Metaverse, Multiverse or Metaverse, depending on the name, is a completely digital virtual universe connected to the real world. The natural evolution of social networks, network games of the Internet, and more generally the digitization of society, their main role is to facilitate interaction between people in the private and professional spheres, an acceleration associated with the restrictions due to the pandemic of recent years. . It is possible to participate in the same activities as in the real world or to invent new practices there. Popularized around twenty years ago by engines like Second Life, these virtual worlds are now coming back to the fore, thanks to numerous technological advances and the development of new uses. The explosion of cryptocurrencies and NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) based on blockchain technology has also contributed to this to a large extent.
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the promised land
And for good reason. In a few months, Metaverse has created a real boost for brands like the Gucci Garden experience from Kering Group, which took place in Roblox Metaverse in May 2021 and attracted nearly 20 million visitors. There have also been giant virtual concerts, such as the one by rapper Travis Scott, which recorded more than 45.8 million views. These figures explain why technology players value their projects in the billions of euros
Several billion investments have been announced, including Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Epic Games, Baidu and many others Their objective is clear: to quickly position themselves in front of the scale of events and not miss these “promised lands”. Because right now, hundreds of thousands of Metaverse ventures have sprung up across the planet.
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Expansion of ideas and creativity
Some are based on the “gamification” of social interactions, others are based on profound changes in professional practice around virtual offices, multi-function meeting rooms… Industry heavyweights have positioned themselves to develop training programs there. Others apply themselves to designing new products and services. Metaverses are becoming a natural extension of the digital twin and multiplying its potential, for example by offering new methods to optimize or control industrial processes (cf. BMW’s experience with Nvidia’s Omniverse). Professions evolve to deal with substantial manpower needs, for example, modeling virtual spaces or interactions within the metaverse. E-commerce players are interested in this to better understand the new purchasing methods with the specialty of virtual currency multiplication.
Faced with this richness of ideas, creativity and resources, the presence of diverse audiences (socio-professional categories, ages, etc.) will quickly become a key indicator. Because the main challenge of this new wave is to attract participants and above all to retain them. In this regard, Second Life’s experience has shown that a lack of human presence in interactions can quickly alienate audiences.
fear the french
And the game has just begun. In an Ifop poll “The French and the Metaverse” published in January 2022 for Talan, we see that 41% of 18-49 year olds had heard of the Metaverse, 63% feared its emergence. Digital Virtual Worlds. In parallel, a survey conducted by the company Wunderman Thomson, July 2021, indicates that among 3,011 American, English and Chinese panels, the latter are ready to spend an average of $76,000 to buy a digital home in Metaverse. ! Perceptions of digital vary considerably between countries. And if the French are often reluctant to change, experience has shown that they will be able to jump on the bandwagon to exploit the potential of this development.
This difference in perception could be an asset and make France a real driving force, especially in the question of the governance of the metaverse and their utility in society. Because technology is above all in the service of people and the climate impact of digital technology must be taken into account.
We are fortunate to have major entertainment players like Vivendi and Ubisoft, innovative technology start-ups, major economic players in their sectors, research laboratories like Inria, which are often pioneers, and consulting firms recognized consulting firms that support the transformation of economic players.
Philippe Cassulat, Managing Director of Talan Group
Expert opinions are published under the full responsibility of their authors and in no way involve the editorial staff of L’Usine Nouvelle.
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