Are you prepared for a new way of doing business?
This is Part 2 of Diener’s focus on the metaverse. Part 1 was a tour de force through meta: code, description, and verse touching lightly on a fully digital, cloud-based, connected, and collaborative workplace. Part 2 takes a closer look at the technical side of the metaverse, including the industries where it could make sense, along with the time frames.
The most important thing to remember about the metaverse is that it is planned to be 100% virtual reality. All interactions take place in a virtual world. Therefore, any content created for the metaverse must be content that works in a virtual world, both from a technical and content presentation perspective (there are already plenty of platforms out there to facilitate content creation). And to access, as in view and experience your content, a VR headset is required; currently, that’s mainly Meta’s/Facebook’s own Oculus Quest, though Google’s Cardboard should be a reasonable $10 investment to get a first feeling for it.
These two prerequisites present you with critical questions:
- Are you able and willing to produce content suitable for a virtual world (think immersive, interactive, not video)?
- Are your customers able and willing to consume virtual reality by wearing a VR headset?
- Are you willing to wear a VR headset to participate in virtual meetings and interact with your customers?
Answering NO to any question doesn’t mean you should stop reading. Facebook’s Metaverse or similar platforms will come sooner rather than later and take over how businesses and users interact, even in the B2B world. And to this end, just imagine the opportunities:
- Virtual showrooms
- Virtual presentation of office and imaging solutions
- Virtual training classrooms
- Virtual hands-on support
- Virtual holographic meetings
- And many more
I prefer in-person interactions; however, in the long run, traveling the way we used to might not be sustainable (mind you, I just had some rather terrible flight and hotel experiences and am happy to avoid more of it). But back to the metaverse.
Let’s look at another essential part of doing business: Money. How do you make transactions in the metaverse? All transactions must be digital, of course. That means no more checks. Payment services, cryptocurrencies, and possibly credit cards are the only way to pay and get paid. Are you and your customers ready for this? Doing business in the metaverse will be 100% paperless!
Picking up on the paperless part, I can’t stop thinking about one thing since I started looking closer at the metaverse: Will this be the end of office imaging? Why would we still print if everything is happening in virtual reality? Or will printing become a 100% personal preference, for example, to prepare for a meeting, or review a document? What are your thoughts?
If you haven’t had the time yet to look at the metaverse, let’s examine some suggested (and tested) use cases:
- Shopping (including a virtual fitting room)
- Sports (many individuals join a group to, e.g., cycle together)
- Events (concerts, sports events, virtually “sitting” in a ballpark)
- Gaming and gambling
- Merging real and fantasy world
- And more to come
You can download a metaverse “browser” onto your phone or tablet and usually scan a QR code to enter a specific app or world.
Is it safe to use the metaverse? Who controls what’s going on in the metaverse? These are two extremely important questions I’d rather not speculate on. Don’t get me wrong, I use social media for a living. We create valuable content for social media for our customers to share their good news and attract new customers. At the same time, I am very critical of what is going on in social media. Today, we are exposed to so much content, making it impossible to verify what is true and what is fake, what is real information, and what is disinformation. The metaverse won’t make this easier. It will be up to everyone to make responsible contributions so that social media today and the metaverse tomorrow are platforms for business success.