Why Is the Metaverse So Important?

Metaverse has become a huge topic of discussion in recent months, with many offering up their interpretation of what it could look like, while businesses everywhere push to develop technology to support our immersion within it.

However, while such a hot topic, the Metaverse is still actually yet to exist – so why is it so important? And once a reality, how could it impact our future? Here, we explore top comments and predictions on exactly that…

 

With Comments and Predictions From:

  • Dr Maxine Room – Founding Director Medacrii Associates Ltd
  • Philippe LeBlanc – Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Funday
  • John Giles – Founder of MetaverseSherpa.io
  • Nizel Adams – CEO at Nizel Co.
  • Daniel Field – Global Head of Blockchain, UST
  • Kunal Lunawat – Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Agya Ventures
  • Baruch Labunski – CEO at Rank Secure
  • Kelly Ann Collins – Co-Founder at Into The Meta
  • Tim Drennan – Lead Developer, Partner and Co-Founder of MedacityMD.io
  • Justin Abrams – Co-Founder & CEO Cause of a Kind
  • Felix Honigwachs – CEO of Xchange Monster
  • Nayeem Syed – Chief Vision Officer at Exponentials.tv
  • Mark Basa – Director at HOKK Finance
  • Arno Ham – Chief Product Officer at Sana Commerce
  • Mark Homza – Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Funday
  • Guy Parry-Williams – Owner of Imedia8
  • Mat Scholes – Senior Creative at AMV BBDO
  • Brian Waterfield & Vivienne Neale – Immersive Business Lab / Cornwall Business School, Falmouth University
  • Iain BrownManaging Director at Neutral Digital
  • Joshua Wohle – Co-Founder and CEO of Mindstone
  • Jeffrey Faustin – CIO of Jenson Funding Partners
  • Şekip Can Gökalp – Core Contributor, Strategy at Infinite Arcade
  • Rana Rahman – Founder and CEO of Raptor PR
  • Raj Pathmanathan – Creative Director at KI (Kids Industries)
  • Tristan Roozendaal – CEO of Centralex
  • Jonathan Girroir – Technical Evangelist at Tech Soft 3D
  • Luke Graham – Head of Research at Pi Labs
  • Grace Francis – Global Chief Creative and Design Officer at Wongdoody
  • Jackie Kyle – Director of Strategy and Corporate Development at Digital River
  • John Payne – CEO of Croquet.io
  • Chris Boyd – Senior Threat Researcher at Malwarebytes
  • Patrick Walker – Co-Founder of Uptime
  • Michael Gaizutis – Founder and CXO at RNO1

 

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Dr Maxine Room

 

Maxine-Room

 

Company: Medacrii Associates Ltd

Website: https://www.medacrii.com/

 

“Sitting here in Spain alone in a new co-working space Spaciolab, I am struck by the need to be part of a digital nomad community both physically and virtually. There are limits to the experience of the local Spanish entrepreneurs here in the south of Spain so the metaverse offers a dynamic environment for co-working collaboration through the ether. We tend to think of metaverse urban usage but rural and semi rural areas will be able to access working environments and ways of working previously not available across Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australisia et al. Interaction not isolation improves mental health. We learnt that from the Pandemic. Diversity with interaction enables a more fair and equitable world with tolerance and understanding further developed.”

“The metaverse is getting some bad press but with checks and balances in place such as community tokens good behaviour in the space can be rewarded. Rules may need to be set and stringently applied and monitored but benefits such as access rewards, exclusive content and opportunities. Building a safe community space is the challenge, restrictions may go against the ethos of a network of a 3D Virtual world focused on social connection.”

“For me, a long time educationalist I think the benefits of communication, connectivity and community outweigh the negative aspects. However it is still early days….dream on.”

 

Philippe LeBlanc

 

Philippe-LeBlanc

 

Company: Funday

Website: https://www.funday.agency/

 

“This idea of the metaverse becoming an escape from reality; a parallel decentralised virtual place where people can go shop, play, interact with one another – and even work means that the future is boundless. The metaverse is a shared digital environment where users will have their own avatars (verified) and digital assets all recorded on a blockchain.”

“With this widespread adoption – the metaverse will fundamentally support and drive the next iteration of the digital economy. Think of the next version of the app store or google play but for the metaverse. Companies like Meta, Google, and Apple are already investing billions in research and development. Meta has already poured over 10 billion dollars in development and our society is becoming more and more cashless, borderless, and contactless (accelerated by the most recent pandemic).”

“Well, if we look at the evolution of the internet through the years from a behavioural standpoint, WEB1 introduced text-based messaging interactions (i.e. email, text message, etc.), in WEB2 we evolved to more media-rich content – think photos, videos, social platforms, live streams, the rise of the smartphone – and with the advent of WEB3, the metaverse is providing a 3D immersive digital experience where the user is, in essence, inside a computer or surrounded by the internet. It’s like having a smartphone in your eyes.”

 

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John Giles

 

John-Giles-MetaverseSherpa.io-founder

 

Company: MetaverseSherpa.io

Website: https://metaversesherpa.io/

 

“I was recently explaining the Metaverse to someone and they argued that the Metaverse will never happen because of GDPR. I replied to her that the Metaverse will be successful because of GDPR. More on this later…”

“The Metaverse is important because it has the potential to disrupt the way we live our lives and conduct commerce in the same way that mobile phones and the Internet have since the early 1990s.”

“If someone had told you back in 1995 that you as an individual or corporation would spend most of your time in the future on a ‘smart phone’, you probably would’ve laughed as you hung up your brick of a phone connected to the dash of your car and drove home to lookup ‘internet’ in the dictionary.”

“Today, we take things like smart phones and the Internet for granted in the same way we will with components of the Metaverse in 5-10 years. To understand the ‘why’ though, we need to understand the ‘what’.”

“The Metaverse is not a VR/AR world dreamed up by Mark Zuckerberg. The Metaverse is the next iteration of an immersive Internet built upon a decentralised blockchain which allows individuals to own and monetise their data instead of centralised organisations having this capability. This is exactly why GDPR will not be an issue in the Metaverse.”

“Traditional eCommerce business practices will be replaced by immersive shopping experiences where patrons will try on clothes with their avatars and make their purchases with crypto currencies. Currency exchanges will become a thing of the past as cryptocurrencies create a seamless global economy in the same way the Euro brought together the EU.”

