Navigating the new, bold era of 3D Internet

We live in an era of change where the Internet as we know is being entirely reshaped. In the next iteration of the Internet – Web3, users are not just viewers – they can engage in an immersive multi-dimensional experiences, the so called ‘metaverse’.

But what exactly is Web3 and metaverse? In simple words, we are moving towards an immersive web – instead of creating a website, businesses will have to create virtual experiences to engage with their customers and provide an online immersive virtual workplace for their employees. Web3 is the third generation of the Internet, and it’s built on the philosophy that the Internet should be a decentralized network of computers rather than a centralized one. This means that there is no single point of failure and no central authority controlling the flow of information.

The metaverse is not to be confused with Web3, which is the third stage of development of the World Wide Web. The metaverse refers to many three-dimensional, immersive virtual worlds where people can create avatars to represent themselves, buy and sell virtual land, build them, create games and organize concerts and events or virtual stores to sell digital assets and interact with other users in real time. The open metaverse is a decentralized and interoperable multiverse, where users will be able to own and use their digital assets, identity and personal data in a frictionless way across multiple platforms.

The metaverse allows people to have real-time interactions and experiences across distance and is quickly becoming the next digital frontier that everyone wants to conquer.
So far companies are exploring the metaverse to improve customer experience through the creating of interactive immersive experiences, and generate revenue growth by setting up virtual stores and selling digital assets tied to a physical one or any other utility. For example Nikeland, which is the sporting goods brand’s micro metaverse built in Roblox, has attracted 6.7 million people from 224 countries since its launch in November. The space allows users to try on virtual products and buy them as NFTs.

Strengthening online presence
To enter the metaverse first businesses must start by strengthening their online presence and then choose the right metaverse depending on their target audience. The questions that brands should start with as they explore metaverse opportunities include: What is my purpose? Who are my customers, and what do they value? If the brands are looking to target younger audiences for example, using platform like Roblox there are several aspects to keep in mind, namely if the brand is innovative, culturally relevant and aligned with the needs of these communities. It’s equally important to focus on entertainment, authenticity, and creativity as core selling points. Businesses must do a thorough research of the top metaverses and have a deep understanding of the audiences they attract, the products or services that are most needed there and how their business can fit into the virtual world.

Dubai metaverse strategy
Companies are exploring Web3 and the metaverse to achieve revenue growth, competitive advantage, and improved customer experience. Governments are leveraging the metaverse to create virtual twin cities that will enhance their citizens well-being and help create eco friendly smart cities. The Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to turn Dubai into one the world’s top 10 metaverse economies as well as a global hub for the metaverse community. The strategy seeks to attract more than 1,000 companies in the fields of blockchain and metaverse, to support more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and supports development of Web3 technology and its applications to create new governmental work models and growth in vital sectors including tourism, education , retail, remote work, healthcare, and the legal sector.

Governments can leverage the metaverse to upgrade the efficiency and quality of public services. The metaverse has the potential to make available seamless and frictionless citizen services and applications 24×7 anywhere and everywhere. Also, it can enable enhanced communication and engagement between the government and its people.
The metaverse offers as well novel ways to generate employment, impart education, deliver healthcare and map urban planning.

The way forward
As the technology matures, the metaverse will become a seamless extention of our physical world and will allow us beyond gaming to find new and enhanced ways to do all our current activities, including commerce, entertainment and media, education and training, manufacturing and enterprise in general. Enterprise use cases of the metaverse in the coming years will likely include internal collaboration, client contact, events and conference, engineering and design, and workforce training.

Leila Hurstel is the chief metaverse officer at Verse Estate and founder of AllStarsWomen DAO

Read: Dubai’s new metaverse strategy to create 40,000 virtual jobs

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