Focus on the metaverse – What does the digital future hold for us?

The impact of the metaverse on digital in the future

While recent years have been marked by several major crises, it is certain that we have seen a few announcements that arouse curiosity in some and excitement in others. In October 2021, Meta’s boss, formerly of Facebook, announced the launch of the metaverse, a purely virtual world. This news continues to cause a lot of ink to flow as more questions arise surrounding this technology. The latter is already becoming part of our habits through certain tools we use. The question we ask ourselves now is what its impact is on the way we do things in this era where digital dominates on all fronts. We will try to answer them in this article.

Metaverse: What is it?

If you have already read the novel Snowfall» by Neal Stephenson or watch the movie Ready Player One , the metaverse is a technology that you will quickly come to understand. It is inspired by science fiction and was presented by Marc Zuckerberg as a virtual world where you can do many things in it. In its condensed form, metaverse, “meta” more “universe”, denotes a fictional, connected and immersive world where, through the use of a virtual reality headset and thanks to your 3D avatar, you can live a part of your life there.

According to the head of Meta, this technology will offer its users more social contacts, regardless of their location. They can go to a concert or work meeting, watch a basketball game, go to a fitness class or go to a store to shop. The question of its impact on digital in the future is therefore legitimate. To access it, you need mobile electronic devices such as virtual reality headsets or augmented reality glasses.

Metaverse and the future of online gaming

The online gaming industry is one of the first sectors that will be heavily influenced by the metaverse in the future. For many years we have noticed that technologies on which it will be based have burst into this industry. We are primarily talking about virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. With their current contribution to the online gaming industry, we can already imagine the place that the metaverse will occupy. The goal will obviously be to allow the user to be entertained in terrestrial establishments from the comfort of his home. It is true that this has already been done, but with the metaverse, the experience will be completely different because it will act directly with its avatar and not simple unit controls. To achieve this, the metaverse, in collaboration with online game publishers, must offer a catalog of titles that will cater to all categories of entertainment options to concern all players.

Metaverse casinos will therefore have a toy library of slot machines and variants of blackjack, baccarat and roulette, bingo, poker, video poker and many others. Unlike current virtual casinos, which offer the ability to play with live dealers from smartphones, establishments in the metaverse will allow users to interact directly with dealers and other players, always via their avatars. For example, if you are a fan of table games, you can play roulette for French speakers using your virtual headset or connected glasses. Better, you can win real money and even withdraw your winnings like in French online casinos. This will certainly be done thanks to the blockchain technology that it will integrate. Cryptocurrencies will therefore be widely used. The only question one can ask is whether the establishments of the metaverse will be controlled by a specialized institution like online casinos.

Metaverse and digitization of companies

Since the advent of new technologies, digitization has proven to be the main source of business progress. Reductions in costs, production and intervention times, better control of the development of data, these are all significant advances that the vast majority of companies have experienced. The Metaverse is presented as a technology that will revolutionize the global environment of companies by opening the way for a wide range of possibilities, while relying on certain already existing digital tools.

As presented, this technology will be a great asset for companies that want to be closer to their customers or modernize customer relations on all fronts. Big brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, who have held virtual shows in the past, are already taking advantage of this. The same applies to the game publisher Epic Games, who in the middle of the confinement arranged a huge virtual concert via Fortnite. This event was watched by more than 12 million players and was hosted by the famous American rapper Travis Scott. Given the scale that online shopping has taken in recent years, it is clear that commercial brands will also benefit immensely from the metaverse in the future.

So far, online shopping is done through smartphones and other connected devices. Very soon, users of this technology will be able to walk from home, for example to the shelves of supermarkets, shopping carts and make purchases. Payment will be made electronically (with the involvement of blockchain)and when they are finished, they are delivered home. For some, we are talking about e-commerce at the moment, but in the coming years we will be talking about v-commerce. With the metaverse, clothing brands, for example, will offer their customers the opportunity to consult the characteristics of an item or even try it on from a distance before placing the order.

Metaverse and virtual work

According to information from the Meta group, the video conference of the future will be called Horizon workspace . It is a virtual workspace that allows team members to communicate with each other and make decisions like during regular meetings. You can easily interact with your colleagues with avatars that are very realistic. Everyone’s movements, facial expressions and voices will sound so real you’ll think you’re in person. You can even work on your computer, make projections, go online and do research, etc.

Even better, this immersion will be total to the point where the world around you will no longer exist. Horizon workspacethen reveals itself as a solution to certain pre-existing problems. For example, for a normal video conference, the user has to lock himself in a very isolated place and has to speak by bringing the microphone closer and looking for the right angle for the camera. On the other hand with Horizon workspace, no need to worry about all its aspects. All users have to do is put on their VR headset or smart glasses and you’re done.

However, to access the application Horizon workspace , users must have a Facebook account. This will still happen through VR headsets and not phones. Note that earlier before the announcement of the metaverse project by Marc Zuckerberg, Microsoft had already focused on a similar technology that was exclusively focused on professional use. It is called ” Mesh for teamsand will be the combination of its Teams software with virtual functions Mesh. It will also replace traditional meeting rooms with purely virtual spaces, where colleagues can talk together without being in the same physical place. Just likeHorizon workspaceyou will be able to access collaboration tools such as screen sharing or a whiteboard.

The Impact of the Metaverse on the Education Sector

Today, it would be indisputable to say that the main new technologies Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence have had a strong impact on the education sector, especially education and skills development. As much as they are, each of them has brought something extra to this sector, which is becoming more and more digital. From this point, we can already imagine that the metaverse will go further by offering cutting-edge education, as certain complex subjects require the use of technology. Users will indeed be able to take advantage of the metaverse to learn faster, but above all to increase the memory of information.

On the student side, for example, thanks to the metaverse, they will be able to learn more about highly technical topics, simulate scenarios or relive an old era. They can even join classes with classmates and interact to solve given problems. The ability to go to libraries or other places of learning is also offered to them thanks to metaverses. As for trainers, the metaverse will allow them to administer courses to students without physical contact.

Teachers will also have the ability to chat with their students and interact perfectly with them. With all this speculation about the metaverse, it is safe to say that this technology has an exciting future ahead of us, where education and all the other sectors where it will have an impact will see a radical change that may well benefit the world’s population … The question floating around the lips of some Metaverse users is whether it will affect mental health.

Would the metaverse be dangerous to mental health?

At the moment, it would be a bit premature to say that the metaverse is dangerous to mental health, as we have yet to experience it. However, based on what already exists, including social networks and virtual reality, we can say that this technology is likely to create addiction problems among users. In addition, a study carried out byRoyal Society for Public Health (RSPH)have previously shown that depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the 14-24 age group since the advent of social networks. Based on such figures, we can at least say that the implementation of this technology of the future must be followed by security measures to regulate its use.

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