Metaverse — The Next Possible Tectonic Shift in Digital
This term was first presented in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel, Snow Crash. Immersive experiences via avatars indistinguishable from reality are the building blocks of the metaverse. Metaverse is a virtual environment where we can create our own universe and virtual characters and interact with each other. An attempt to trailblaze science fiction and stand out from the regular path of pain points to features then to a product approach. Facebook is betting big on this concept and seems to progress well. After recent announcements by Facebook on Horizon (Facebook’s metaverse platform) developments, tech futurists and bloggers have created tons of content and comments about the Horizon platform and the impacts it could make in the IT landscape.
Let’s Decode Facebook’s Game Plan with Metaverse
Facebook in collaboration with Oculus, has launched Horizon, a social VR platform around April 2020. In addition, Facebook is eying on non-fungible tokens (a slightly different form of convertible cryptocurrencies) to operate in these metaverse environments. Thus, a blockchain-based virtual world to monetize these social and gaming platforms is on the cards. In fact, gaming platforms like Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite already have such setup.
In August 2021, the beta version of Horizon Workrooms (Remote Working App) is launched with Oculus Quest game platform as the base. ‘’Zoom Fatigue” is construed to have led to the creation of such reimagined collaborative environments. Interestingly, Facebook also has and develops Workplace which is a regular UCaaS product, and similarly, Google has Workspace as its UCaaS product line.
Tapping on features like the mixed-reality desk and keyboard tracking, hand tracking, remote desktop streaming, video conferencing integration, spatial audio, and the new Oculus Avatars, Facebook has created a unique work experience
Let Us Come Back to Reality with Larry Page’s Toothbrush Test Theory
Too much hype for metaverse, isn’t it? Let us do some pragmatic analysis. Google’s Larry Page utilizes the “toothbrush test” to decide whether a company is worth buying. His principle is: “Is this something you will use once or twice a day, and does it make your life better?” Many of the billion-dollar company products are used many times by us in daily life, especially the digital and social platforms
Easy question for a digital reality-based product suite to be validated as people may spend many hours in a day in the digital realm. Many great ideas have failed in the past, and this VR-based collaboration and social media are intriguing and to be watched on how it pans out. On the other hand, such products are habit-creating ones or trendsetters in other words.
The toothbrush test approach is just a rule of thumb and there are successful things that do not fit in it, such as Uber, Mc Donald’s, and so on. These may not be used twice in a day but still enjoy grandeur success.
The reason for this simple test is to validate the scope of success for any product. In all our recent articles, we have been discussing that digital disruption is volatile and highly unpredictable. What could be the next in digital keeps running in our heads continuously. At the start of the last decade, IT services giants came up with Social Mobile Analytics Cloud (SMAC) as the digital framework. Then happened the rise of crypto, RPA, IPA, IoT, VR, AR, OTT, and so on, to make SMAC obsolete. It is nearly impractical to fit digital evolution in either traditional or unconventional frameworks. The ways and means that digital traverses are the utmost interesting games played between technology trailblazers and mother nature.
As of now, the use cases for metaverse mainly revolves around social VR, virtual gaming, and unified communications. Metaverse is expected to touch contact centers in the coming years. This reminds us of the IoT bubble which was introduced in 1999 and reawakened by 2010. Still, the IoT usage grows steadily in healthcare and manufacturing verticals. IoT may not have caused a sudden explosion as expected but will dominate eventually. Similarly, metaverse with its hype in the recent months may not have a sudden burst, but will touch our lives later but for sure.