Metaverse future of the Internet or ephemeral trend
Metaverse Definition :
The Metaverse is a collective virtual space, created by the convergence of physical reality and digital reality enhanced by new technologies. In other words, it’s a device-agnostic space that doesn’t belong to a single vendor. It is an independent virtual economy, made possible by digital currencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other assets stored on a blockchain protocol.
A Metaverse requires several technologies to function. Technologies contributing to this include Blockchain, Augmented Reality (AR), Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) among others.
Understand Metaverse concepts :
Think about the next version of the Internet! The connectivity provided by the Metaverse requires a new architecture for the internet, often referred to as web 3.0. First, there were static web pages (web 1.0), then came the current internet with dynamic content, but only on platforms owned and operated by companies, this is the web today web 2.0 today. Web 3.0, which innovators and investors are currently working on, is supposed to be a decentralized structure with countless interoperable platforms.
The giants of the Tech world are betting big on the Metaverse: Meta (Facebook Group, Instagram, Messenger, etc.) has committed to investing $10 billion in this technology this year on Facebook Reality Labs. This division is responsible for creating hardware, software, and content for augmented reality and virtual reality. People like Bill Gates even think that most office meetings will take place there within three years. Technology consultancies are also increasingly interested in this technology: for example, Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, revealed that Accenture had purchased 60,000 Oculus VR virtual reality headsets in 2021, which will be used for the employee training.
The key concepts of the Metaverse :
In order to understand how the Metaverse works and the opportunities created by the idea of a virtual world, it is necessary to understand certain key concepts inherent in this new technology. Remember that although the Metaverse was first described and named almost 30 years ago, we are still in the early stages and most of these concepts are not yet fully mature. However, some of these concepts are already concrete enough to be able to develop existing lines of business and create new ones. Retail, real estate, and entertainment companies are already investing and making profits in the Metaverse.
The Metaverse is a virtual reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. Each user has an “avatar” that enables creativity and diversity in the virtual space. Similar to what we have seen with games like Second Life, it can be an animated character, a video game character, or even a public figure. Thus, in Metaverse like Sandbox, it is possible to buy unique avatars (NFTs) resembling actors or artists. On this same Metaverse, there are a multitude of possible actions: playing video games, participating in virtual meetings, participating in virtual events (concerts, shows) or even shopping in a virtual supermarket by strolling through the shelve. generated with 3D model. The artist Snoop Dog recently organized a concert on Sandbox, where participants had access to exclusive content in the form of NFTs.
Identity and Governance
On the internet today, user identity and privacy is a major topic. The decentralized Metaverse will need trusted digital identities – for people, goods and organizations – that apply across platforms. Companies active in the field of digital identity today can both help define the standards of the Metaverse and be able to offer a necessary service. Digital identities can also be central to authorized data collection and data governance in a decentralized environment.
Today’s governance community is mobilizing to ensure that the Metaverse is an open environment by coordinating interoperable models of real and virtual modes of interaction and transactions. These interoperable models should guide the capture and use of personally identifiable information and personnel , digital rights management, safety and security. In addition, these models should guide the adoption of portable credentials suitable for all Metaverses to manage the identity, rights, roles and permissions of users. these interoperable models must provide enforcement mechanisms that are imperative to reduce risk and uncertainty for users.
The Metaverse is characterized by a digital economy. This is precisely why brands like Adidas, Nike, Gucci, and Balenciaga have started selling NFTs in some Metaverse over the past few months. It is about much more than opening up new advertising opportunities and new sales channels for their own physical products. Entirely new markets for native digital products are already emerging in the Metaverse, which big brands want to occupy.
According to Emergen Research, the global Metaverse market size is US$47.69 billion in 2020. It is estimated to be US$828.95 billion in 2028. NFT exchange platforms like OpenSea or Exclusible contribute to this assessment.
However, today, there is a lack of utility and a lack of connected economies. Digital assets are bought and sold, it’s a speculative market, but there’s not much more to do with what you own right now. To create functional economies in the Metaverse, one must be able to make something of its property. Moreover, the promise of distributed ledger-based exchanges and the proliferation of different altcoins that power them should imply a great deal of interoperability between platforms, which is not yet the case. Today, buying, selling and trading mechanisms require a certain level of understanding of cryptocurrencies and the use of wallet platforms such as Metamask or Coinbase, for example. Altcoins must be converted to Etherium or another more recognized cryptocurrency and then back to another Metaverse’s altcoin in order to be traded – each time incurring fees.
