Building the Metaverse
How the Metaverse revolution could change the world of work for young people.
What is the Metaverse?
In short, Metaverse is the Internet in 3D, which you enter through immersive devices (such as Oculus) with an avatar, which reproduces your digital presence.
The Metaverse is part of the phenomenon we call Web3:
If Web 1.0 refers to the classic website with unmodifiable content, and Web 2.0 was instead characterized by user-generated content (striking case the social), now with 3.0 we would like to give users control not only of content but of services, infrastructures and change the way we enjoy the content itself: not as “readers” of a page but by literally entering inside the content, experiencing it in an immersive way.
The word “Metaverse”, borrowed from a well-known science fiction novel entitled 'Snow Crash' by Neal Stephenson, is not a new concept, but thanks to its recent introduction into the discourse on technology, it has enabled a fundamental thing to happen: to bring together a series of ideas, but also technologies, that until now had led separate lives.
It is necessary to think of virtual reality, an area of research and development at the heart of the Metaverse, but also 3D design world and the development of digital twins, i.e. those copies that are created for real objects for the purposes of demonstration, testing and much more. And also to augmented reality, data analysis, and systems for creating shared 3D environments that can be explored remotely.
There have been predecessors of the Metaverse, especially in the gaming world, but it is only today that technological, but also historical, social and economic conditions have completely renewed our habits in the use of technology, preparing us for a real evolutionary leap in human communication.
The increasingly common experience of remote interaction, the obstacles of various kinds that we have experienced in recent years with respect to travel and physical presence, has led us to look for new ways and solutions: because we need much more than a 2d face on a screen and we are increasingly aware of how some old habits are risky for people, costly for companies and harmful to the environment.
The big international players have understood all this, but everyone is understanding it very quickly: the Metaverse is taking shape as a part of reality that is being added to our daily experience offline, online, on social networks.
In the Metaverse, there are also concepts that go beyond what we have experienced so far: physical proximity, the dimensions of space even if virtual, movement, interactions with people and objects, emotions and the possibility of perceiving them.
HOW TO ENTER THE METAVERSE?
To use Internet and social networks we need a device to access them, a PC or smartphone for example. In the same way we need a device to access the Metaverse. Now, we can actually also use the same tools we use for internet, pc, tablet or phone, but the most interesting one is of course the so-called immersive viewer.
Immersive viewers are multisensory devices, which create the perception of really being inside the virtual three-dimensional space we are exploring. Probably there will be many more tools to enter the Metaverse, not only with sight and hearing but with all the other senses.
In the Metaverse we enter with an avatar, a digital copy of ourselves. An avatar allows us to increase our “presence”, making possible the experience of an immersive communication, in which, instead of a 2d profile as on social networks, we have in front of us an interlocutor who occupies a “physical” space, so to speak, and reacts to our presence not only with words. Not only that: this copy, this presence, we can create it to measure, according to what we want to show others about us: an identical appearance to the real one or completely different, in body and facial features but also, if above all, in the way we dress, in the style we adopt. How will fashion become once we enter the Metaverse? Already now there are imaginaries and styles from the virtual world that are influencing the collections designed by designers in the real world.
The Metaverse is a habitable space, and to inhabit it, we must give it a structure. To create the environments of the Metaverse requires not only imagination, but various tools, such as software, hardware, powerful connections.
In addition to creating the environment, of course we have to furnish it: objects, decorations, video, audio or graphic content or others we haven't even thought of yet, and designing all this content also requires specific tools and technologies.
Discover Meta Presence, our solution for business in the Metaverse
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Discover Meta Presence, our solution for business in the Metaverse
WHAT CAN WE DO IN THE METAVERSE?
It is not only a question of what the Metaverse is, but also and above all that we can do with it, and how we intend to use it.
First, in the Metaverse we can meet each other. We can meet other people with a level of interaction that other digital tools have not allowed us so far, thanks to the immersive experience and our avatars. This takes all the remote activities we have come to know, such as meetings, lectures, professional training and presentations, to a whole new level, but also allows us to imagine completely new situations.
For example, we can visit places we would not easily have access to, or too far away or expensive to reach, without limiting ourselves to photographs or videos, however well done. Discovering and learning new information not by reading it passively, but by immersing ourselves in a real sense in the content, which could, why not, be visualized in many ways. Or, seeing a new car model could take on a whole new meaning, we could literally get into it and take it for a spin, open the bonnet, interact with the accessories.
So, we need to understand whether there are features of the Metaverse that can replace or complement situations, tools, habits, and what the Metaverse lacks for it to actually improve our lives as individuals, as companies and as a society in general.
For example: how can we use the Metaverse to communicate better in complex situations such as those of the last two years?
Can the Metaverse become a training ground for learning new things in a more interesting and effective way?
Will our digital doubles, the avatars, be useful for the development of medicine, psychology, anthropological studies?
All these questions imply, to put it briefly, that there is a lot of work to be done to build the Metaverse, to make it a beautiful, interesting, useful, safe space. And this work, as was the case with the Internet, cannot be done by the professionals of today, but is up to those of tomorrow, who will probably have to not only put their hands to work but invent from scratch the professional skills that will be able to design the future.
THE PROFESSIONS OF THE METAVERSE
We can try to imagine together:
Technology experts: if we look at the famous diagram of the Metaverse Layers we realize how many technologies are involved in the creation of the Metaverse: technical infrastructures such as the cloud and powerful data networks, the software engines behind the creation of 3D environments and much more, which ones will be of paramount importance and which ones will be superseded? What will be studied in 2, 5, 10 years? Which fields will evolve?
Meta Marketing Experts: How do you communicate in the metaverse? What is communicated? What ways will we have to convey information, but also to talk about our work, our products or our projects, who will be the new influencers, what kind of business actions could we imagine? If the marketer, the copywriter, the graphic designer are very important figures in communication today, the Metaverse will also have its metamarketing, metacommunication and metadesign experts.
Meta Design experts: spaces, interfaces, architecture, content, Digital Twin design, everything is to be imagined, designed, and realized, and to do so will require skills and tools that are not those used just a few years ago. If we need architects to build the places of the world, we will find spaces in the Metaverse for meta-architects, for meta-engineers, for developers specialized in creating the code of the virtual world.
In conclusion, what is the Metaverse? The Metaverse is a tool, a channel, a space to design and build new ways of communicating, doing business and why not, even living. When faced with novelty, it is natural to have mixed feelings, and even in this case it is not strange that this is the case.