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What is the Metaverse?
The Geo Web is a public good augmented reality layer of the metaverse... yeah, but what's that?
The term metaverse was coined in Neal Stephenson's sci-fi classic Snow Crash. In Snow Crash, The Metaverse was a virtual place that people could visit through an internet connection. It had four attributes that came to popularly define the concept of the metaverse:
  1. 1.
    It was virtual
  2. 2.
    It was three-dimensional
  3. 3.
    It was always "on" (i.e. persistent)
  4. 4.
    It was a shared, social space
The Metaverse has inspired countless fictional and real instantiations of the idea. Ready Player One had the OASIS. Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox are sometimes described as precursors to the metaverse. There are numerous blockchain-based worlds like Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, Somnium Space, Axie Infinity, and The Sandbox that might fit the bill too.
The worlds listed above all exist separate from physical reality. What does the metaverse look like if we don't just live our lives in a VR headset or pod?
We believe that there will always be room for digital enhancement of the physical world: eventually the metaverse will permeate every corner of it.
Earth is 3D, persistent, and social because...physics. But physics enforces (sometimes) pesky costs and limitations to the experiences that we can physically build. Wouldn't it be great to maintain the former attributes without as much of the latter?
The Geo Web creates a global virtual overlay that's unencumbered by matter but is still experienced as a 3D, persistent, and shared reality. It allows users to augment the physical world with digital content only limited by imagination.
The Geo Web isn't "just an augmented reality app." It's an open network that utilizes a system of property rights to enable any and all augmented reality use cases to coexist in the same reality. It creates natural discoverability and incentives for global consensus about what exists where. When two Geo Web users walk down the street, they see the same world.
Siloed apps and smart assistants can support augmented reality use cases in isolation. But, they lack the same composability, incentives, and vision to create a shared digital reality that the Geo Web has.
As we move to a world full of AR, the social impact and second-order impacts of our technology are just as important as the content itself. That's why we're building the Geo Web.
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