Remember when the internet was an ambiguous, difficult-to-comprehend concept met with skepticism long before it became today’s ubiquitous fiber of society? In case you’re too young to remember, this video gives you a pretty good idea. Much like the early days of the internet, the metaverse is trendy, often confusing and is still working through challenges with accessibility and tech capabilities. The critical question we must ask: Is the metaverse an idyllic dream that has garnered dollars and publicity only to fall short in practice? Or are we witnessing the early development of the next generation of the internet, as the metaverse attempts to fundamentally alter the way we interact, experience and transact with one another?
The term metaverse is broad and encompasses many concepts and components. It includes popular virtual worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox where users can interact and explore unique experiences. Its ethos draws its principles from the evolution in how we view social engagement. Anyone can cultivate an avatar filled with self-expression to move through the virtual world with more creativity, optionality and ownership than we often have in the physical world. Three components that enable the digital economy, social transformation and interoperability of the metaverse vision are:
Sentiment around the metaverse has evolved over the past year. Online searches and engagement skyrocketed after the Meta name change, but we have recently seen the buzz soften. Although believers continue to push forward in development, questions remain on mainstream user adoption. Here are some of the latest developments and considerations:
We’re continuing to monitor the development of each point above and we’re learning more about the impacted industries we service. Every technology trend has an adoption life cycle, hoping to cross the cavern to mainstream adoption. Can technology and social desires match the dream of the metaverse? We’ll be watching.