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Metaverse: Opportunities of the Future

Thomas Hutter
By Dolma Memmishofer
Dolma Memmishofer

8 Min

April 20, 2022

BY THOMAS HUTTER FOR ADELLO MAGAZINE

The 28th professional event, organized by Adello, one of the leading mobile marketing companies in Switzerland, was dedicated to the topic of “Metaverse: Technological Trick or the Most Important New Invention?”. Thomas Hutter was invited as an honored guest and a speaker.

Thomas is the CEO of Hutter Consult AG, an advertising consultancy company in Switzerland. In his presentation, Thomas disclosed from a critical point of view what challenges and opportunities could offer the Metaverse in the near future.

What is Metaverse?

“The Metaverse is collective virtual space created by the convergence of virtual augmented, physical reality, physical persistence in virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds of augmented reality and the Internet.”

The Metaverse encompasses the digital world in the same way as the physical one. At the same time, these worlds are interconnected, and the boundary between them is blurred. Thus, the Metaverse allows us to enrich the physical world with new digital possibilities that would be impossible in reality.

The concept of the Metaverse is not new. The notion of the Metaverse was mentioned for the first time in the book “The Snow Crash” (Neal Stephenson), which was released in 1992. The actions in the book take place in virtual reality, where people exist and interact with each other as their avatars.

Today, some traits of the Metaverse can be presented in different online games where people play specific roles behind virtual characters. Nevertheless, those games still cannot be considered the Metaverse. In fact, the Metaverse includes interaction with the physical world, which most games don’t have yet.

The Metaverse gained popularity very quickly. That happened right after Mark Zuckerberg declared that Facebook’s main focus would be the Metaverse. This consequently created a range of different discussions and concerns if Meta (previously Facebook) would have a monopoly on the Metaverse.

So far, there is no reason to suggest this. There are already different companies that provide or will provide the platforms for the Metaverse very soon, such as Epic Games, Decentraland, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.

However, there is room for some concerns. For instance, Meta encompasses a significantly wide audience of 3 billion people by owning Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and others. Moreover, Meta owns a subsidiary company Oculus. Oculus will provide suitable equipment to enter the Metaverse, which includes a headset and sensor glove. Furthermore, there is no doubt that Meta has enough resources to invest in Metaverse R&D.

In order to draw a line and get rid of the misconception of what the Metaverse actually is, Matthew Ball described 7 core attributes of the Metaverse:

  1. The Metaverse is always live. It cannot be interrupted or paused, unlike computer games, for instance.
  2. The Metaverse happens in real time.
  3. The Metaverse is unlimited. That means that there are no boundaries for the users, and everyone can access it.
  4. The Metaverse is an ecosystem. This includes payment methods as well. It is expected that users can make purchases inside the Metaverse by using cryptocurrency.
  5. The Metaverse cannot exist only in virtual or physical reality. It unites the virtual and physical worlds and allows the users to interact inside them.
  6. The Metaverse allows the interoperability of data. That means that the digital objects in the Metaverse are fungible. It can be owned and given.
  7. The Metaverse is diverse. The content of the Metaverse must be various and have different sides. That means it creates opportunities for the different users’ experiences.
Potential of the Metaverse

The Potential of the Metaverse

Knowing Ball’s attributes leads to the discussion on how the Metaverse will theoretically serve people. There are several potential ways in which the Metaverse can be used.

Social connections are one of them. The Metaverse could broaden the horizons of human communications and interaction. Thanks to the Metaverse, communication between people from different places and erasing the language barrier will be facilitated.

Another important usage will be entertainment. The Metaverse will allow the placement of virtual activities in the meta-reality, for example, concerts, movies, exhibitions, cultural events, and others.

Gaming is another important aspect. Transferring games in the Metaverse will disclose the new gaming experiences.

Sport has a good potential to be transferred in the Metaverse as well. It will transform sports and fitness activities into the form of games.

