Here in northern Europe things are changing. Nothing dramatic as I’m talking about autumn and how nature reveals its true hues as leaves turn from green into shades of yellow, orange and brown. I find it inherently beautiful, this transition from summer to winter time. Yet most people dread the transformation; summer is a thing of the past and days are shrinking rapidly. Well, that includes me to some extent. It’s cold, windy and rainy outside, we turn inward, we close our curtains. For the next 3-4 months or so we will rely on artificial light almost round the clock. Without it we’d probably go in hibernation. Here in the north at least. But thanks to light…heat…electricity…technology…we can stay awake and stay productive. Having said that, I’ll probably waste some of the available time on binge watching every possible show on Netflix.
Fire. Light. Heat. Tools. These were the first technologies.
Living in the computer-driven information age, we don’t necessarily think of fire or tools as technologies. But by definition technology refers to the “practical application of knowledge in a certain area.” Learning how to tame and use fire proved an invaluable technological advance in human development.
We are on the brink of another fundamental technological advance: The Metaverse. Granted, it’s quite a jump from fire to the Metaverse, but like fire made it possible to be overcome the constraints that nature and the environment put upon us, so will the Metaverse allow us to overcome constraints, those of physical distance. You may argue we are already there. Many of us are working from home these days, due to COVID. Distance doesn’t matter wen we meet on Zoom and Skype, when we text and send snaps. Indeed, we communicate faster and easier than ever before. Distance has lost its meaning.
But something is lacking.
We’re never together in the same environment. We’re looking at flat screens at people who are far away. We can see them and talk to them, but we’re well aware they’re in a completely different place. We never feel truly connected.
What this means became all too clear last year. My company organized a cross-office team day and team building session. On Skype. Two offices and two teams, each in their respective location. There were presentations, online games, work related discussions, etc. You know the drill. But the best part? When we went bowling (this was pre-covid). Real bowling that is. Suffice to say, this is where the online sessions ended and the two offices split.
The Metaverse will be a game changer.
The first waves of the Metaverse revolution are already washing over us. An important feature of this Metaverse is that it consists of persistent virtual spaces in which we can socialize, meet, work, do business. And Somnium Space is leading the way with a unique persistent world and strong focus on immersion. Somnium’s philosophy is that a deep sense of immersion is key to feeling connected. Connected to the virtual environment and connected to each other. You can build a VR environment entirely based on blocks, but you cannot build a VR environment based on blocks and expect it to trigger emotions and engrave memories in your user’s minds.
But Somnium can do this. They understood how fundamental real emotions are for feeling immersed and connected. And where ever we feel connected – even if it is in a virtual environment – we gather. We create stories. Do business. Collect memories.
Don’t get fooled by the (still) somewhat chunky headsets and the hurdles that still need to be overcome on the road ahead. But the Metaverse is here and it is here to stay. And before long visiting virtual worlds to socialize, have fun, do business, will be as normal as checking the news on your smartphone.
Team building sessions in Somnium Space; hang-out, have fun, talk business, go bowling. It is already possible today.
I will have a chat with my boss.