Welcome to the ‘Metaverse Continuum’ and here’s how you can get involved

2022 promises to be a pivotal year for business and technology, and ushers in what Accenture has dubbed the “Metaverse Continuum.” According to the international consultancy, mastering new technologies and embracing innovation is not enough to succeed in this landscape.

It takes a “truly competitive vision,” Accenture said in its “2022 Technology Vision” report, in which companies “uproot themselves from the present and settle firmly into the future.”

Accenture’s annual Technology Vision report has identified emerging technology trends for more than 20 years. This year, with significant changes ahead, the report looks more to the future. Accenture explains its vision for the Metaverse Continuum, “a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models poised to revolutionize life and business in the next decade.”

Embrace or lag behind the Metaverse Continuum?

According to the report, virtual worlds will expand in unprecedented ways over the next decade, introducing new forms of commerce, currency and art, among other things. At the same time, digitally enhanced physical worlds will move from the limited spaces that currently exist, such as connected factories, to very smart neighborhoods and cities. The tools used to build the Metaverse Continuum include extended reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), digital twins, and connected objects.

The report states that enterprises now face a choice: adopt the Metaverse Continuum or lag behind. “Just like in the early days of the web, companies are racing toward a future that is completely different from what they were designed for,” the report said. “Over the next decade, we will see a complete transformation of almost every environment in which companies currently operate. †

Because these facets of the Metaverse Continuum are so new, there are no rules or expectations, Accenture notes. This creates rich opportunities for companies to set standards for the way people live and do business.

“The building blocks of the Metaverse Continuum are taking shape today, but they will come together over the next decade to create a whole new enterprise landscape,” the report said. “In the 2020s ambitious companies will shape this new physical and digital reality, as well as worlds populated by humans and AI, industries enabled by new computers, and more. †

Accenture’s report identifies four specific technology trends for 2022 that will drive the creation of the Metaverse Continuum. It is about :

  • WebMe, the “I” in the metaverse: the internet is being reinvented as metaverse and web3 efforts are transforming the way the virtual world works and is built.
  • The programmable world, our personalized planet: control, personalization and automation permeate the world around us, making the physical as programmable as the digital.
  • Making the unreal, the authentic with the synthetic: while AI-generated data and synthetic content convincingly mimic what is ‘real’, authenticity is the new North Star.
  • Computerize the impossible, new machines, new possibilities: a new generation of computers solves some of the world’s most intractable problems, resulting in one of the greatest technological breakthroughs of our time.

The digital foundations

For skeptics of the Metaverse Continuum, many examples of companies have led the way. Accenture has even identified a special category of companies it has dubbed “leapfroggers,” which have adopted innovative new technologies in response to the pandemic. These companies have also shown that there is a lot of money to be found in the Metaverse Continuum.

For example, last year Gucci created The Gucci Garden Experience to sell virtual products. The fashion giant has sold a virtual digital twin of a Gucci handbag for a price higher than its real-world equivalent.

Meanwhile, auction house Christie’s has started holding digital auctions during the pandemic and auctioning NFTs (non-fungible tokens). In 2020, in the first NFT auction, Christie’s sold a work by artist Beeple for $69 million. The house also became the first to accept cryptocurrency payments for auctions.

To succeed in the Metaverse Continuum, Accenture’s report indicates that companies must build on their digital foundations. They must make important decisions, “finally choose partners to build digital twins, move beyond data and analytics to use AI in a more visible and collaborative way, or launch the ‘moonshot’ project that seems increasingly mission-critical” , the report said. † “Only with a mature and well-oiled digital engine will companies be ready to participate in and even build the new business environments and worlds that everyone will soon have to be a part of. †

The report also includes a caveat: pushing the boundaries of the Metaverse Continuum means moving into areas not yet governed by policy and regulation. It is therefore their responsibility to create the trust and safety of everyone who participates in the Metaverse Continuum.

Source: ZDNet.com

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