Last week's “NTR — The Metaverse Summit 2022” was a truly inspiring event that highlighted discussions centered on the long-term goals and fundamental concepts of the metaverse.
The all-encompassing forum featured thought-provoking keynotes from industry leaders and ideas exchanged by industry professionals on Web3 and metaverse technologies and innovative business models.
After an enthusiastic start with the startup pitch competition for AUREA Award, the Summit featured over 20 sessions and more than 40 speakers.
One of the key takeaways from the Summit was the importance of focusing on building the metaverse rather than trying to define it.
The metaverse, as we idealize it, has yet to arrive. Today, there is a myriad of visions about how the metaverse will look in the future and what experiences it can provide to its participants. As we move into a new era of interpersonal and social interactions, we should shift our focus from defining and framing novel concepts towards imagining the broader horizon of what they can become and how they influence our lives.
Another key point that was discussed was the concept of "spatial computing" rather than the simple term "virtual reality".
Spatial computing is a term used to describe technologies that allow people to interact with digital information in a three-dimensional (3D) environment. This can include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies, as well as other technologies that enable people to interact with digital information in a more intuitive and immersive way.
Spatial computing can also refer to the use of 3D sensors and other technologies to enable computers to understand and interact with the physical world. In general, spatial computing is focused on using technology to enable people to better understand and interact with the world around them, both digitally and physically.
The metaverse is not just about digital experiences but about breaking free from the screen and experiencing the world in a new way.
The metaverse will essentially become a collective, phygital world that people can enter and interact with using spatial computing technologies. For example, spatial computing technologies could be used to create and populate the virtual environments of the metaverse, allowing people to interact with each other and with digital information in a more immersive and intuitive way.
Additionally, spatial computing could be used to enable people to move seamlessly between the physical and virtual worlds, allowing them to access and interact with the metaverse from anywhere at any time. Overall, spatial computing is likely to play a key role in the development and growth of the metaverse, helping to shape the way that people interact with each other and with digital information in the future.
One of the strongest potentials of the metaverse to address social issues, such as equity, equality, and inclusion, was also discussed.
Since the concept of the metaverse is still largely theoretical, it is difficult to say exactly how it will achieve it. However, it is likely that the metaverse will provide new opportunities for people to interact with each other and with virtual environments in novel ways. This could potentially lead to new forms of social organization and communication that could help address a range of social issues. It is also possible that the metaverse could exacerbate existing social issues, depending on how it is designed and implemented.
Ultimately, the impact of the metaverse on social issues will depend on the choices and actions of the individuals and organizations involved in its development and use.
Since decentralization and self-regulation are key Web3 topics, it is likely that we will see innovative approaches emerge.
The importance of community in the metaverse was also emphasized. The metaverse future is not just about technology but about bringing people together and creating a sense of belonging and connection.
In the metaverse, communities can come together and interact in ways that are impossible in the physical world. For example, people from different parts of the world will be able to meet and interact in virtual spaces, forming communities based on common interests or goals.
These communities will be able to collaborate and work together on projects and initiatives that are too large or complex for a single person or group to tackle. For example, a group of architects from different parts of the world could come together in the metaverse to design a new city, with each member contributing their expertise and knowledge to the project.
Furthermore, the metaverse will allow for the creation of virtual events and gatherings, like the Burning Man Project, where communities can come together to share ideas, participate in discussions, collaborate, and create together. These events will be able to reach a much larger audience than traditional physical events and will allow for greater participation and engagement from members of the community.
This way, the metaverse is expected to amplify the role of the community by providing new ways for people to come together, interact, and collaborate on a global scale.
In the metaverse, people will be able to interact with each other and with digital content in real-time, creating a shared virtual environment. The term Participation Experience (PX) was suggested instead of User Experience (UX) to better describe the metaverse and its focus on community.
This is because the metaverse is not just a product or service that people use, but rather a shared virtual space where people can interact with each other and with digital content. As such, the focus will be on creating engaging and immersive experiences that allow one to participate in and contribute to the metaverse. In terms of design, this shift from UX to PX will involve a more holistic approach that considers not only the individual user experience but also the collective experience of all participants in the metaverse.
This will require designers to consider a range of factors, such as the social dynamics of the metaverse, the role of digital content and artifacts, and the ways in which people can interact and collaborate within the virtual environment.
Overall, the shift from UX to PX in the metaverse will require designers to think beyond traditional user-centered design approaches and instead focus on creating engaging and immersive experiences for participants in the virtual world.
Lastly, personalization and self-expression were highlighted as key components of future experiences.
In the metaverse, people will be able to create and wear virtual clothing and accessories that can be customized to their unique tastes and styles. This will give the ability to experiment with different looks and identities in a way that is not constrained by the physical limitations of the real world.
The ability to personalize our experiences in the metaverse opens up new possibilities for self-expression and breaking free from the limitations of the real world.
Gaming in the metaverse was another key topic of discussion, with a focus on entertainment and community building. It is likely to play a significant role in the development of the metaverse.
The immersive and interactive nature of gaming makes it a natural fit for the metaverse, and many of the technologies and concepts that are being developed for the metaverse, such as virtual and augmented reality, have already been explored extensively in the gaming industry.
As the metaverse continues to evolve, it is likely that gaming will continue to be a major driving force, both in terms of the technologies that are used and the ways in which people interact with and experience the metaverse.
Overall, the Summit was a truly inspiring event, providing valuable insights and discussions on the future of the metaverse and its potential to change the world.
We are looking forward to next year's edition to hear more hands-on applications, success stories, and new discoveries of the metaverse.