Will the metaverse replace your offices?

VIDEO – In his column for the JDD, Sébastien Tortu, marketing consultant and author of DNVB, the (re)new of commerce, is interested, this week, in the metaverse.

By 2030, people will be able to teleport from place to place without moving from their sofa – not only for games and entertainment but also for work. This sentence seems to come out of a science fiction film and yet it is the declaration of Marc Zuckerberg who has been working on this famous metaverse for a long time! Although the term “metaverse” was coined in 1992 by science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson, it only just entered the mainstream lexicon after Facebook changed its name to Meta to reflect its strategic goal of making this vision of science fiction a reality.

Metaverses are immersive 3D digital worlds based on virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.

The Metaverse has 5 big features:

  • It is persistent (exists independently of the user’s presence)
  • It is real-time (users can experience live events)
  • It is infinite (supports unlimited concurrent users and VR worlds),
  • It is self-contained (users can work and pay for things in the metaverse)
  • And it is interoperable, you can navigate from one world to another easily, as if today in a few seconds you could go from the concert of your favorite artist to the meeting with your boss.

Metaverses are bigger than closed online games – they allow people to enter using their real identities and use these platforms to shop, play, hang out and also work.

Since the Covid crisis, teleworking has developed so much that working in the metaverse is clearly no longer science fiction.

For organizations, metaverses promise to create more realistic, and therefore more productive, immersive meetings made possible by 3D virtual reality headsets. Microsoft is already rolling out Mesh for Microsoft Teams to make online collaborations more fun and efficient by helping people connect in less impersonal ways, such as sharing body language, having cooler conversations, and engaging more in team meetings.

Another advantage of working in the metaverse is that there is no limit to the space available or the features you could use. You can invite whoever you want to a specific space, from one to billions of people. You can add accessories easily: do you lack a whiteboard to take notes? No worries it’s there, no need to go to the store.

Only, the metaverse does not only have advantages. The first caveat is probably related to the basic technology required. For the moment living in the metaverse is complicated because the technology is not yet advanced enough for you to forget the border with reality. In addition, it requires high-tech equipment which is expensive. Second, there are concerns about data security, as a persistent metaverse would have to capture and store user data to be able to provide an intuitive experience. Finally, issues such as discrimination and sexual harassment in a metaverse workplace need to be explored in detail before a large-scale rollout.

For now, working in the metaverse is possible in a limited way if you already have the equipment and the company is up to date. But be sure of one thing: if we were able to agree to spend our days in front of Zoom or Google Meets, be sure that we will enjoy spending them in the metaverse.

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Will the metaverse replace your offices?

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