The world of technology is constantly evolving, and it is in this groove that the new worldwide phenomenon of the metaverse.
This word, still obscure and nebulous to some, has been popularizing Google for months and is one of the most used hashtags on Twitter and Instagram.
Trivially translated, the term metaverse stands for. a shared virtual reality through the Internet connection, within which you are represented by your avatar.
The exact definition is much more complex and articulated than it apparently seems and still animates debate internationally.
The range of opportunities on the horizon is endless, and it is not yet clear what applications this hyperconnected reality.
What is certain is that the metaverse will profoundly transform perception and social interaction with others, providing new and previously unthinkable experiences.
Despite the sci-fi name, doors are opening toward a new web frontier and the high road is already largely mapped out. The digital user will be the center of a highly functional and customizable ecosystem.
From Facebook to large global e-commerce companies and beyond, the metaverse is undoubtedly an ever-expanding trend. Leading companies are already working to figure out how to exploit its full potential.
In such a complex and unpredictable universe, the implications arising from the metaverse are not yet well defined because the road ahead is still long and unpredictable.
Let's find out together what the metaverse is and what news is in store for top brands.
What is the metaverse?
The word metaverse was first used in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his book Snow Crash, science-fiction work in which a visionary journey is told of a stroll through technologies that were futuristic for those years.
Various prophecies are referred to in the novel, most notably the meaning of metaverse, employed to refer to an immersive virtual experience, much like those offered by some high-tech giants today.
Explaining what is meant by metaverse is quite complicated as many have tried to explain their own personal view of it.
For the daily Washington Post it is the next and evolved version of the Internet while the Financial Times talks about it as a kind of rebranding of the already well-known virtual reality.
Those who have explored the topic in detail are. Matthew Ball, managing partner of the EpyllionCo. fund.
In one of his articles, he tried to explain precisely what the main features of the metaverse would be:
- It exists in real time. Everything that happens in the metaverse and its objects are experienced at that precise moment, and every experience is always accessible in real time.
- It is perpetual. As it happens in the real world, what happens in the metaverse does not stop or reset. When the user logs off, everything else will go on.
- It is interoperable. Each piece of information can be exchanged and shared on different virtual platforms.
- It can accommodate an infinite number of people. Participants can take part in an event from anywhere in the world, with no geographical limitation.
- It is customizable. Regardless of how many people are involved, there is an opportunity to update the content whenever you want.
- It combines virtual and real worlds. It manages to combine situations typical of real life with digitally constructed spaces and environments.
Beyond mere definition, the metaverse is no longer a fantasy or utopia, but is finding its way into people's lives in concrete ways.
In these virtual universes, users will be able to sell, buy, work, socialize, play games and do many other things. In fact, the main fields of application include. shopping, entertainment, social interaction and the world of work.
From Facebook to Meta: the beginning of a new era
The most striking example of the changing times is certainly the much-talked-about rebranding of Facebook, whose group was renamed precisely. Meta.
The idea that inspired founder Zuckerberg is that the metaverse will enable immersive interaction between society, people, environments, and objects. In short, holograms and avatars will take the lead.
The groundwork for such an ambition has already been laid, and over time the metaverse will involve the best minds in information, business and engineering.
The American tycoon officially unveiled work on the metaverse during the event Facebook Connect 2021. This new reality will bring about profound changes in the way we approach daily life.
What Zuckerberg is talking about is a metaverse of unlimited possibilities, where users' actions acquire a different value. In a nutshell, at the center of it all will be the user experience.
The Internet of the future will be increasingly interconnected and current spaces such as websites and social media, will become customized digital environments.
So, the aim is to increase the quality of time spent on the screens of various devices by offering a set of new experiences. Meta's CEO specified, however, that there is A definite difference between metaverse and virtual reality.
According to him, virtual reality will be one of several technologies available to take advantage of the metaverse, while the latter will be accessible through any platform, including computers, augmented reality, game consoles and mobile devices.
Metaverse and NTF
The metaverse has also inevitably ended up involving the field of virtual content, commonly called tokens. Their official name is NTF (Non Fungible Tokens) and are still a fairly niche and insider product.
Going into detail, an NTF is a kind of virtual certification, unrepeatable and unique, conferred on a digital or physical object or service.
Virtual ownership is attributed through an identification system that is based on the blockchain technology, a foundational element of the metaverse and its functioning.
When it comes to infungibility of tokens refers to the fact that they are not interchangeable since each object has its own certified and nontransferable individuality.
The buying and selling of tokens takes place on specific marketplaces, so much so that it has already involved a giant like Ebay. In summer 2021 the Tokyo Olympic Games have launched official tokens of the event by capitalizing on the popularity of a video game and raffling off limited-edition gadgets.
For now, NTFs are involving areas such as sports, art, and music, but they may prove crucial in revitalizing struggling sectors such as film and entertainment in general.
Metaverse and marketing: how large corporations are responding
As mentioned, marketing is one of several fields of application of the metaverse, and in the past year many companies and corporations are taking their first steps in this direction. One of the many brands to dive into the metaverse adventure has been the Coca Cola In the summer of 2021.
The American company celebrated the International Day of Friendship launching some collectible accessories into the virtual world through a three-day auction.
In the friendship box were contained various items that referenced the well-known brand, but reimagined in the metaverse.
The race to the metaverse has since infected the entire fashion industry as well, organizing NTF collections, virtual fashion shows and more. For the past few months Adidas Originals has decided to cooperate with Prada to bring the Adidas for Prada Re-Source to life.
The public is asked to contribute by sending in anonymous photos, which will be minted in NTF to compose a unique mosaic designed by artist Zach Lieberman.
La Nike, however, announced that it has acquired RTFKT, an NTF fashion company that produces virtual sneakers, wearable exclusively in the metaverse.
Also within the luxury brand there is great excitement about this new virtual scenario, which is now increasingly attractive.
Case in point is the NTF collection of Dolce&Gabbana, called Genesis. It was unveiled in summer 2021 and consists of nine pieces of high jewelry and tailoring, somewhere between metaverse and reality. Not surprisingly, the one-of-a-kind pieces exist in both digital and physical versions.
The metaverse is also captivating particular industries such as dating apps Bumble and Tinder, as well as cosmetics companies such as. Clinique.
Every day the list of interested companies grows longer and longer, and only with time will we see the effects produced by this new perspective that propels us into a future of a thousand surprises and possibilities.