The Core Technologies of the Metaverse
The promise of the Metaverse today focuses on universality and decentralisation. It invites us to imagine a world where we can control our digital experiences and access them in a more flexible environment. As the "new internet", the metaverse is still in the early stages of evolution, with new technologies enhancing the environment all the time. The three most common forms of technology associated with the metaverse (outside of the internet itself), are XR, Blockchain and AI.
Perhaps the most often-mentioned form of metaverse technology mentioned today, extended reality, or XR involves merging the physical and digital worlds through the use of headsets and devices. With extended reality, we can step into virtual worlds and interact with 3D avatars in communities. We can use mixed and augmented reality to bring digital content into the real world too, changing the way we interact with everything from maps to retail experiences.
Brands like IKEA, Nike, L'Oreal and Sephora have all embraced immersive experiences that enable shoppers to try on shoes, glasses, makeup and clothes and eyewear virtually using their smartphones using augmented reality.
No longer just a concept associated with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, the blockchain is a critical component of decentralisation. In the metaverse, blockchain promises a way to give users more control over their online experience, taking us away from Web 2.0 and into Web 3.0, where larger organisations like Google and Amazon don't have as much control over what we do and see online. Blockchain is already making waves in the metaverse with things like NFTs as a way of investing in and supporting artists, smart contracts, and decentralised finance.
Other than that, Blockchain technology has seen to be useful in various areas with commerce including supply chain management, where retailers can learn about when each "event" within the supply chain occurred, who owns it, where it took place, the condition of products and other detailed information about shipments. More commonly known, the trade and investment via Cryptocurrency has also been prevalent today.
Among the many retailers utilising blockchain technology include Carrefour, Amazon, LVMH and Nestle.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Improving the link between the physical world and the digital world requires a certain level of intelligence from machines. Artificial intelligence is essential for a number of metaverse experiences. It can help with natural language processing, to ensure our machines and robotics can understand us. AI also supports things like computer vision and Simultaneous Location and Mapping technologies, which help machines understand our physical surroundings.
Within the retailing realm, brands like Amazon has utilised the artificial intelligence game with its digital voice assistant, Alexa, but they have capitalised the ability to collect data about customer purchasing habits. Through this, Azaon has built confidence in how the data collected can assist with recommending items to customers, and even predict what they need even before they've realised they needed it, using features like predictive analytics.
The future of the metaverse have presented countless opportunities for brands to move forward with innovation to give more room to play, work, connect, buy and even operate efficiently. As the metaverse evolves, the opportunities for a brand to benefit will continue to grow alongside it.