“The Metaverse exists today in the same way that the Internet existed in 1995 — immature, but here.”

 

Nizel Adams

 

Nizel-Adams

 

Company: Nizel Co.

Website: https://www.nizel.co/

 

“I can tell you as an IT consultant that has worked in many environments & for companies like Aon, Google, Microsoft, Norgren etc. as well as hospitals, the metaverse represents a lot of innovation in our future. Think about it this way…right now, with things like augmented reality (IE: Microsoft’s Hololens) engineers can look at overlays over their workbench that can show things like pressure gauges, dimensions or even assembly instructions.”

“With the metaverse (virtual reality) you can train an entire group of engineers from around the world all at once while all appearing in the same room. Imagine a group of people in a classroom with workbenches where they can each practice their skills & socialise. This can be extremely helpful in medicine as well as med students can practice on a virtual object that is configured to imitate actual human emotions as well as the physics of the human body using AI.”

“With a simple change of the dataset a middle-aged Jewish woman from Philadelphia with Blount’s disease (bow-leggedness) can become a young Egyptian child suffering from melanoma. Students & doctors alike can have virtual AI patients that they monitor so that they can see first-hand how treatments they might not regularly administer would pan out. This kind of experience is priceless & could potentially replace the cadaver as well as other medical training tool market entirely.”

“In building design, the metaverse would also be tremendous. Being able to upload architectural designs then having the building as well as landscape be auto-generated would be a dream come true. Add on the features of current design software on the market such as textures, furniture combined with the ability to virtually walk through the finished design to see how everything looks is what the potential of the metaverse looks like.”

“The cherry on top would be adding in physics which would include being able to test out plumbing, electrical systems, etc. from within the metaverse to see if the design works or needs to be tweaked. This would prevent situations where in complex systems an electrical cable wired incorrectly could start a fire. Keeping in line with that. In the vein of the game Second Life, one could actually have a second life in the metaverse where they work as a bartender or DJ for fun at virtual venues. One could also work as an electrician, plumber, etc. & join similarly minded that help build unique cities in the metaverse while learning new skills.”

 

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Daniel Field

 

Daniel-Field

 

Company: UST

Website: https://www.ust.com/

 

“Look around you, our physical and virtual lives have merged: friendships, hobbies, emotions, achievements, experiences. They are equally valid in one and the other, unless we are to claim that pen pals are real and Twitter friends are not.”

“In our daily lives we collect mementos of these highlights: photographs, ticket stubs, trophies, and souvenirs. We collect a treasure trove of sentimental objects to remind us and to express our journeys and personalities. These prized objects are rarely economically valuable.”

“Today, much talk of the metaverse is as an Internet of Value with economically valuable digital objects combined with high end VR capability. Yet most people are not speculative crypto or digital art (NFT) dealers or investors.”

“A web3.0 self-custodied collection of digital belongings is key to the metaverse, not because they can hold dollar value but because they are unique and personal, ours alone, and they tell our story. Thus, the real promise of the metaverse is this immersive virtual experience combined with our personal digital possessions which can be expressed in different platforms and formats. These are not limited to images and recordings; your avatar, your handles, your game or eSports, eLearning or social media achievements can all be yours, perpetually, and not just a fleeting moment on a proprietary platform destined to one day be extinct.”

“To truly pursue this vision, however, we need to think beyond the constraints of physical mementos, heirlooms and images. Web3.0 ensures they are authentic, unique and personal, but how they are manifested in a specific platform can vary. Imagine for a second that you have had a digital twin made of your custom-designed engagement ring. It can be 3D in one platform and 2D in another. Yet even this thinking is constrained by our experience of the physical: our new digital possessions might be attributes, skills, access keys, filters, privileges… The future awaits.”

 

Kunal Lunawat

 

Kunal-Lunawat

 

Company: Agya Ventures

Website: https://www.agyaventures.com/

 

According to Kunal, VR and AR environments are currently used in the information or transaction stages, but as soon as the tech allows us to interact with each other using digital avatars, it opens up an entirely new set of possibilities centred around “activities.”

Below, Kunal details five key ways the metaverse will influence the real estate industry:

Property Tours: “During the pandemic, a number of property tours moved online with 3D renderings of homes and offices. Allowing brokers to take prospective tenants on digital replica tours and engage with them in real time as they “walk around” would take this one step further.”

Immersive Shopping: “Retail brands have already embraced web-based AR/VR, but could mirror real-world shopping experiences, adding conversations and activities to enhance the overall experience.”

Rethink Hospitality: “Hotels would be able to offer real world, interactive tours to prospective gusts, showcasing rooms and amenities in the digital world. Conventional travel, along with how decisions are made and where travelers go, will also change.”

Improved Construction: “The construction industry has witnessed significant advancements in project visualisation with AR tools, but the metaverse’s digital replica would allow developers and contractors to interact with buildings in the digital world first.”

Collaborative Workspaces: “As offices continue to be impacted by hybrid and remote work models, shifting between Zoom calls and interactive workspaces on the metaverse can bring back a level of collaboration that has been the argument in favour of a return to the office.”

Kunal points out that while some argue it’s still early days for the metaverse, it’s impact on the built world cannot be ignored. As a parallel digital reality takes shape, a number of traditional use cases of physical real estate may no longer be relevant in the fast-evolving world.

 

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Baruch Labunski

 

Baruch-Labunski

 

Company: Rank Secure

Website: https://www.ranksecure.ca/

 

“The metaverse is still just a buzzword for many. Most outside of the tech industry still don’t grasp what it is and, therefore, aren’t jumping on board with it. Given the fact that most managers and upper-level executives are older, it may take a while to convince some of them that it’s worth their time exploring.”

“However, more will pay attention once a few start using it in practical ways to make more money for the business. In practical ways, I’m saying to use it in ways they do understand like marketing or sales. This is where the metaverse is incredibly useful right now.”

“You can use it to show off real estate that is on the market to gauge initial interest. It can be used to pitch a new company or product without going through expensive prototypes. Many are using it to promote concerts and other entertainment through live paid events. All of this has real dollars in the real world.”

“In the future, the metaverse is going to have a lot more use in education and medicine. It can be used to train teachers to handle a classroom before they have one, or for doctors and researchers to practice new techniques without risk to a patient. It can be used for first responders to train for situations before being put into field training. It holds a great future.”

