Will the businesses of tomorrow need to spend money on the metaverse?

The metaverse will bring a new wave of usability improvements that will change the way we experience the internet.

Looking at what the big players are doing, it’s easy to see Metaverse (or Metaverse) as a great opportunity for brands. Moreover, Facebook has even changed its corporate name as part of a new trend. The CEO of Microsoft admitted that their latest and biggest acquisition (game maker Activision Blizzard for $ 68.7 billion) was a side bet in games, but also a bigger step towards Metaverse and the next Internet.

The history of these two companies shows something: they have been slowly adapting to new technologies. And now they don’t seem to want to miss the next evolution. Microsoft initially underestimated the Internet and had to manage an expensive (and very successful) turnaround. Facebook was also too slow to take over mobile internet and had to acquire emerging competitors such as WhatsApp and Instagram who threatened to overshadow the social network through their mobile apps.

Facebook is also looking for a new growth story as its core business enters a level of maturity (user acquisition and use of social media is declining). Both companies seem to have learned their lessons and don’t think we should miss this particular evolution of the internet.

The list of companies offering a taste of the metaverse is growing. Google is working on an updated Metaverse version of its interactive glasses. Epic Games has raised $ 1 billion to support its internal metaverse development.

This may not be the case today, but your daily life will probably be different in a few years due to the metaverse. Metavers can change the way online marketing works. But what is it?

What is a metaverse?

Metaverse is a virtual digital world where interconnected platforms replicate and enhance real-life experiences or create new digital and hybrid services.

For those scratching their heads, there was initially Web 1.0 (web browsers with images, colors, audio and possibly video), then Web 2.0 or the social element of the web (social networks, for example), and now Web 3.0 is emerging as a new form, where AI and Blockchain can remove intermediaries and make information and services more accessible, private and potentially more secure.

The metaverse fits here because it will be modern Web 3.0, it refers to the user experience, not a larger role in society or technology.

Imagine moving from a two-dimensional web screen experience to a three-dimensional virtual world where people, companies and services can create a new presence or identity. You, or technically your “avatar”, would move around various stores, offices, theaters, gathering places of the metaverse. The avatar will be able to talk to others, listen to concerts, buy items, organize meetings and work, all without having to be physically anywhere in particular. Many of them are now available as virtual services without a new 3D interface (web conferencing, video channels, e-commerce site).

It is also worth noting that many of these three-dimensional worlds already exist as games: Second Life, Minecraft and Roblox are good examples of virtual games turned into virtual worlds.

How would you cope in this new world? Possible via voice assistants (not URLs) and a virtual reality headset or augmented reality interface that will overlay virtual objects on the smartphone screen that point to the area next to you.

In the future, instead of VR headsets, people could see holograms in front of them, and thanks to Web 3.0, digital currency (blockchain) items and AI assistants will make searching easier. Yes, it sounds like an episode of Star Trek, but a lot of the technology we use today would fit into the original TV series.

When is the Metaverse coming?

We don’t have a “metaverse” yet, but many companies seem to like its potential and are happy to join them. Several brands have already made a breakthrough. However, before making a hasty move, we suggest that you take a moment to think. Creating a new internet experience is an important step: it allows us to look back and see what needs to be adjusted or improved. There’s a lot to improve in today’s user experience before we all start getting into holograms.

Today, cyberspace is a great tool, but it suffers from major shortcomings. Customers and businesses do not have a “real” identity on the Internet. Given the history of fraud and digital crime, society must address identity not as an afterthought but as a key issue. It is time to make decisions that will positively impact the lives and safety of many people, including vulnerable people and minors.

Moving through the metaverse is a traditional experience today. To get into Nike’s ‘Metaverse’ experience at Roblox, you need to download the Roblox app, search for Nike (by typing), and then click on the 2D image of Nike shown in the results. You can then play basketball against other real players. In the early experiences of Metaverse, there are still many old school web / application interactions. New models and interface modes are needed for the new experience. Otherwise, the metaverse will die after a short life full of gadgets.

Payments are not designed for the web, and while credit cards are now widely used, this is another subsequent thought with drawbacks. The concept of web 3.0 would often include a reference to “cryptocurrency,” or simpler digital currencies. In fact, most metaverse platforms have built their own blockchain currency into their system. There is still work to be done to clarify legal compliance and security for most of them. Facebook’s multiple attempts to create a global digital currency (Libra / Diem) have been broken by local and global regulations. Creating a digital currency requires more than a blockchain solution: the legal framework for a real digital currency does not yet exist.

Conclusion

So, is the future already there? NO. But that’s what makes the whole metaverse theme so interesting. A new wave of usability improvements is coming that will change the way we experience the Internet. They may not replace the Web as we know it, but they will complement and expand it. We have time to understand, plan, test and provide new experiences.

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