Origins Of The Metaverse

On Google Trends searches for “metaverse” soared by 900% in October 2021, after Facebook changed its name to Meta. The creation of Meta brought the term to the mainstream but it is far from a new idea. The term “metaverse” was coined by Neal Stephenson in his book “Snow Crash” in 1992 to describe a virtual universe but the history of the metaverse goes back even further.

Timeline Metaverse

2021

2021

Meta Platforms
Mark Zuckerberg unexpectedly changes Facebook’s parent company name to Meta, to focus on the Metaverse and sends the term viral, creating worldwide interest in the technology.

2021

microsoft mesh

Microsoft launches Microsoft Mesh a mixed reality platform

2017

2017

Google Cardboard

Google released the Google Cardboard, which became the most popular VR device globally. The cardboard gadget and app for viewing VR on a smartphone was a worldwide hit receiving over 25 million downloads.

2017

fortnite

Fortnite by Epic Games, an online multiplayer game launches and introduces virtual concerts and social hubs.

2016

2016

Pokemon Go

A new craze hits the world. Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game launches to worldwide success.

2015

2015

Decentraland

The first iteration of Decentraland, a 3D digital world with decentralised ownership and its own currency launches.

2011

2011

Ready Player One cover

Ready Player One book by Ernest Cline introduces the concept of a virtual reality based Metaverse to the world.

2009

2009

metaverse cryptocurrency

Bitcoin and the Blockchain platform is created by Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin becomes the world’s first successful cryptocurrency.

2006

2006

roblox

The birth of Roblox, an online platform game where users could create their own worlds and earn through sharing their creations with other users.

2003

2003

Second Life

The first graphical virtual world appeared in the form of Phil Rosedale’s and Linden Lab’s developed Second Life. Second Life featured customisable avatars, a virtual world and even has its own currency. A forerunner to the metaverses we see today.

2002

2002

Michael Grieves develops the concept of Digital Twin to refer to the digital counterpart of a physical object.

1998

1998

Wei Dei (a computer scientist) introduces the concept of b-money, an anonymous, distributed electronic cash system that was later to evolve into cryptocurrencies.

1992

1992

Snowcrash

The term “metaverse” is invented by author Neal Stephenson in his book “Snow Crash”.

1991

1991

Tim Berners-Lee opens the www to collaboration and the world wide web is born.

1989

1989

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee submits his vision for what evolves into the world wide web in a document called “Information Management: A Proposal”.

1983

1983

ARPAnet adopt TCP/IP and from there, researchers created the “network of networks” that became the modern Internet.

1978

1978

The first virtual world Multi-User Dungeon or MUD (called MUD1 to distinguish it from its successor) was developed in 1978 by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at the University of Essex. Initially, MUD was a text-based game played using a TELNET program and the first game to feature talking avatars and a digital world with multiple players.

1969

1969

ARPAnet delivered its first “node to node” communication from one computer to another. ARPAnet or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network was originally funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

1940

1930 – 1940

Paul Otlet and Vannevar Bush conceive the idea of searchable storage systems of books and media

1900

1900

Tesla

Nikola Tesla envisages a “world wireless system”.