Currently, Metaverse and Web3 are topics that interest the largest number. If the two concepts are a great vagueness for some, the big names in Silicon Valley are investing more and more in the matter. What are the challenges of these technologies? What binds them? We take stock.
Metaverse and Web3: what are we talking about?
Let’s start by defining these two elements. The metaverse is a term coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel “Snowfall”. In his book, he describes a futuristic world based on virtual reality. Today, the Metaverse is mainly defined as a fully immersive 3D environment where individuals would interact with each other but also with avatars as if they were real. The goal is to allow users to play, socialize, meet new people and even work in dedicated 3D spaces.
The term Web3 is more recent. It refers to a decentralized version of the Internet, after Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Through it, Internet users would have the possibility to control their data without intermediaries, to protect it and therefore to process information more intelligently.
Web 3.0 and the Metaverse: two complementary concepts
The two concepts are closely related. At one point they were even the subject of one common name, that of Web 3.0, designating the third major version of the Internet. These two technologies, combined with artificial intelligence and Big Data, may be the cornerstones of tomorrow’s Internet. In fact, they could offer users the possibility to enjoy more genuine interactions and access online services in a completely autonomous way.
Take the example of travel. Metaverse and Web3 could make it possible to go to the other side of the world without leaving home. Besides that, the entertainment industry could become even more interactive. The size of a concert hall would no longer matter. Fans could move freely there and develop closer to the artists. Movies and TV shows could become a form of Metaverse on their own. Individuals could immerse themselves in the virtual and live extraordinary experiences.
And French companies in all this?
Faced with the media frenzy experienced by Metaverse and Web3, it is interesting to ask what French companies think about it. A survey conducted by Sortlist explored the topic in March 2022. Out of 200 companies surveyed and which have already invested in Metaverse, the technology in its current state appears to be primarily targeted at men (64%), high growth companies (60% ) and generation Z (55%). Or else, 26% of brands expect to see a return on investment in Metaverse, while 17% expect to collect data. 68% of brands surveyed believe the device will boom in the next 5 years and 55% believe it is a risky but worthwhile investment.
In addition, 92% of companies revealed that the pandemic had accelerated their investments in Metaverse. It should be noted that another survey conducted this time with the general public reveals that 54% of individuals are not yet ready to trust a possible virtual world. The economic model is certainly promising on paper, but doubts remain, especially regarding cyber security, protection of personal data or loss of value for mental health. To be continued…
(Photo credit: iStock)
Article written by
This text is published under the responsibility of the author. Its content does not in any way engage the editors of Les Echos Solutions.