Shopping can be changed within the Metaverse. In the Metaverse, buyers can discover a new range of various experiences that have never been available before.

Speaking about education, the students will be able to obtain a professional experience thanks to the virtual training in the meta-reality.

Lastly, professional life. The Metaverse will help in arranging business meetings and events in the virtual space.

How will the Metaverse work?

Over the last decades, there have been multiple events that led to the appearance of the Metaverse. One of them is Internet Speed, which has increased enormously in the last several years.

Another factor is technological change and especially in mobile phones. Today smartphones have a wide range of functionality that nobody could imagine 20 years ago. Considering the speed of mobile device development, one can easily imagine the same speed of the Metaverse development.

For instance, currently, the VR sets are not designed yet for continuous usage, but they might be improved in a very short time. There are already concepts that could help to perceive virtual reality in a more convenient way, such as Google Glass. Moreover, such concepts might have great potential in the future to replace smartphones and become the next device-number-one.

Another tool that contributed to the development of the Metaverse is the brain interface. Thanks to this device, thoughts can be read and interpreted.

The Metaverse is constituted of the different components that, in their entirety, create a complete ecosystem. Here are the components of the Metaverse ecosystem:

  1. Centralized and decentralized gateways. A centralized metaverse is represented as a single entity that operates the entire network. In such a system, the users have restrictions within the set of controlled parameters. In a decentralized metaverse, in its turn, users are free and can control everything.
  2. Avatars — the virtual image of the user.
  3. Payment systems based on cryptocurrencies.
  4. Immersive User Interface.
  5. Socialization — the ability to intercommunicate with other users.
  6. Play-to-earn/ Play-to-collect — the ability to earn points/currency by playing.
  7. AI — some parts of the Metaverse will be operated and optimized by artificial intelligence.
  8. AdTech and Marketing — those aspects will penetrate the meta-reality and create new opportunities for the advertisement.
  9. Visualization and Digital Twin — the construction and cloning of real-world objects and systems into the Metaverse
  10. Creators.

The Metaverse adoption in businesses

So what opportunities can the Metaverse bring to the business?

I believe the Metaverse can be an innovative jump for this field. Thanks to the Metaverse, it would be possible to start collecting new experiences in different sectors that could benefit business development.

Moreover, new business, sales, and marketing models could be developed. The goods and services will be changed. In the Metaverse, it will be possible to sell more digital objects as NFTs and contents (for instance, courses and workshops).

New marketing opportunities will transform the whole industry and provide marketing methods that wouldn’t be possible in reality. The changes in marketing will bring new approaches to user personalization.

Furthermore, new working places will be created in the Metaverse, and the working environment could be changed correspondingly.

The next important question would be to ask is “How easily can the Metaverse be adopted?” To answer this question, let’s look at the history of the Internet. It has already been 20 years since the appearance of Web 1.0, and people still haven’t used it to its full potential. There are still poorly designed websites and UX/UI, and slow Internet. The same problem appears with Web 2.0.

Today we are stepping into the Web 3.0 era, but the inescapable truth is that, for a moment, the majority of users still don’t understand the main concepts of Web 3.0.

The Metaverse will combine the techniques and know-how from the Web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, analog, and digital worlds. Moreover, it will include other aspects such as 3D, VR, real-time, and many others. Furthermore, it will require a lot of resources, such as labor, talent, time, and money.

In order to adopt the concepts of the Metaverse, businesses would have to analyze opportunities and establish the direction they want to move to.

It’s not sustainable to try to pursue multiple paths simultaneously unless there are enough financial resources and talents available. Later, they would have to constitute the strategy for their further actions. It is important to start now and work plan for a long-term perspective.

Most probably, the Metaverse will not be developed as fast as we expected. It will require an extended time period before the meta-world is strongly integrated into our everyday life. Nevertheless, the first steps toward the Metaverse development have already been made, and those companies that will pioneer the Metaverse, gain great potential in the future.

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