Metaverse is the next Internet, that’s what we summarized it in the previous article. We discussed it’s characteristics and building blocks.
In this article we will discuss some prominent use cases of the metaverse. We understand the metaverse as a trillion dollar opportunity in the next few years. It is growing at real fast speed, but without effective rules and regulations, without effective standards and practices, and we will also touch upon this concerning part of metaverse.
The Internet today has already created some metaverse, when we connect to the internet, we are knowingly and unknowingly becoming live to the world. The apps on our phone are getting active on the internet, and ready to talk to the world. Tomorrow’s internet will be more immersive, we will actually go into the internet
Here are few use cases of metaverse:
Location Agnostic Work Environment
Work location is becoming irrelevant for many businesses, the need to bring tools and technology that can make the work environment free from location, is arising. Covid19 has pushed this heavily, and businesses that could not achieve this in some or other form have lost to pandemics. Today, many enterprises are talking about different modes of work, to work from home, hybrid or work from anywhere. Metaverse will smoothen this transition for enterprises and consumers.
Working from metaverse would be a common thing. Just like Microsoft Mesh, or Meta’s Horizon World does.
Here are few key objectives
Remote Expert Collaboration — Experts don’t need to travel at the exact location
Be in your comfort — In the metaverse, my avatar can replicate me while working, and I don’t always need to be on camera. Always on camera is so stressful for long hours.
Everything Digital — Metaverse will have the potential to have digital copies of almost everything, that means I don’t need to carry a lot of hardware, devices or instruments all the time to use them. I would be able to work on digital twins with almost the same efficiency.
Infinite and Interoperable Space — Metaverse will provide opportunity to infinitely scale the work environment, and take it anywhere, interoperable across devices mobile/PC/smart glasses and more.. More importantly customize it as per need with minimal cost.
3D for 3D — Traditionally all the tools used for designing 3D products are on 2D. We have been taught in Engineering Design how to represent a 3D on 2D paper on screen. This is all going to be changed in the metaverse. 3D objects will be designed in 3D, that’s more natural, and without any material wastage. It will make things faster to market.
Eco-friendly — Yes, the metaversal work environment will be much more eco-friendly to the environment as well as to the pocket. It would run on minimal operation cost, and with minimal waste.
Skilling and Reskilling
Industry has to tackle skilled workforce shortage and onboarding new people on the skills. As per Global Talent Crunch report, 10000 baby-boomers reaching retirement age every day for next 19 years, covid19 making them retire even faster.
By 2023, 75% of the global workforce will be millenials, and traditional methods of onboarding and training are outdated for these millennials. On top of that, enterprise complexity is increasing, and the need to co-work with machines is arising. Workforce safety compliance requirements are making things complex.
Onboarding and training, with remote collaboration in metaverse can solve some of the above challenges, and improve the efficiency. The future of work and workforce will be more metaverse ready.
Who needs training, and for how many hours, auto-suggestion, contextual on the job guidance, co-working with machines, remote controlling the machine, all will be possible in an AI empowered metaverse. Humans will be empowered more with technology to make better and faster decisions. They will be able to record the work, and rewind and make corrections in the work they have done.
Assets and Marketplaces
One of characteristic Metaverse is — self sustainable, that provide it’s own way to fund creator and co-creators. A new economy of creators and co-creators is growing. Co-creation is not new, whole social media market is built on it, YouTube, Snap AR Lens, Stories, or Insta Reels are all example of co-creation.
Metaverse claim to fund the content creators transparently, with NFT (Non-Fungible Token). Eg. Original GIF of below Nyan Cat was sold at $600K.
The use-case for NFT would be all the confidentials/copyright assets can be made open on the marketplace, as a user I don’t need to fake it, can directly use original assets with the originator’s permission. For example if I want to bring a Ducati bike 3D model in my game, I can get it directly from Dukati on the marketplace, instead of searching for it. So metaverse will not only benefit the creators but also make the digital content more accessible to the users.
Real Estate and Event Management
Metaverse will be a self-sustainable marketplace for digital content. Everything in the physical world can have it’s digital version. Companies like Niantic, are building a whole 3D map to augment the physical world. Just like physical things, viral things will also be traded. So people will buy/sell virtual land on metaverse, and build houses/buildings and sell it or rent it, or earn from advertisements on them. See it happening here.
