Hello. In this video, we're going to talk about the infrastructure required to build the metaverse. First, let's define what we mean by infrastructure. In essence, it's the hardware, software, and network components necessary to build a service. In this case, the metaverse. Here's a bit of trivia for your next cocktail party. According to history.com, in the early 1800s, inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla theorized we'd one day having world wireless system. Sure enough, in 1969, the first "node- to-node" communication occurred between computers. When the internet went mainstream in the 1990s, all we needed was a computer, a modem, and a telephone line to connect to an internet service provider. You'll remember the dial-up internet if your parents were always yelling at you to get off the phone already! Hardwired broadband access allowed us to connect at much faster speeds using dedicated digital phone lines, cable television connections, and fiber optics, while wireless access gave us the internet on the go through satellites and cellular towers. Our internet software experiences have evolved from text-only browsers like Lynx, to mid-90s household names like Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer, to today's popular desktop and mobile options like Chrome and Safari. Visually, we've progressed from words to images to moving graphics and video. We've gone from passively looking at the internet to interacting with it and creating our own content. All of this progress has required more robust networks, greater computer power, and technologically advanced devices for access. At the very beginning of this course, we talked about how the metaverse is the next-generation of the internet. We're taking a bold step away from texts and image-based communication into immersive experiences and embodied spaces. Many of the components and systems we use to build Web 2.0 simply won't get us from here to there. Simply put, we can't use today's infrastructure to build tomorrow's metaverse. Now, as you can imagine, it takes a lot more computing power to create a virtual world and populate it with realistic- looking avatars that can interact with the space and each other. Virtual reality has been around for a long time. According to the virtual reality society, the first head-mounted displays were invented in the 1960s, believe it or not. But the experiences often left people underwhelmed and unimpressed, as we simply didn't have the computer power necessary to create good 3D experiences. The metaverse is primarily composed of 3D content, and that requires a lot of computer storage and processing power. That's where cloud computing comes in. You might store things in the cloud now, such as photos, files, email, and music, and that's cloud storage. Think of cloud computing like an on-demand computer system resources, including software, databases, and servers, distributed across multiple data centers and delivered online. This solution moves computing off devices, providing the power and scalability we'll need to build and run the metaverse. To deliver 3D content, we also need fast Wi-Fi and mobile networks. Network technology is what delivers the pixels and sounds to our headsets, glasses, phones, and computers. As VR pioneer and expert Tony Parisi explains, "Today's networks can deliver acceptable 3D experiences, but as these get more photorealistic, we're talking about gigabytes to terabytes of content being delivered." In layperson's terms, that's a lot. Throughout this course, we've come back again and again to focus on ensuring the metaverse is diverse, equitable, and accessible. A key factor in that is ensuring that users have 5G networks to connect with. There are several challenges in rolling out 5G to more places, including limited scope: often less than a square mile in coverage from a cell tower, and signals that can be blocked by trees and buildings. According to Ookla, 5G availability varies widely around the world, with China having the most extensive network, followed by South Korea, the United States, and Spain. An interactive map from Ookla tracks 5G roll-outs from around the globe. As you learned earlier in the course, in order to create a truly interoperable and decentralized metaverse, we need to employ blockchain technology. Blockchain databases store electronic information, creating publicly accessible, permanent records of transactions and data. Without getting into the super technical side of things, the infrastructure requirements of blockchain include high-powered computers and a lot of electricity. You may have seen reports on the news about the environmental impact of blockchain computing, especially as it relates to the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining. Because of this, research is being conducted to help us move away from heavy power- consuming processes. Essentially, blockchain technology takes a lot of computers doing a lot of work, and people are developing ways to have them do less work and consume less power. Cryptocurrencies are making efforts to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. While our XR experiences will take place in the virtual world, we always need to ensure we're caring for the physical world as we build it. Well, hard to believe, but we've come to the end of our course already! I hope that you found it to be a useful and entertaining introduction to the metaverse. Before you head off to take the final quiz, let's have a few last words from our experts. Digital creator and experienced designer Dulce Baerga is excited about developing metaverse standards that benefit all. She says, "We live in a society where we have rules, we have laws and governance, and we need those in the metaverse to protect people." VNTANA founder and CEO Ashley Crowder wants you to remember the multiverse is so much more than gaming. "Virtual training has huge potential to not only help us get smarter and train safely, but people who learn in VR or just happier and enjoy it more." Social media specialist Navah Berg shares her excitement about the social aspects of the metaverse. "What really enables the metaverse is collaboration and partnership," she says. "It's the heart of community." Finally, our friend Tony Parisi, author of a widely regarded piece called The Seven Rules of the Metaverse, calls the metaverse "the future of human-computer interaction. As our computers get more and more powerful and more and more user-friendly, they're going to give us superpowers to do things individually and together." How will you use your metaverse super powers for good? Congratulations on finishing this course. You've learned how the metaverse works, from avatars to game engines to devices, and have identified ways the metaverse might impact everything from learning to commerce, from entertainment to health. You've also explored the necessity of creating a metaverse that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible, and some of the ways to bring that vision to life. We encourage you to revisit the field trip readings and check out the metaverse for yourself. There's so much more to explore.