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Digital Transformation: How can I move my business into the metaverse?

Written by Latifa Yedroudj on Tuesday, 28 June 2022. Posted in Innovation, Technology, Interviews

What is the metaverse? And how can I monetise it?

Danny Stefanic, CEO of MootUp, took to the stage on the second day of Elite Business on 11 March in the Digital Transformation talk, speaking about the metaverse – and how to take full advantage of this new emerging platform to bring your business to greater heights. 

Danny began his talk by speaking about the different ways of interacting with the metaverse – the games and entertainment space, blockchains and NFTs (where people sell virtual goods), and the metaverse for business. Speaking about the metaverse, Danny said: “This is something that has been running for many years and people are getting a return on. This is not something that’s far out in the future, this is ready today and you can start making it a part of your business and even generating revenue from it.” 

Danny explained how the world is going into a ‘paradigm shift’ with the metaverse, as users can now have a more realistic and 3D-like interaction on the internet. Audiences will have more participation rather than a spectator experience online. The traditional internet provides standard 2D text and images to users, while the metaverse is primarily be a 3D experience. He added: “It’s going to redefine what the web is. Some are calling it web3, and some are calling it Web 3.0 but it is an evolution of the internet. 

Danny described the definition of the metaverse: “‘While the current wave is largely based on text, images and video, the next phase of the web is expected to be primarily based on 3D virtual spaces, linked together in a perceived virtual universe’. In other words, interacting in the metaverse will feel much more like the real world and immediate than it does today using the traditional internet. We’re talking about a paradigm shift into participation as opposed to consuming information and being lectured to.” 

Danny debunked the common myths around the metaverse. He explained how the metaverse is ultimately for ‘everyone’ to use. It isn’t a niche for the IT savvy or tech-experienced users. While there is no single gateway to access the metaverse, you can acquire affordable hardware and immerse yourself in the experience. You and your business can build your metaverse and transform the way your company interacts with customers. Danny explained: “Ultimately, everyone is going to be able to run their virtual world just like you do with your website. And that’s already in play with technology standards like Web XR which allows you to build things on the internet, that provides these sorts of capabilities.” 

More often than not, many people think that you need to have certain devices to take part in the metaverse, such as a VR headset – but Danny assured us that this is not the case. As long as you have a device connected to the internet, such as your mobile phone, you can join in the fun. Danny explained: “The metaverse is open and for everyone, this is important. At the moment, people tend to think that you might need special equipment or you need to have a lot of money to get started. That’s not the case, we already have open standards and we have a lot of standards-based on top of traditional web standards that enable access and even outsourcing in our business, we’ve been able to connect people on low bandwidth connections anywhere around the world. There are no barriers to it.”  

He added: “A lot of people think you need a virtual reality headset to jump into the metaverse, but this is not the case. The real pivot of this participatory experience is that you can join with whichever device you have – mobile phones, tablets, laptops, chrome books and any VR or AI headset should be supported.” 

All users can impact the metaverse, meaning people can interact in different spaces, add and remove things as well as change the settings, leaving their footprints in a realistic experience. Danny explained: “People can come in, start to influence change, make contributions, move things around, create spaces and really have an impact on how this evolves. This is heavily dependent on the use of open standards and content being reusable across different areas. This can be 3D models, bringing in 2D web content, PowerPoint presentations, or anything you like. It can even be digital twins; scans of real-world environments being used as the environment you’re having your event or meeting in.” 

Metaverse is not a futuristic concept, it is here now and is available for businesses to use. Many organisations have already been looking to metaverse components as new sources of revenue, and to improve operations across their employees. Now is the time to jump in on the action. Danny added: “The metaverse isn’t as far out that you think it's going to be a few years before it becomes commonplace. It’s available today and can be built on top of what you’re already using. I’m very focused on the metaverse for business, and for me, that area has had real traction. We’ve been working in HR and Learning and Development for the last seven years and the last three or four virtual events and meetings using these technologies.” 

The metaverse isn’t just to provide customers with an immersive experience. Businesses can also use the metaverse to create an interactive experience amongst staff members, improving education and training, facilitating workshops and even setting up 3D meetings to allow colleagues to collaborate better with a rise in remote working. Danny said: “The metaverse can allow colleagues to feel present with each other, do workshops, escape rooms, work with video technologies. With most of the platforms it's important for you to come in with video... and at the same time feeling co-present, feeling like you’re there. In this new age of remote work is really quite valuable. Essentially people in organisations are now far more widely distributed and the sense of being remote is more apparent, and what I like to call, ‘unremote’ working – by using all these technologies to remotely work but bringing people together and feeling like they’re having the same experience.”

About the Author

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj has joined the Elite team to fully immerse herself in the business side of journalism, a strong passion of hers cultivated from young having co-run her mother's start up business since she was 18. Her interests lie in a wide range of subjects, including start ups, business, travel, and anything entrepreneurial she can get her hands on. She has worked for some of the biggest names in journalism including The Guardian and The Mirror. Follow her on @latifayed on Twitter for her latest journo rants.

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