It’s hard to resist the vision offered by Meta (formerly Facebook) and other virtual world platforms. A digital utopia that can change lives in so many ways – how we socialize, work or even stay healthy – is hard to deny.
This is especially true when considering that these platforms are described as the greatest technological breakdown in human life and a multi-trillion dollar opportunity for businesses. However, some doubt it is too good to be true, at least for now.
It lacks the technological architecture to allow this promised immersive experience to come to life. Take for example the live performances used in the Metaverse video on Facebook in October. The idea of experiencing these very real world sensations through a headset seems very far away. What’s even more impossible is that a virtual reality headset could be a home necessity.
Advanced VR equipment is likely to be needed to allow us to immerse ourselves in these virtual worlds. Yet customers are already showing resistance to buying VR headsets and other often expensive and bulky hardware. The first Oculus headset was launched more than five years ago. It doesn’t have nearly the same mainstream adoption as more compact and convenient hardware, such as a cell phone or laptop computer.
Expensive equipment is not necessary for metaverse foundations. This accessibility is essential to start integrating users with any technological innovation.
Pokémon GO is the perfect case study. The augmented reality game brings users to the real world to collect titular fictional creatures. It succeeds not only because of the fun of the game, but also because of its accessibility – anyone with a cell phone can participate.
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Use cases and metaverse
We’ve seen accessible metaverse platforms for a long time. Second Life was one of the first, launched in 2003. But in its 19 -year history, it has never come close to consolidating the number of users Meta has envisioned.
Decentraland is a new platform and has been around since Meta was announced. It captures the imagination of businesses by incorporating economic and blockchain elements such as NFTs and its MANA token.
As customers are trapped in their homes due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the decline in physical stores, Decentraland is giving brands a chance to restore audience engagement.
Instead of just filling a virtual shopping cart, companies are turning to existing metaverse platforms with creativity in mind. JPMorgan bought the virtual land and opened its own metaverse lounge. Suddenly, it’s not as exaggerated to be able to create a real bank account in a virtual world.
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There are more subtle tactics to get users to talk about a brand. Take out pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which gives vaccinated players a blue badge for their avatar.
It’s not just the marketing team getting their hands dirty in these virtual worlds. There are many opportunities for marketers to monetize content and profit from the metaverse.
Blockchain technology awaits it behind the scenes. NFTs provide real value to digital assets and fully lend themselves to the metaverse. Artists can sell virtual paintings, architects can sell digital real estate, engineers can auction Metaverse-based cars.
Related: Blockchain-based digital fashion is creating new business models for brands
Right now, fashion is the industry that has aroused the most interest. If Metaverse is to become a staple in modern life, users will want to look good. High fashion brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Louis Vuitton sell NFTs and most charge high prices.
E-commerce giants are also jumping on this trend and creating a healthy and competitive space. Nike bought virtual shoe company RTFKT as it tried to create a brand that focused on the metaverse.
Acquisitions can be critical for the survival of large companies in this rapidly changing virtual environment. Having a young, talented and thoughtful squad can mean the difference between diving or swimming.
Not without a problem
Although the rules for the metaverse have not yet been proposed, let alone an agreement, some of the issues plaguing the internet are already beginning to hit our shiny new reality. The all-new Horizon Worlds is the first Meta metaverse project for the Oculus VR headset. Currency.com has already reported sexual harassment occurring in this metaverse, as well as dangers lurking in the corners of other platforms.
The poisoning of social platforms is not new, but addressing it in the Metaverse could be crucial if it is a digital utopia. Businesses and, more importantly, users will find it difficult to guarantee a future dominated by virtual reality counterparts.
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Meta has already implemented a solution in the form of a “secure zone” that can act as a protection bubble where no one can touch or talk to a user. It also makes blocking others as quick as possible.
While Meta outlines these general plans for community modernization, it has not yet detailed proposals for policing a large metaverse. Regulating hatred, harassment and freedom of speech can be the biggest barriers.
Horizon Worlds feels like an experiment, testing the existing capabilities of the Metaverse. There is no public timeline for the release of the entire Metaverse on Meta or any similar platform. So, in theory, it could take years or even decades for the metaverse to become part of everyday life.
That doesn’t stop companies from announcing projects in the metaverse or branching out on existing platforms, whether JPMorgan, Disney, Adidas, Coca-Cola or Gucci. But poor delivery times have sparked comparisons to the dotcom bubble and similarly high sales pitches. Without delivery, there is every chance that it can also become a bubble with the risk that it will eventually explode.
Related: Why are big global brands experimenting with NFTs in the Metaverse?
With the dust of Facebook rebranding still unresolved, it’s too early to call it quits. It’s certainly believable that there is a place for Metavers in the world, but it remains far from the immersive and idyllic vision that sells us to those hoping to profit from it.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the sole property of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Stephane Gregoire is the U.S. CEO of Currency.com, where he is responsible for developing and managing the growth strategy of the U.S. and Canadian platform. Currency.com is a high-growth cryptocurrency exchange that saw 343% growth in its customer base in 2021, making it one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world. ‘Europe.