While your partner makes you wait at the shopping mall, you decide to log onto Facebook. The new Facebook you have heard so much about.
You update the app, click open it, and it asks you to validate yourself. Password, your voice, or your retina scan. You’re wondering how did it get all these — you’re almost scared. But it’s Facebook. So you move ahead and click Login.
And lo and behold, the wall and the lists are all gone.
You see yourself, in 3D, constructed like a perfect lookalike. For anyone on your friends’ list sharing their locations and in the same shopping mall, you see their 3D avatars around you.
You of course do not know where they are or what are they shopping or else it will be a blatant invasion of privacy. Yet you tap their avatars and a conversation opens between you two.
While you’re virtually talking, Facebook tells you about Starbucks in the same mall. You ask your friend if they would like to meet you at Starbucks. But they prefer a McCafe — which they saw on their Facebook.
You agree on McCafe and before you step in there, your friend placed an order for the both of you to McCafe, your money deducted from a blockchain-based wallet that your regulations would have approved. Being in India it would be the Digital Rupee, but McCafe operates on other currencies. The conversion between currencies is made in real-time using a central payment layer integrated into Facebook Metaverse that can choose the best conversion rates.
And what of the Cappuccio, 2 Big Macs, and 1 chocolate muffin you ordered? Well, the McCafe inventory updates itself and the supply chain comes into the picture immediately to ensure they do not run out of the good stuff.
And when you and your buddy reach the McCafe, there you see your partner sitting, chatting, and laughing with friends while trying dress after dress through their virtual avatars from the LifeStyle one floor across them.
Welcome to the age of Metaverse.
A Metaverse is a 3d virtual, connected world, that brings our digital experiences closer to your real-life experiences. Unlike the internet applications of today, it can connect more diverse services, and experiences in one place so you experience and interact with them as if you were there.
Contrary to the current disintegrated form of the internet, Metaverses will be more driven by platforms rather than disintegrated applications leveraging the common layer of the internet.
Unlike the previous phase of the internet, the Metaverse will not impact a few businesses at a time. It will impact more diverse businesses and do it together. For it cannot function with lesser integration.
To function effectively, Metaverse will have to leverage all the latest technologies available. Imagine Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, the latest data encryption and transmission technologies powering your telecom service provider, and CPUs and servers that can process data much faster than they can today.
1. Personal identity, security, and reducing identity theft
Tired of a dozen usernames across a dozen websites? Imagine your 3d avatar stored as an NFT (NonFungible Token) and used across all businesses accessing the connected Metaverse — after your permission, ideally.
The latest Computer Vision technologies will allow Metaverse to create your near-perfect 3D avatar using the pictures, and videos you uploaded.
Encrypted as a secure hash, they will be stored across central repositories and could be accessed only after an authentication method of your choice — voice, scans, text passwords, or a combination of some.
2. 3D real-time interactions
You can buy a bag of chips online, you won’t do that for a bike, a car, that expensive jewelry or dress, or a house. What if your 3D avatar could visit the 3D model of a house? You may even be able to see how the sunshine brightens the roof, as unseen by the patron, you lie down on the 3D bed and admire the changing shadows with time.
And as you are entering — interact with other 3D avatars in real-time as they are leaving the property, and getting their feedback. Priceless.
3. Connected inventory, supply chain, and better buying decisions
Imagine feeling like splurging on yourself on your birthday. Your heart stops on that awesome Louise Vuitton bag. It just goes with your personality, or so you conclude when your beautifully dressed 3D avatar picks it and turns to you so you could size it up. And you just want it.
You’re instantly all buying options, ranked in the order of price or delivery time. You choose the one from some store, pay using your digital wallet and wait.
The store gets the order, gets instant quotes from 3 delivery services again ranked in order of price and delivery time, and the store chooses one.
As soon as the bag is picked up from the store physically, the inventory system kicks in and places realtime orders with the supplier to update the required inventory.
The Metaverse revolution is a little while away. It will need expensive technology, more connected businesses, and more centralised information. The high operational costs may make it a barrier for small and medium businesses to enter.
The concentration of users’ information will also add to the already increasing risks to personal identity.
For those who are making platforms to do it all will take all the winning share.
Users, as always, will be in for a treat of experience.
Many startups specially in Asia Pacific and the west are building applications on Metaverse ideas. It will be interesting to see how they shape our day to day lives.