Metaverse: the work and marketing of the future
by Umberto Macchi
The Metaverse (in English Metaverse, a term coined by Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash , a cyberpunk science fiction book), is a kind of virtual reality shared via the internet where you are represented in three dimensions through your avatar.
From “Meta” by Zuckerberg to the big companies of gaming, of fashion and eCommerce, the metaverse is definitely the trend of the moment. Everyone talks about it and player of the various industries they are understanding the potential to improve their business.
We must therefore expect new forms of eCommerce, thanks to even more personalized experiences where augmented reality, gaming and customer experience will come together to bring the user-customer to live within their own reality.
By “metaverse” could be understood, therefore, a Internet version 4.0, as incorporated into the everyday life of each individual, or multiple shared 3D virtual worlds that are interactive, immersive and collaborative. In the common collective imagination, the metaverse is a sort of transposition of physical reality into one virtual dimension where what happens in the physical everyday life can be replicated in the virtual meta-everyday life, and where the eCommerce acquires a new meta-hybrid identity.
Because there is so much talk about the Metaverse
Because it appears to be “the gateway to most digital experiences, a key component of all physical ones, and the next great platform of work,” writes authoritative analyst Matthew Ball. So, if it were to be realized, it could produce value in the trillions. Almost all major Internet companies are listed on the stock exchange today, and it is understandable that any talk of realities described as the “new” or next Internet is followed with curiosity and attention. “The Metaverse will alter the way we distribute and monetize modern assets,” says Ball.
In this historical moment, in fact, private industry – Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple – has full awareness of the potential of the metaverse, and is the industry with the greatest resources in terms of money. It is also possible that the metaverse will eventually emerge from a network of different platforms, organisms and technologies, all willing to support interoperability (although it is difficult to imagine that Zuckerberg would be content with his Facebook being simply one component among others of a cross-platform metaverse).
The metaverse and the monetization of reality: the legal challenges to be faced
In 2021, the colonization of social data by Facebook it has eclipsed the Internet as we know it, and its ambitions now demand the creation of a new reality where intimate data about our social behaviors and physical actions can be collected and exploited for profit. Which means building virtual environments where every human action can be recorded, predicted and monetized.
The company of Zuckerberg was a pioneer of the art of data collection and its use to capture our attention through algorithms and make profits regardless of the social cost of the whole operation. This type of algorithmic manipulation is the founding core of the Facebook business model and many other apps and social platforms.
Applying in practice the definition of metaverse, i.e. a transposition of physical reality into a virtual dimension, they could abstractly exist and coexist infinite metaverses, each governed according to their own choices of governance. In a multitude of metaverses – created by a single company or multiple entities corporate united for the purpose – one of legal challenges becomes that of applicable law to the metaverse.
The areas involved could be many: from processing of personal data user-avatar ai acquired in the metaverse, from settlement of contractual relationships in it I concluded at the consumer protection, give her responsibility for causing damage to the user-avatar to objects – albeit virtual – owned by third parties, etc.
Each metaverse could have its own rules, identified through the contractual conditions accepted before creating your own avatar. Or again, in the absence of a contractual text, the same could be identified thanks to the application of principles of private international law. Therefore, there are many legal challenges facing those who want to create their own metaverse, do business into an existing metaverse or simply create your own avatar.
Marketing, retail, e-Commerce
Although this is a technology under development, the attention to this “new world” that combines the real with the virtual is very high among player of the sector marketing And communication, as well as between operators of retail and of eCommerce.
If the metaverse will conquer users as social networks have been doing since 2008, we will find ourselves in front of new frontier of virtual interaction, able to revolutionize the dynamics through which to promote a product or service, acquire and retain customers. Virtual shops, augmented reality, NFT, streaming services, information sites, video platforms, eCommerce portals and more. The great ones player digital become the “creators” of digital worlds made up of patents, software, platforms, collaborations, partnerships aimed at making people experience a second life in which to transfer part of everyday life while retaining one’s identity.
Among the pioneers there are large fashion companies such as Gucci, with the virtual version of the Gucci Garden, open to the public within the platform Roblox. Of interest to industrial development is the partnership concluded between Nvidia and BMW, which plans the creation of a “virtual original” of a factory in order to virtually plan new workflows, before applying them to the physical factory.
In an increasingly market phygital, which brings together online and offline e where the shopping experience is increasingly immersive, eCommerce and retail could have a further success than the current one. The metaverse could be used as a tool to offer wider access to consumers than today’s material world, or for enhance the experience eCommerce, responding to the needs of corporate econsumer, guaranteeing there speed of an online purchase with theexperience of an in-store purchase.
Merging the physical world with the virtual one, in order to significantly enrich the daily experiences of user, could be the winning key in the near future.