 

Kelly Ann Collins

 

Kelly-Ann-Collins

 

Company: Into The Meta

Website: https://intothemeta.news/

 

“From GM, Chipotle and JP Morgan, to Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga and Snoop Dogg, smart brands, companies and well-known personalities are doubling down on the user-driven social features that made Web 2.0 so successful as they hop into the Metaverse for more engaging worlds and 3-D experiences.”

“As we move into Web 3.0, the way information is shared and delivered will change. The way companies market will change. The way we do business will change. The way we socialise will change. But, change is not bad. Ultimately, the Metaverse will bring us closer together. Work and collaboration will become more immersive: think 3-D meetings vs. normal Zoom meetings.”

“It’s a very exciting time. People who wouldn’t normally be able to travel, due to financial, time or physical restrictions, will be able to dive into 360-degree, immersive experiences in exotic locations. Meanwhile, brands will take advantage of NFT utilities that will make doing business easier – from community membership to event ticketing.”

“But it will not stop there: the possibilities are endless. Since an NFT can represent basically any legal document, NFTs will be used as birth certificates, citizenship records, digital identities, land deeds, and more. This will be a game changer for low- and middle-income countries struggling to develop and maintain their own systems for storing and sharing this information.”

“The Metaverse will also create an entirely new job market. In the “real world,” right now, just to name a few, we need NFT strategists, smart contract developers, ecosystem developers and planners, and cybersecurity experts. As it grows, the Metaverse will need roles filled to keep up with the demand: architects, interior designers, event planners, real estate professionals, wearable designers, retail sales representatives, and even DJs. Careers in the Metaverse will be the next big thing.”

 

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Tim Drennan

 

Tim-Drennan

 

Company: MedacityMD.io

Website: https://medacitymd.io/

 

“World creation is something I am extremely passionate about and have been doing since 2010. The Metaverse is not a new concept, especially in the way it is being currently handled. MMOs and Videogames have built sound worlds with varying degrees of success in in-game economies.”

“Most Metaverse are isolated shells of what we all want it to be, but are limited by technical specifications currently. Everyone has been sticking to DAAP/Webapp HTML5/Java runtime metaverses, which are limited in their scope. Recently, we’ve seen metaverses show up with downloadable options which can offer the highest fidelity, but come with their own inherent risks of security.”

“The metaverse, to me, needs to be a single entity, a one stop hub where all other experiences or sub-verses are linked to or hosted from. A shared platform. This shared platform would host gaming, trading, work/office, arcvis and automobile design, as well as virtual tours of real-life properties and places.”

“With the ever increasing risks of another global pandemic or this one simply continuing on, metaverse experiences and connections will become extremely important in shaping human relationships. Smart Contract integration into supply chains and logistics, paired w/ a real-time input metaverse through real life cameras… one could eliminate slow downs during times of unsafe operation. Most administrative tasks can be accomplished via smart contract w/ a human overseer or data entry. Smart factories running on Smart contracts and RFID tagging with robotic maintenance paired through to a metaverse mechanic in a vr setup would be invaluable to the “world of tomorrow” because the world of tomorrow is one of uncertainty and constant change.”

“The metaverse could be our only way to interact in times of emergency and during good times, a convenient escape.”

 

Justin Abrams

 

Justin-Abrams

 

Company: Kind

Website: https://www.causeofakind.com/

 

“We all love the show, ‘How It’s Made’ the old past time of product manufacturing. A behind-the-scenes look at manual labor and factory workers. What they don’t show you is the injury rate. Despite manufacturing facilities adopting OSHA guidelines, and creating checks and balances, compliance, and procedural standard to mitigate the risk of injury, it happens. The future of the metaverse, tackles the riskiest of jobs and allows humans to pilot robotics to mitigate risk. While this exists today, the metaverse offers Extended Reality. Think Tony Stark in his Iron Man Lab. From the comfort of our homes, we can interact with robots, experiencing the touch and feel of the actual job, but entirely risk-free.”

“If we take a look at amazing XR and AR engineers, they are working to completely immerse humans into the metaverse. Extended reality allows humans to interact with the finest of motor skills allowing for redundant, risk free, manual labor. Dozing off at the end of a shift, risking serious injury, is potentially eliminated. And this is only one example. We should consider the effect of Doctor Guided, Self Surgery. Now that’s a trip.”

 

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Felix Honigwachs

 

Felix-Honigwachs

 

Company: Xchange Monster

Website: https://prod.xchangemonster.com/

 

“The Metaverse currently is seen by many as a mess. Mint prices of over-hyped projects have decreased significantly and potential investors are confused about the actual use cases. Therein fundamentally lies the catch: Those wanting to succeed need to create real value with sustainable business models for the Metaverse.”

 

Nayeem Syed

 

Nayeem-Syed

 

Company: Exponentials.tv

Website: https://exponentials.tv/

 

“We are today on the brink of a revolution like we were when the World Wide Web came in back in 2000 and then again when Social Media (Web2) came in 2009. This new revolution is the “Metaverse” revolution through Web3 technologies.”

“Just like websites were a novelty back in 2000 and people found it difficult to comprehend the extent of impact it would have on our lives, Metaverse will change the way we live also in the next 5-6 years.”

“I think 5 years from now, it will be quite common for most companies, businesses, societies, govts as well as individuals to have a Metaverse presence just like we have websites now. With Metaverses the experience will be richer as it can compass more senses then just visual and we will also have a more health-friendly ecosystem as AR-based technologies doesn’t require us to be exposed to high radiation like with today’s computer screens.”

“We are extremely lucky to be at this historic point in time and looking forward to the experience that will be coming our way.”

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Mark Basa

 

Mark-Basa

 

 Company: HOKK Finance

Website: https://www.concordium.com/

 

“So I’m genuinely excited for the metaverse, but I am also very concerned. What I am going to start with is why I am excited. So it’s the transition from Web2 to Web3 where billions of people are going to be going from surfing on the internet to surfing on the internet. There is a whole new experience with a lot of new innovation coming out of that, all sorts of blockchain apps and basically everything you can imagine now that we can currently do will be within the internet instead of the way that we engage with it now.”

“That means there are going to be all sorts of new experiences. So, for example, if I am going to be swapping a token on one chain to another, that will probably be done in the metaverse. I might have my little character and use a decentralised exchange within some sort of city that I am currently living in within the metaverse – wherever my player is.”

