The over-hyped “Metaverse” doesn’t actually exist yet, but what’s wrong with working in VR in the future?

Sharing is Caring

When we look back 50 years from now, the two-dimensional network we use now will probably look very naive, simple, ridiculous and outdated.

By then the web may no longer just exist behind a computer screen, and the way we interact with it will be completely different.

We’ll use augmented reality (AR) to manipulate objects, explore virtual reality (VR) worlds, and merge the real and digital worlds in ways we can’t currently imagine.

What does this mean for work? We have turned our backs on the 9-to-5 commute and the traditional office environment. This is due to the anti-epidemic policy caused by the new crown epidemic in the past two or three years, and people’s new discovery, new love or tolerance of online meetings in the process.

The next step, then, by that logic, would be to work in the Metaverse, the planned virtual world. Where cartoonish 3D avatars of everyone will walk around and talk and interact with each other?

The Metaverse has become such an over-hyped term that it’s worth pointing out that it doesn’t actually exist yet. Even those invested in the concept were divided on what exactly it would be.

Will competing virtual worlds be interconnected in a way that currently simply does not exist between competing technologies? Will we spend more time there than in the real world? Do we need entirely new rules to govern these new spaces?

None of these questions have been answered yet, but that hasn’t stopped interest and hype in the Metaverse as businesses see new avenues to make money.

From the horizon of the metaverse, we see businesses opening up in nascent worlds, from games like Roblox and Fortnite, to newly created virtual platforms like Sandbox and Decentraland.

Meanwhile, NIKE now sells virtual trainers, HSBC owns land in Sandbox, and Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton, and Sotheby’s have operations in Decentraland.

The term metaverse was coined nearly 30 years ago by writer Neal Stephenson. In his book Snow Crash, the protagonist finds a better life for himself in a virtual reality world.

Perhaps the most daring move to make this fiction a reality technology comes in October 2021. At the time, Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta and began investing billions of dollars to transform itself into a Metaverse-focused company, a vision largely driven by its founder and boss, Mark Zucker. Bo (Mark Zuckerberg) leadership.

Those big investments, however, have raised concerns among shareholders, some of whom have recently expressed concern that the company is investing too much money in virtual reality technology.

According to a report in October last year on The Verge website, which claimed to have viewed Meta’s internal memos, Horizon Worlds, a virtual gaming platform developed by Meta, had many errors and was not well used by employees.


Herman Narula, chief executive of Improbable, the company that develops virtual-reality world software for Meta and author of “Virtual Society,” isn’t convinced by Zuckerberg’s vision.

He said: “Why do we want offices in the metaverse to look like our real offices? The whole point of building new virtual creative spaces is to expand our experience, not simply replicate what we already have in the real world.” thing.”

“But I do think there will be a lot of jobs in the metaverse—for example, we’re going to need moderators.”

The Metaverse is controversial to regulate (or regulate), not only because it is technically difficult to monitor the potentially billions of avatars chatting live in virtual worlds, but also because those avatars may create vast amounts of data in the process.

A Stanford University study found that spending 20 minutes in virtual reality can provide more than 2 million unique recordings of body movements, a rich new data stream for companies.

The New Technology Economy is a series of books that explores how technological innovation is shaping the landscape of emerging economies. Alex Rice, co-founder of the cybersecurity firm HackerOne, believes that any company needs to think through the design of the metaverse before considering letting employees move freely in the metaverse.

“Imagine a casual chat in the office. If it happened in a fully monitored metaverse environment, it would definitely have life-altering consequences.”

“People could be fired outright for saying something in private, informal conversations with colleagues, because these employees are subject to mass corporate surveillance.”

However, Tom Ffiske, editor of the technology newsletter (Immersive Wire), thinks it’s too early to start thinking about working in the metaverse.

He said: “Discussing the metaverse is still difficult, and the definition is still very uncertain and needs to be refined. Although the terminology itself is still under discussion, it is difficult to say whether we will actually work in the metaverse in the future.”

Although no one fully understands what the Metaverse is, the market predicts a bullish value for it. McKinsey suggests that the Metaverse will be worth five trillion dollars by 2030, while management consulting firm Gartner predicts that by 2026, a quarter of the world’s population will spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse.

Matthew Ball, chief analyst at research firm Canalys, disagreed with those rosy forecasts. In his view, by 2025 most of the commercial projects currently in progress in the Metaverse will be shut down.

Avatars in the virtual world

He believes that every company needs to introspect whether its presence in the metaverse is really necessary, or just using technology for technology’s sake.

He said: Not every business needs VR glasses, or visualize virtual models to remotely greet colleagues’ avatars. Not every business needs VR glasses for meetings, either. Zoom and Teams are powerful and attractive alternatives to VR with few barriers and less cumbersome to use.

Tiffany Rolfe is Chief Creative Officer at digital brand agency RGA. She and some of her team members have already worked in the Metaverse.

The company created a virtual American football field in the game Fortnite for phone giant Verizon during the new crown epidemic, and they also partnered with Meta to build a music world.

“Usually the person doing the design on the computer has to put on the VR glasses and work with the builder in that virtual world,” Rolfe said.

But such a new way of working brings new considerations, such as how long employees should wear glasses. “My team could probably last two hours with the VR goggles on,” she said.

The fact that people are already working in virtual reality worlds shows that virtual worlds are possible as future workplaces, but the jobs there may be very different from the jobs we do in the real world.

Replace day-to-day commuting to work at home wearing VR glasses. It may take many years for such a vision to become a visible reality.


Sharing is Caring