However, this does not prevent companies from investing in a plot of land in Metaverse such as Sandbox or Decentraland for example, like Carrefour which paid nearly €300,000 (120 Ethereum) to acquire a plot of 36 hectares in the French Metaverse The Sandbox.
Persistent, Synchronous and Unlimited
One of the fundamental principles of a Metaverse is that it must be persistent: it cannot be unplugged, restarted or reset. If I park my car on a street and come back the next day, the car should still be there, unless some other user or universe event has moved it. Moreover, the Metaverse is inherently synchronous: Everyone has the same experience of the Metaverse, in real time. And this, even if certain events can be programmed and occur autonomously. Finally, as a 3D virtual space, it eliminates all types of barriers, physical or otherwise. It is an endless space where there are no limits on how many people can use it at the same time, what types of activities can take place there, what industries can enter, etc. It expands accessibility more than current internet platforms.
How to prepare for the Metaverse?
Since the Metaverse is still in its infancy, and some key concepts explained above have not yet reached maturity, not all opportunities and use cases have the same chance of success. If a company wants to concretely embark on the development of a Metaverse-oriented strategy, it must follow certain steps and prioritize its use cases, from the most concrete given current technologies (quick wins), to longer-term strategies that will build on the evolution and success of the Metaverse.
The first step is to acculturate the teams to the concepts of the Metaverse. Indeed, most companies have no institutional familiarity with these rapidly evolving concepts. Many of them may also lack the skills and processes to truly understand and trust the underlying Blockchain technology that secures transactions. The organization of workshops dedicated to knowledge sharing on these different emerging technologies therefore seems necessary to understand key concepts such as crypto-currencies and decentralized autonomous organizations and their relevance for the company.
Next, it may be a good idea to test the technology by picking out a few opportunities available within the Metaverse trends today, and then start building a strategy around one of those trends. Some of the early business opportunities offered by the Metaverse include:
The virtual real estate market
Plots of land and digital estates are available for the development of a wide range of uses, including conference spaces, shopping malls, art galleries or homes. A virtual real estate company, Metaverse Property, allows companies or individuals to buy or rent land in Decentraland, a decentralized virtual reality environment powered by the Ethereum Blockchain, or in The Sandbox, a community platform that allows creators to monetize game assets and experiences on the Blockchain. Metaverse Property also offers a Virtual Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that allows users to access a virtual real estate portfolio represented by non-fungible tokens. Other companies use cryptocurrency exchange and custody platforms to make land purchases on a Metaverse. Thus, Carrefour called on the French platform Coinhouse to buy land on The Sandbox.
Marketing opportunities are increasing dramatically in the Metaverse – removing the boundaries of the physical world provides businesses with new opportunities to engage with their customers. For example, brands can create new worlds and environments to deliver experiences like concerts – and collaborate with complementary partners.
Retail companies are providing consumers with increasingly rich online experiences, and as the Metaverse matures, the transition between virtual shopping and real-world shopping will become increasingly seamless. Users can already walk through 3D or holographic representations of stores, select products from shelves or showrooms, try on or view them in a range of colors and finishes, and place orders for physical delivery. .
The sale of NFTs
As the Metaverse matures and integrates into people’s daily lives, opportunities increase for companies to create unique or rare assets that can be monetized through online auctions. Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for unique or attractive items, and so companies have the opportunity to create and market products that meet this need. However, it should be noted that the price of these non-fungible assets remains very unstable, which is often subject to controversy.
The internet of the future or an ephemeral trend?
Although the Metaverse is still in its infancy, and some key concepts such as interoperability between different platforms are not yet mature, it is clear that current trends show a real enthusiasm for the virtual world. If some see in this trend a purely ephemeral interest destined to disappear in the next few years, we believe that the Metaverse, boosted by innovation and new technologies, is the logical continuation of the Internet as we conceive it today. . It offers a plethora of possibilities, paving the way for virtual tourism, virtual properties, virtual concerts, digital libraries, and exclusive shows and concerts, among others. Therefore, it becomes necessary for companies to take an interest in it now so as not to be taken aback in the years to come.
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