On the sidelines of CES 2022, the world’s largest tech event, journalists finally had a chance to (physically) reunite and share some drinks, just like in the good old days. Except for the masks, of course. This year, they came up with an original drinking game in an effort to keep up with the biggest trend of the past twelve months — “you take a shot every time someone around you mentions the metaverse,” a young reporter explained to the bar crowd.
Meta, Roblox, Microsoft, Decentraland, the number of companies jumping on the metaverse bandwagon is growing on a daily basis. Most of these players have plans to build a metaverse of their own. And while it remains unclear what these virtual environments will look like, one thing is for certain: their inhabitants, aka avatars, are as important (if not more) as the environments and activities available to them. This fact shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, real-world cities are ruled by the same logic: buildings, infrastructure, and activities are just one side of what we call a city. The community that inhabits them is what really makes a full picture.
In other words, people have direct input on the environment they inhabit. Replicating such an opportunity in the metaverse could be a groundbreaking factor when it comes to mass adoption. Sensorium – one of the earliest metaverse developers – is already working on turning user avatars into powerful tools for metaverse co-creators.
Social interactions – a key success factor
In essence, the metaverse is all about social interaction. Its immersive experiences are meant to be shared – a feature that distinguishes it from the passive content consumption model of Netflix and YouTube. These collective, multidimensional activities unlock a new level of communication and entertainment.
Metaverses give us access to previously unthinkable social mechanics. And it all starts with digital identity. A purple alien racer with a Swedish accent? A cyberpunk non-binary singer? You are fully in charge of how others see you in these alternate universes. You are also free to choose any activities without geographical limitations or social expectations. Your age, gender, and socio-economic status don’t matter either. Add joint immersive experiences to the equation, and the metaverse turns into a go-to place to meet friends and bond with people outside your social circles.
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Can you be friends with AI?
To help you adapt to the new worlds, Sensorium has built smart AI-driven Virtual Beings. AI has become an integral part of our lives: from Apple’s Face ID to Amazon’s Alexa recommendations. Yet, it has never been genuinely social. You can’t talk to Siri about your hopes and fears, and Alexa won’t tell you how she feels about the weather today.
Designed specifically for the needs of the new era of entertainment, Sensorium’s AI-driven Virtual Beings are different at their core. Powered by genetic algorithms and reinforcement learning, they possess long-term memory and support conversations without losing context. Each AI-persona communicates through the prism of its unique personality and biography and evolves with every interaction.
They express themselves like humans. Yet, they are native to the digital world — bridges between the real and virtual. Guides to the metaverse with human-like faces. AI-companions can help us explore the depth of virtual worlds, finding activities and people we would enjoy the most while preventing social isolation.
Metaverse creation tool in your pocket
Some of these AI characters you’ll interact with will be made by other users, embedding their values and interests. Sensorium planted its Virtual Beings in its recently launched mobile app — a “production hub” where users can create their future metaverse companions, assembling their personality and appearance, layer by layer. A vegetarian English teacher, a rebellious elf, a transcendent astronaut – the users decide who inhibits the virtual worlds.
Users can chat with their AI-beings and even stage dances in AR mode. Such functionality offers consumers a new medium for creativity and self-expression. A new channel to become actors instead of spectators in this metaverse race. For brands, Virtual Beings can become a powerful channel to showcase and promote their products through digital fashion, potentially opening the doors to the next stage of B2C marketing.
Written by Daniil Solopov, Head of Strategic Business Development & Innovation at Sensorium