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John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity Technologies, said in a speech at Augmented World Expo that there will be millions of destinations in the metaverse over time, much like there are millions of websites today.

Lots of people have taken a crack at defining the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One

He said he defines the metaverse as the next generation of the internet that is always real time, mostly 3D, mostly interactive, mostly social, and mostly persistent. He hedged a lot by putting all those “mostlys” in there but it seems like a reasonable definition and one that could very much benefit Unity, the maker of the most popular engine for making games.

Riccitiello said that sci-fi authors like Neal Stephenson, the author of Snow Crash, got it right that the metaverse should make you feel like you’re inside another world. But he wasn’t a fan of having a single avatar you would use across the metaverse; instead, he thinks you will change it for every world.

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Riccitiello said that Stephenson and other metaverse thinkers got it wrong when they predicted we would access the metaverse via VR headsets alone. He thinks we’ll access it from headsets, glasses, PCs, consoles, and smartphones.

He said 3D can change how we digest information, like understanding the human body or designing a room in a home. He believes social connectivity is a must so you can do things like try on an outfit and show it to your friends before you buy it.

John Riccitiello gave a talk at Augmented World Expo.

He thinks we will have smartphones with contextual app launchers that tell us as we pass by a restaurant and see if it has an open table and what it serves on its menu.

“The world of the metaverse today goes beyond the science fiction of the 1990s,” he said. “I hope this talk can be a call of imagination for the next era of the internet and 3D.”

Kevin Krewell, an analyst at Tirias Research, agreed Riccitiello’s definition of the metaverse would benefit Unity, especially with the realtime and 3D parts. But he said the challenge of millions of metaverse destinations is that there isn’t yet a browser for the metaverse.

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