Buyer’s remorse: It’s an emotion shoppers know well. That expensive couch that looked so perfect in the showroom suddenly clashes with the rest of the decor once it’s in your living room, or the makeup you bought in a brightly lit department store looks gaudy in natural light. .
Virtual stores in the Metaverse, a computer-generated, interactive virtual world, could potentially solve these problems by combining a number of advanced technologies, including augmented reality, to allow customers to visualize products in their homes. The Metaverse is still in its infancy, but experts estimate annual global spending could reach $5 trillion by 2030.
Several OurCrowd companies working on this intersection between personalizing emotional connections with powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and beautiful visualization to open the door to this new world participated in ‘Investing in the Metaverse: Startups Inventing a New World’ , an online event navailable to stream.
“Today the digital experience is not very natural,” explains Noam Levavi, CEO of ByondXRwho created virtual shopping journeys for more than 40 global brands, adding features such as gamification and augmented reality.
“We want to combine the physical reality with the digital properties we can bring, we call it ‘phygital’,” said Levavi, whose company helps household names like Armani, Lancôme and L’Oréal “create a new type of user journey to deliver the best emotional connection, which ultimately leads to exceptional engagement that increases sales, conversion and shopping cart.”
“In five to 10 years, we will be spending most of our time in the Metaverse, as we do on our phones today,” explains Gil Perry, CEO of DID, the power behind MyHeritage’s viral “Deep Nostalgia” talking photo app. “But what we believe at D-ID is that this won’t happen unless the avatars are super realistic. We need the emotions, the reactions, the little wrinkles around your eyes when you smile.”
If people don’t feel like the interactions are realistic, they won’t come back, Perry said. “Our vision is to bring life to the Metaverse, to make it fun and engaging,” added Perry. The digital avatar market is expected to reach $527 billion by 2030, he said. Companies are already using D-ID products to spice up long training sessions for their employees. With D-ID, each participant in a company’s course can choose from a variety of presenters and accents to help them engage more with the information.
“They’ve done studies that say if your teacher is your gender, ethnicity, and age, you’ll be better able to absorb the information,” Perry said.
D-ID technology can revolutionize e-learning and corporate training by adding visual elements previously unaffordable to businesses. “We can make a video of a talking head at the click of a button, so with boring presentations and long documents, we can make your content much more engaging,” said Perry. “It can be personalized, with the presenter calling the student by name, and it works in any language.” Companies can also quickly edit or update the text of a training session, instead of re-filming the entire segment.
Many of the CEOs in the OurCrowd conversation agreed that one of the main barriers is that most virtual interactions still take place through the flat 2D screens of our computers and phones. As immersive and expansive as the graphics are, they are usually still viewed from a 2D screen.
“This is going to take time because of the huge potential, it’s a tectonic shift,” said Gilad Talmon, the CEO of TetaVi, a company that helps people insert 3D videos of themselves into virtual worlds using something as simple as their cell phone. “It’s not a landslide that happens suddenly. There is a lot of technology involved.”
Pointing to new technology like Google Glass and Apple Headsets, Talmon said these more immersive products will revolutionize the way people interact with virtual content, and people haven’t even come to understand the potential of the Metaverse industry yet.
“Think about autonomous vehicles, for example. They’re not going to reduce the amount of time we spend in vehicles, we’re just not going to drive them,” he said. “So now you have to find entertainment for people in the autonomous vehicle, who sit and wait to get from point A to point B, who are not busy driving.”
TetaVi uses new technology to help people place themselves in this new and rapidly changing virtual space.
“We’re democratizing the ability of real people, whether they’re professionals or consumers, to put themselves in metaverse-like environments,” Talmon said.
Most of the current technology for creating 3D videos of individuals is so expensive that it is only for professionals. TetaVi offers a professional unit with a mobile studio to create high-end graphics for sports teams or big names in the entertainment industry. But it is also developing technology that uses smartphones to create high-quality 3D videos that ordinary people can use.
“Our main value is to provide an easy and scalable way to bring people into the metaverse as themselves, with their own emotions,” Talmon said. That level of personalization is what will help people return to virtual worlds, whether for shopping, entertainment or education, he thinks. It’s going to be a long journey, but OurCrowd companies are positioning themselves to dive into new worlds as they reveal themselves.
“There are many technology trends leading to increasingly immersive environments,” Talmon says. “The most important thing is to focus. The technology has the potential to do everything video does. But if you try to do everything, you end up doing nothing. It’s about having the patience and persistence to work within the market, and grow with it, until it explodes.”
OurCrowd’s ‘Investing in the Metaverse: Startups Inventing a New World’ is now available for streaming HERE†