June 20, 2022…Digital Convergence
Much has been said about the expansion of interactions between humans, information, and various “things” in cyberspace, a new dimension called the Metaverse. Yet the understanding of the potential of this new tool remains timid, as few bets on its success and widespread adoption were 25 years ago when the possibility of online shopping was created. Metaverse is still in its “nascent stage” and will gain more consistency and maturity every day, and its technical resources will be explored at the forefront of multiple business fields around the world.
Australian researchers have shown in a recent study that virtual reality (VR) glasses are capable of collecting around 2 million pieces of information related to body movements (eye movements, heartbeat and many others) in 20-minute intervals. These devices are one of the primary means of accessing the metaverse model.
The app of the meta version brings together a series of novelties in the tech world recently released in this concept. I’m talking about the use of virtual reality, mixed reality and game symbols that are gradually being developed. Now, whether in B2B or B2C, this model lacks monetization. How can this be effectively monetized? One of the earliest models used NFTs (Non-Fungible Token or Non-Fungible Token), but this is a model that has its limitations within the market.
I see many possibilities for the success of Metaverse for companies (B2B) due to consultative selling and brand management options, which leads to an indirect monetization model (CAPEX x OPEX). In the case of B2C (the end consumer), there is an opportunity to develop very niche and very specific campaigns.
From there, another monetization possibility for the model can be effectively reached, whether through NFTs or any other type of currency, cryptocurrency. At that moment, the cost is very high, and that’s the big question left: how to reduce the cost in the long run? The scale and intensive use of AI may be the answer.
As for infrastructure, we are still far from demand. Whether by providing capacity or ubiquitous network penetration. This was a big talking point during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and one that will be discussed during this year’s Futurecom. Of course, there will be a need for a denser and more robust network fabric that provides a robust ability to manage elements and interactions and generate perception with low latency and compatible speeds.
This scenario includes 5G, edge computing, optical connectivity, and several new technologies that can create virtual interactions for large numbers of people working within the same platform. In the pilot we did at Metaverso Futurecom in 2021, we saw that this was a more critical specific need when the perception of interactivity and immersion in parallel worlds was greatly expanded.
That’s basically what the metaverse is, it includes standardized scenarios, but interacts with some programming areas, and its parallel processing is another limiting factor. Multi-cloud edge computing (MEC) architectures play a key role in producing believable, broadly immersive virtual worlds. This fact has also experienced a monetization point given the high cost of producing and supplying the solution. So aside from the high cost of infrastructure, one cannot underestimate the cost of programming itself, as it has some monetization models that have been practiced in games for years, both virtual and real gadgets.
To enter the metaverse world, some steps and precautions need to be taken. The first is planning: I need to effectively plan what I want to do. Not to mention the need to understand the market you’re talking to. It’s important to segment roles and how each profile is monetized. Investments can be larger or smaller.
Planning is definitely the first step. The second involves evaluating available structures, both in terms of regionalization and location, and expected action in meta-transformation. Infrastructure availability needs to be checked, both in terms of dedicated/shared resources, access points and network stability. The type of response provided to the customer must also be observed, and again the question of the degree of interaction required arises. This interactivity is critical in determining the importance of using metaverse tools embedded in the platform.
Another relevant point to note is execution. The necessary and available infrastructure must be described, and what impact the Metaverse will have in terms of increased demand and usage, as this may cause the platform to crash and compromise the user experience. As with everything in IT and telecommunications, although networks are becoming more flexible, there must be well-defined parameters in order to provide a good quality of service (QoS) and user experience (QoE).
I strongly believe in the potential of the metaverse due to the possibility of user immersion. Compare to broadcast TV, when you are just an outside observer of an action, in the metaverse you become part of that action, modifying it among possible options and interacting with peer-to-peer or point-to-multipoint.
But all of these dynamics that Metaverse requires will have to be widely debated on multiple fronts, both on the supply side and on the real demand side of the market, so that we can advance and evolve in this model that brings concrete And effectively affects technologies under development, such as nanotechnology, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, 5G and 6G, big data, and more. It’s worth remembering that 6G will enable the so-called tactile internet, which opens up a host of new experiential services for consumers and business customers.
Hermano Pinto is Head of the Technology and Infrastructure Portfolio at Informa Markets, responsible for Futurecom. The 2022 edition will take place in person at So Paulo Expo from October 18th to 20th.