We are on the verge of something huge. The internet is preparing for its next update: the Metaverse. And it all starts with an idea.
Simply put, the Metaverse is the next version of the Internet. Imagine a 3D virtual world, with evolving aspects, with a unique nomenclature, collectively shared by its inhabitants. Visualize a second world, albeit virtual, and with real-time events and online infrastructure, like a session in a player versus player (PvP) game!
In theory, it sums up everything currently happening in its world and will bring real-time events and updates in the future! The user exists in a virtual world without borders. There are no abrupt transitions requiring logging out and logging in. The Metaverse will be a platform independent and seamless experience.
Before dismissing the “metaverse” as another overrated Hollywood sci-fi concept, the tech giants have already pioneered the progress of this process, with Facebook and Epic leading the pack.
A world of endless possibilities:
With the Metaverse, you are center stage. Virtual communities, activities, events, all accessible seamlessly without the need to log into multiple apps. For a user-centric approach, this is a key aspect of the metaverse that will work in its favor. For example, you can log into your virtual office as a virtual avatar of yourself, take a break and talk to your computer friend, go explore the game room for a game of foosball. Meet a client virtually in one place, taking the next step effortlessly and without discrepancies. All this while sitting in the warmth and comfort of your home, without having to take the subway or drive two hours to work in traffic-congested metropolitan cities.
We are almost halfway there, with the pandemic confining us to our homes for work. But the Metaverse takes it to another level. Think seamless cross-platform interaction with your friends around the world. Cross-platform play is in its infancy even in the gaming industry. With the Metaverse, cross-platform interaction will be the gold standard for seamless virtual interaction across the globe. Addresses and PINs won’t matter so much!
With the Metaverse, the virtual marketplace will be serious business. Brands will transform the way they advertise which will be a memorable experience rather than the intrusive pop-ups and forced ads we see today. With ads in the world, ads are intelligently positioned to grab users’ attention so that users voluntarily interact with the ad, making it more effective and engaging, as opposed to distracting ads that break immersion. ‘today.
What is different is how the user interacts with these advertisements in the world. Imagine an event inside a game, where the player has to perform an activity as a challenge, and the challenge is important for the product being advertised.
Every player loves an impromptu challenge with a few goodies as a result. What’s even more special is that gamers will receive personalized ads based on their digital footprint and interests, which means different challenges providing a dynamic ad experience around the world. Major brands like H&M have already opened their virtual store inside the Metaverse, providing users with a 3D shopping space and giving them the chance to try on merchandise digitally. They can also order goods using the CEEK cryptocurrency. Brands like Adidas and Nike have also followed suit, and over time there will only be an increase in companies venturing into the virtual world!
The road ahead
The Metaverse is still a concept that is becoming a reality and comes with its own set of challenges, as is the case with any cutting-edge technology.
Although technological constraints are always present, privacy concerns are hard to ignore. Another concern is the concept of currency in the virtual world.
There is also the question of government involvement, which risks changing the entire dynamic of the Metaverse since cryptocurrency is one of its drivers. While the prospect of the Metaverse is definitely something to look forward to, it remains to be seen if the Metaverse will define Web 3.0.
Saurabh Tandon is a board member and President Americas of Affine, an AI and data engineering consulting and solutions company.
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