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 a metaverse:
It was virtual
It was three-dimensional
It was always "on" (i.e. persistent)
It was a shared, social space
The Metaverse has inspired countless "lowercase m" metaverses in the last 30 years. Ready Player One had the OASIS. Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox are sometimes described as metaverses. There are even numerous blockchain-based metaverses like Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, Somnium Space, Axie Infinity, and The Sandbox.
The worlds listed above all exist separate from physical reality. An augmented reality metaverse, like the Geo Web, is intended to digitally enhance the physical world.
Earth is already 3D, persistent, and social because...physics. But physics enforces (sometimes) pesky costs and limitations to the experiences that we 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 free from the constraints of matter but is still experienced as a 3D, persistent, and shared reality. It allows users to anchor digital content—limited only by imagination—to physical land.
The Geo Web shouldn't be interpreted as "just another augmented reality app." It's an open network that utilizes a system of property rights to create natural discoverability and incentives for global consensus about what digital content exists where. When two Geo Web users walk down the street, they see the same augmented world.
Siloed apps and smart assistants can support augmented reality use cases in isolation. But, they lack the interoperability, incentives, and vision to create a shared digital reality that's cohesive with physical reality.
As we move to a world full of AR, the social impact and meta experience of our technology should be just as important as the content itself. That's why we're building the Geo Web AR metaverse.