“My concerns are more of the transition of transhumanism where we are all becoming half humans and half machines. That causes me concerns because I think that we are spiritual beings and we need some form of connection with nature. I think big cities have corrupted a lot of us and are very out of touch, without food and our lives and work has become everything. I worry that if we get immersed in the metaverse as people, we will become code and players rather than humans.”

“That may sound a little daunting or a little bit crazy, but I think that technology itself is going to be the demise of humans. And I think we will just end up wiping ourselves out by creating things that make our lives so simple and easy that we will have no need to be physical or to think.”

“It comes with things like artificial intelligence, for example, and it is smarter than humans where it can learn and do so many things. The Metaverse also comes with maybe having certain luxuries in life that make us quite soft and unable to really think for ourselves or to be more active and physical and our bodies need to move. We need to think and be a part of something. I worry that if things become too easy and we immerse ourselves into the metaverse, that will probably be the beginning of the downfall of society if it hasn’t already happened.”

“I think there are opportunities. I don’t know if the good outweighs the bad right now. I am kind of on the fence about this. I am looking for the innovation to be positive.”

Arno Ham

 

Arno-Ham

 

Company: Sana Commerce

Website: https://www.sana-commerce.com/

 

“Buyer’s digital worlds are expanding as sales and marketing channels move onto social media at pace. It is now as easy to purchase on Instagram and TikTok as you scroll through your feed as it is buying from Amazon.”

“In parallel, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have created new ways for businesses to market their products. Customers can see and explore items in context prior to purchase without even being in the same room. And it works. Research shows that by introducing these technologies, shopper conversion rates increase and buyers are even willing to pay more for the same product if they can explore it beforehand.”

“As these technologies become the norm in the world of business to consumer sales (B2C), we are seeing the demand for hyper-personalised, digital shopping experiences during business to business (B2B) transactions increase and even become the expected norm. The lines between how the two types of business are seen and conducted are blurring.”

“The Metaverse has the potential to supercharge immersive shopping to another level again. For example, 3D and 360o experiences being connected with purchasing technologies enabling items to be added directly into a customer’s shopping basket with orders being processed in 3D and in real time “as usual”.”

“Our prediction is that the Metaverse will change how and when B2B transactions are conducted just as much as it will change the future of B2C sales. And potentially erase that line that distinguishes the two altogether.”

“In line with our prediction, with support from Cosmo Consulting, we are already exploring how we can connect our B2B-ecommerce solution with a 3D shop that is ready for integration into the Metaverse.  Not only because of the convenience, efficiency and potential to increase conversion rates the Metaverse can offer customers, but how it can help businesses to build and foster relationships in a way that even social media, VR and AR are currently unable to.”

 

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Mark Homza

 

Mark-Homza

 

 Company: Funday

Website: https://www.funday.agency/

 

“The metaverse is in many ways a 3D version of the internet and experts suggest it will be a trillion-dollar industry within 2-3 years.”

“Kids and gaming aficionados around the world are already immersing themselves in games such as Fortnite where they use verified avatars and digital currency, movie titles are providing immersive experiences in addition to their theatrical or streaming releases via Oculus Quest 2 like Star Wars. And imagine being transported to Roman times as you study human history at school in a virtual reality setting. From a medical perspective – patients will be able to access and attend virtual mental health sessions with professionals in real-time.”

“Thus the metaverse could represent the future of sports and film entertainment, travel, gaming, remote work and productivity, health, and education. And you’ll never leave the comfort of your living room.”

“This is where hardware products like the Oculus Quest 2 are providing such enhanced virtual and immersive experiences. And the more affordable these devices become and feel closer and closer to reality due to their continuously powerful graphic engines, the larger the mainstream adoption will be.”

 

Guy Parry-Williams

 

Guy-Parry-Williams

 

Company: Imedia8

Website: https://www.imedia8.com/

 

“The Metaverse and VR has had the weight of a number of large big techs behind it in the last year; including the likes of Facebook and Microsoft. The potential is huge: in entertainment systems, the appetite there has been clear in recent years – last Christmas, the Oculus 2 speculatively sold over two million units in the festive run-up.”

“However, the technology itself, particularly within enterprise systems, has been relatively slow in its adoption. This is because immersive content is more resource-intensive and therefore more expensive to develop, which in-turn creates quite the barrier amongst smaller companies.”

“What’s more, being able to operate and monetise VR is incredibly tricky at a lower level because the software solutions which allow VR content to play are fairly limited compared to standard video. Additionally, the option to play 360 VR content outside of using YouTube is restricted, so it’s near-impossible for startups or SMEs to supercharge an in-house VR or Metaverse strategy.”

“There’s also the issue of overhyping. The tech industry has a tendency to take something and transform it into a buzzword, and this is happening to VR to an extent. The risk here is that VR will be consigned to the drawer marked “gimmick” if teams do not focus on providing the end-user/consumer with a truly new experience that is of value to them. VR for the sake of VR does the industry no favours, but when the real benefits can be identified, it will prove to be ground-breaking.”

“Imedia8 offers a unique full-service VR capability which allows us to take care of all aspects, from the filming and editing of VR content, through to building the delivery platform and streaming the content. We are embarking on a holistic approach when it comes to the possibilities of video as we truly believe that that’s the future of VR’s potential.”

 

Mat Scholes

 

Mat-Scholes

 

Company: AMV BBDO

Website: https://www.amvbbdo.com/

 

“The metaverse will become ingrained into the fabric of our everyday life. While in its infancy at the moment, it’s treated as somewhat of a novelty. There are many signs and trends already emerging that signal the importance it will play in the future.”

Earning a 9-5 in the metaverse: “By applying scarcity to virtual assets, with a digital currency that can be traded for real world money, so many new entrepreneurial opportunities are opening up thanks to Web3. From selling digital wearables, renting virtual land, designing buildings, running NFT galleries, or playing games to unlock digital items that can earn real world money (hello Axie Infinity!). And these examples are just from the metaverse of today. Incredibly we’re seeing people in the most unexpected areas lifting themselves out of poverty, by earning a 9-5 in the metaverse.”