Advertisement in metaverse will be very big opportunities, and can make everything free of cost and open for people to join in, or even people who join/refer can be paid for joining the events.
Meet and Greet
Metaverse is all about human connections and Meet and greet is a basic use case of metaverse, within capabilities of real world and beyond it. Metaverse can bring the real power of being human.
Here is how we will Meet and Greet in Metaverse —
Meeting the ones who are no more with us.
Metaversal ability for the specially abled
Multiple social identities — people will have multiple social identities in metaverse.
It DOSEs when meeting — Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins are the chemicals in the brain, and our feeling when we meet, and remember is based on the ratio of these chemicals. It is observed that when people meet in VR, similar chemical reactions happen in the brain. This is a very big thing.
Metaversal therapy — enhanced from VRT, and more will happen, may be metaverse as a drug.
We discussed key use cases of metaverse, let’s now get into concerning part of metaverse.
Concerning part of Metaverse
Just like any technological evolution there is always some concerning part, Metaverse do have some concerns, as it will be exposing us and our information more to the world. Metaverse is being treated a dystopia by many.
In Metaverse, people may want to keep multiple social identities but safeguarding metaversal identity would be the difficult part, without strong laws and regulations. At this stage it is not very difficult to impersonate others. Our future identity is at Risk. Think of following
What if someone represent you in your office, society, without your knowledge?
What if someone accessing your property/assets without your knowledge?
Social media trials (metaversal trial in future) can cause the irreversible impact on social reputation, health and wealth, by the time the truth prevails.
It would be difficult to differentiate the real or fake
We may need Universal Virtual Identity, and must need attention from governments, institutions, legal authorities, enterprises and people to come together and safeguard our future identity.
Maintaining privacy would be another big concern in the metaverse, we will be exposing more information, and we will be more vulnerable to exploits. We will always be under surveillance, when everyone is roaming around with smart glasses or smart contact lenses with cameras on. Most of the vehicles will have cameras.
New types of restrictions will be imposed, for example, you may not be allowed to enter a certain area with glasses, or there will be a detector that detects the camera devices. Physical places may be going aways, a lot of businesses will be impacted, people will have fear of coming out of their homes.
What will be legal options if privacy is compromised in the metaverse? Difficult part would be how to define the compromised privacy, will it be acceptable in the physical justice system?
Mind Blowing Impacts
Metaverse is an immersive experience and we will be going into the internet, into people’s imagination, and mind. We talked about DOSE (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins), how their chemical equation can impact our feelings. How about changing that chemical equation by metaverse? think of drug addictions, that is also a result of some chemical balance in the brain. Similar addiction has been observed with games, and can Metaverse be a drug, Look at this Forbes Article Legal Heroin.
So metaverse has capability to influence the decisions, if it goes in wrong hand, impact will be huge. If we get compromised, what will be the legal option? That is another big concern explained in the next section.
Law and Order
Metaverse is growing without meaningful rules and regulations. What is right and what is wrong in Metaverse is not known. Crime in the real world may not be a crime metaverse. For example, killing someone, cheating, posing weapons is not a crime in the metaverse. Can we deal with crime in a metaverse with a physical legal system?
Will we have a metaverse constitution?
Will we have a metaverse court?
How to identify crime, do we such tools and tech?
Who will maintain law and order? will there be virtual police?
What would be punishments? Block people/ put them in virtual jail?
I don’t have answer to all of these at this stage, but what we can do is get ready for it.
Getting ready for metaverse
We have defined metaverse, discussed use-cases and concerns. Some of it might look just the hype or scary at this stage, only time will tell what will be real and what not. I believe when there is a problem, there is a solution, innovation happens when there is a need to innovate.
In the long run, not using metaverse or staying away from it would not be an option. No matter how scary it looks, it is coming closer than we think.
What we can do
Create awareness — start using it
Get trained — build/co-create on it
Adopt ethically — Find right use-cases that can solve real world problems
Contribute — Build practices, standards and contribute share with communities.
Join hands with enterprises and governments, institutions, systems and people.
Most importantly, what we can do is Play our part, promote ethical use of metaverse, and educate on unethical use of it.