Making the right choices now will position businesses to navigate the “multiverse” that delights consumers while avoiding the missteps that have hampered consumer confidence in the past.
The next iteration of digital life has arrived: Welcome to the Metaverse, a collection of rich, interactive, and immersive online experiences. The term metaverse is actually a bit misleading. Over time, we will see the emergence of many metaverses – a “multiverse” – as companies race to claim their place in this new virtual universe with a variety of experiences catering to specific interests.
These metaverse experiences will take many forms. Some will enhance the game, adding highly realistic augmented reality, interactions with other players, and new forms of e-commerce, including the ability to purchase virtual habitats. Some can be educational, allowing visitors to virtually explore historic sites, stepping back in time to experience them at their peak. Meatverses will bring people together in new ways; Imagine not only video chatting with Grandma, but also playing a game in her living room. Movies and entertainment will be more immersive, placing you in the story and enabling interactions with other fans. Equally exciting are the possibilities for transforming work life, allowing distant colleagues to collaborate as if they were in the same room together.
We will see competing metaverses vying for our attention while others seek to partner and combine their complementary offerings to create richer and more profitable experiences. But as this multiverse takes shape, how will its architects avoid a “Wild West” of virtual worlds? They will have to take into account the “three Ps”: Parity, personas, and Privacy.
See also: This is the “industrial metaverse”
As users traverse metaverses, they expect a seamless experience. For example, as they explore a world, they may learn of an event elsewhere that catches their eye. They will want to access this event without having to re-authenticate to access it. Once there, they’ll expect the same level of immediacy they experience elsewhere in the metaverse.
This expectation creates significant performance challenges. Basically, this will require high data rates with extremely low latency. While most interactions on the Internet today are one-way – viewers streaming video content, for example – the metaverse is about real-time, two-way communication. Even comparable online experiences today, such as games, that require low latency and edge delivery are simple compared to the technical demands posed by metaverses. These rich, high-definition experiences will require a drastic shift in performance as users will have zero tolerance for delays.
How will this be achieved? The vast majority of companies don’t have the resources to build their metaverse from scratch. Indeed, it is likely that no company will have the full technology stack. Instead, enterprises will rely on multiple leading platforms, including platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technologies, layering the capabilities they need to deliver the experiences users want. .
Metaverse users may want unique identities for different online experiences, or they may prefer to have a single identity that spans multiple metaverses. This will require the attributes attached to these personas to be portable. These features may include a photo or avatar, hobbies and interests, game scores, or other attributes earned in the metaverses. For commerce transactions, payment methods and even trust scores from past transactions must also be portable to ensure a seamless e-commerce experience.
To inspire trust, metaverses will need to give their users control over their characters and attributes. Users will require the ability to transfer this information to some metaverses but not to others. At the same time, users will want this access to authorized apps to be seamless and frictionless. Similarly, ad serving must be highly personalized based on person attributes and metaverse histories – users sharing the same space in the metaverse might see entirely different ads.
Enabling these personality-based experiences will require platforms that can access individual user attributes in real-time and allow applications to share them across the multiverse while providing user control and transparency regarding user experience. access to this data.
Metaverses will provide cybercriminals with unprecedented opportunities to capture consumer information, data, and behavior. A privacy-first approach is crucial to responsibly building any metaverse. Access to information should be tightly controlled, with clear ownership and user consent. This includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII), banking and credit card information, virtual currency, digital assets, and information generated in metaverses through user interaction.
Privacy protection requires security to be built into every point of the metaverse, including throughout the access device supply chain. Access control to user accounts in metaverses should involve strong authentication protocols that diversify dependency to eliminate single points of failure. Transactions and the entities that process them must be secure. And users’ behavior – their digital trail – must be protected, with tightly user-controlled granular permission over who can track their behavior and access that data.
Essentially, protecting privacy begins with securing all entities and their interactions – including applications and users – as well as the entire ecosystem of platforms, networks, devices and supply chains. Indeed, the emergence of the metaverse offers online businesses a golden opportunity to apply recent security innovations from industry leaders to improve both protection and transparency for users of their applications.
Implementing solutions that protect privacy without compromising performance or user experience will be crucial to gaining consumer trust in this new world.
Two success factors
Will the Metaverse be the next big thing…or the next 3D TV? The answer will depend on two important factors:
First, consumers will need to familiarize themselves with the use of wearable devices and other technologies necessary for a truly immersive experience. In addition, these interfaces must be natural. It’s not a given – Google Glass provides a cautionary tale. However, the current crop of wearable augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) headsets leaves room for optimism as consumers grab hold of them. According to IDC, the global AR/VR headset market is expected to grow 47% in 2022 from a year earlier, with double-digit growth expected through 2026, when global shipments are expected to exceed 50 million units.
The second success factor is the ability to process bi-directional data streams in massive volumes at unprecedented speed. This will require a wide range of compute functions, including security, to run at the edge, close to end users. This capability will be key to achieving the low latency and high degree of personalization required to deliver the rich, real-time experiences that are essential to attracting consumers to the metaverse and keeping them engaged.
A chance to make it (the multiverse) right
It’s an exciting time for companies planning their business strategies on the threshold of what could turn out to be the next revolution in human-technology interactions. Making the right choices now, guided by clear strategies around parity, personas and privacy, will position companies to navigate the “multiverse” that delights consumers while avoiding the missteps that have hindered the consumer confidence in the past. The Metaverse offers a new opportunity to get it right – and do it right.
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