Why Metaverse can replace the internet

We are on the cusp of something big. The internet is gearing up for its next upgrade: the Metaverse. And it all starts with an idea.

In simple terms, the Metaverse is the next version of the Internet. Imagine a virtual 3D world, with ever-evolving aspects, a unique nomenclature, shared collectively by its inhabitants. Visualize a second world, albeit virtually, with real-time events and an online infrastructure, such as a session in a player-versus-player (PvP) game!

In theory, it encompasses everything that’s happening in its world right now and will bring real-time events and updates in the future! The user is in a virtual world without borders. There are no abrupt transitions that require you to log out and log in. The Metaverse will be a cross-platform experience as well as seamless.

Before you dismiss the “Metaverse” as another overhyped Hollywood science fiction concept, tech giants have already set the stage for this process, with Facebook and Epic leading the way.

A world of endless possibilities:

With the Metaverse you are central. Virtual communities, activities, events, all seamlessly accessible without logging into multiple apps. For a user-centric approach, this is an important aspect of the Metaverse that will work in its favor. For example, you can log into your virtual office as a virtual avatar of yourself, take a break and talk to your IT friend, explore the game room for a game of foosball. Meet a customer virtually all in one place – effortlessly move to the next step with no discrepancies. All this while sitting in the warmth and comfort of your home, without having to take the subway or drive two hours to work in busy metropolises.

We are almost half way through the pandemic that limits us to our work on our homes. But the Metaverse takes it to another level. Think seamless cross-platform interaction with your friends around the world. Cross-platform play is still in its infancy even in the gaming industry. With the Metaverse, cross-platform interaction becomes the gold standard for seamless virtual interaction around the world. Addresses and PINs are not so important!

With the Metaverse, the virtual marketplace becomes a serious business affair. Brands will transform the way they advertise, which will be a memorable experience instead of the intrusive popups and forced ads we see today. With in-world ads, the ads are cleverly positioned to grab the user’s attention so that users voluntarily interact with the ad, making it more effective and engaging, unlike today’s distracting, immersion-breaking ads.

What is different is the way the user interacts with these in-world advertisements. Imagine an event in a game where the player has to perform an activity as a challenge, and the challenge is important to the product being promoted.

Every gamer loves an impromptu challenge that results in some tasty treats. What’s even more special is that players get personalized ads based on their digital footprint and interests, meaning there are several challenges that provide a dynamic, in-world ad experience. Top brands such as H&M have already opened their virtual store in the Metaverse, providing users with a 3D retail space and giving them the opportunity to try out the merchandise digitally. They can also order merchandise using the CEEK cryptocurrency. Brands like Adidas and Nike have also followed suit, and with time there will only be an increase in companies venturing into the virtual world!

The road ahead of us

The Metaverse is still a concept being brought to reality and comes with its own challenges, as is the case with any advanced technology.

While there are always technological limitations, privacy concerns are hard to ignore. Another concern is the concept of currency in the virtual world.

There is also the issue of government involvement, which could change the entire dynamic of the Metaverse as cryptocurrency is one of the driving forces. While the prospect of the Metaverse is certainly something to look forward to, it remains to be seen whether the Metaverse will define Web 3.0.

Saurabh Tandon is a board member and president of Americas at Affine, an AI and data engineering consultancy and solutions firm.

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