Metaverse- A Parallel Universe?

Published on August 19, 2022 by Deepak Gupta

Metaverse is a digital space where individuals can interact with one another. It’s a combination of virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality and block-chain technology referring to online 3D worlds accessed via computer, smart devices, augmented reality and virtual reality headsets.

Metaverse may have become the buzzword only recently, but it is well-known Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web (www) in 1989. Then in 1992, sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson coined the term ‘Metaverse’ to describe a 3D virtual space.

The digitization of everything likely to create a new world that can all move in and out of. The Metaverse can be viewed as a new platform for the digital age and cab seen it as a wrapper that likely to roll up other digital platforms. It may not replace the internet, instead it is likely to build on top of it and, when combined with other technologies and interfaces, may allow us to essentially step into, and perhaps live in it.

It may take a while, but will happen for sure:

The biggest disruption humans have ever experienced, but may take time. A single Metaverse could be more than a decade away, but as it evolves it has the potential to disrupt almost everything in human life that has not yet already been disrupted. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of various technologies. Many people were forced to spend even more of their lives online from socializing to working, from education to entertainment.

How games & entertainment is shaping the Metaverse:

The Metaverse may start with immersive gaming experiences. Games, entertainment and social media could be the first, then expand to cover all aspects of human activity including socializing, education, and work. Using the evolution of video games as our guide, the mixing of physical and virtual seems as the natural next step in the way we think about the use of the internet. Evidence is widespread: Video games replacing social interaction, physical experiences shifting to the virtual, and normalization of digital ownership, as Microsoft is set to be in this space by investing nearly $70billion into acquiring Activision Blizzard which is a leading video game developer.

3D Virtual option opens up for film, television & music content: The Metaverse is stimulating new forms of entertainment as Warner Music Group announced partnership with The Sandbox to create the first music-themed world in gaming Metaverse of The Sandbox. With Meta highlighting that technology eventually would allow a user to be viewed as a hologram in another place and teleport into a remote concert or party. Meta is working with Spark AR to place 3D digital objects into the physical world for people to interact with, and that can respond and react to the user with realistic depth and occlusion. Meta is also working to connect physical locations into AR storytelling experiences such as guided tours or scavenger hunts.

Hardware for the Metaverse: A/R, V/R and beyond:

Social: Leveraging AR/VR for connectivity and presence in the Metaverse: Social media is embracing the Metaverse as a way to expand connectivity with the use of AR/VR, highlighting Meta’s Horizon initiative which it expanded on when launching its rebranding, Snapchat’s success around AR to enhance messaging on its platform, and some of the early work by dating sites to introduce virtual engagements before meeting in the real world. Facebook that changed its name to Meta as an attempt to usher in the up-an-coming Metaverse, it has invested $10billion into acquiring and developing both hardware and software that will be used to provide VR capabilities within the Metaverse.

Making Metaverse Dating a Reality:

Dating in the Metaverse. Dating sites have also added new Metaverse virtual experiences. Match.com is testing a feature called ‘Single Town’ in Seoul, which enables its users to communicate with each other through digital avatars in a virtual bar. The company has also developed Tinder coins for its site that allows users to purchase virtual goods and gift them to others. Bumble also noted as need to develop additional services for its BFF platform that could build communities online or acquire virtual goods.

A solution for collaborative work amidst hybrid office evolution Work in the met averse would allow a better sense of presence, shared physical spaces, and a productive work set-up in a work-from-home set-up. The work setting can allow collaboration to view a 3D design with others. A few pieces Meta has added are customizable Horizon workrooms for meetings, an office space in Horizon home to customize home workspace, and 2D progressive web apps for the quest store to view applications and social media through VR and also highlight Zoom’s and Microsoft Team’s development to improve collaboration using VR.

Money in Metaverse:

The Metaverse could give meaning to many digital assets: For many the arrival of NFT’s in 2020/21 was perplexing and the payment of large sums to purchase and own those tokens, be they digital art etc. was even more perplexing. Why would someone pay so much money to buy a digital image? The answer may be that in a new Metaverse that asset has greater meaning and potentially greater value and can envisage a day where owners can display that art for others to view, possibly even charging to view

New virtual worlds attracting Banks & Fintechs to the Metaverse: Now, digital banks are developing their own worlds that will support financial services in the Metaverse. Imagin is a digital services and lifestyle platform backed by Caixabank that will be entering the Metaverse by way of ImaginLAND. The first bank to enter the Metaverse with much fanfare was JP Morgan earlier this year as US investment giant took a large plot in Decentraland and boasts a prowling tiger as a feature in its Onyx Lounge.

“The success of a financial institution in this new environment likely to rely on its ability to effectively offer its services and/or products in this new virtual world. If the Metaverse ends up becoming the meeting place for our potential clients, it could even become a new onboarding channel.

What’s in Store for Metaverse-Promising Future?:

The Metaverse supposed to happen — more than 40% of the world is ready for it: Internet users have increased exponentially since the 1990s when the internet became a global commercial network. Number of internet users in 2020 more than doubled compared with 2010, and is expected to reach 70% of the global population by 2025.

Perhaps almost half of the world’s population is likely to be supportive of this shift. Gen Z is going to be the population that may drive the significant early adoption of the Metaverse/ Web 3.0. Initially take the format of crypto backed gaming and play to earn, but can expand into almost all other forms of human activity. They likely to become a significant consumer base that want everything to be digitized. Millennials drove the build out of the internet / Web 2.0 spending much of their time online; they eventually became digital natives and have embraced block-chain as a form of currency/ wealth. Gen X ushered in the creation of the internet and could be very receptive to the shift to this new world.

How Acuity Knowledge Partners can contribute:

As Acuity has rich experience in providing analytics & business intelligence services across the sectors including tech space as highly invested in cyber security with deep understanding and expertise in customized solutions as an exclusivity to our clients and support with providing intelligent automation capabilities to optimize and standardize technical functions.

About the Author

He is Delivery Lead within the Private Equity & Consulting domain working in research based private equity clients, conducting research analysis using different databases including Bloomberg, CapIQ, Factiva and many more including various problem-solving research, benchmarking, company profiles, with an expertise in secondary, industry, financial market, macro-economic, industry research and due diligence on industries, companies and executives.

Deepak has over 10years experience in this domain involved with renowned private equity players with furnishing research based information comprising of industrial trends; interpreting the results of research studies. Deepak holds a MBA from IMI, Belguim.

Originally published at https://www.acuitykp.com.

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We write about financial industry trends, the impact of regulatory changes and opinions on industry inflection points. https://www.acuitykp.com/