From what it seems, the concept of metaverse is a work in progress. From the time it was invented, several questions have been asked around its sustainability. The concept isn’t about fleeing reality but having a more nurturing perspective towards it, and the addition of virtual elements could result in better productivity for people at work. “To me, the metaverse is also about our identity and digital ownership. It’s about a new extension of human creativity in some ways”, Cathy Hackl, foremost futurist, metaverse expert, and author, said in a recently released study by McKinsey & Company.
With people still working their way around the metaverse, the need for an extensive approach towards it is growing. “I believe it’s a convergence of our physical and digital lives. It’s our digital lifestyles, which we’ve been living on phones or computers, slowly catching up to our physical lives in some way, so that full convergence. It is enabled by many different technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which are the ones that most people tend to think about. But they’re not the only entry points. There’s also blockchain, which is a big component, there’s 5G, there’s edge computing, and many, many other technologies,” Hackl said.
Metaverse is believed to be a developing ground for commerce. In terms of virtual-to-virtual commerce, which has been going on via the gaming industry, incentivisation is expected to play a valuable role. Hackl said that the evolution of work will become more physical and less mental, and because of the tools that are being started to use, it’ll become more fun and sometimes gamified.
There has been an ongoing discussion regarding the metaverse being a billion dollar or trillion dollar economy being full of economic opportunities. According to Hackl, these projections are very much possible. “When someone says $800 billion or $1 trillion by 2024, that’s possible, especially when you start to look at commerce beyond just virtual-to-virtual commerce but thinking of physical-to-virtual and virtual-to-physical commerce and unlocking those at scale,” she explained.
The importance of business leaders has also been a talking point, and their role in making the metaverse equitable, safe, sustainable and society worthy. “An important place to start is to look at what you are doing to make sure your hiring processes are expanding, that you’re not recruiting from only one specific geographic region because that’s where you’ve recruited talent before. Look at the skills you need, because if you are creating a metaverse team, they should be distributed,” emphasised Hackl. She further emphasised on data and privacy challenges that the industry will have to face with the introduction of Web3 and metaverse.
(With inputs from Mckinsey & Company)