One of the most powerful men in tech thinks that the metaverse — a term for a series of interlinked, persistent virtual worlds with self-contained economies — is just around the corner. 

One of the most exciting use cases for blockchain and NFTs, enthusiasts inspired by Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash have long been hoping for a VR/AR world with a crypto-powered internal market. Now, however, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang thinks the technology to make it happen is on our doorstep.

Speaking at the virtual Computex conference, Huang said that he “believe(s) we’re right on the cusp of” the metaverse and spoke glowingly of its potential, according to a transcript of a Q&A session he had with reporters — going as far as to say that users will one day use metaverses to “simulate the future.”

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“There will be AR versions, where the art that you have is a digital art. You own it using NFT. You’ll display that beautiful art, that’s one of a kind, and it’s completely digital. You’ll have our glasses on or your phone. You can see that it’s sitting right there, perfectly lit, and it belongs to you. We’ll see this overlay, a metaverse overlay if you will, into our physical world,” he said.

He noted that Nvidia is already using a VR version of Nvidia’s new office building to test these theories, a campus that the company has dubbed “Voyager.” Among the world’s largest manufacturers of GPUs, Nvidia used supercomputers to “simulate architecture” for Voyager, helping with design and ecological efficiency, and eventually the company will allow employees to attend work by wearing VR headsets from home and controlling robots to move about the physical office space, a joint VR/physical workplace hybrid.

“This building completely exists in VR. We designed it completely digitally. We’re going to build it out so that there will be a digital twin of this very physical building in VR. We’ll be able to simulate everything, train our robots in it. We can simulate how best to distribute the air conditioning to reduce the energy consumption […] We can simulate all of that in our digital twin, our building metaverse, before we deploy anything here in the physical world. We’ll be able to go in and out of it using VR and AR.”

Huang isn’t the only CEO who has weighed in on NFTs and the Metaverse as of late, though he’s certainly the most optimistic. In January Fortnite founder Tim Sweeney said that NFTs are the most “plausible” path towards a functioning metaverse, but for now they remain a “speculative mess.” 

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We’re “on the cusp of” a blockchain and NFT-enabled metaverse

by Cameryn Gollakner
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