Filter your world: “Where VR focusses on immersion, AR can enhance the world around us. I love the idea of the metaverse being made up of different layers that you can switch between, almost like filters on social media. Eventually we’ll be able to apply a metaverse lens over our actual world, enhancing it with AR tech to seamlessly switch between them, filtering our world to our current mood. Imagine instantly changing between a tropical oasis covered in flowers, or a walk-through history, an intimate performance from your favourite singer, to braving a post-apocalyptic zombie nightmare in your backyard.”

Breathing Life Into Classrooms: “The pandemic forced many educators to adopt a new way of teaching, with online video lessons. Some even took to setting up private servers on gaming platforms like Roblox or Minecraft. But the metaverse can take this even further, unlocking new ways of more immersive and accessible learning.”

“Rather than a sterile classroom, teachers can interact with students in a virtual world that can instantly transform to offer a much more engaging experience. Geography becomes a virtual dive on the Great Barrier Reef, history becomes an immersive recreation of an iconic moment, and science offers risk-free virtual experiences. These first-person experiences suddenly make anyone and everyone excited about learning.”

 

 

Brian Waterfield & Vivienne Neale

 

Brian-Waterfield-&-Vivienne-Neale

 

Business: Immersive Business Lab / Cornwall Business School, Falmouth University

Website: https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/

 

“The Metaverse is changing the way we work, interact, and evolve and it’s also creating fascinating new opportunities and ways of thinking. It’s a place to trade, communicate and create business growth – a new ‘always-on, anything’s possible’ marketplace. It’s a space that could indeed generate and experience the bulk of the world’s wealth, with virtual cities, locations and attractions all part of the experience. It will be a vital meeting space, and platform for doing business – and experts believe It’s the future of most, if not all, transactions.”

“If you’re a company, regardless of size, ignoring this new era of digital transformation and the adoption of the metaverse will see you struggle to compete. The future of work demands the acceleration of fast thinking, rapid change and adapting to demand. Digitally enabled businesses are now growing at a considerable rate, performing across markets that would never have been a factor without a virtual ecosystem.”

“Metaverse, or ‘web3’ as some describe it, is a virtual ecosystem that is always connected, always operating and always accessible. It will advance medical practices and our understanding of ourselves.”

“It will change our perspective, our thought processes as well as what, how and where we work. It has already impacted greatly on e-commerce and financial transactions. Brands are already moving into this space with meetups, fashion shows, store fronts, exhibitions, conferences and gaming experiences. It’s a ripe space to connect more meaningfully and purposefully with groups, communities and followers.”

“The metaverse makes the world one place, removes distance and creates a more impactful space for minds to collaborate. It also allows us to address urgent social and environmental issues, in an open and transparent way. We need to be ready for the slew of creative opportunities where we can think the currently unthinkable and design transformational new products, experiences and services…”  

 

Iain Brown

 

Iain-Brown

 

Company: Neutral Digital

Website: https://neutral.digital/

 

“Meta’s recent announcement has elevated the metaverse concept and narrative into mainstream media and financial markets. For many working with immersive and web3 technologies, this isn’t new, but the shift is accelerating and has greater momentum. What this means for brands is that entering the metaverse is no longer optional – they must act quickly to claim their brand identity and customer experience in this new reality, even if it is still being defined.”

“What Qatar Airways has done recently with their launch of the QVerse is a great example – they are entering the space in a thoughtful and elegant way that is aligned to their brand identity and values. They are building their immersive brand experience in an environment which they control and with a vision and roadmap leading to commercial value. This is an interesting contrast with high profile, but experimental activations on an open metaverse platform such as Decentraland.”

“The reality is that both B2C and B2B brands need to embrace an immersive experience that can both tell and show the story of their products’ value. What often gets overlooked is that immersive is not exclusively Virtual Reality (VR). Immersion is on a continuum – from static images, to video, to VR and even beyond. Undoubtedly VR affords a higher level of immersion, but accessibility is key. We always advise a multi-platform approach – building assets that are VR ready but can also be consumed in interactive 3D over the web and on mobile. Given that VR hardware will remain underpenetrated for some time, web and mobile will continue to play a huge role in the search for reach and engagement with customers.”

 

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Joshua Wohle

 

Joshua-Wohle

 

Company: Mindstone

Website: https://www.mindstone.com/

 

“The metaverse will allow us to achieve things thought previously impossible, not only when it comes to learning, but also in relation to the wider signalling and quantification systems around it. The metaverse is often described as an expansive network of shared, persistent simulations that can be experienced synchronously by many users at the same time and this could have a decisive impact on how we learn.”

“The nature of the metaverse (being fully electronic) means it could include much more granular skill records, including the quality of every question asked or answered, the quality of notes taken and the number of hours spent learning in niche areas of study – which could only be inferred by traditional qualifications. The possibilities are boundless when we consider the potential of combining learning and the metaverse. It’s not just that we can use these technologies to transform learning, it’s that we should.”

“What the metaverse will provide us is even greater freedom to fit learning around the rest of our lives, and not the other way around, as is the case with current institutions. We can reframe the narrative around learning away from prestigious institutions, strict time frames and rigid curriculums, towards creating a culture around learning where the only barrier to doing so is the individual’s desire and willingness to learn. By making the most of what the metaverse has to offer, we are able to create better learning experiences for everyone where motivation and a desire for self-improvement are the most important factors in achieving our learning goals in the future.”

 

Jeffrey Faustin

 

Jeffrey-Faustin

 

Company: Jenson Funding Partners

Website: https://jensonfundingpartners.com/

 

“It’s hard to say exactly how the metaverse will fit into our daily lives. We don’t know if it will be a game-changer, like the smartphone or the internet, or more subtle.”

“We don’t really even have a definition of it. Will there be one single metaverse, or will there be multiple metaverses – with each hosted by a different tech giant like Google or Meta? If there are multiple, will they be interoperable? Today’s games consoles – which are increasingly compatible with one another when it comes to multiplayer games – might give us an intriguing glimpse into the future.”

“But here’s the point. We don’t need to know exactly what the metaverse will look like in order to understand its importance. Just like the birth of the internet, the opportunities for innovation are (literally) endless. The internet was an incredible invention, but we rarely contemplate its importance today – instead, we talk about the innovations it has enabled, from virtually instant communication across continents to smartphones to online dating.”

