The idea of creating a virtual world of places of residence, business, culture and entertainment is not new. So we think of “The Second World” launched by Canal + in 1997 or second Life which had its heyday in the early 2000s or even Immochan introduced by the Mulliez Group in the 2010s. At that time, the technologies did not come close to meeting the expectations that had been raised. The quality of the experience offered and the significant sensory deficit, coupled with some recurring computer errors, therefore do not allow to achieve a sufficient level of immersion and quality social interactions.
How about today? Admittedly, there are many technological developments and the experiences offered have been greatly enriched and allow to reach a level of immersion never reached before, but the technological challenges remain significant, especially in terms of sensory deficits. Furthermore, it is not easy to distinguish current reality from the hype that paints a picture of the metaverse’s transformative nature and the positive impact it will have on people in their work, leisure, and social interactions. .
The potential impact on how we do business, interact with brands and others, and create shared experiences is likely to be transformative as the clear boundaries between physical and digital are likely to become somewhat confused with current perceptions.
The market has also evolved with a new generation of consumers already spending on video games and virtual objects and brands willing to invest millions not to miss this new turn. According to McKinsey, the Metaverse will impact this industry by approximately $2.5 trillion by 2030.
There are also many societal issues, particularly those related to social interaction factors arising from widespread adoption, but also psychological aspects related to addiction and its impact on vulnerable people. In the metaverse it says “The consumer no longer exists”. He’s a member of an existing community… He’s a creator, a collaborator, a committed one, someone who takes action, and not a person we “push the product” to… It’s the power of the community that takes Priority!
There are also many experts concerned about issues related to trust, privacy and prejudice. Imagine the amount of information that could be gathered tomorrow in a metaverse or via a VR headset. Through a helmet we can easily capture all the facial movements, the reactions of the eyes, the dilation of the pupils… a whole series of details that can give clues to the emotions that this or that article, this or that interaction evokes in us. , this or that experience.
inclusion and disinformation
The situation of a unique metaverse being generated and maintained by a commercial entity like “Meta” also raises concerns about inclusion, misinformation or law enforcement. With so many challenges ahead, it is important that consumers are properly informed and educated, and that the most vulnerable can be protected from suffering under the law of an almighty actor. Like supermarkets in the beginning, e-commerce has taken 25 years to reach travel speed.
Some now believe that the metaverse is on par with e-commerce in 1997. However, it is not sure if it will go beyond this stage and become profitable as there are still many technical, psychological and societal barriers. Will the metaverse ring the death knell for physical deals? Certainly not, the digital and especially the metaverse are complementary tools to the physical experience, but they will not replace the point of sale. So we must not fear the metaverse, but use what it can additionally bring. It is particularly fertile ground for service professions such as banking, insurance, tourism and music.
In the age of Web3, however, it’s not just metaverse to meet the need for social interactions and extraordinary experiences. Many much more mature technologies are accessible today, including augmented reality or virtual reality. These are easy-to-use tools that today are real high-performance tools in terms of communication or sales, with a real return on investment.