Life in the metaverse? A new startup wants you to go full-digital

Your avatar will talk, walk, and behave like you long after you are gone.
Ameya Paleja
Man looking at his avatar in the metaverseMikkelWilliam/ iStock

If you feel limited by the options of work, play, and entertainment offered by metaverse companies so far, this one might be the one for you. Somnium Space, one of the many other metaverse companies, has a 'Live Forever' option that you can activate when you wish, Vice reported

At first glance, Somnium Space is no different from other metaverse platforms. It lets you play games, offers land parcels you can buy, lets you trade in cryptocurrencies, and works on virtual reality headsets or even computers when you want. You can buy and showcase your non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in this space, which is also home to featured events that you attend from the comfort of your couch. 

How does one Live Forever in the metaverse? 

Artur Sychov, the founder of Somnium Space, told Vice that to Live Forever in the metaverse, one would have to give the platform the permission to record conversations and movements so that they can be used at a later date to recreate the personality of the individual. 

Family members, friends, and colleagues would then be able to go back to the metaverse to have a chat with the individual — long after they have departed the real world. Sychov told Vice that the data points that can be collected in the metaverse about an individual were potentially up to 300 times more than those obtained from a mobile phone today. 

With so many data points, Somnium Space will work to create an immortal replica of individuals that will mimic not only speech patterns but also bodily movements such as those of the eyes, and hands and fingers, making them very similar to their original selves. 

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In case all this sounds vaguely similar, it is because Microsoft has plans to offer something similar and even filed patents earlier this year. 

Pay to live forever

Unlike the "free model" that tech companies have often deployed in the past and continue to do even today, Somnium Space wants to charge its customers for their 'Live Forever' service. This is not because the company is offering a "premium grade service" but simply because it does not want to begin collecting data about anyone and everyone from the word go. 

Unlike Facebook, which sells data to advertisers, Somnium Space does not plan to make this data available to third parties at any cost. Once a user makes the payment and gives consent to the platform to begin collecting data, Somnium Space will use the data for one purpose only, i.e. making your immortal avatar. 

Sychov also said that users could simply request for deletion of data at a later date if they ever change their mind and the company believes in a decentralized world. Additionally, users will be able to dictate to the platform when they want their data to be recorded, giving them utmost control. 

The company expects the immortal avatars to be available to users from next year onwards. 

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