BY PROF. DR. ENRICO MOLINARI FOR ADELLO MAGAZINE
«Good evening, are you on the guest list?». This is the refrain repeated by the Club Manager in a dark dress code at the entrance to the club, which has recently reopened after the pandemic restrictions. «Yes, of course!», I answer the man at the door of the most fabulous nightclub in town, one of the many people who work every night to ensure everything runs smoothly, without excess, in full law’s respect for ensuring everyone’s enjoyment. So, the most awaited fashion show in Milan can finally start!
Technology, innovation, and the future, these words will be with us throughout the whole night.
A bottle of good wine with my friends at the table, ordered by voice to a bartender robot that shows me the label on which I can read via blockchain QR Code the origin of the precious grapes used for production. Then, a lot of gossip and small talk with Chiara and Alessandra and four jumps on the track, but with headphones on the “La Boum” movie model — perfectly in the mood with the Gen-Z’s trend, because it is a silent party in a historic house in the square opposite at the Arco della Pace in Milan, the first public monument to enter the metaverse. The location has a “WOW effect!”. In every direction on the walls, there are contemporary artworks in Digital & Crypto Art formats that can be bought and sold in real-time, thanks to NFTs. Well, the last frontier of most fashion-tech parties is paradoxically the silence of music transmitted only via Bluetooth headphones by a DJ with a sustainable and green soul, played where otherwise cannot be used without disturbing the entire block, with the right dose of (digital) quality and beauty all around us.
It’s already 2 AM, and it’s time to take my shoulder bag from the cloakroom by returning an IoT keychain that guarantees me no one has touched it and then reach my car. I search inside by pulling out anything but the keys. Divine enlightenment, I remember my super-technological husband’s keychain gift makes a beep and lights up when it is lost. Perfect! I turn on the App on my smartphone, and … boom! Here’s the key finished in a microscopic lining’s unstitching. But first, not to be underestimated, I had to unlock the screen by winking for facial recognition, indispensable cybersecurity support that my device offers to people like me who don’t exactly go to a wedding with numbers. Now I get in the car, put on my seat belt, make sure that the alcohol content automatically detected is up to standard, and allow the engine to start, and I start home.
After the first intersection, equipped with an intelligent traffic light that adjusts red and green based on the speed and intensity of traffic, a policeman invites me to stop for a routine check control.
With an iPad connected to a shared and interoperable database of the Public Administration, he checks my personal data, framing the top right corner of the windshield where that saint of my husband told me an invisible hologram was hidden, a kind of biometric fingerprint that tells whom the car belongs to if it has insurance, the status of maintenance required by law and the history of traffic violations made in the last 5 years. After all verified checks, the young policeman said, “Madam, I understand it’s late, but we are here to ensure that you can experience the city at any time without surprises, thanks to technology and our sensitivity as human beings”. I reply with a big smile that I hope has made him understand how much citizens appreciate their tireless work and I resume my Digital Night Journey while, thanks to AI, the radio plays exactly the music I would have chosen.
In a flash, I finally reach the house, where a Herculean effort still awaits me: parking a huge Jeep. Indeed no, because my Husband 4.0 has always insisted we had an EV with a Level 2 autonomous driving system and parking assist technology. I still don’t know what magic formula or algorithm makes a heavy piece of iron so intelligent, but sometimes it is better not to ask yourself questions because the important thing is to reach the goal! And now up the stairs taking off the vertiginous heels shoes so as not to risk a sprained ankle. I turn off the alarm by placing my smartphone on a small sensor, my stargate to enter my home, where cameras monitor the rooms and warn us if someone enters without (remote) permission. The only exception is the movements of our golden retriever, who turns around the fridge. Just time for a shower powered by chromotherapy and heat regulators to avoid unnecessary waste and to ensure the right temperature, because technology also increases our green soul and also guarantees us some mental well-being. Finally, it’s time to sleep, not before having activated the alarm clock, so I will not miss all of tomorrow’s business appointments and I will find the hair straightener at the right temperature.
Moral: in a few hours of life, we meet and live a full and extended digital transformation experience we often do not pay attention to, but which makes our lives safe and free, also simplifying many aspects of our routine and increasing the awareness that technology is a powerful ally today, but a journey to do under control of Humans as the only, true and wonderful Thinking Machine.
Ah, elated by the glass of wine and the passion with which I told you this tale, I almost forgot to tell you that my evening took place in the metaverse and this reading has increased in NFT to be able to share it with a click thanks to a small donation totally intended for charity. Enjoy your #Metaverse!
What is metaverse for you?
The metaverse has many meanings today for me. As a daily user, it is a fun experience in an original landscape or a way to take GovTech services, as a university professor in economics and digital transformation, it is a new way of creating work, and as a global influencer, it is the definitive certification of the convergence between social media and smart society. And again, as a researcher, it is a place for aggregation, comparison, and sharing of content. As an innovation manager, it is an ideal place to diversify sales channels and organize a virtual fashion show but with real orders. Finally, as institution's advisor, it is an opportunity to provide dematerialized services and a novelty for citizens to keep an eye on. But just as the economy is made by people and their behaviors even before the market, the value of the metaverse will be directly proportional to the knowledge of its virtual roads in which to move with confidence and awareness.
How much do you think it will complement the physical world?
The metaverse that is here to stay is already a flexible paradigm of digital representation of our offline lives, capable of synthesizing knowledge of marketing, customer experience (CX), training (EdTech), behavioral economics (Fintech), decentralized and personalized finance (DeFi and Buy‐Now‐Pay‐ Later), innovation of administrative processes (GovTech), AI and software engineering. These single pieces of the puzzle will form the tech framework to redesign the future. The real challenge today is finding a common and distributed standard to make happen the convergence between the digital and physical (Meta)world.
Do you believe that there will be certain stages of the metaverse development and adoption on a mass scale?
The metaverse has an incredible growth potential that no one can say they know today. Who knew the true value of the internet in 1991? Who would have bet on Fintech in 2012? Who, like me, did it, however, had to study and experience the market to seriously tell the market value of innovation? This consideration would be enough to give the right market value to a technology that today makes people talk, dangerously poised between fashion and style, concreteness, and the need to tell about oneself in order to exist. At the same time, while Meta and Microsoft team up to create metaverse standards, Apple and Google sit out, but I believe open standards will help realize the so‐called metaverse adoption in the “real world”.
What are those stages, and what is the final goal of the enterprises that work on the metaverse?
From increasingly engaging video games to the possibility of socializing through interactive activities. We can make real purchases made in an immersive scenario, travel to visit world heritage sites; dedicate ourselves to the creation of collaborative spaces to design and sell cars in virtual showrooms or contribute to the evolution of the concept of education, business training, and learning or even meet the fitness trainer with just a click. The metaverse is the next generation of the Internet, a place that no one can really imagine today, but which I say to companies will have a global market of $47 Billion in 2022.
Will it be monopolized by only one provider, or will each country adopt its own solutions?
The more interesting question is whether we will live in a single, diffuse verse in the future, where we can meet global friends, work, have fun and interact, organize business meetings, or ‐ how is it going to revolutionize user experience? The only certainty is that the metaverse will be able to build a collective set of connected online experiences, structured and organized in such a way as to connect the visitor to a structure that allows them to live hybrid experiences, create dynamic communities, personalize sales in real-time and create a solid digital economy. The metaverse will be a living multiverse always live and all around us. The standards and the real sandbox will not be long coming from Big Tech and major stakeholders.