Decentralized, Democratic, and Immersive: The Metaverse and Web3.0 will hook you 2021–2040
Great companies take time to evolve, and once they evolve they disrupt the entire industry
- Google was founded in the year 1998, and it took them approximately ~15 years to become the ecosystem that it is now (search engine, youtube, android, consumer gadgets, and cloud company)
- Facebook was founded in 2004, and it took them 10–12 years to gain the social network dominance it now has across Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp.
- Microsoft was founded in the year 1975 and has reinvented itself a couple of times- as a software company, a cloud-first enterprise tech business alongside bringing in even elements of hardware (Hololens and Surfaceboards).
- Apple was started in 1976, and it also has reinvented itself a few times as a personal computer brand, a consumer gadget leader (iPods, smartphones, pads, AirPods), a developer community and service provider -apps store, iTunes, and podcast ecosystem.
The point I am trying to make is great companies and brands are built over a couple of decades. Magic happens when the entire ecosystem (consumers, suppliers or partners, and enablers) come together and the big picture appears.
I have written a couple of articles on the start and early signs of the rise of the metaverse. In this piece, I will try to give you a full view of how I think metaverse will evolve.
This is a long thread on metaverse and web3.0 and will keep on evolving as I learn more on the subject and the possibilities that exist.
Where we started, where we are now, and where we are going?
- Web 1.0 (1990’s to 2002)- I like to call this phase read and reach to some connections. The early days of the internet were about making information available online, and the ability to send email from one person to another. The adoption was still low due to multiple reasons- limited storage and computing power, laptops were rare, pre-smartphone days, internet connectivity was slow (no broadband, slow dial-up connections). The business models were very limited, however, companies like ebay, Amazon, Yahoo were the pioneers.
- Web 2.0 (2003–2020)- I like to call this phase- Create, Connect and limited monetization via intermediaries. Web 2.0 was also about bringing everyone on the internet. Social media played a huge role and once the mobile apps were available across smartphones, there was no going back. Boredom was dead forever and all physical world business models were replicated online- retail became e-commerce, dating became online matchmaking, banking became faster through internet banking and wallet. Even the products got digitized- OTT streaming, Youtube channels replaced CDs and DVDs. Almost 4–5 billion people of the world came online for the first time in their lives. The platforms — social, e-commerce, fintech, mobility, enterprise tech, and entertainment played a huge role in building online communities.
- Web 3.0 (2021 onwards)- This is the phase where the web users will- Immerse, Own, Monetize, and Control by decentralizing the web.
Limitations of web 2.0 and why web 3.0 was needed?
- Centralized platforms became the superpowers
- Data Privacy issues
- Winner takes it all models
- Outside in 2D web, no immersive experience
- No digital scarcity
- Money is not programmable
- AI/ML-powered personalized Digital Avatars are still not there (this may still take 5–10 years and then they will man your immersive web world even when you are not present inside it)
Enter web 3.0 and the Metaverse: How the future will evolve (so imagine with me)
Let's talk impact on consumers and the way we experience life
- Wear a headset that takes you inside the internet-The headset is currently very bulky (like iPhone 1st generation in fact iPod 1), but eventually, it will be like cool sunglasses that allow you to flip between ‘immersive and real world’ with the press of a button
- The immersive world is getting digitized and a real-world replica of the exact physical world exists for you inside the internet. So basically you have a room, an office, home, and gym that exist inside the internet which has some correlation with reality or allows you to design them as per your imagination.
- The avatars currently look like comic characters, but they will soon begin to feel exactly like humans (real faces, features, and identification). You will know the people and familiar faces, as you see them
- Real-world environment simulation may not be possible in sunglasses, but high-end VR sets or bodysuits may even let you feel haptic touches like wind, temperature changes, human touch, and noises like the real world. Imagine wearing a full-body suit (1000–2000 USD) and being able to travel to any country in the world and experience what is happening there on a real-time basis. Global tourism will be immersive and feel much more real.
- No centralized platform will be able to see your data and your attention as a product. The brands will be interacting with you without intermediaries. Imagine a real-world Nike salesman soliciting you inside metaverse to buy a shoe and giving you on-the-spot discounts and deals.
- You will control the privacy and extent of your presence within the metaverse through web3.0 protocols.
- You will be able to play all games with other friends and strangers inside the metaverse.
- It will not just be a 1:1 interaction, but 1:many personalized interactions inside the web3.0. Imagine for 100 dollars you are able to play for 15 minutes with a digital avatar of Cristiano Ronaldo?
Let's talk impact on work- Officeverse will come to life too
- The world is already shifting towards a hybrid work environment. The reason why physical spaces exist is that they give a full 360' immersive experience. Metaverse (or Officeverse) will give the same option to employees and will save a lot of real estate costs for employers.
- All remote calls (teams and zoom-based) now happen in your office conference room where the digital avatars of employees are present and can brainstorm on a whiteboard. The employees may only be wearing glasses and working for a different country in a different timezone.
- Most businesses that are consumer-facing will have a presence in the metaverse. Banks, shopping malls, conferences will be always open. And you could do real transactions with them inside the metaverse that will have implications outside the metaverse too.
Let’s talk about the impact on businesses, creators, and NFT owners (NON FUNGIBLE TOKENS)
- What you own within web3.0, cannot be marketed by centralized platforms, social networks, and big-tech without your permission.
- You will be able to release your data (shopping, travel, health, browsing searches) in exchange for tokens that have a monetary value. Basically if every year you spend 30000 USD then you own the data about what you consume. You can choose to auction it and get something in return for it. You can even choose to keep it completely private.
- Digital scarcity is possible thanks to NFT’s. Basically, any digital asset, meme, artwork or video moment that you create and own can be sold within the metaverse.
- The web3.0 will be able to distinguish between 10 million views of people who have zero purchasing power, and 1000 views received from 100 billionaires. So quality will not be compromised in the mad rush marketing of ‘ million views’ or “most viewed thing”. Just like in a real-world you do not get impressed if 100000 paid audiences attend a political rally, you will know how to distinguish between class and mass inside the metaverse.
There is so much more that will happen inside the metaverse than what the human mind can imagine from the vantage point of 2021
- It will be immersive and hence much more addictive than the screen-based 2D world of the internet that we experience
- The adoption will depend on how quickly the entire ecosystem of -Metaverse enablers’ come together- business avatars, gaming companies, digital avatars, 5g, chipset providers, AR/VR tech.
- The magic lies in hybrid-where a person can voluntarily get in and out of metaverse with a gesture of voice command.
- The real-world transactions must also relate to the metaverse, else it will end up as a video game or utopian land where the people escape for a break.
It will be much more democratic and decentralized. This is the opportunity for the big tech companies to redeem themselves in a way by building the internet of the future. The one that unites and does not polarize the users. The one where everyone gets to own something and the winner does not take it all.
The Metaverse Shift (Part#2)Wearable Ecosystem as Computing Platform (Part-2)-by Sidhartha Sharma
AR/VR/Mixed reality headsets have existed for a long, but ever wondered why the metaverse is getting so much attention?