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May 2, 2022

Highlights

  • Experience the convergence of the physical and digital world as never before.

  • Metaverse would constitute a more decentralized framework, giving users more control across multiple domains.

  • A regulatory body to oversee transactions, data protection, and user interaction in the metaverse.

Explore the metaverse space

Metaverse, which is being conceived as an alternative digital world, is giving people amazing opportunities to live an alternate life online.

Thanks to augmented reality and metaverse’s three-dimensional virtual world capabilities, individuals can experience themselves in the next internet iteration, rather than just experiencing the digital world.

Facebook has renamed itself as Meta Platforms, reaffirming its vision for implementing metaverse technology in times to come. The gaming industry has provided a metaverse kind of experience wherein one can essentially feel in the game rather than just pressing the console buttons. Microsoft is already planning to tap into the metaverse economy using its online video gaming and animation expertise. Google Glass has also created ripples in the wearable product space with AR capabilities.

The next big tech platform

Bloomberg Intelligence predicts that the global metaverse revenue opportunity could approach USD 800 billion in 2024, making it the next big tech platform.

From online game developers to social networks, everyone wants a slice of the rapidly evolving and growing metaverse and to experience the convergence of the physical and digital world as never before.

Blockchain technology is one of the key foundations of the metaverse. Its decentralization feature will give a series of network users immense power to validate and secure data.

Blockchain’s inbuilt capabilities, such as non-fungible tokens (NFT), which are not interchangeable, offer users a sense of digital ownership and reduce the concerns related to data privacy. Creative artists and digital assets collectors have widely leveraged the technology to own things that are uniquely identifiable digitally. Since there will be digital ownership of the content, there will likely be lesser chances of royalties disputes and IP litigation.

Digital currencies and wallets are already operationalized and are gaining popularity ahead of physical ones.

Digital workplace: We are experiencing a futuristic workplace digitally where physical presence has become relatively insignificant. All meetings and conferences are being conducted virtually through various available online platforms. Microsoft Teams, a popular online collaboration tool, will get upgraded for a new immersive metaverse user experience.

Virtual tours: Clients can make virtual tours of the office or the ODC without physically visiting the premises before starting any engagement. One can also have a virtual home tour sitting from the comfort of home or enjoy virtual trips around the world with friends and family.

Online events: A recent Harry Potter-themed wedding reception made headlines for being hosted on a 3D metaverse. Event organizers join the metaverse bandwagon to offer their audience a more immersive experience. Metaverse provides the opportunity to host virtual get-together parties, socialize, interact, and acknowledge each other. A participant can register their presence virtually and get into a 3D holographic avatar with metaverse.

Online shopping: Metaverse lets individuals indulge in digital shopping from digital shops and buy clothes, shoes, and glasses and form a digital wardrobe. By virtue of augmented reality, shoppers can also try glasses, shoes, and clothes virtually and avail a renewed shopping experience. With the NFT wave surging, people are already shopping and creating all sorts of digital assets for themselves.

Online education: Metaverse can redefine classroom education, making it more interesting and meaningful by demonstrating complex theoretical concepts practically. Professional training, including medical, engineering, and defense, would be immensely disrupted by metaverse capabilities. Metaverse allows medicos to virtually study various internal organs of a body without actually dissecting the physical subject.

Mock operations, an integral part of defense training, can be easily implemented through the metaverse. As people can converse in their vernacular languages, which would get translated quickly, universities and institutions across the globe can collaborate regardless of language and cultural barriers.

Online healthcare: Metaverse has incredible potential to disrupt healthcare services. In the health care sector, telemedicine is getting reimagined to deliver a realistic sense of touch. Robot-assisted surgeries with AR capabilities are already creating waves worldwide.

Shaping the future of the metaverse

While there are high stakes in the metaverse, extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) products have not gotten the mass adoption that was quite expected.

The adoption of any technology on a mass scale depends upon various factors. Web 3.0 would bring about a new thought process and frontier for further innovation. It will give an opportunity to people to live their dreams.

However, every innovation comes with limitations. Virtual crimes committed within the realm of the virtual world could be as painful and sensitizing as their counterparts in the physical world. Hence, it would be ideal to have a regulatory authority overseeing transactions, data protection, and user interaction in the metaverse.

Sumit Kumar is an engagement manager with TCS’ HiTech business unit. Currently, he manages delivery and client relationships for key account portfolios for the HiTech business unit. He is a certified project management professional (PMP®) and has a proven track record in project management. He has around 16 years of IT experience, having begun his career as an SAP consultant for several of TCS’ customers. He has also been recognized as a Contextual Master and is professionally active at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), UP chapter. He has presented multiple papers at industry conferences and written articles on various emerging technologies.

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