If you’ve played Minecraft, Fortnite or Pokemon Go, you’ve experienced the Metaverse before – but everything you’ve seen so far pales in comparison to what’s to come, experts promise as developers are reinventing gaming, commerce, branding and even remote control. privacy.
While it may look like a 3D video game, links to Web3 vanities like NFTs and cryptocurrency make the evolving metaverse much more than that – and major brands are jumping on the bandwagon.
“These virtual worlds and games are the engine of mainstream culture, so from a brand perspective, we really want to be where consumers consume culture,” Sarah Sorrenson, director of media and digital at the giant Unilever consumer goods – whose brands include Dove, Lynx, Cornetto, Rexona and Ben & Jerry’s – said during a recent Trans-Tasman Business Circle webinar.
“Thinking of it as 3D and spatial, as designed by game developers on game principles rather than web developers, helps to understand how it is different from what we understand as the internet today,” said- she continued.
“We see the opportunity to create unique experiences within the Metaverse – and to create something in the Metaverse that you wouldn’t have been able to achieve without participating – as a key way to build brand loyalty.”
“It’s becoming a bigger business and a bigger opportunity for brands, and that’s why the hype is real and important for us to test it.”
The fact that the metaverse is persistent – that it continues to function and evolve even when a user is not logged into it – sets it apart from conventional gaming experiences, noted Nigel Dobson, head of banking portfolio at ‘ANZ Banking Group, which has called today’s metaverse a “spectrum of experiences” and sees its permanence as a catalyst for building community online.
“This notion of a persistent virtual community, including the creation of virtual assets [like NFTs]is an extremely interesting development,” he said, “and one that traditional proponents of the digital economy, like banks, should anticipate.”
Citing the Metaverse’s ability to mirror the real world in new ways, Australian Electronic Security Commissioner Julie Inman noted the growing sophistication of haptic interfaces that “are poised to stimulate your sense of touch”.
This not only includes “sex technologies” such as teledildonia, Inman said, but “highly immersive and sensory experiences where you don’t just see, but feel.”
It could simulate the feel of a ball, she said, or “there could be great applications for people with disabilities – but there are also a range of dangers”.
A common fear among businesses, she added, is that one company or brand will become dominant – an outcome the US government recently decided to avoid by blocking a major acquisition of Meta.
Instead, she said, the industry needs to interconnect metaverse paradigms — allowing, for example, user identities to transfer seamlessly from one world to another.
“While we can all talk about what the metaverse might look like, we don’t know what level of interoperability will be achieved,” she explained.
“Companies don’t want any particular brand or company to express its hegemony over the metaverse – and we could end up with a series of walled gardens that look more like a multiverse than a metaverse.”
Build real business in the virtual world
Six major themes will drive the development of “emerging metaverses that are in their infancy,” Gartner analyst Marty Resnick said at the company’s IT Symposium/Xpo this month.
The game, which is expected to grow 25% by 2025 thanks to growing metaverse engagement;
AI-driven digital humans that interpret speech, gestures and images and are expected to be used by the majority of businesses by 2027;
· Virtual spaces where groups of people can meet, which should be used by 10% of workers by 2025;
· Shared experiences such as sports and concerts, with 10% of events expected to be hosted in the metaverse by 2028
· Tokenized assets such as NFTs, which are expected to drive a quarter of retail businesses to run metaverse proof-of-concepts by 2027; and
Spatial computing, which combines digital and physical objects to digitally enhance physical spaces – and is expected to connect the metaverse to the physical world as next-generation AR glasses emerge by 2026.
“Technology trends, with proven use cases and business outcomes, are just the beginning of the value that technology innovation brings,” Resnick said. “Longer-term bets are the real differentiators that could disrupt an entire industry – and the Metaverse is one of those bets.”
Businesses are urged to start experimenting with metaverse technologies and paradigms now, with companies like Infosys launching a metaverse playground for businesses this year called Metaverse Foundry – including, among other things, a digital twin of Physical Living. Company labs.
“The metaverse concept represents a budding potential for brands and users to connect in completely new ways,” explained Andrew Groth, regional director at Infosys ANZ.
“We know the Metaverse has captured the experience, innovation, and imagination of many, and there’s a lot of curiosity about it.”
Ultimately, maturing metaverse concepts will align with existing services to take user experience to completely new levels.
“We are seeing these immersive technologies becoming more intuitive, more natural and moving from a screen to a voice or gestures as well,” noted Professor Sally Eaves, Senior Policy Advisor and Ethical Technology Advocate with the Group of reflection The Global Foundation for Cybersecurity Studies and Research.
“Interactive content truly has the power to transform, whether it’s corporate education or customer experience,” she said. “It’s redefining media, gaming, and many other verticals — and it’s evolved into the metaverse and exciting new use cases.”