it makes it easier to believe in false information as people may lose their cognitive skills and be able to differentiate between what is real and what is fake.
In short, the media, corporations, and political institutions can easily use the metaverse to spread lies and propaganda and manipulate the masses.
9. Too expensive
The metaverse requires advanced digital technologies, which makes it inaccessible to most people.
Getting a good VR headset costs at least $400, a VR treadmill costs at least $2,000, and the minimum price for a parcel of land on metaverse ecosystems such as Decentraland and Sandbox is currently $13,000.
Even metaverse platforms that can be accessed through a smartphone require sophisticated ones with fast and reliable internet connections.
As a user, you need to understand that there are two sides to a coin, which means that the advantages and disadvantages of the metaverse should both be considered when deciding on the metaverse.
In conclusion, as much as there are challenges in the metaverse, it’s still an emerging technology and most of those challenges will be addressed as the metaverse evolves.