“Similarly, the metaverse will open up new ways to socialise, to learn, to holiday, to work, to buy and shop, and so much more. We don’t know exactly what these new innovations will be, but we do know they’re coming.”

“And it’s not just presented opportunities for brand new ideas, but also for companies that build items for the metaverse or provide services for or within it. Think of NFT auction houses or VR headset companies. Companies like these that already have strong business models today will be well placed to lead the way in the future.”

 

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Şekip Can Gökalp

 

Şekip-Can-Gökalp

 

Company: Infinite Arcade

Website: https://infinitearcade.com/

 

“The metaverse has great potential to bring people together, empower them with community ownership and give them a greater say in decision-making that affects them. It’s also an incredibly divisive topic, in that nobody quite knows what the metaverse (or metaverses) will look like.”

“For me, the metaverse is important because it will act as a gateway to web3 or the next generation of the internet which, if we do it right, will be built on principles of decentralisation enabled by blockchain technology. Whether we ever achieve a single, interoperable, metaverse remains to be seen, but I am hopeful that as a minimum this next gen internet will be more open source and less beholden to tech giants such as Meta, Apple, Google, and Amazon.”

“We are already seeing elements of this come together in the gaming space, where gamified virtual worlds and the importance of in-game assets create an exciting sandbox for web3 technology. And, because there are 3 billion people playing games every day, it’s games that will onboard the most people into the metaverse.”

“Whether you see the metaverse as an embodied internet in which avatar forms of ourselves work, shop, and socialise; or an augmented reality overlay for everyday life; or simply a blockchain layer that takes on responsibility for pesky tasks like property ownership and money transfers, the metaverse is going to have a significant impact on our society. However, it will appear gradually – we’re still very much in an experimental phase.”

 

Rana Rahman

 

Rana-Rahman

 

 Company: Raptor PR

Website: https://raptorpr.com/

 

“Having witnessed first-hand the rise of both the internet (web1), and social (web2), I’m heading into the metaverse (web3) with a healthy dose of realism. At the moment, there are no common tech protocols or standards like those created in the mid-90s to enable the internet. However, as a lifelong gamer, the notion of spending extended periods of time in 3D worlds isn’t a new concept, so I’m definitely open to the idea of living, shopping, socialising and consuming entertainment in vast, hyper-realistic, interconnected 3D worlds. With three billion gamers on the planet, a shift that sees global populations enter metaverse worlds is only a few steps away from reality.”

“At present, web3 worlds are incredibly basic and gen one, but the building blocks of virtual land are being laid down. Accessing the metaverse doesn’t necessarily mean strapping on a VR headset – it could be accessed via 2D screens, like mobile, tablet, or AR glasses. What I find most compelling about the metaverse is the idealism behind it: decentralisation permeates the vibrant web3 community, empowering content creators to make decisions affecting their communities. This very structure has the potential to disrupt many industries. Imagine news empires that are democratically run, without inherent political bias, and 3D world social networks which aren’t just powered by selling data or your privacy. Or in the comms and PR world, taking journalists and media through interactive virtual experiential experiences.”

 

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Raj Pathmanathan

 

Raj-Pathmanathan

 

Company: KI (Kids Industries)

Website: https://www.kidsindustries.com/

 

“The Metaverse, as we see it today, is still early in its evolution. There is no singular, all-encompassing meaning that people can turn to, however multiple themes of what the Metaverse is and will be are emerging. The critical point is that there is no one universal world but many worlds currently, which are taking shape to allow people to deepen and extend social interactions digitally.”

“Children and young people will help lead the evolution and influence of the Metaverse in our lives. They are the early adopters and will be intuitive in engaging with the digital world and the many available ecosystems with the Metaverse. But we also need to take caution; as technology expands and engulfs kids’ lives, parents and carers need to understand it and work out how they and their families will regulate it.”

“The Metaverse will bring seamless integration of data capturing, especially biometric data. Everything and anything we do in the Metaverse can be tracked and quantified, meaning a better personalised and optimised experience, but this will open up potential safety, privacy, and security issues – these will need to be at the forefront of the Metaverse.”

“One of the exciting things about this shift in our digital experience, will be the enabling of decentralisation and shared ownership, where anyone and everyone can equally experience participation in a shared world. It fuels user creativity – more peer to peer and less peer to brand.”

“In terms of predictions, it will be interesting to see if technology like wearable tech and AR will play a vital role in blending the real physical world/experiences with the Metaverse.”

 

Tristan Roozendaal

 

Tristan-Roozendaal

 

Company: Centralex

Website: https://centralex.com/

 

“With the metaverse, future generations could experience a completely different world to the one we live in. It opens up a range of opportunities for people to participate in society free of borders and accessibility issues. Virtual shopping with friends, attending meetings with colleagues in different countries, or even viewing a new house to scale. The metaverse will bring friends closer together and break down barriers to society for those that face limitations, such as health or location.”

“Outside of the home, the metaverse can also enhance our current reality. For example, people who travel will be able to have directions in front of them at all times – reducing dangerous situations by preventing us from getting lost. People will also be able to see the world in a different light, with unique artwork popping up everywhere and cities becoming glamorised.”

“However, at the moment there is still a long way to go before we see these benefits materialise. The metaverse in its current form doesn’t encompass the entire human experience and it will be a while before we see this happen. For the majority, this leaves no incentive to choose the metaverse over reality. Immersion issues go beyond this. At present, the metaverse is only really accessible to the rich. If people cannot afford to purchase a VR headset, then they are not truly immersed in the metaverse – they are only playing glorified computer games. To break down the barriers present in society, VR headsets will need to be affordable to be inclusive of everyone.”

“With the metaverse, future generations could experience a completely different world to the one we live in. It opens up a range of opportunities for people to participate in society free of borders and accessibility issues. Virtual shopping with friends, attending meetings with colleagues in different countries, or even viewing a new house to scale. The metaverse will bring friends closer together and break down barriers to society for those that face limitations, such as health or location.”

“Outside of the home, the metaverse can also enhance our current reality. For example, people who travel will be able to have directions in front of them at all times – reducing dangerous situations by preventing us from getting lost. People will also be able to see the world in a different light, with unique artwork popping up everywhere and cities becoming glamorised.”

