By now, you have probably heard the term “metaverse.”
But what exactly is the metaverse? And how will it impact our world?
Many companies, including Meta, are focused on building the metaverse and new opportunities for individuals and organizations to connect and collaborate.
Diana Doukas U.S. Policy Programs Manager, Economic Impact of Meta spoke with Florida Politics about what this new concept could mean for the future of Floridians and how businesses and organizations in Florida can begin preparing for this paradigm shift.
Question: The metaverse is a new concept for many. Can you share what exactly the metaverse is and break down how it works?
Diana Doukas: To put it simply, the metaverse is a set of digital spaces, including immersive 3D virtual reality experiences through the use of equipment, such as the Meta Quest 2 VR headset. In the metaverse, you can do things you can’t do in the physical world with people you may not be able to physically be with.
Eventually, the metaverse will be a hybrid of today’s social experiences, connecting you with people, entertainment, events, shopping and more. Instead of looking and interacting with a screen, you will be able to create an avatar and immerse yourself into this experience, either expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. Whereas the last decade saw a shift from desktop web to mobile internet, the next decade will be about shifting into the metaverse.
Q: We know that Meta (formerly known as Facebook) will have a major role in helping grow the metaverse. How is Meta moving to help advance this technology?
DD: The metaverse is the next frontier of digital virtual connection. So as a social company with investments in technology, the metaverse is a natural evolution for us.
This is really a collaborative effort with many companies, developers, experts and policymakers. Over the next few years, our goal is for the metaverse to bring people closer to feeling that in-person connection, and unlock new opportunities for people and communities.
We are already building and investing in the metaverse with products like our virtual reality Quest 2 experience.
Q: You mentioned businesses and how they can use this type of technology to grow and reach new audiences. What does the metaverse mean for Florida businesses and how can these businesses get ready for this type of technological advancement?
DD: Similar to the internet in the early 2000s, the metaverse will bring a significant shift in how the world uses technology. This shift will transform connections and engagements from 2D to 3D, opening up new possibilities and raising the bar for communities and businesses here in Florida.
Instead of browsing on your mobile phone, the metaverse uses virtual reality and augmented reality to immerse someone into a 3D experience whether it be a business meeting, browsing a virtual storefront, or hanging out with friends and family.
It’s important for Florida businesses to start learning more about the metaverse and how they can leverage it to better engage and serve their audiences.
The metaverse is still being built out, but my advice for business owners is to start experimenting with digital tools that allow you to connect with your customers in new ways, such as our Augmented Reality features on Instagram.
Q: Anything else we should know about the metaverse?
DD: There are always times when it is better to be together in person, but there are also times when being together just isn’t possible. That’s when we need this type of technology that helps overcome these barriers.
Our company has always been about building social connection and we see this as the next major evolution in social technology. Because we are committed to making the metaverse an inclusive and empowering place, we’ve launched a $50 million investment fund to collaborate with industry partners, governments, and other organizations to ensure we are building out these technologies responsibly.
There’s still a long road ahead, but we are excited about the possibilities the metaverse will create for individuals, communities and businesses all over the world.