Companies wanting to stay up to date on the cutting edge of technology have been talking about a new lofty idea, the metaverse. One of the largest companies jumping on the metaverse train is Facebook, going as far as to change their name to Meta. Now you are probably asking yourself, “What the heck is the metaverse and why should I care?”
The metaverse is more an idea than it is a physical thing, comparable to that of the internet. It is almost impossible to explain what the internet would look like to someone in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The concept of super computers that are pocket sized and being able to communicate with people instantly across the globe seemed so far-fetched. Now this level of communication is integrated into daily lives. Facebook—now Meta—now has commercials introducing Meta, one of which has a group of people enjoying a concert. A girl sees the group on her Meta feed while sitting on her couch. The girl proceeds to generate a hologram of herself at the physical concert with her friends. The girls can see her hologram and are all dancing together. Technology is not at the point where we can create holograms out of nowhere without extremely specific circumstances, like with AR or wearable technology like glasses. Meta is trying to express the idea of connection and shared digital spaces where you can interact with other people through these new online environments.
What is meant by “digital space” is almost a new world of sorts, where one can exchange digital items, currency, and experiences. Now you may be thinking, doesn’t that make something like the popular video game Fortnite the metaverse? You have an online avatar for which you can buy digital clothing with digital currency for customization. You can play matches with people online and even go to online digital concerts; it seems like Fortnite checks all the Metaverse boxes. There is just one missing and it’s a big one: the ability to use your avatar and digital goods in other digital spaces.
The metaverse is all about connectivity in digital spaces. Being able to use your digital avatar in Fortnite and bringing it into Snapchat, Meta, or even something like an online bowling event. The metaverse is the idea that your digital goods and currency would follow you into other digital platforms and are always with you. At this point in time these online spaces are all exclusive from one another and the metaverse seeks to bring them together.
The metaverse will flip buying and selling on its head, allowing people to experience a company’s goods and services in never before seen ways. This could be through digital emulation or being able to interact with digital products to see how they work before you buy them. The metaverse could prove to be an exceptional sales and purchasing tool if mastered.
The metaverse is being created at a steady pace. What is your company doing to prepare for this new digital era?