Focus on the metaverse: what does the digital future hold?

The impact of the Metaverse on digital in the future

While the last few years have been marked by several major crises, the fact remains that we’ve seen some announcements that spark curiosity in some and excitement in others. In October 2021, the Meta boss, formerly of Facebook, announced the launch of the metaverse, a purely virtual world. This news continues to get a lot of ink flowing, as several questions arise about this technology. The latter is already becoming part of our habits through some tools we use. The question we are asking now is what is its impact on the way we do things in this era where digital dominates on all fronts. We will try to answer in this article.

Metaverse: what is it?

If you’ve already read the novel Snow crash»By Neal Stephenson or seen the movie Ready player one , the metaverse is a technology that you will come to perceive quickly. It is inspired by science fiction and was presented by Marc Zuckerberg as a virtual world where you can do many things within it. In its contracted, metaverse form, “half” Moreover “universe”, designates an imaginary world, connected and immersive, in which through the use of virtual reality headsets and thanks to your 3D avatar, you can live part of your life there.

According to the Meta boss, this technology will offer its users more social contacts, regardless of their location. They can go to a concert or business meeting, go to a basketball game, go to a fitness class, or go to a store to shop. The question of its impact on digital in the future is therefore legitimate. To access it, you will need mobile electronic devices such as virtual reality headsets or augmented reality glasses.

Metaverse and the future of online games

The online gaming industry is one of the first sectors that will be heavily influenced by the metaverse in the future. For many years we have noticed that the technologies on which it will be based have erupted into this sector. We mainly talk about virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. With their current contribution to the online gaming industry, we can already imagine the place the metaverse will occupy. The goal will obviously be to allow the user to be entertained in terrestrial exercises from the comfort of his home. It is true that this has already been done, but with the metaverse the experience will be very different, because it will act directly with his avatar and not with simple device controls. To achieve this, the metaverse must, in collaboration with online game publishers, offer a catalog of titles that takes into account all categories of entertainment options in order to appeal to all players.

Metaverse casinos will therefore have a playroom with slot machines and variants of blackjack, baccarat and roulette, bingo, poker, video poker and many more. Unlike current virtual casinos that offer the ability to play with live dealers from smartphones, establishments in the metaverse will allow users to interact directly with dealers and other players, again via their avatars. For example, if you are a fan of table games, you can play roulette for French speakers using your virtual headset or connected glasses. Better, you can win real money and even withdraw your winnings like in French online casinos. This will certainly be done thanks to the blockchain technology it will integrate. Cryptocurrencies will therefore be used a lot. The only question one might ask is whether the metaverse establishments will be controlled by a specialized institution such as online casinos.

Metaverse and digitalization of companies

Since the advent of new technologies, digitization has proved to be the main source of business progress. Cost reductions, production and intervention times, better control of data evolution, are all significant advances that the vast majority of companies have experienced. The metaverse is presented as a technology that will revolutionize the global environment of companies by opening the way to a multitude of opportunities by relying on some already existing digital tools.

As presented, this technology will be a great asset for companies that want to be closer to their customers or modernize customer relationships on all fronts. Big brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci that have held virtual fashion shows in the past are already taking advantage of this. The same goes for game publisher Epic Games who, in full confinement, staged a gigantic virtual concert via Fortnite. This event was watched by more than 12 million players and hosted by the famous American rapper Travis Scott. Given the reach that online shopping has taken in recent years, it’s clear that commercial brands will also benefit enormously from the metaverse in the future.

For now, online shopping takes place via smartphones and other connected devices. Very soon, users of this technology will be able to take a walk from home, for example on supermarket shelves, in shopping carts, and shop. Payment will be made electronically (with the involvement of the blockchain)and once finished, they will be delivered to your home. For some we are talking about e-commerce for the moment, but in the years to come we will talk about v-commerce. With the metaverse, apparel brands, for example, will offer their customers the opportunity to consult the characteristics of a garment, or even try it remotely before placing an order.

Metaverse and virtual work

According to information from the Meta group, it is called the videoconference of the future Horizon Laboratories . It is a virtual workspace that will allow team members to communicate with each other and make decisions like during regular meetings. You can easily interact with your colleagues with very realistic avatars. Everyone’s gestures, facial expressions, and voices will sound so real you’ll think you are in person. You can also work on your computer, do screenings, go online and do research, etc.

Better yet, this immersion will be total to the point where the world around you no longer exists. Horizon Laboratoriesthen it reveals itself as a solution to some already existing problems. For example, for a normal videoconference, the user must lock himself in a highly isolated place and must speak by approaching the microphone and looking for the right angle for the camera. On the other hand, with Horizon Laboratories, there is no need to worry about all its aspects. All users have to do is put on the VR headset or smart glasses and that’s it.

However, to access the application Horizon Laboratories , users will need to have a Facebook account. This will still happen through VR headsets and not phones. Note that, prior to Marc Zuckerberg’s announcement of the metaverse project, Microsoft had already focused on similar technology focused solely on professional use. Is called ” Team jerseyand it will be the combination of its Teams software with the virtual functions of Sweater. It will also replace traditional meeting rooms with purely virtual spaces where, among colleagues, you can talk to each other without being in the same physical place. As theHorizon Laboratoriesyou will be able to access collaboration tools such as screen sharing or a whiteboard.

Impact of the metaverse on the education sector

Today, it would be indisputable to say that the main new technologies of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence have had a strong impact on the education sector, especially training and skills development. As much as they are, each of them has brought something extra to this industry that is becoming more and more digital. From this point, we can already imagine that the metaverse will go further by providing cutting-edge education, as some complex subjects require the use of technology. Users will be able to take advantage of the metaverse to learn faster, but above all to increase the memorization of information.

On the learners’ side, for example, thanks to the metaverse, they will be able to deepen very technical topics, simulate scenarios or relive an ancient era. They can also attend classes with classmates and interact to solve certain problems. They are also offered the opportunity to go to libraries or other learning places thanks to metaverses. As for the trainers, the metaverse will allow them to administer courses to students without physical contact.

Teachers will also have the opportunity to chat with their students and interact perfectly with them. With all this metaverse speculation, it is safe to say that this technology has an intriguing future in store for us in which education and all other areas where it will impact will see radical change, which could benefit the world’s population. . The question on the lips of some Metaverse users is whether it will impact mental health.

Would the metaverse be dangerous to mental health?

At the moment, it would be a bit hasty to say that the metaverse is dangerous to mental health, as we haven’t experienced it yet. However, based on what already exists, including social networks and virtual reality, we can say that this technology risks creating addiction problems among users. Furthermore, a study conducted by theRoyal Society for Public Health (RSPH)has shown in the past that depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the 14-24 age group since the advent of social networks. Based on these figures, we can at least say that the implementation of this future technology will need to be followed by safeguards to regulate its use.

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