New virtual economy: what does the rise of The Metaverse mean?

New virtual economy: what does the rise of The Metaverse mean?

Vast amounts of money are pouring into the Metaverse, an alternate world where you can work, play, and meet people without leaving your home. But will the rise of this vast virtual space blur the lines of reality and forever redefine how we consume and communicate?

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse: Right now, it’s all anyone can talk about, online or offline. It might seem like a new buzzword, but the idea has been around since 1992 and first appeared in a science fiction novel. It isn’t easy to define precisely what the Metaverse means, as the technology behind it is evolving to include many aspects of virtual reality. Put simply, it is an all-encompassing digital world that coexists with the real world. The Somnium Space company was one of the oldest open-source metaverse platforms on the market.

The Exchange spoke to its founder and CEO, Artur Sychov, to learn more about living, working, and playing in this alternative environment. “When you’re in VR like I am now, I’m fully connected to the environment. I’m here, and let’s say physically, mentally, right? Because my brain, my eyes, everything I see, I think it’s me in space.” Said Sychov.

How might business benefit?

The Metaverse isn’t just about games and fun. The wide world of virtual reality can also provide opportunities for businesses to find solutions online to apply in the real world. And those solutions are what consulting firm PwC hopes to create at its latest Middle East technology lab in Doha. “The idea behind the Metaverse at PwC is that we see it as evolution, not revolution. So that’s the approach we’re taking with the Metaverse.”

This makes us very agile. We understand that things change and that our customers’ needs may differ,” says Rahaf Abutarbush, Laboratory Technologist, PwC Middle East.

Using robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and more, PwC engineers are increasingly finding innovative ways to transcend the physical world without losing human connection. That means there’s not much you can do in the Metaverse these days: business meetings, large-scale collaborations, keynote presentations, and media interviews. “Our clients have gone beyond just coming in and giving advice or giving PowerPoint presentations and all that stuff. They want to see things happen, and new technologies are essential in that regard,” says Stephen Anderson, Strategy and Leader, PwC Middle East.

What about security?

As virtual reality grows in popularity, so do concerns about its impact on human interaction, social isolation, and mental health. Children spend more time online. And while they can have much fun in the Metaverse, the lack of clear rules could also make it dangerous. How can VR platforms address these issues? Tami Bhaumik is Vice President of Civics and Partnerships at Roblox, a global platform with more than 50 million daily users.

Roblox is committed to regulating its platforms and empowering young users and their caregivers with the skills they need to play safely. We are a technology platform that allows people to create experiences and publish them on our platform’s civilised environment to let your imagination run wild. Parents often asked, “What Roblox is this? How do I protect my children?

How do I know it’s safe? It made me realise that, given the size of our community, educating is not only a responsibility but an opportunity.

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