“However, at the moment there is still a long way to go before we see these benefits materialise. The metaverse in its current form doesn’t encompass the entire human experience and it will be a while before we see this happen. For the majority, this leaves no incentive to choose the metaverse over reality. Immersion issues go beyond this. At present, the metaverse is only really accessible to the rich. If people cannot afford to purchase a VR headset, then they are not truly immersed in the metaverse – they are only playing glorified computer games. To break down the barriers present in society, VR headsets will need to be affordable to be inclusive of everyone.”

 

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Jonathan Girroir

 

Jonathan-Girroir

 

Company: Tech Soft 3D

Website: https://www.techsoft3d.com/

 

“The metaverse isn’t just going to impact our future, but it is immediately important for today’s workforce because it allows:”

• The overlay of rich digital context into the real world.
• The combination of digital information from multiple sources.
• The collaboration between two more people, irrespective of their physical locations.

“Business users initially drove the adoption of smartphones because there was a real benefit of having access to digital information in a mobile format. Similarly, industry and the enterprise will benefit from this new technology accelerator.”

“The metaverse will equip today’s workforce with reliable information, assist collaboration and design and help build things faster. However, it’s not initially about entertainment or digitally augmenting our personal lives. These will undoubtedly come, as did the wide adoption of smartphones and tablets.”

“3D plans and information, once siloed within powerful computers on engineers’ desks, can now be brought to the assembly line, job site, or wherever needed. This digital context becomes a powerful tool when overlayed with reality. As a result, workers can be more productive because they have all the necessary information and more to do their job safely. After all, it can be made available hands-free in head-mounted displays.”

“Large enterprises have been using expensive “caves” to create immersive design and review experiences by projecting a virtual world onto the walls of a room. However, with the consumerisation and ubiquity of XR devices and authoring tools, small- to medium-sized businesses are incorporating these tools into their workflows and collaborating from remote locations.”

“Lastly, the metaverse facilitates bringing together rich information from multiple sources and allows for improved collaboration and sustainability. The metaverse promises open information on a macro scale. It can become a place where the digital footprints of our buildings, infrastructure, and smart devices can be combined, mined, and learned from. Allowing designers, city planners, and architects to design with a project’s actual impact in mind without even going on site.”

“The metaverse’s ability to break down siloed walls of information, share it freely, facilitate collaboration, and digitally enable the workforce of tomorrow excites me. It’s already impacting manufacturing and building and construction. It will be exciting to be part of its future as this technology goes from early adopters to being used by most corporations in one way or another. I don’t think that time is very far off.”

 

Luke Graham

 

Luke-Graham

 

 Company: Pi Labs

Website: https://www.pilabs.co.uk/

 

“Since Facebook rebranded to Meta late last year, the term “metaverse” has had breakout search activity on Google. According to dimensions.ai, mentions in academic papers doubled in 2021 compared to 2020. By the end of 2022, it will probably be at least triple that of last year.”

“In real estate, some areas are already primed to adopt the metaverse—particularly those involved in digital representations of buildings such as architects, designers, engineers and marketers. Real estate plots in online worlds are already selling for vast figures, such as Decentraland—where a plot was bought late last year for a seven-figure sum.”

“Last month, Millennium Hotels and Resorts joined a raft of companies taking their first steps in the metaverse, purchasing a virtual property in Decentraland with the aim of engaging guests through new immersive experiences and redefining the traditional hospitality model. Based on research underway at Pi Labs, other leisure and short-term accommodation providers are also in the process of developing metaverse strategies.”

“Amongst our portfolio companies, Dent Reality is transforming the retail customer experience with its pioneering AR platform which provides an accurate indoor positioning system, a digital map and frictionless navigation. Their version of the metaverse is one which provides contextual information that enriches real-world interactions.”

“So how will the metaverse impact our future? On the whole, most people don’t see the metaverse and/or extended reality as entirely replacing human-to-human contact. However, some areas could be under threat – for example online retail is more immersive in the metaverse than on a conventional website. In fact, proponents of shopping in the metaverse have claimed that shoppers spend more time in these environments than on website catalogues or in physical stores.”

“In a live Pi Labs survey, more than 50% of real estate professionals surveyed don’t see the metaverse impacting the asset class in the next 0-4 years… Is this a blind spot or are they right?”

 

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Grace Francis

 

Grace-Francis

 

Company: Wongdoody

Website: https://wongdoody.com/

 

“The concept of a centralised virtual world that exists parallel to the physical world has enchanted us for decades, from gathering with like-minded people in low-fi chatrooms during the early days of the web, to portrayals of virtual worlds in works of fiction—we’re hungry for more than our reality can provide on any given Tuesday afternoon.”

“Our desires to create a parallel existence, whether utopian, dystopian or pragmatic, give us clues to why the Metaverse is such an important concept and speaks to the nature of the human condition.”

“The Metaverse answers two conflicting desires. The first is the pioneer—the need to explore and even create the unknown. Some of our grandparents were born to a world of horse and cart but lived to see a man on the moon, but as Jeff Bezos is proving, even space travel may soon be within arms’ reach. What better world to explore than one we can create ourselves, where the laws of society and even the laws of physics are up for grabs?”

“While a pioneer is both brave and lonely, our second desire is to connect with others, to form societies with likeminded people we can’t find at work or at home. When we understand how potent a virtual community can be, from clocking in to Fortnite Squads to a TikTok for you page that only contains people who represent you, we start to understand how the Metaverse offers organised communities, allyship and an alternative to wherever we find ourselves in reality. All of this is about seeking belonging.”

“Whether we enter the Metaverse as authentic versions of ourselves, or try on another identity, we have the freedom to examine the novel, the scary, the unknown and then stop whenever we want. This exploration and what we learn about ourselves in the process, is the real reward of the Metaverse.”

 

Jackie Kyle

 

Jackie-Kyle

 

 Company: Digital River

Website: https://www.digitalriver.com/

 

“The metaverse could open new doors to sell globally, and companies need to make sure they are ready for the increased opportunities that doing business in the metaverse could generate. One thing is certain – participation in the metaverse will expose global consumers to brands, products and services they may never have encountered in the physical world. No matter how expansive or realistic the metaverse will turn out to be, life is still lived in the physical world, and physical boundaries will continue to be a consideration for the cross-border sale of goods.”

