How would metaverse technologies disrupt our personal and corporate lives next year ?
In 2022, it was hard to move on without bumping into the “metaverse” term. Since the rebranding of Facebook at the end of 2021, almost everyone has been eager to share with us their vision of digital worlds where we can work, play and communicate within one permanent platform.
However, anyone attentive has realized that these visions are often very different. While Meta focuses on creating virtual reality environments, companies like Microsoft and Nvidia are developing metaverse environments for collaboration and digital work. At the same time, those who believe that the future of the Internet is decentralized and built on Blockchain are experimenting with non-fungible tokens (NFTs)that allow the ownership of digital assets, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), designed to bring digital democracy to the virtual world.
With the metaverse concept projected to add $5 trillion to the value of the global economy by 2030, there are many things to consider, and 2023 is likely to be a key year in determining the path the metaverse takes.
Metaverse as a New Marketing Channel
Together with search engines and social media, marketing and advertising will provide the fuel that will boost web 3.0 — the metaverse — into the mainstream. While the concept is still under development, businesses from giants of international finance ones like HSBC and JP Morgan to global lifestyle and fashion powers like Nike and Gucci have already stated their claim and begun building their metaverse presence.
As the world becomes more virtual, digital and computerized, our ability to control and manipulate it increases. Consider that just one or two generations ago, cars were completely mechanical, and if something went wrong with them, people needed to change aspects of their operation or change the physical mechanisms, such as the engines, brakes, or gearboxes. Today, we can connect them to a computer and diagnose problems and fine-tune every aspect of their operation. This goes far beyond cars: computers and microchips can be found in every device, from kettles to bathroom scales. Medicines and vaccines can be programmed to fight specific diseases or to be effective for people with certain genetic predispositions.
The Corporate Metaverse
The metaverse concept promises to power platforms, tools, and entire virtual worlds where business can be done remotely, efficiently, and intelligently. Thus, the metaverse concept can merge with the idea of the “digital twin” — virtual simulations of real-world products, processes, or operations to test and prototype new ideas in a safe digital environment. This technology creates an immersive 3D virtual and dimensionally accurate model of any building or space. This means that businesses will be able to create exact copies of physical locations, which will then work as separate entities. At the same time, consumers can use digital twin technology to virtually try on clothes and check out new stores before they even open, or visualize and confirm if new furniture will fit before making a purchase.
Virtual and Augmented Realities
The idea of immersive, experiential technology is central to the metaverse. It is meant to become more engaging than the digital worlds we are used to today (such as Facebook or the World Wide Web). 3D technology, AR and VR, and sound systems play an integral role in the virtual gaming industry. Amid the rise of the Metaverse, these technologies have seen exponential growth, increasing their value and relevance to the current market. According to Quarterly AR/VR Headset Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC), the AR and VR headset market grew by 60.8% in 2021, with 2.19 million units shipped to Asia Pacific alone. The Sandbox, a futuristic gaming platform based in Hong Kong, has developed a decentralized virtual world where users can personalize their avatars, innovate and manage the land, as well as hold events and share ideas. Within the metaverse, Ethereum’s in-game utility token, SAND, is provided to players for buying and selling digital assets in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). For new gamers looking to immerse themselves in a digital simulation, the shared space makes it easier to monetise individual virtual experiences.
The Metaverse Avatars
Metaverse trends also indicate that avatars are becoming more sophisticated. At the moment, avatars can be of various forms from 2D avatars to photorealistic shapes that look almost exactly like people in the offline world. Meta is well known for its advanced and almost photorealistic avatars. Support for these avatars across all of the company’s products will increase over time. Meanwhile, Microsoft is focusing on using the AI technology to create avatars that fit into the business environment through responsive animation. Popular apps like Zepeto or OSUVOX make it easy to create avatars for various metaverse implementations.
The Metaverse is enough to bridge the gap between the virtual and the real. And the biggest example of this is motion tracking. Gradually we are moving towards a generation with no such difference between the virtual and the real. Users will be able to simultaneously occupy virtual and real places. For such a landscape, more powerful tracking technologies are needed allowing users to track every movement and gesture.
The Metaverse Events
10.7 million users have taken part in the online Fortnite concerts. Metaverse could approach $800 billion in live streaming and ads. The primary market for online game and gaming hardware manufacturers could exceed US$400 billion in 2024, while live entertainment and social media opportunities are even wider.
Web3 and Decentralization
Experts state that metaverse will completely revolve both decentralization concept and decentralized technology itself. According to the web3 advocates, distributed ledgers and Blockchain technology will give birth to a new Internet outside of the control of global corporations, thus, depriving them from the power to censor opinions and resulting in a true liberty of expression all around the globe.
Crypto projects NFT
Usually people can make perfect copies of digital objects. Any reproduction of a text file will be identical to the original. But NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are one-of-a-kind digital items. NFTs are tied to the blockchain as a unique entity.
NFTs are used in a wide variety of crypto projects. For example, Decentraland is a virtual metaverse where the sale of land