End of Zoom, now place for metaverse meetings
The concept of metaverse was first considered in 1992 through a book by Neal Stephenson. For some time now, computer and internet giants like Facebook and Microsoft have invested heavily in developing this idea of virtual reality and augmented reality. Barely a few months after its revolution, the metaverse has already begun to impose itself in several areas. The parallel environment seems to take over the usual means of communication. To participate in professional meetings online, the trend seems to be heading towards this new universe. Until then, the virtual alternative world that is the metaverse will be of common use.
Why is the metaverse being considered?
Currently, to organize online meetings, there are some constraints that must still be considered. For example, the number of people who can participate in these meetings is capped while sometimes the need to contact and chat with a large number of people is necessary. In particular, the global Covid-19 crisis and the many restrictive measures it has imposed on humanity have shown the importance of revolutionizing the way we live and work. This situation has improved telework conditions.
This is why the metaverse seems essential. The parallel and augmented reality world allows you to participate in meetings or encounters in a fictional setting only with a virtual reality headset on your head. It is an area that offers endless possibilities, which therefore causes the enthusiasm of large groups such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon etc.
Apart from all this, the metaverse has a few characteristics that go in its favor:
- Persistence, because the metaverse does not stop, it is permanent;
- Generated thanks to a computer, which makes it complete;
- It has no limit or maximum size;
- It is live and synchronous, so everyone has the same experience;
- It is not owned by anyone, so everyone can create their own.
These characteristics make the metaverse a decentralized tool. It does not belong to any large group in particular so its use can be diversified and is available to everyone. The largest groups in the world, whether they are in the digital, Internet or cinema domain, are already planning to integrate this new possibility into their activities. The idea is to make the internet experience more realistic and rewarding for all workers. Online meetings or discussions as we know them today may be living their last days, and will surely give way to the metaverse.
Would meeting in metaverse be more interesting?
In the metaverse, the universe of meetings is very close to reality. Participants can all meet in the same room and are each represented by an avatar. With its virtual reality headset, everyone can interact whenever they want by simply pressing a button for their avatar to raise their hand. Other equipment like motion capture gloves can also be used.
With this device, participants will have the opportunity to draw shapes, go back and forth in the room or even applaud after an interesting intervention through their avatar as if they were really there. It is precisely this impression of presence that makes the experience unique. People who do not have a virtual reality headset will not be excluded from the meeting; they can simply participate in a video call.
Using the metaverse will make business meetings less abstract. Employees can find themselves around a table through their avatar, which makes conferences more serious and allows everyone to feel more involved. It will also allow teleworkers to communicate with their employers or clients more easily. This is the door that opens all possibilities.
The possibilities offered by the metaverse
Large groups have already started to invest in the field of augmented reality. Facebook already announces the creation of meeting rooms in metaverse. Once the equipment is made available, users of these rooms will be able to participate in online sessions with ease. For its part, Microsoft is working on the possibility of having Teams meetings with interposed avatars. These advances in the field are announced for the years to come. The world of teleworking could then be completely revolutionized if this technology were to be deployed. Even if you are in your pajamas and still in bed, you will be able to easily participate in meetings. Your avatar will be displayed and no one will know what situation you and your colleagues are in.
Use the metaverse, yes but for when?
Opinions differ on this aspect. According to some, in the next 3 years metaverse meetings will entirely replace current videoconferencing. The implementation of the device will take a minimum of time before being effective. For others, it will take even longer. Facebook does not foresee the generalization of the metaverse for meetings before 5 to 10 years. It should be noted that the approaches are not the same from one company to another.
For the boss of Facebook, the metaverse will completely revolutionize the internet as we know it today. As soon as this is done, all meetings, teleworking and other internet activities will now take place in this virtual universe. It would be like a passage to a new era where everything would be virtual. It is not without reason that the company was renamed Groupe Meta. At Microsoft, ambitions are more moderate and are short-themed. The possibility of introducing the metaverse into Teams dialogues in 2022 is already being analyzed. If the experience turned out to be positive, we would have an introduction of metaverse interfaces with the arrival of the Mesh function on Teams.
There are still some constraints related to the metaverse
Using the metaverse for meetings requires investments that are not to be neglected. Each user should have a virtual reality headset and motion detection gloves. These are pieces of equipment that will pay for themselves over time and will need to be replaced. This is part of the arguments brandished by the detractors of the metaverse. For some, providing these tools in addition to a connected computer will not be easy.
In the same way, some think that using the metaverse would on the contrary cause the dehumanization of work. During meetings, facial expressions are factors that can come into play. According to people who are reluctant to generalize the metaverse, using avatars instead of people’s faces would not help to understand yourself and whether others agree with you or not. It would be like chatting with robots according to some. For them, videoconferencing still has a bright future.