The 28th Adello Industry Event took place on 2.2.22. The topic of the discussion was “Metaverse: Technological Gimmick or the Most Important Invention after Mobile?”. The event hosted Thomas Hutter, CEO of the advertising consultancy company Hutter Consult, and Dr. Margarethe Dopf, Chief Business Development Officer at the digital tourism organization Speed U Up Suisse. Mark Forster, Chairman of Mobile Task Force at IAB Switzerland and founder of Adello and GeoCTRL, was a moderator of the event.
The event started with Mark’s presentation, where he gave a detailed explanation of what Metaverse is.
Then Thomas continued with his presentation. He shared the possible ways the Metaverse can be used and gave his recommendations to businesses on how to adapt it.
Further, in the conversation with Mark and Thomas, Margarethe explained her opinion on how the tourism industry can transform within the Metaverse. She claimed that by implementing the Metaverse in the tourism sector, we could contribute to the environment: “With the Metaverse, we can be traveling without putting a great ecological strain on nature”.
After discussion, the audience could ask the industry experts questions related to the Metaverse, its future, and possible challenges.
“Why do you think companies’ adoption of Web 1.0 and especially Web 2.0 was slow? This doesn’t bode well for Web 3.0 and Metaverse… is it just a lack of knowledge or could it be linked to the lack of demand/consumer needs?”
Thomas claimed that the adoption of users was never a problem. Indeed, the problem lies on the business side. “In this country, at least in Switzerland, we have some innovation problems due to luxury laziness.” - shared Thomas with his opinion.
He added that unlike in other countries, there is less pressure from the competitors in Switzerland. If businesses are more or less satisfied with their state, there is no urge to change anything unless there is a strong motivation for innovations. Another reason that Thomas shared is the deficiency of know-how on the market.
Mark added that at the same time, Switzerland has good preconditions, such as a fast Internet, 5G, low latency, cryptocurrency development, and many other factors. It means that Switzerland still has a potential for faster Web 3.0 adoption.
“Web 3.0 also focuses on the approach of decentralizing all data. Doesn’t this contradict data collection, evaluation, tracking practices?”
All the experts agreed that data collection in the era of Web 3.0 would be another challenge on the way to the Metaverse adoption. The new reality will offer new data collection methods. Since the Metaverse will be based on real-time technologies, it is possible that data will be processed in real-time correspondingly. The experts believe that the audience can govern their own data and decide what data to share and with whom in the future.
“When it comes to the Metaverse, I also think of immortality, which would also be a global need. Would it be possible, if the person dies, their avatar will continue living in the Metaverse without the VR glasses, sensors, and AI?”
Mark noticed that it is quite a philosophical, but at the same time, an interesting question. He shared that within the technology and meta-world development, digital immortality will be possible: “It could be that the avatar is populated with a digital mindset, which has been approved by a user.”
“Who is responsible for the content in the Metaverse? According to previous experiences, let’s say the system providers (such as Meta) only operate the platform to enable networking and self-expression but not the content. [...]”
The experts agreed that this question hadn’t been answered yet, even in the era of Web 2.0. In practice, technologies appear first, and then the users come across the issues of how to regulate them.
“The legal frames follow the technical possibilities with a delay of a couple of years,” - added Mark.
The inescapable truth is that there will be certain risks for the platforms that provide self-expression. However, for the moment, the answer remains open for discussion.
“How do you see the possible negative effects from the filter bubble that can also be transferred to the Metaverse and can thus also be significantly controlled?”
Mark, Margarethe, and Thomas concurred that the filter bubble exists everywhere in the Webspace. It doesn’t matter what platform is used, there is always a risk of being locked inside the filter bubble. It is mainly the responsibility of the publisher side who produces the content. In fact, the problem of filter bubbles will be another challenge in the Metaverse.
“How will journalism be involved in the Metaverse? What role could the journalists play in the Metaverse and what dangers and challenges do they entail?”
Mark stated that Metaverse will be another platform where journalists can repost, which could significantly impact journalism in general. Thomas said that journalism in general still has certain challenges in the real world that will be transferred to Metaverse. Margarethe mentioned that there might be an escalating problem of fake news appearing in Metaverse.