Construct your very own metaverse with Alibaba Cloud technology >>
Facebook’s decision to change its company name to Meta to reflect its focus on the metaverse has pushed the next-generation iteration of the internet squarely into the spotlight. While some people may view the metaverse - or metaverses - exclusively through a virtual reality lens, this new world extends much further, spanning augmented reality, virtual reality, new mobile platforms, manifestations of existing internet applications and a host of other products, applications and use cases.
While metaverse concepts have existed since the early 2000s through games such as The Sims and Second Life, the transition to this new state gained momentum through the coronavirus pandemic as largely physical activities such as education, concerts and exhibitions moved online.
In addition, already rapidly maturing innovations such as the digital delivery of remote healthcare and smart manufacturing accelerated as organizations and individuals sought to minimize physical contact to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The transformative potential of the metaverse can only be realized if a robust foundation is in place.
The four technology pillars on which this new environment rests are:
While the metaverse raises many questions for businesses - including how to adapt sales and marketing strategies to an immersive world ripe for the delivery of innovative experiences and deeper customer relationships, and where to direct investments as the metaverse evolves, potentially from multiple platforms to large-scale environments - the opportunities presented by innovations such as 3D display interfaces, digital avatars, virtual product shelves and more are nothing short of compelling.
Put another way, the metaverse will be as transformative as the shift from the PC to the mobile phone - and failing to get on board quickly may leave opportunities on the table and your business exposed by more proactive competitors, new entrants and aggressive rivals from adjacent industries.
Some of the early commercial opportunities the metaverse presents include:
Alibaba Cloud provides a metaverse solution that enables businesses to realize the full potential of the next generation of the internet, integrating digital and physical lives, economies, assets and identities.
Its products and services enable metaverse construction and give businesses the ability to realize the full potential of opportunities this new world presents. These products, services and solutions include remote rendering based on high-performance computing that enables developers to build metaverse materials and digital scenario content and data analytics and AI that provide an integrated view across virtual and physical worlds, combining metaverse application scenarios through computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing and intelligent speech capabilities.
On the object storage front, the cloud provider offers a data lake solution that supports several data types and access channels.
Furthermore, the Alibaba Cloud IoT solution provides wireless connectivity and signal transmission services that support virtual reality-centric online to offline retail and other experiences, while the Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes enables the rapid development of applications that can help monetize and grow a compelling metaverse presence, such as branded installations.
The Blockchain as a Service solution ensures the underlying data of the metaverse can be traced and is free from tampering, delivering the trust and collaboration needed for NFT-based and other transactions.
In addition, the Alibaba Cloud global network and SD-WAN technology provides the low latency that ensures a fast, lag-free experience that enables metaverse users to interact seamlessly with each other, brands and other participants, while the provider also offers big data solutions that enable businesses to understand and continue to improve user experiences in the metaverse.
The metaverse is a compelling opportunity for businesses to provide users with rich, integrated experiences across the online and physical worlds, forging closer relationships with them and establishing themselves as leaders in digital innovation.
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