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What exactly is the metaverse? Is it a completely immersive, parallel, digital 3D world in which we live, play, and work? Or is it a series of interconnected virtual experiences that we navigate seamlessly through our avatars and wearable digital accessories? The exact nature of the metaverse is not yet entirely clear, nor to the extent to which it already exists.
Even if there is no exact definition of the metaverse, there is no denying the presence that it most possesses in all aspects of life. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2026, “25% of people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social media, and / or entertainment.
I believe the metaverse is not just a destination we can reach through technological tools, but a digital identity that we bring through platforms and experiences. It seems that no matter how we interpret this concept, the role of digital identity remains constant in all views of the metaverse. This digital identity will include how we present ourselves visually and audibly. This will include the digital assets we own and the digital spaces in which we operate.
For Metaverse to ultimately succeed, I believe there must be three main technological capabilities:
- Customizing User Identity or Identities.
- The ability to carry identities across multiple platforms.
- Access from the user’s mobile device.
Today our online persons are usually linked by email addresses, user IDs and profile pictures and we always use the same username on different platforms even when logging in using the e-mail account. different email. Fast forward to the future: our digital avatars now act as our online identity, with users spending more time in the metaverse for business and entertainment. It’s only natural that users want to own their personal data and the identities they customize for the metaverse, which will vary depending on their activity. Their persona in their metaverse workplace, for example, is likely to be different from their identity in the metaverse nightclub, just as it would be different in real life.
Users can choose a visual avatar in one system, a good identity in another, and an animation in a third, using these custom avatars to connect their real and virtual worlds. As venture capitalist Rex Woodberry said, “On Web3, identity can be portable and composable … The important thing is that the different elements of your identity can be integrated into one digital location, which you own and controlled. “
For the metaverse to truly fly, there must be a strategy where individuals can access and make meaningful connections to their digital identities across all devices on a daily basis. Developers are working to expand existing augmented and virtual reality experiences by developing the Motif VR headset to make it lighter and more connected and inexpensive.
Companies that want to attract more users need to be able to port their digital identity across the metaverse, regardless of entry point or platform – for example, by implementing studio -like technology that standard virtual universal (VST) for audio avatars.
What does this mean for the short and long term vision of the Metaverse? Our digital identities need to be easily accessible in all aspects of our lives. Digital identity that can only be accessed through a VR headset or desktop computer may be related only to the hours we spend on those devices. In other words, the metaverse has to be on the go, just like us.
Smartphones: the gateway to the metaverse
The metaverse should also be accessible to the widest possible audience from the most reputable and easily accessible device. Now, that device is the smartphone. Most of the internet activity today is done through mobile phones. In many countries, including the United States, if people can only afford one device with an internet connection, they will choose a smartphone. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that smartphone users worldwide could reach 4.5 billion by the end of 2024.
Just as laptops haven’t disappeared with the advent of smartphones, browser-based social metaverse experiences will continue even as AR glasses and headsets become commonplace. While it will take some time for the hardware to reach the software, it is an important step in reaching the majority of potential citizens in the metaverse, which is in the gaming world.
When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the pending acquisition of ActivisionBlizzard in January, he strengthened the company’s gaming footprint and its ability to deliver mobile experiences, explaining that gaming “will play a key to develop the metaverse platform ”.
With an estimated three billion gamers worldwide by 2021, smartphones will be the key to driving mobile gaming, which in turn will drive the metaverse.
Even if technology has not yet reached the vision of the metaverse, companies are thriving. NewZoo is Introduction to Metaverse report says that “we are collectively racing towards greater participation in an interconnected simulated environment that is more infinite than our own”.
The companies that will succeed in this space are those that will attract the largest audience through an immersive, inclusive and mobile experience. They can help create a widely accessible metaverse that allows users to personalize their digital identities, which they can take with them in interconnected virtual worlds wherever and whenever they see. themselves.
Jaime Bosch is the co-founder and CEO of Voicemod.
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