Specially for TN
A man walks through a room with dozens of people. When he approached the two of them, he heard a conversation about the last details, he didn’t understand and left. On a flight of stairs, approach a swimming pool. In the back there is electronic music going, the kind that goes on the radio. He was distracted, but soon called her back to the center of the room. It’s time to start the action.
The scene may be in a physical space with a pool, sound system and dozens of people, but it’s in a virtual world. In images and situations reminiscent of classic games The Sims 2 (2004) and Habbo (2000), the men and other people in the room are characters made up of different characters in ‘the real world, connected to the Internet together and from different bodies. place. It’s a virtual universe – or ‘metaverse’, a name that is becoming increasingly popular.
The existence of the universe is not new. The aforementioned Habbo has connected different people around the world through characters since the early 2000s with the intention of entertaining. Since then, thousands of online games have emerged and created a group of people in the virtual world with similar goals.
In the last two years, however, technological advances and market focus have changed the outlook that has always existed. Because Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, announced a $ 10 billion investment in creating its own virtual world -which was called metaverse and the word is popular -, thousands of companies decided to follow the same path. was in the virtual world. “The innovation of the wheel is the real revolution,” said Mariana Amaro, a researcher in social networks and technology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).
If previously they had a very important purpose for entertainment, now metaverses are looking for another purpose: to be a place to work, study, receive medical services, etc. In short, to be an environment that fully mimics real life. “This is the new Internet, which allows to expand the existing connections on social networks, in practice. It is more inclusive,” said Miguel Angelo Gaspar, CEO of Live Planet, a Brazilian company that developed the metaverse itself. .
Virtual living will be driven by a coronavirus infection by 2020. While the online gaming world is already familiar, the idea of working, studying and going to a remote doctor is still limited. in a small niche. Infectious diseases have accelerated this process and technology has taken care of it, but the main benefit announced for the metaverse is the potential to expand this experience in the near future. For Angelo Gaspar, these universes will become popular in the next 3 to 5 years.
However, there is still a lot of doubt surrounding this virtual future. The first is how it works: is it really worth it to have a working session in the metaverse rather than a quick Zoom call?
In 2003, developer Linden Lab created the game Second Life with the literal goal of simulating life in virtual space. Players can buy land, work in the office, go to clubs, date. The game caught the attention of the industry, saw the emergence of real-world financial transactions and reached 1 million people, but lost popularity.
Several reasons explain the downfall of Second Life, but one of them, Mariana Amaro analyzes, is the lack of a humorous purpose. And, for researchers, some metaverse creators, like Meta, seem to make the same mistake. “It seems to me that Meta wants to bring us to work and produce in this virtual world, but the place of the metaverse is the game, where you go to have another life and have dreams, not to relive the first life,” he said. ..
However, according to Miguel Angelo Gaspar, technological innovations, such as the advent of 5G, augmented reality glasses – which put you in a 3D space, like our environment – and mobile high level now, with a new generation connected from birth. with a virtual world that makes the future, the present, different. “Our online experience in the future will be in line with the realities so far, just as we have experienced a huge change when social networks come to our phones,” he said.
Store in Natal is starting a virtual world looking to the future
As virtual universes emerge from the video game bubble and gain the attention of large corporations, small and medium enterprises begin to take risks in this new world – or a new world, because the universe does not exist. In Natal, sisters Anna Carolina and Anna Catarina Nogueira, owners of clothing store Grifes.com, decided to do so almost to boost their sales in the real world.
The official opening took place on May 27 and this was the event mentioned at the beginning of this report. Anna Carolina Nogueira, 32, walked away with her avatar among virtual guests, explaining what a metaverse is and how it works-and why the store decided to create its own world. “It’s something we get into because we know it’s coming,” said the businesswoman.
The store is the first division in Natal to have this event, according to the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae/RN). The process took place just two years after my first experience with online trading, when the store had to be closed due to an infection. They started selling through social networks out of demand and ended up expanding their sales throughout Brazil.
But the decision to enter the metaverse came after seeing major brands make the same move. Renner, for example, has taken action with the Brazilian distributor of Fortnite, a royal battle shooter game whose goal is to be the only survivor of the game and has more than 350 million users worldwide.
Today, access to the sisters ’virtual store occurs directly on the web, unconnected, so far, with a virtual community of people – as in the case of Renner and Fornite. But, for Anna Carolina, initiative is essential to understanding and improving in the world.
In a virtual store, customers can buy clothes, just like on the website, but with the help of an attendant. The hope is to give customers a better experience that is closer to the physical store. “Buying through the web sometimes leaves a lot of doubts. In the metaverse, the broker can be with you at the time of purchase,” says Anna Carolina.
This relationship between the self and the virtual is one of the biggest possibilities of the metaverse, experts say. Working in the virtual world has the opportunity to earn money that can be repaid in real life; and buying real goods can create a repair part in the metaverse. While there is still a lot of uncertainty, there is no doubt that the future will be more virtual.