Metaverse Communication: How Communications Will Operate in The Metaverse
Metaverse communication might sound like something from a sci-fi novel, but it’s not as futuristic as you might think.
Online gaming platforms like The Sandbox, Fortnite, and Roblox provide intricately social metaverse-like experiences. Virtual collaboration platforms like Microsoft’s Mesh are committed to creating three-dimensional virtual workspaces to enrich remote collaborations.
We’ve seen other metaverse applications too, like virtual concerts, changing rooms, and real estate.
The inclination to dismiss the metaverse as just another passing fad derives from, assumedly, limited knowledge of the metaverse’s decades-long conceptualization. According to a recent poll, only 35% of Gen Xers and 17% of Boomers were somewhat familiar with the metaverse.
Image Sourced from theharrispoll.com
Couple this with the fact that “the metaverse” is a notoriously vague concept that lacks concrete definition, and it’s easy to see why it might be written off. After all, people thought VoIP phone calls were just a fleeting craze at first. Now we all use VoIP SMS, video conferencing, live chat, etc.
So, to truly understand metaverse communication, we need to know exactly what the metaverse is, right?
What Exactly is the Metaverse?
Essentially, the metaverse can be considered the next iteration of the internet. Or, more specifically, the concept of the next iteration of the internet. It’s a vision of an augmented and virtual reality in which we experience the internet more immersive and interconnected in a shared, virtual, 3D space.
The metaverse is sometimes confused with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. However, while the metaverse is in many ways an amalgamation of VR and AR technologies, they are only two ingredients that facilitate metaverse access.
Despite being in varying stages of infancy, blockchain technology, Web 3.0, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs are some other underlying technologies that are integral to the vision of the metaverse.
So, we can understand the metaverse as a limitless digital and interactive virtual space—essentially the internet in 3D. Dynamic, interoperable, and device/platform-agnostic, it’s proposed to transform our online experiences. This will affect not only how we communicate with friends, but how we connect with brands, colleagues, and the global economy.
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Metaverse Communication: What Opportunities Does It Present?
Of course, there’s no knowing exactly what the metaverse will look like in years to come – just think about how radically the internet has evolved since its inception. And the challenges associated with the metaverse, most notably cybersecurity, spamming, and the privacy vs security debate, are still critically relevant.
However, the metaverse is rife with opportunities for better communications, many of which are being created and refined as technology advances. Here are a few examples of metaverse applications.
The education system has undergone one of the most pronounced digital transformations since COVID-19. Schools and higher education institutions have found immense value in providing virtual classrooms and online learning materials. The metaverse, however, is set to provide even richer, integrated digital experiences.
The most promising utilization of metaverse in education is to provide a virtual space for students and teachers to meet online. With the ability to navigate this digital space with an avatar, they can enjoy enriched communicative experiences without the constraints of time and location (not to mention the “screen barrier” that we feel on video chats).
Beyond this, the metaverse provides limitless opportunities for more engaging educational experiences. For example, instead of showing students a picture of a historical landmark or 1900s town, teachers can build a virtual landscape and have students navigate it through a headset for an immersive 3D adventure.
Branding and Marketing
The metaverse presents brands with innovative marketing possibilities that transcend the impact of a static website or video ad. For example, brands can create open virtual platforms and immersive experiences, designing virtual stores, NFTs, games, and events that intertwine with real-world activations.
Think of the “Gucci Gardens” or “Vans World” experiences. These are great examples of brands using Roblox to create immersive virtual experiences for customers.
Gucci created Gucci Gardens as a virtual counterpart to their real-world experience, taking their users on an interactive, personalized journey where they could find collectible items. Vans World designed virtual skate parks that users could explore with friends, completing the experience with gamification and virtual shopping capabilities.
Utilizing metaverse communications in branding and marketing campaigns can build better business-customer relationships and increase customer engagement.
Company retreats are just one instance of large-scale metaverse communications. Conferences, concerts, parties, product launches, sports games, and real estate—whether it’s for entertainment, marketing, or business collaborations, the metaverse can elevate the accessibility of your virtual events.
Imagine being able to enter a virtual workspace that mimics the office.
Scratch that. Imagine entering a virtual workspace on top of a mountain or on a sunny beach in Spain.
Using augmented reality and holographic technology, big tech companies are beginning to create rich virtual worlds that enhance productivity for remote and hybrid employees. Not only will employees be able to collaborate on designs using interactive tools or brainstorm with 3D mind-mapping, but they can hang out with friends at a virtual water cooler or attend virtual company retreats.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that current VoIP communications will become obsolete. Setting up a VoIP phone system for internal and external communications should be a top priority (you can find loads of info on choosing a business phone system and porting a Canadian phone number online). Metaverse communications will likely exist alongside our more reliable communications – at least, for the foreseeable future!
Metaverse Communication – Final Thoughts
So, will the metaverse change the internet as we know it?
While there’s no way of conceptualizing the metaverse in its full form, it’s clear that there’s a paradigm shift as we delve deeper into the world of digitalization. Not only are leading corporations like Meta (i.e, Facebook) investing billions into metaverse technology, but the hunger for more personalized, rich, and immersive experiences is driving businesses to experiment with metaverse applications.
It’s likely, then, that metaverse communication will change the future of the workforce and communications as we know them. We’ll be able to visit faraway lands from our living room; co-create with colleagues in 3D; connect with customers and brands in virtual spaces that parallel our physical one for the ultimate liminal experience.
We might not be there yet, but we’re on the horizon of the new age of the internet. Are you ready to embrace it?
About the Writer
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration via Dialpad meetings. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.
Disclaimer: The author is completely responsible for the content of this article. The opinions expressed are their own and do not represent IEEE’s position nor that of the Computer Society nor its Leadership.