So far you have Definitely heard enough hype about the Metaverse to conclude it’s on the horizon. But don’t expect many true metaverse experiences to gain mass adoption in 2023. Instead, 2023 will be our “metaverse ready” year.
There are already amazing immersive and interactive experiences, including games fortnite, my worldwith RoblesBut none of those games really delivered on the promise of the metaverse we imagine today, a virtual world where we meet friends and strangers from all over the world to play, explore, shop and interact together. To turn this vision into reality, we have work to do in the areas of content production, technology standards and virtual commerce.
One thing we know about the Metaverse is that it will only be successful if it is filled with rich, interactive, personalized and engaging 3D content. Many companies and creators are already accelerating 3D content creation, not only because it allows them to experiment with future Metaverse experiences, but also because it helps them solve business problems today. Creating in 3D allows companies to create marketing images for websites, catalogs and advertisements in a faster, cheaper, more scalable and sustainable manner. For example, three quarters of product images in the IKEA catalog have been rendered in 3D rather than photographed. Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s created thousands of product images in weeks rather than months by rendering them in 3D at a fraction of the cost.
Many companies are now also using 3D creation to design new products. Tommy Hilfiger used 3D assets to shave two weeks off its design review process. Designers at footwear brand Salomon also found that rendering new shoe designs could actually cut the time to produce prototypes by as much as 67%.
By 2023, with all the 3D content at hand, companies are free to experiment with new metaverse concepts. They can try out new approaches, partner with other companies, and see what works and what doesn’t. A good example is Amazon, which is experimenting with an augmented reality system that allows shoppers to place AR versions of products in their own homes. No one knows exactly what the Metaverse will look like—it will be put together through trial and error—but companies with libraries of 3D content to experiment with will be the designers of this new medium.
Another important factor in the success of the Metaverse is its technical standards. For example, HTML helps the Internet thrive by ensuring that web pages look and behave the same in all browsers. Likewise, companies and individuals wouldn’t spend time and money creating content for the Metaverse if they couldn’t publish content anywhere and make it look and behave the way they wanted. There’s still a lot of work to be done here, but groups like the Khronos Group, Realtime Conference, and Metaverse Standards Forum are bringing together tech companies, hardware manufacturers, and retailers to develop open standards that will begin to govern Metaverse content. One of the standards being developed is USD, called HTML for the Metaverse, which will allow 3D assets to be shared and rendered across many different immersive experiences. Another standard glTF, JPEG for 3D, will allow 3D assets to be compressed so that they are small enough to transmit efficiently.
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