By Uwe Schmidt, CEO Industrie-Contact
Quest for Business
Marc Zuckerberg’s renaming of his company Facebook, Inc. to Meta Platforms and the announcement of a Metaverse could herald a new era. Our lives are to be transferred to a world in which we move and meet virtually as avatars, for example, to play games together or watch movies and concerts or sporting events. The approach also works professionally: meetings and press conferences can be held in this way, for example.
The technology for the new world is available: the Internet and the virtual reality glasses Oculus, now called Meta Quest. For the business sector, workrooms and virtual conference rooms will be set up in the Metaverse Horizon. There will also be VR goggles for the business sector. Their name: Quest for Business. In contrast to private use, access will be via the business account. Currently, the company is working feverishly on the development of new software and hardware to get the Metaverse up and running. It is unclear when the Metaverse will take off.
The best of all worlds?
Marc Zuckerberg has caused a sensation, as he did in 2004 when he invented “The Facebook” together with three fellow students. While we have become accustomed to constant video calls and conferences with moving images in two-dimensional space in both our private and professional lives, not least “thanks” to Corona, our lives are now to be shifted into a three-dimensional metaverse (metauniverse).
It goes without saying with Marc Zuckerberg that this world is supposed to be the best of all possible worlds. Facebook, too, was marketed with the promise that it would allow everyone around the world to connect and that “peace, joy, pancakes” would reign. The result is well known: More disinformation, fake news, hate speech, division and segregation never were.
It will be the same with the metaverse. It simply shifts from one level to another. Since the new always has its appeal and its advantages, people will get involved and enter the brave new world, marvel and look around in it. The entry threshold will be low-threshold, with plenty of trial-and-error offerings.
Will the Metaverse replace Zoom & Co.?
A press conference in the Metaverse can also be a fine thing. Organizers, experts and journalists come together in one room and can communicate with each other via their avatars as if they were there in person. Since no one has to move spatially, the likelihood that the event will be well attended is high – provided the topic is exciting. Certainly, the Metaverse will also offer great opportunities for three-dimensional presentation.
The question that arises in the professional environment: Do you really need it? Aren’t the video conferencing techniques like Zoom that people use every day now enough? They are probably enough for everyday exchanges. But those who want to present themselves in a particularly advanced way will use the Metaverse. The most spectacular presentation of a new premium model of a car brand can then actually only be imagined there.
Is Metaverse Marc Zuckerberg’s greatest vision or an omnipotence fantasy?
Like all inventions, the Metaverse can be used for good or bad. There are some science fiction movies that have dealt extensively with this virtualization of human existence. “Matrix” was a milestone in this regard in 1999. In the film, it is shown that artificial intelligence has taken over and that people only live in an illusory reality. But they are led to believe that this is the real one.
Marc Zuckerberg has not yet attracted attention as a particularly ethical person. So one should not be blinded by the gimmicks with which the metaverse will be brought to us. The utmost caution is called for. Perhaps this is because Zuckerberg does not simply call his new invention “Metaworld”, but “Metaverse”. A bit of megalomania is recognizably involved. Politicians will be challenged globally to define the framework conditions for this new world.