What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse is a vast virtual universe that enables people to interact with each other through avatars, communicate in real-time, create content, and explore artificial worlds. It combines virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D graphics technologies to create an immersive and interactive experience much like that of the physical world. The metaverse is expected to revolutionize the way we work, learn, and socialize as it blurs the boundaries between physical and digital realities. It could eventually be used for gaming, shopping, education, and entertainment purposes. By 2025, experts predict that the metaverse will be an integral part of our daily lives allowing us to do things never before possible.

The metaverse is already transforming the way people interact and experience the world. Current products, such as VR headsets and gaming systems, allow users to explore virtual worlds and create immersive experiences. For instance, the popular Oculus Rift headset enables users to interact with a 3D version of themselves in a virtual environment. Additionally, some games offer social hub worlds where players can chat, join groups, and purchase virtual items. Other current metaverse products include augmented reality apps that layer digital elements over the physical space and location-based AR games like Pokemon Go. Finally, companies are beginning to experiment with blockchain technology to facilitate secure interactions within the metaverse.

The future of the metaverse is looking increasingly promising. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more realistic and immersive virtual worlds where users will be able to interact with others in meaningful ways. This could include virtual shopping experiences where you pay real money for virtual goods, collaborative projects between people from different countries, and even simulated versions of real-world locations. Additionally, blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way people interact within the metaverse by providing a secure platform for data storage and transactions. It’s an exciting time for VR and augmented reality, as developers look to create new possibilities and experiences that are both practical and entertaining. Unfortunately, new research coming out of UC-Berkeley has raised some concerns about privacy in the metaverse. The study, led by researcher Vivek Nair, discusses why privacy in the metaverse may never exist, if things keep progressing as they currently are.

Body Movement in the Metaverse

Body movement is one of the most important components of creating an immersive virtual experience in the metaverse. By using accurate tracking technologies, developers can capture a user’s movements and translate them into a realistic set of actions within the virtual world. This could include walking, running, waving their arms, and more – allowing users to fully interact with their environment in ways they couldn’t do in real life. Additionally, body movements can be used to control game characters or avatars that represent their real-life counterparts, giving them even more freedom to explore and create. With these possibilities in mind, it’s no wonder that body tracking technology is becoming increasingly important for VR and AR projects.

Body tracking technology uses cameras, accelerometers, and other sensors to track a user’s body movements in 3D space and digitally recreate them in the metaverse. Developers can use this data to control movement of characters, objects, and avatars in the virtual world. Body tracking also allows developers to build more intuitive interactions between users and their environment, allowing users to feel like they are truly part of the digital world. Unfortunately, it is the tracking of movement that is now raising concerns about whether the metaverse can ever truly be private.

Body movement: The Metaverse Fingerprint

Fingerprint scanners are becoming increasingly popular as a means of authentication, and it’s easy to understand why. Unlike passwords that can be easily guessed or stolen, fingerprints are unique to each user and hence more difficult to replicate. Whilst some methods of fingerprint scanning may not always be 100% accurate all the time, they remain one of the most reliable forms of identification available today. Many of us trust this technology in our every-day lives. Whether it is unlocking our mobile devices, accessing our banking information via an app, or walking through our front doors, we typically have some form of interaction with a fingerprint scanner in our day-to-day activities.

With our fingerprints guarding such sensitive data, it is easy to understand why we wouldn’t go around sharing information about our fingerprints (such as the actual patterns) with anyone. According to the study done at UC-Berkeley, that is exactly what we are doing, when we access the metaverse. Not through our fingerprints, but through our body movement.

As accurate as a person’s fingerprints can be at identifying them, a person’s body movement is even more uniquely identifiable. Every user moves differently depending on their age, size, physical condition, flexibility and more. Because body movement is one of the main catalysts for interacting in the virtual world, Vivek Nair (in an interview with medium.com) likens this to surfing the internet, and sharing your fingerprints with every site you visit.

Body Movement Data

To provide a good experience in the metaverse, VR headsets use multiple microphones and cameras to capture very detailed information about a person’s facial features and vocal tone. Some units may also capture data about the surrounding environment the user is in. Emerging technologies like EEG sensors hope to capture user’s brain activity. Each of these pieces of data is captured to make a person’s experience in the metaverse all the better, but we can start to understand the serious privacy risks that may come from this information.

In the study conducted at UC-Berkeley, 2.5 million VR data recordings of the popular Beat Saber app were analyzed from over 50,000 players. Are you ready for this? Using only 100 seconds of motion data gathered from the recordings, the study was able to identify one of the 50,000 players with over a 94% accuracy. More than half of those, could be uniquely identified using only 2 seconds of motion data. The results of this study mean that accurate, physical characteristics of a person can be determined by the motion data captured for the metaverse. Couple this information along with the other, typical data that is transferred, and you’d probably be able to get an even more accurate description of a user.


The metaverse is growing rapidly, with an estimated 1.2 billion virtual and augmented reality users worldwide by 2021. This growth is being driven by the emergence of powerful new technologies in areas such as hardware, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data science and a host of other specialties. As these technologies come together to create ever more sophisticated virtual worlds, people can access the metaverse from anywhere at any time – whether they’re immersed in their home or on the go.

This exponential growth has seen an explosion in the number of companies and organizations that are operating in the metaverse. From educational institutions to retail stores to media outlets and even governments, almost every industry is leveraging this digital world and its capabilities to better serve their customers and stakeholders. Whether it’s providing remote learning courses or hosting an immersive concert event, businesses are quickly realizing what tremendous opportunities this new frontier offers for innovation.

As we continue, we can expect this technology to become more and more prevalent in our daily lives. By 2025, experts predict that the metaverse will be an integral part of our daily lives allowing us to do things never before possible. I can’t help but be excited about this. I will be able to hunt wild game in Africa, without having to endure the hot sun, or learn to fly, without ever leaving the ground, or stepping foot in an airplane. Still, the lack of privacy and anonymity revealed in this study is cause for concern. Individuals and organizations are working tirelessly to find a solution to this problem, but as of the writing of this article, the problem remains unresolved.  

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