The metaverse: a magical, unknown place, which Bloomberg says could grow into an $800 billion market. It is more than a new kind of interface technology, more than a 3D platform for social media and much more than an extension of gaming, Web 3.0 and the growing NFT market. In reality, the metaverse, like the Internet, is simply the next term for future business as usual. But don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean we should all dive in blindly. When McDonalds released its "Speedee Service System" with fifteen-cent burgers, it was a real revolution. But it didn't mean we all had to eat burgers all day long for the rest of our lives. It simply answered a specific need, for a specific situation, within a specific community. And this also applies to the metaverse. Whether you are in the B2B, B2C or B2B2C world, you cannot avoid the metaverse. The opportunities are too great for that, but it also brings challenges. In this blog, I'll take you through the key challenges that stand in the way of the metaverse rollout.
Mass adoption still has a long way to go
Attempts to get people to the metaverse en masse have not been very successful so far. There is a good chance that the reasons for this are generational. Indeed, younger people, who consider gaming platforms a "normal living environment," are already in the metaverse. The problem lies with established technology players. They may not know how to connect with this younger age group. This makes it more difficult to ensure that the general public also moves into the metaverse. The secret? Make sure the available content is high quality, develop higher impact features and build valuable use cases. And always keep in mind that you are talking to a community. And communities have fences and codes. For example, people who were on Second Life in the past went there to escape the real world, to get in touch with people like them, with the same language, interests or problems. If you try to invade this room, they will flee and find another place. But once you understand the codes and rules and make sure these improvements are in place, adoption will accelerate. Think carefully about why you need to be in the metaverse. If you can answer this question, you can move into the metaverse. The manner is also important. Don't make the mistake of going to the metaverse as quickly as possible, but think of a good strategy. Who is your audience? What do they need? And how do you speak to them?
Legal and technological frameworks
Another challenge lies with business. Indeed, industries and businesses that are very different from one another must agree on new legal and technological frameworks. This is necessary to enable traceability of users and connection between their own environments. And this must be done in a way that offers users a seamless experience. Think of the way you can easily walk from one store to another on a shopping street. That's how it should be in the metaverse, too. Users should be able to move smoothly between different parties. In doing so, it is important to safeguard the rights and intellectual property of each participant. Establishing partnerships that make these changes can help.
Major players try to own different parts of what should be an open and immersive environment. As a result, they all have their own ways of managing or charging for access. Think surcharges on certain in-app purchases and not wanting to share certain data. This is another area where agreement is needed on how to deal with these commercial conflicts.
Interests in a world without borders
The metaverse's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. It is an online, immersive 3D environment that can be inhabited as if it were the real world. In that environment, not only do the interests of commercial entities and individuals converge, but also those of governments. Within the metaverse, everything revolves around privacy, shaping new social habits, compliance, taxation and determining which (trans)national agencies are responsible in a world without borders.
Data and security
The most important part of the metaverse is data. The amount of data to be processed is likely to increase tenfold over the next decade as the metaverse gets off the ground. After all, this concept cannot exist without the ability to process huge amounts of data. And it's not just about the amount, but also the type of data. Think of all our biometric data, such as how often we blink and what we feel, which will be found out based on iris scans and voice, for example. How do we keep that safe? And at the same time, how do we ensure that we remain compliant? Only in this way can we safeguard the interests of individuals and businesses. We all understand that there are security issues in the cloud and various other forms of online IT. The same problems exist in the metaverse, but on a larger scale. And that's a big problem.
So there are some big bumps to overcome before we can get massively up and running in the metaverse. Industries, businesses and government agencies must work together to make sure the metaverse gets off the ground, and we can all enter this Narnia-like place together.
To learn more about the metaverse, read the full white paper.
Article previously published on: Winmag Pro