The concept of the Metaverse has been around since the 1980s, but it’s only in recent years that we’ve seen hundreds of projects come onto the scene. What we are currently witnessing are granular worlds with limited fusion capabilities. For now, the Metaverse remains a blank canvas for early adopters to test and enjoy the concept. In looking into the future of participating in the Metaverse and bridging the gaps between the physical and digital worlds, however, we need to push the boundaries and go beyond what is currently seen as the metaverse. Let’s start looking at the leaders who are starting to build the next internet, which promises to be powerful for commerce, engagement, and entertainment.
For the Metaverse to succeed and become a regular tool used in people’s daily lives, it must enable users to interact with it. As a sci-fi concept or within the gaming world, metaverses look great. But for it to thrive as a social and commercial tool, we must ensure that there is a layer of utility or incentives that keeps users invested. Technology powered by Web3 plays an important role in helping to advance the concept and idea of the Metaverse thanks to blockchain technology, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), extended reality (XR), artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and more. Metaverses that feature custom functionality, talk to their customers and the industry of choice and build new ways of virtual engagement, will find more value in a metaverse-as-a-service (MaaS) offering. It will enable its users to customize their cities from the ground up and will be the foundation of the next internet.
So, what is MaaS? It is a service model where brands can define their spaces to be whatever they want them to be. The MaaS platform allows others to create digital websites that fit the unique needs of each user, whatever that takes. For Metaverse to succeed as a business concept, MaaS solutions will be key. Here’s why.
Each metaverse has different requirements
Everyone has a view or vision of what the metaverse could be or what it could become, whether that be a granular scientist or an access point to Web3. Users want the opportunity to define and shape the space into a platform that reflects even the most vivid imaginations. The world in which users can connect with their favorite music or visual artists will be very different from a world created to interact with sports fans. While Web3 acts as a thread shared across many metaverses, the idea is to use decentralization to ensure that each is unique and serves different purposes. One size fits all is not what the Metaverse is or should be. With MaaS, customization will be critical and in the hands of creators. The esports metaverse dome will rely more on the team’s branding and token, while the artist may want to create an event space to host virtual concerts.
Each metaverse has different requirements based on the industry and the layer of engagement they are looking to activate with the end user. The metaverse is a place for brands to expand their fan bases and build communities as an extra layer of engagement. So, not only will the items be different, the branding in the Metaverse must also look different. As more brands choose to expand their community engagement efforts in the Metaverse, they need to be more customizable.
Not everyone would have the skill to set up this kind of metaverse – just as not everyone could learn to code to create a website, but then platforms like WordPress and Shopify came along. These platforms provided the opportunity for a base built by technology experts and industry experts while allowing for customization by the end user according to the brand and strategy. This is the benefit of MaaS.
Building with interoperability in mind
A virtual environment is a place for socializing, building relationships and creating communities where people can interact in real time with other users. To take this one step further, users must not be locked into one metaverse or community but must be able to interact with their avatar and transfer it between other metaverses. Imagine if you had to change browsers every time you had to visit a website, depending on where it was created or hosted. You probably won’t. Interoperability ensures that any metaverse created will not become a virtual island and that people across multiple metavers will be able to share experiences and possessions. As such, every element must be designed around interoperability, as every Web3 powered solution needs to run in every metaverse – whether it’s a token, glyph, NFT, or other digital asset.
Building with interoperability in mind will connect people, have open borders and make the Metaverse more accessible to everyone. Boundless Solutions has taken off in other industries, but the same concept should also be applied in digital fields. For example, avatars within the esports metaverse must be able to travel to the metaverse of their favorite fashion brand to make purchases as well.
Enabling users to build on top of the physical world
The Metaverse should not function as a substitute for the physical world but should be an additional layer of sharing that enhances real world experiences. MaaS will enable users to integrate sharing layers into their physical world as well. For example, if someone has an NFT displayed in their actual home, a visitor can scan a QR code and it ends up in that person’s metaverse, where the visitor can continue to search through the host’s gallery of NFTs – this function can be activated through XR. Without MaaS as an option, the Metaverse will continue to be a granular world that exists digitally only as discrete, discrete spaces. MaaS will bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds with immersive experiences and an enduring layer of engagement.
As Metaverses roll out, it is up to more than just the blockchain experts behind to shape what it will look like. MaaS will be a catalyst for creativity, as well as a necessary next step for the creative economy to thrive.
When the Internet was launched in the 1980s, it would not have grown into what it is today had it not been for those who started building on it. The early adopters will lay the foundation for how and what the Metaverse will evolve. Mass adoption of the Metaverse can only happen when MaaS enables users other than crypto-natives to begin building their own metavers, paving the way for the next generation of the digital ecosystem.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risks, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The opinions, ideas, and opinions expressed here are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
sweet sandra He is the president of Metaverse and NFTs at Zilliqa. With in-depth knowledge and a multidisciplinary background spanning the traditional and digital industries, Sandra leads Zilliqa’s NFT and Metaverse projects across growth, partnerships, strategy, marketing and concepts. Her global experience across Australia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East enables her to deliver both strategy and execution levels. As a futurist and business leader, Sandra is committed to enriching and innovating the creator economy, Web3, and MetaFi/NFT space.