Metaverse to offer 'infinite possibilities'

Metaverse to offer 'infinite possibilities'

The metaverse is offering new opportunities in the entertainment, music, gaming, art and fashion industries with significantly enhanced user engagement and experiences, says an expert in the virtual technology.

"The metaverse presents itself as a realm of infinite possibilities and opportunities, which is exciting and being able to engage in new ways with entertainment, with content and even with our fellow friends," said Cathy Hackl, chief metaverse officer and chief executive of the Futures Intelligence Group, a metaverse consultancy.

She delivered the remarks at the start of an international metaverse forum organised by metaverse project Translucia.

She said in the Web 1.0 era, people stayed connected via information exchange while in Web 2.0 people are engaging in social media, e-commerce and the sharing economy.

"We are in the evolution of Web 2.0 pointing towards Web 3.0, where people, places, things and assets can be in a fully virtual environment," according to Ms Hackl.

Metaverse is Web 3.0 with convergence of physical and digital lives, supported by various technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), 5G, edge and cloud computing, blockchain as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Entertainment is one of the areas that would be the future of the metaverse.

In the music and entertainment industries, there would be so-called "metaverse moments" happening, such as concerts in a metaverse. For example, pop star Ariana Grande has performed in popular video game Fortnite's metaverse.

"It is the interplay of entertainment and gaming that truly makes the metaverse a unique experience," she said.

Some types of wearable glasses can get people into the metaverse with massive multiplayer shared experiences.

According to Ms Hackl, US game platform Roblox, which also delivers a metaverse experience, has seen more messages delivered via its platform than those being sent via WhatsApp on a daily basis.

Roblox is a community where people come together, especially young people, to engage in activities.

It is estimated that US$100 billion will be spent by gamers on virtual items inside game platforms worldwide in 2021, she said. This does not include NFTs.

In the realms of fashion and beauty, Ms Hackl said culture and fashion be experienced in virtual spaces. For example, global sportswear giant Nike launched virtual sneakers in the metaverse, which sold quickly.

This has proven that conducting business in the metaverse can be successful, she said.

Regarding NFTs, ownership of digital assets can be tracked through the blockchain. Brands can use NFTs to engage with audiences in the metaverse in various kinds of ways.

Mars House, the world's first digital house NFT, designed by Krista Kim, was sold for $500,000 early this year.

People can use a mobile phone to scan a QR code to view holograms of artworks, entertainment content and information.

"In the metaverse, we are all world builders," said Ms Hackl. "In the next 10 years, it will be incredibly important for building this future."

"Our entertainment will become more personalised but at the same it will be more social with shared virtual experiences. Entertainment is already changing."

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