Making the right choices now will position companies to forge a path in a “multiverse” that delights consumers while avoiding the mistakes that have hampered consumer confidence in the past.
The next iteration of digital life has arrived: Welcome to the Metaverse, a collection of rich, interactive, and immersive online experiences. The term metaverse is actually a bit misleading. Over time, we will see the emergence of many more metaverses – “multiverses” – as companies rush to stake their claim in this new virtual world with a variety of experiences catering to specific interests.
These metaverse experiences will take many forms. Some will improve games, adding ultra-realistic augmented reality, interactions with other players, and new forms of e-commerce, including the ability to purchase virtual habitats. Some may be educational, allowing visitors to explore historical sites virtually, stepping back in time to experience them in their heyday. Meatverses will bring people together in new ways; Imagine not just video chatting with grandma but playing a game in her living room. Movies and entertainment will be more inclusive, putting you at the center of the story and allowing interaction with other fans. The career-altering possibilities are equally exciting, enabling remote colleagues to collaborate as if they were together in the same room.
We will see competing metaverses vie for our attention while others will seek to partner and combine their complementary offerings to create richer and more profitable experiences. But as this multiverse takes shape, how will its designers avoid the “Wild West” of virtual worlds? They will need to consider the “three elements”: parityAnd the Dignitaries , And the Privacy.
See also: Here comes the “Industrial Metaverse”
As users move in and through the metaverses, they can expect a seamless experience. For example, as they explore one world, they may learn about an event in another that captures their attention. They’ll want to go to that event without having to re-authenticate to access it. Once there, they expect the same level of immediacy that they experience elsewhere in the metaverse.
This expectation creates some significant performance challenges. Basically, it will require high data rates with very low latency. While most Internet interactions today are one-way — viewers stream video content, for example — the metaverse is about two-way real-time communication. Even comparable experiences online today, such as gaming, which require low latency and high-end delivery, are minor compared to the technical demands imposed by the metaverses. These rich, high-fidelity experiences will require an incremental change in performance because users will not tolerate any delays.
How will he achieve this? The vast majority of companies do not have the resources to build a metaverse from scratch. In fact, it is likely that no single company will own the entire technology stack. Instead, companies will rely on several best-in-class platforms—including platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technologies—laying out the capabilities they need to deliver the experiences users desire.
Metaverse users may desire unique identities for different online experiences, or they may prefer to have a single identity that spans many metaverses. This will require that the attributes associated with these characters be portable. These features may include an image, avatar, hobbies, interests, game outcomes, or other traits acquired through the Metaverse. For business transactions, payment methods and even trust results from past transactions must also be carried to ensure a smooth e-commerce experience.
To inspire trust, metaverses will need to give their users control over their personalities and traits. Users will claim the ability to transfer this information to some metaverses but not others. At the same time, users will want this access to authorized apps to be seamless and friction-free. Likewise, ad serving should be highly personalized based on personality traits and past records – users who share the same space in the metaverse can see very different ads.
Enabling these personality-based experiences will require platforms that can access individual users’ attributes in real time and allow applications to share them across the multiverse while providing user control and transparency over access to this data.
Metaverses will present unprecedented opportunities for cybercriminals to capture consumer information, data, and behaviors. A privacy first approach is critical to building an official metaverse. Access to information should be tightly controlled, with clear ownership and user consent. This includes personally identifiable information (PII), banking and credit card information, virtual currency, digital goods, and information generated in metaverses via user interaction.
Protecting privacy requires embedding security at every point of the metaverse, including the entire supply chain of access devices. Controlling access to user accounts across metaverses should include strong authentication protocols that diversify credentials to eliminate single points of failure. Transactions and the entities they process must be secure. And the user’s behavior – their digital trail – must be protected, with tight and monitored authorization by the user to determine who can track their behavior and access this data.
Essentially, protecting privacy starts with securing all entities and their interactions — including apps and users — as well as the entire ecosystem of platforms, networks, devices, and supply chains. Indeed, the emergence of the online metaverse provides businesses with a golden opportunity to implement recent security innovations by leaders in the field to improve protection and transparency for their application users.
Implementing solutions that protect privacy without compromising performance or user experience will be critical to gaining consumers’ trust in this new world.
Will the metaverse be the next big thing…or the next 3D TV? The answer will depend on two important factors:
First, consumers will need to feel comfortable using the wearables and other technologies required for a truly immersive experience. Moreover, these interfaces should feel natural. That’s not a given — Google Glass offers a cautionary tale. However, the current crop of augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) headsets leaves room for optimism as consumers are catching on to them. according to IDCthe global AR/VR headset market is expected to grow 47% in 2022 over the previous year, with double-digit growth forecast through 2026, when global shipments are expected to exceed 50 million units.
The second success factor is the ability to process huge bi-directional data flows at an unprecedented speed. This will require a wide range of computing functions – including security – to be performed at the edge, close to the end users. This capability will be critical to achieving the low latency and high degree of personalization required to deliver the rich, real-time experiences that are key to drawing consumers into the metaverse and keeping them engaged.
Chance to do it (multiverse) right
This is an exciting time for companies planning their business strategies on the cusp of what could be the next revolution in human technology interactions. Making the right choices now, guided by clear strategies around parity, people, and privacy, will put companies in a position to carve a path into a “multiverse” that delights consumers while avoiding the mistakes that stymied consumer confidence in the past. The metaverse presents a new opportunity to do it right – and do a good job.