Farheen Ahmad on upcoming trends that will shape the evolution of Metaverse – The Financial Express

The Financial Express
By Farheen Ahmad
Metaverse evolution is likely to get shaped by several factors in the future with prominent ones including blockchain, NFTs, and extended reality among others.
With the metaverse gaining prominence by the day, brands all across the globe are eager to try out these virtually connected universes for more interactive and immersive engagements with their target market. From Coca-Cola to Louis Vuitton and from Citi Bank to Samsung, the biggest multinational names are dipping their toes into the metaverse and experimenting with virtual ways to connect with new-age customers. With so many opportunities abounding, we take a close look at the emerging trends that are likely to dominate the brands’ engagement with metaverse in the near future:
1) Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR): The fast-evolving streams of AR, VR, and MR will significantly shape the metaverse and its allied ecosystems in the future. While AR enhances experiences by adding digital elements to the real world, VR immerses users in a completely different virtual world, a far cry from physical reality. MR, on the other hand, can offer a combined experience of both AR and VR and is significant in offering the best experience of both technologies. Remember, these technologies serve specific purposes and are likely to witness enhanced use in furthering the adoption of metaverse platforms among prospective users in the coming years.
2) Web 3.0 Platforms: The emergence of web 3.0 projects is a step towards complete
decentralization of the internet. At its core, the concept strives to free the internet from the dominance of large parties and more such projects are likely to emerge on metaverse platforms in the future. This decentralization also means more power to content creators who are currently struggling to get their rightful share in digital space. The integration of more such projects will also allow users to take full control of their data and help online communities to exchange information, digital assets and other allied activities without the influence of companies which control digitally connected universes.
3) Artificial Intelligence (AI): The revolutionary potential of AI in taking the metaverse
experience to a different level couldn’t be overemphasized today. The use of AI in future
metaverse platforms is likely to get intensified and will help in creating vivid virtual worlds and experiences for target audiences. Especially in the segment of digital properties, AI can stimulate sales of land parcels by constructing never-seen-before virtual structures. Further, by allowing seamless interaction between users and non-player characters (NPCs), AI can make the metaverse gaming experience a surreal one for the players.
4) Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Already acting as an important growth pillar of the metaverse, NFTs in the future will completely transform the creating, buying, and selling experience of users on digital platforms. NFTs will grow their influence further by emerging as a mainstay of value exchange across categories such as ticketing, Domain Names, Community Memberships, and Loyalty Programs among others. In addition, the trade of these digital assets is likely to become more decentralized with a strict focus on the peer-to-peer model of value transactions.
5) Interactive Content: The growth of the metaverse is significantly dependent upon the
participation and interactions of users on these platforms. To drive up these exchanges, the role of interactive content will become instrumental in the future. The use of both audio and visual aids will dominate the category of content creation and coupled with the growing influence of decentralisation, content creators will become significant stakeholders in the entire economy of the metaverse. In addition, the reciprocity of these platforms to users’ feedback and complaints will also become a differentiating factor and help these platforms to achieve desired growth in the future.
6) Metaverse commerce: By offering a unique combination of multi-model capabilities,
commerce in the metaverse economy will take the shopping experience of customers to a different level altogether in the future. The strong technology base of metaverse platforms consists of AR, VR, MR, NFTs, and blockchain technology. These new-age innovations when combined with virtual environments, real customers, and digital technologies can enable customers to explore, select, and shop items from global vendors throughout the world. In addition to these wide choices, Metaverse platforms also enable personalized shopping experiences and better customer understanding, both of which are cornerstones for striking long-term relationships with prospective buyers.
Metaverse is evolving fast and many are finding it difficult to keep up with the pace. We are standing at the cusp of the revolution and the next couple of years will set the tone for the future evolution of these platforms which are today sweeping the world. In addition to enthusiastic users; response, the rollout of 5G Technology, cost-effective audio-visual gears, and encouraging policy frameworks will contribute to making metaverse platforms a mainstay of both personal entertainment and business opportunities in future.
 The author is the CEO and co-founder of Interality
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