Will the metaverse replace your offices?

VIDEO – In his column for the JDD, Sébastien Tortu, marketing consultant and author of DNVB, the (re) new to commerce, he’s interested in the metaverse this week.

By 2030, people will be able to teleport from place to place without moving off the couch, not just for games and entertainment, but for work as well. This sentence seems to come out of a science fiction film and yet it is the statement of Marc Zuckerberg who has been working on this famous metaverse for some time! Although the term “metaverse” was coined in 1992 by science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson, it only barely entered the mainstream lexicon after Facebook changed its name to Meta to reflect its strategic goal of making this vision of science fiction a reality.

Metaverses are immersive 3D digital worlds based on virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.

The Metaverse has 5 great features:

  • It is persistent (exists regardless of the user’s presence)
  • It is in real time (users can experience live events)
  • It’s infinite (supports unlimited concurrent users and VR worlds),
  • It is self-contained (users can work and pay for things in the metaverse)
  • And it is interoperable, you can navigate from one world to another easily, as if today in a few seconds you could go from the concert of your favorite artist to the meeting with your boss.

Metaverses are bigger than closed online games – they allow people to enter using their real identities and use these platforms to shop, play, hang out, and even work.

After the Covid crisis, teleworking has developed so much that clearly working in the metaverse is no longer science fiction.

For organizations, metaverses promise to create more realistic, and therefore more productive, immersive meetings made possible by 3D virtual reality headsets. Microsoft is already rolling out Mesh for Microsoft Teams to make online collaborations more fun and efficient by helping people connect in less impersonal ways, such as sharing body language, having more interesting conversations, and attending team meetings more.

Another advantage of working in the metaverse is that there is no limit to the space available or the features you could use. You can invite whoever you want to a specific space, from one to billions of people. You can easily add accessories – Missing a chalkboard for taking notes? No problem, it’s there, no need to go to the store.

Except that the metaverse doesn’t just have advantages – the first caveat is likely related to the underlying technology required. For the moment, living in the metaverse is complicated because the technology is not yet advanced enough to make you forget the boundary with reality. Furthermore, it requires high-tech equipment which is expensive. Second, there are data security concerns, as a persistent metaverse would have to capture and store user data to be able to provide an intuitive experience. Finally, issues such as discrimination and sexual harassment in a metaverse workplace need to be explored in detail before a large-scale implementation.

For now, working in the metaverse is limited if you already have the equipment and the company is up to date. But make sure of one thing: if we’ve been able to agree to spend our days in front of Zoom or Google Meets, make sure we enjoy spending them in the metaverse.

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