Into the Metaverse: How Virtual Worlds May Impact How We Communicate, Work, and Experience Entertainment

The immersive technology has the potential to influence our daily lives, according to four people who are shaping the future of the metaverse.

Few emerging technologies are gaining as much buzz as the metaverse, which allows people to visit virtual worlds to gather, communicate, watch concerts, go shopping, work, and more. While there’s many possibilities, questions remain about its future. What will people do in these virtual worlds? Will new communities emerge? Can brands take advantage? How are audiences reacting?

As the metaverse continues to evolve and companies build new experiences, startups should monitor this trend to be on the forefront of a burgeoning technology. You can read more about opportunities for startups in the metaverse here.

The Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Startup Engagement team hosted a discussion with experts and futurists to explore how tech startups fit into the metaverse mix. The panel discussions featured experts from Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky and investors, founders, and other thought-leaders in the space.

Here are some key takeaways from the conversation:

 

Gaming’s influence on entertainment

How audiences consume media has changed over the years, with the introduction of new streaming platforms and audiences connecting online in video games. This could make gaming a logical entry point for metaverse experiences, according to Janine Yorio, CEO of Everyrealm, a metaverse and NFT innovation and investment platform.

“The next generation of consumers are finding most of their content and socialization, social media, and e-commerce in video game-like platforms,” said Yorio. That could mean a media and content transformation from digital platforms to something that looks and feels more immersive and interactive.

 

Communities will be the focus

Communities are the “sticky glue” of the metaverse, according to Evo Heyning, Chair of the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group. They bridge virtual worlds by exploring interoperable identity, social graphs, inventory, and more.

Heyning contends that the “streamer network is becoming more and more of a community, just like a fandom” for a sports team or movie franchise. With the immersive technology of the metaverse, “we are becoming embodied in these stories and the types of interactions we want with them are changing as well.”

 

Expect a lot of metaverses

There won’t be just one big metaverse. Instead, people will flock to many different virtual worlds depending on their interests and communities, said Hayden Walling, Vice President, Global Brand Partnerships at Roblox, who has launched metaverse experiences with Gucci, NFL, Nike, and others.

“The idea that there is one metaverse to rule them all will not happen. I think people are going to find their metaverses and invest [their time] heavily there,” said Walling.

 

People will move fluidly between the digital and physical worlds

Expect the metaverse to consist of many things that interest us in real life such as fashion, fitness, events, real estate, and gaming. The difference is it won’t exist solely in one realm and instead will be a blend of the physical and digital worlds. We’re already using augmented reality to virtually try on clothes or see how furniture might look in our living rooms. That technology could expand, particularly as some companies are building portals between metaverses to create an infrastructure and interoperability that can bring those worlds together.

“Within a decade or two, we think people will live in and jump between these worlds daily,” said Sylvia Gallusser, futurist, and Founder of Silicon Humanism, a research organization specializing in futures thinking and strategic foresight.

 

Learn more about the metaverse

With the potential to change how we live, work, and play, the metaverse is a tech trend that startup founders are watching closely. To learn five opportunities for startups in the metaverse click the link below. It explains that startups have the potential to be on the cutting edge of fashion, experiences, and even metaverse real estate. Don’t miss it!

Five Opportunities for Startups in the Metaverse


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