What does Metavers mean? – Definition IT from Whatis.fr

The definition of the metaverse varies, as do predictions of when it will actually arrive. For at the moment, the meta-verse – in the global and united sense as it should be based – is not a reality.

What is the metaverse?

As is often the case when discussing an IT topic in the making, Gartner’s definition pretty much sums up the main characteristics of ongoing “innovation”. For the consulting firm’s analysts, the metaverse is a 3D environment:

  • persistent and immersive;
  • collective and shared;
  • created through enhanced digital and physical reality;
  • accessible via any connected device (smartphones, PC, VR headsets, tablets);
  • powered by a blockchain-based currency.

What are the different variations of the metaverse definition?

The metaverse can therefore be defined as a completely virtual space where people interact through avatars.

But in a broad sense, the meta-verse can also be one mix of real and virtual experiencesfor example, spectators who attend an otherwise very real concert from home, and who can see, hear and interact (via their avatars) with the other people present on the page, or who “visit” the metaverse.

In either case, the metaverse can include the ability to make transactions with non-fungible tokens (or NFT for “non-fungible tokens”), cryptocurrencies, or with any other digital currency that relies on a blockchain. A metaverse therefore also makes it possible to buy and sell products and services, and to offer a new customer experience (CX) through 3D reconstruction.

For some, this ability to act is part of the definition of metaverse, but not for all.

Ultimately, a fully realized metavers will depend on major advances in three areas:

  • the ability to be easily transported and to evolve in another space;
  • a faithful 3D representation of a physical world (even if it is conceptualized);
  • and the emergence of a Web3-type economy (successor to the web and web 2.0).

Do Metavers Really Exist?

“These three elements are already popping up, but it’s when they come together that we’ll see a real metavers,” predicts Marty Resnick, VP of the Technology Innovation team at Gartner.

For Jeff Wong, chief innovation officer at the consulting firm EY, the meta-verses we hear about today are neither a single destination nor a fully realized specific space. For him, it would rather be a collection of new digital worlds, a suite of small metavers, some of which are public and some are not, each designed for its own purposes.

Although the emergence of a unified metaverse is not expected for another decade, a number of companies are piloting versions of what such a universe could be.

IT or video game giants – such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta (ex-Facebook), Roblox, Nvidia, Epic or Unity – are already struggling to get their share of the meta-verse and decide which axes they can stay on. dominant.

But they are not alone. Manufacturers or distributors – such as Nike, Carrefour, Walmart, Heineken or Ferrari – also cross what is presented as “a new frontier”.

In other words: rather than a single metaverse, a number of metaverse-like projects are under development.

Marty Resnick compares this to the early days of the internet, where players each had their own services, companies created their own islands on the World Wide Web, and these parts were not interoperable. The fact that the concept of metavers does not have a truly unified definition is a sign of its immaturity.

Today’s technology is simply not ready to support a completely immersive and shared metavers either. Interoperability, computing power, protocols, networking capabilities and degree of sophistication do not create a truly unified space with a successful UX.

An ecosystem of interconnected virtual worlds, powered by cloud computing, will require interoperability and a strong partnership between providers. But today, the development of metavers resembles much more competition than collaboration.

Note that metavers also pose a wide range of risks (read below). The CIOs who will try the adventure will have every interest in involving their colleagues from cybersecurity and legal.

What are the technologies in a metaverse?

The main technologies behind a metaverse are:

3D modeling. More and more companies are working on building 3D environments and virtual objects. Some already use digital twins for a variety of tasks, from improving supply chain management to predictable maintenance of complex industrial machines.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Both give a metaverse an immersive experience, although AR and VR in isolation do not constitute a metaverse.

NFT, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is a decentralized technology that makes it possible to dispense with trusted third parties to buy, sell or prove the exchange of an asset. NFTs are based on this blockchain technology. They are a virtual deed of goods, usually also virtual. They provide e.g. ability to verify the identity of the owner of a digital artwork (in JPG or GIF format), of the master of a song (in MP3 or FLAC) and even of a tweet that would have been sold ( like when the Twitter founder sold his very first tweet for $ 2.9 million).

Artificial intelligence. AI will be used in several ways to create metavers, including to control non-human characters and to facilitate realistic experiences with digital reality.

The Internet of Things. IoT is already used to connect and share data from a wide range of objects in the physical world. In the metaverse concept, IoT is essential for connecting physical places and real objects to 3D simulations, especially for real-time simulations.

What are use cases and B2B options for metavers?

The concept of immersive reality, characteristic of the metaverse, also presents different and very distinct use cases. For example, some applications will be aimed at employees (immersive hybrid work), while others will target customers. Some will help with training and collaboration processes. Others will target revenue generation.

Because the meta-verse is also another way to create, sell and experiment with content and applications. However, the potential seems to be there. “Every year is $ 54 billion [déjà] spent on virtual goods, almost double the amount to buy music “, shows the report from the financial holding company JPMorgan” Opportunities in the meta-verse: How companies can explore the meta-verse and navigate the hype vs. reality “.

JPMorgan began positioning itself on the meta-verse in February by opening its Onyx lounge in Decentraland – one of the first virtual reality platforms where users can purchase virtual land with NFTs (supported by Ethereum). In January 2022, Carrefour bought a piece of land on Decentraland (for € 300,000).

As Gartner’s Marty Resnick reminds us, most businesses have two presentations: one in the real world (store, office, etc.) and one online. According to him, “the best possible recommendation for CIOs today is: be prepared to add a third site [le métavers] to your physical pages and your websites ”.

This – still relative – intensification of groups’ activity in metavers indicates that at least some companies attach importance to them.

Here are some examples of the use of a metaverse that CIOs may consider in the more or less near future:

  • captivating entertainment
  • commercial operation (virtual stores, etc.)
  • training improvement
  • improved CX
  • increased staff
  • advertising, branding and marketing (by analyzing customer data in the metaverse)
  • digital locations
  • new sources of income (sale of virtual objects, etc.)
  • immersive hybrid work

What are the risks and limits of metavers?

No innovation is without danger. Metavers are no exception. Here is a short list of pitfalls you need to be aware of to avoid them:

  • environmental considerations;
  • cybersecurity issues;
  • legal issues;
  • harassment of all kinds;
  • questions of confidentiality;
  • fraud;
  • disinformation;
  • effects on mental health (decreased self-esteem; increased sense of isolation).

Likewise, the meta-verse creates new considerations about compliance issues, data protection, risks and security requirements.

At the same time, concerns about environmental sustainability are growing. A metaverse can be computationally intensive to generate a huge 3D space. And if it’s based on a blockchain, some are particularly energy intensive. This or these new spaces can therefore have a significant carbon impact.

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