“The metaverse is a reality full of advantages for our businesses”.
When several industries have agreed to create a standard, it means that this is serious…”. Jose Luis Navarro Salinas, metaverse strategist and XR Consultant, professor of innovation, inverse technologies and metaverse at Inesdi and Chief Business Offier at Vision Mediapro, speaks clearly about metaverse and business. Last 16th November, the members of Distrito 41 Barrio de Salamanca were lucky enough to meet him at an event organised by the association (and hosted at the VboMadrid space – C/ Villanueva, 13) with the aim of making the metaverse a little more understandable as a concept, building bridges and bringing this new reality closer to the businesses in the neighbourhood. Several conclusions were drawn from his words, but the first and clearest one is that the metaverse should be seen as an opportunity, and not as a threat to traditional businesses.
It all began with Neal Sthephenson’s novel Show Crash (1992), followed by Lana Wachowski’s film The Matrix (1999). Both open the door to a fictional but real reality. And that is the metaverse: “It is a technological change, it is the natural evolution of the Internet and, although it is still in a latent state and still to be developed, it will represent a great change for human beings. There is no more than one metaverse, although we keep hearing that there are many…. There will be only one, and it will all be centralised…. There is a lot to do and it is under construction, but it will represent a modification in the way we live and work, one more step in the digital convergence that businesses are facing today,” said Jose Luis at the start of the event.
The innovation professor talks about the philosophy of the metaverse (and Web 3 as the system that will allow everything to be centralised and organised to become a fact). Today, everyone relates the metaverse to the world of video games and this serves as a spearhead for Navarro to apply it to any business model.
Much more than video games
Navarro says that more than 3 billion people have played video games this year. So right now the video game is the ultimate expression of the metaverse, a world in which I can immerse myself, explore and create. “Roblox today is the YouTube of video games, where 2 to 3 million kids play every day. They create tools to create their own video games and share them. From this stage of creation, brands with their service product will be able to interact, offer immersive experiences and evolve, allowing the user to create what they want. They, the users, are the ones who set the rules of the game and we will have to adapt to that,” he says. “The fundamental change is that in this virtual environment you will be able to create whatever you want, from a wallpaper à la carte, and see how it will look in your living room before it arrives at your home, to a fashion product personalised just for you. The system will offer you everything.
Inverted experiences in the restaurant world, transporting you to unique universes without leaving the restaurant table, onboarding training, virtual internships that save time and resources, creation of fashion trends in the metaverse that then become real collections, team training through augmented reality… “The tool to implement all this already exists and it is free. The current stage of integration is a bit primitive, but there are tools already available,” says Jose Luis.
Moving from website to virtual site will not be a matter of two days. The pandemic forced us to become suddenly familiar with video calls and online meetings, and now the challenge is to move on to creating and living a much more inverse life, living the online experience in a totally different way to what we know. However, the metaverse is yet to be created, although there are characteristics that we can already talk about that will be fulfilled when it becomes a fact:
Interoperable networking on a massive scale.
Data continuity. No jumping from one place to another and having to reconnect or re-verify your Wallet or your identity. The metaverse is one and, as well as being interconnected, it will be continuous.
Persistent. It is alive.
Avatars, virtual twins, mapping systems with which to access experiences (and advertising sites, among others…) through mobile phones or augmented reality glasses. The world of the metaverse enables storytelling and allows brands and businesses to explore another way of storytelling through exploration. As this technologist says, “that’s the opportunity, why should a shop in the metaverse have more disadvantages than a physical shop?