“Personal privacy is another issue that arises from data collection. Interaction in a fully digital world will allow new categories of user data to be collected ubiquitously, opening new avenues for brands and marketers to reach customers. Physiological and behavioural data could be compiled, such as tracking where consumers’ eyes move, how long they linger in certain areas, and the digital spaces they visit. This could be unsettling for privacy-savvy consumers, and new regulations for consumer and data protection are likely to arise.”

“The solution is transparency, although perhaps to a greater degree to what we often see in the current ecommerce realm. With more forms of personal data being collected in ways that consumers may not expect, metaverse companies will need to create appropriate customer disclosures, terms of service, and privacy policies to ensure users understand the terms related to any transaction they make in the virtual world.”

“It’s hard to say definitively what commerce in the metaverse will look like, but regulation in the physical world could be a sort of fossil evidence that points to future evolution. The metaverse will be secondary to the real world with novel legal questions, but regulations that have evolved from centuries of buying and selling won’t suddenly be ignored. While it may be the biggest leap to date in the continued evolution of e-commerce, even a fully digital world’s new rules will likely remain tethered to existing regulatory frameworks.”

 

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John Payne

 

John-Payne

 

Company: Croquet.io

Website: https://croquet.io/

 

“Human communication mediated by the vast Metaverse ecosystem will enable us to dynamically express, share and explore new ideas with each other via live simulations instantly and easily. This enables a very deep level of collaboration between users that enables gaming, shared fan experiences, design and — perhaps most powerful — collaborative development and coding. This collaboration provides a “shared truth”: what you see is exactly what I see; I see you perform an action as you do it; we both see exactly the same dynamic transformation of this shared information space. When you express an idea, the computer —a full participant in this conversation — instantly makes it real for both of us, enabling us to critique and negotiate the meaning of it. This shared virtual world will be as live, dynamic, pervasive, and visceral as the physical.”

“This Metaverse is not just the next wave of collaboration and computing, it is a fundamental shift in how we will engage with our world and each other, and how we will understand and solve the huge problems we face as a species. This Metaverse will run on your PC, your phone, your tablet and — most important — your XR device. Perfectly synced and dynamic across every system. It will provide access to an always-on and always-on-you supercomputer. It will amplify your intentions and ideas, enabling all of us to create and explore new universes together.”

“The Metaverse MUST be interoperable between all users and between all devices at all times.”

“Just as every phone in the world can connect to any other phone, the Metaverse will enable any user to connect and engage with any other user at any time. This will extend the nature and power of the human narrative. We are defined more by how we communicate than anything else. The very foundation of what it means to be human is about to change.”

 

Chris Boyd

 

Chris-Boyd

 

Company: Malwarebytes

Website: https://www.malwarebytes.com/

 

“The Metaverse holds particular importance in the realm of cybersecurity, in that a whole host of new cybersecurity threats will emerge with it. Individuals and businesses need to ensure they are prepared to tackle these threats, as they emerge. With the Metaverse, we will increasingly see the use of AR and VR, as a means to facilitate an immersive experience. There is no doubt that threat actors will seek to act on these new technologies and take advantage of companies who don’t have the infrastructure to protect themselves when operating these technologies. Indeed, organisations need to have robust cybersecurity protection to fend off any malicious threat actors.”

“Notably, when it comes to the Metaverse, businesses tend to focus on the hype surrounding the Metaverse and its novel concepts. Instead, they need to be prioritising the cybersecurity issues that will arise with it. The Metaverse has the capacity to have adverse effects on business operations should they not be prepared to troubleshoot threats. However, there is a significant lack of understanding surrounding the type of threats that may emerge and how to tackle them. Especially given the rapid increase in interest in and development of the Metaverse, businesses need to act fast to mitigate the risks they will face.”

 

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Patrick Walker

 

Patrick-Walker

 

Company: Uptime

Website: https://uptime.app/

 

“I think we have a very exciting future ahead of us regarding the Metaverse and Web 3.0, providing we continue to maintain direct human connection and connectivity. If we think about how the invention and wider use of the internet changed our lives – and is still changing our lives today – that is what we can expect from the Metaverse, but on a far more amplified level. The good, the bad and the ugly, that is.”

“Communication will be more efficient, connected, and immersive but all the while more simplified and streamlined. We can expect telepresence developments to grow as time goes on and remote working, for example, becomes more implemented into business models and daily life. We can expect to see a continued development in the way we create, distribute and monetise art and content, as it collaborates with the Metaverse and Web 3.0. Just a more virtual presence entirely.”

“On the flip side of that, there are, of course, many ways in which the Metaverse and Web 3.0 will negatively impact society – an amplification of the damage the internet has already done globally. We might see an amplification of extremism and new forms of terrorism, an amplification of disconnectedness, an amplified reliance on digital spaces resulting in a decline in human potential.”

“We don’t know where it’s going exactly but it will transform all of our lives in an even greater way than we can possibly imagine. Buckle up. It’s going to be a crazy ride, but don’t forget to protect your humanity and the people and things that make life worth living offline.”

 

Michael Gaizutis

 

Michael-Gaizutis

 

Company: RNO1

Website: https://rno1.com/

 

“The metaverse will impact our future in a few ways:”

Customer Engagement: “The metaverse will be another way of engaging customers and will test brands to re-visit meaningful touch points. Web2 proved the need for great customer service and the companies who have mastered this area will shine, translating their systems into new arenas and types of engagement. The metaverse can be another layer where loyal customers engage with brands, but it will test what works and how responsive brands can be technologically. It may open the doors to new customer engagement roles, moving across realities and challenging the status quo.”

Expansion of the Creator Economy: “The metaverse will shape the future of Web3 by scaling the creator economy, monetising new experiences, and bridging the virtual world with our in-person experiences. Thoughtful design will be more critical than ever as Web3 has the opportunity to craft a greater sense of belonging when it comes to content, outline respect for personal information, and decentralise information across industry sectors. In order to make these concepts a reality, thoughtful experience designers must be at the forefront of bringing these themes to life. In that realm, it will create a demand for talent, prioritising skills-based learning and creative vision.”

Full Brand Immersion: “The metaverse and Web3 will put full brand immersion at the forefront. In the past, brands could get by with disjointed brand offerings, but digital savvy brands will be tested to keep up with pace and question what works for their systems. If Web3 concepts don’t work for them, they will need to be clear about their decision making to stay true to their narrative. This is again where strong communication and design partners will benefit organisations going forward and will test agencies.”

 

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