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What is the Metaverse? Guest blog by Steve Irvine from Lionsorbet

What is the Metaverse?

“The futuristic ideal is a multi-dimensional, single unified, persistent world called the ‘Metaverse’ where all companies and groups cooperate in a shared experience that can be accessed anywhere, anytime by anyone.”

– Steve Irvine, Lionsorbet

LionSorbet’s resident creative Steve Irvine talks about his experience with emerging technologies and the future of the evolving Metaverse and its impact on society and business. No one really has the ability to call themselves an expert as it doesn’t quite fully exist yet, but a wealth of experience can provide at the very least some authority.

A brief history of Steve..

Majoring in industrial design, Steve set up his first business, working with companies such as Nokia, Disney, Lego, and Hasbro designing future tech concepts and toys. Steve’s deep knowledge of 3D design, CAD modelling, production rendering, and animation along with a long history with digital art and illustration has led him to his current position as owner of digital agency Lionsorbet, working with many of the worlds leading jewellery and luxury brands. Steve is an established NFT artist having sold over 150 original art pieces to collectors around the world.
Non-fungible tokens (NFT’s), are unique digital assets that are built on blockchain technology. They are unique and indivisible. This means that they cannot be replaced or exchanged for something else of equal value like traditional cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Etherium. They are mainly used to serve as collectable items, digital art, or other forms of digital media. They are quite likely to shape the future of luxury retail products and experiences.

A virtual world built on social connection

In its simplest form, the Metaverse is an immersive three-dimensional internet experience connecting people together in a shared virtual simulation. It is the next generation of the internet built entirely in 3D allowing you to interact with friends, colleagues, and professionals without the barriers that current 2D screens impose. The Metaverse is pushing the boundaries of digital connection, using virtual reality and augmented reality technology to make it a seamless and effortless part of our lives.

Think of the Metaverse as a computer-generated, virtual world or universe that can be accessed through the internet. It’s like a giant, shared playground where people can interact with each other, play games, attend events, do business, shop, and learn about new things.

It can be visualised as an advanced version of social media where you can create a digital version of yourself, known as an avatar, and explore a three-dimensional, immersive space with other people. In this space, you can chat with friends, attend virtual concerts or classes, and buy and sell digital goods.

While it’s still a work in progress, the Metaverse has the potential to transform the way we use the internet and connect with each other. It could provide a more engaging and lifelike experience that’s more enjoyable than just scrolling through social media feeds or browsing websites.

I guess the futuristic ideal is a multi-dimensional, single unified, persistent world called the ‘metaverse’ where all companies and groups cooperate in a shared experience that can be accessed anywhere, anytime by anyone through a ‘ready-player-one’ style VR setup. We are still very far away from this being a reality but as data bandwidth increases and technology becomes standardised across the board we could start to see companies or countries even pool resources together to bring about first generations of this experience.

The Metaverse in a nutshell

meterverse traits

The Metaverse is a virtual world that has some unique features that make it different from other digital environments. Here are some of those features:

metaverse virtual environments Virtual environments

The Metaverse is a place where users can interact with each other and with digital objects in a fully immersive and interconnected environment. It’s kind of like a giant digital playground! There are literally no boundaries for time and space. An endless plot of real estate, buildings, places, and worlds.

metaverse digital identity avatars Digital identity/Avatars

When you’re in the Metaverse, you have a digital identity that’s separate from your physical identity. This can give you more freedom to express yourself and interact with others. These avatars transcend the boundaries of sex, gender, and physical traits as well as physical restrictions and disabilities. You can become who you want to be.

metaverse shared experiences Shared experiences

One of the more interesting things about the metaverse is that users can share experiences with others. This can create a sense of community and collaboration that you don’t often see in other digital environments.

metaverse persistent environments Persistent existence

Unlike other digital environments, the metaverse exists all the time, even when you’re not using it. This means that things can happen in the Metaverse even when you’re not there to see them!

metaverse economic and ownership Economic systems and ownership

The Metaverse has its own economy, with virtual currencies and the ability to exchange, buy and trade virtual goods and services. It’s kind of like a digital marketplace!

As the Metaverse continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more cool features and innovations that will make it an even more exciting place to explore and interact with others.

The future of work and business

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The Metaverse could bring about some really exciting changes to the world of work and business. It has the potential to transform the way we work and do business, offering new opportunities, cost savings, and engaging experiences. There are a number of exciting opportunities and benefits that the metaverse can bring to B2C and B2B businesses.

Better Teamwork

The Metaverse could help teams work together and collaborate more easily, no matter where they’re based. Imagine being able to join virtual workspaces that feel like physical offices, with all the benefits of being in the same room, even if you’re on the other side of the world. You could have more productive meetings, work together on projects, and build stronger relationships with your colleagues. Think of it like an interactive, slightly more uncomfortable, immersive version of zoom where your physical avatar is present and people can interact with you more directly.

New Opportunities

The Metaverse could open up new opportunities for businesses to sell digital products and services to a global audience. For instance, people could buy virtual clothing or attend virtual events like product launches or concerts. You could open a virtual retail environment where customers can come in and browse products, talk with staff, discuss options, and order physical items. This could be a great way for businesses to reach more people and create new revenue streams.

Cost Savings

By using the Metaverse, businesses could save a lot of money on things like rent, travel, and physical infrastructure. They could create virtual offices, retail stores, galleries, and meeting spaces, which would be a lot cheaper than renting physical locations. They could also reduce travel costs by attending virtual meetings and events instead of flying around the world. Brands could create virtual pop-up events, new collection launches, private talks and discussions, open training events, and talks to a worldwide audience without having to leave their home or office. Not accounting for computing power, it could be a true, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible way of reaching a wider audience and expanding your business.

A Bigger Talent Pool

With the Metaverse, businesses could find talented people from all over the world, not just in their local area. This could be really helpful for companies that have a hard time finding skilled workers nearby. You could work with people from all over the world, with different backgrounds and experiences, which could lead to some really innovative ideas.

Engaging Experiences

Finally, the Metaverse could provide more engaging and immersive experiences for customers. Imagine being able to shop in a virtual store where you can see and touch products as if they were real. Or attending a virtual event that feels like you’re really there, with all the excitement and energy of a physical event.

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TV and Films that have embraced the future of the Metaverse

With the Metaverse, VR and AR technologies beautifully visualised in books, TV programs and Movies, it is almost possible to believe we already have the technology. The reality is often underwhelming but we are making great strides to match what has already been envisioned. Check out some of the most popular movies below providing a glimpse into the benefits and sometimes the stark realities of the use of VR and AR technologies.

Thank you to Steve from Lionsorbet for this introductory blog on the Metaverse.

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