Metaverse, multiverse or metaverse, depending on the names, are completely digital virtual universes connected to the real world. The natural evolution of social networks, Internet network games, and more often the digitization of society, their main task is to facilitate interaction between people in the personal and professional field, with acceleration associated with bans due to pandemics in recent years. . It is possible to participate in the same activities as in the real world or invent new habits there. Launched about twenty years ago by machines like Second Life, these virtual worlds are now back on the scene, inspired by numerous technological advances and advances in new devices. . The explosion of cryptocurrencies and NFTs (Non fungible tokens), based on blockchain technologies, has also greatly contributed to this.
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And for good reason. In a few months, the metaverse has created a real enthusiasm for brands, such as the Gucci Garden experience, from the Kering group, which took place in May 2021 in the Roblox metaverse and attracted nearly 20 million visitors. . Giant virtual concerts also took place, as did rapper Travis Scott, who counted to more than 45.8 million views. These numbers explain why technology players see their projects worth billions of euros.
Investments of ten billion have been announced, including Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Epic Games, Baidu and many more. Their goal is clear: to immediately position themselves in front of the scale of the event and not to miss out on these “promised lands”. As of now, several thousand metaverse initiatives are flooding across the planet.
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Lots of ideas and creativity
Some are based on the “gamification” of social interactions, others on a profound change in professional practices around virtual offices, multifunction meeting rooms … Industry heavyweights are setting their themselves to develop training programs there. service. Metaverses has become a natural extension of the digital twin and is increasing its prospects, for example by offering new ways to optimize or control industry processes (cf. BMW’s experience in Nvidia’s Omniverse). Professions are evolving to meet the many manpower needs, for example, in modeling virtual spaces or interactions between metaverses. E-commerce players are interested in it to better understand the new buying mechanisms put in place, with a particularity in multiplying virtual currencies …
Faced with this many ideas, creativity and approach, the presence of different audiences (socio-professional categories, ages, etc.) can easily become a key indicator. Because the big challenges of this new wave are to attract participants and above all to keep them. In this regard, the Second Life experience shows that the lack of human presence in interactions can easily alienate audiences.
And the game has only just begun. As we can see in “The French and the metaverse”, an Ifop poll for Talan published in January 2022, 41% of 18-49 year olds have heard about the metaverse, 63% have fear vis-à-vis education in digital virtual worlds. Similarly, a survey conducted by the agency Wunderman Thomson, in July 2021, showed that out of a panel of 3,011 Americans, English and Chinese, the latter were willing to spend an average of 76,000 dollars to buy a digital house in the metaverse. ! Perceptions related to digital vary greatly between countries. And if the French are always reluctant to change, experience has shown that they can jump on the bandwagon to take advantage of the potential of these developments.
This difference in perspective can be an asset and can make France a real driving force, especially on the question of managing metaverses and their usefulness to society. Because technology needs to be seen above all in the service of people and consider the climate impact of digital technology.
We are lucky to have big entertainment players, like Vivendi and Ubisoft, new technologies starting up, big economic players in their sectors, research labs like Inria, mostly pioneers, and consulting firm recognized consulting firms that support economic players in their transformation.
Philippe Cassoulat, managing director of the Talan group
Expert opinions are published under the sole responsibility of their authors and in no way interact with the editorial staff of L’Usine Nouvelle.
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