The concept of the Metaverse has been around since the 1980s, but only in the last few years have we seen hundreds of projects pop up on the scene. What we are currently experiencing is a gamified world with limited integration and engagement capabilities. For now, Metaverse remains a blank canvas for early adopters to test and entertain concepts. However, as we look to the future of participating in the Metaverse and bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds, we need to push the boundaries and go beyond what is currently seen as the Metaverse. Let’s start focusing on the leaders who are already starting to build the next internet that promises to be powerful in commerce, engagement and entertainment.
For Metaverse to succeed and become a regular tool people use in their daily lives, it must enable users to participate. Metaverse sounds great as a sci-fi concept or in a game world. However, in order for them to thrive as social and business tools, we must ensure that there is a layer of utility or incentives to keep users invested. With the help of blockchain technology, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), extended reality (XR), artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and more, Web3-based technologies play an important role in helping advance the concepts and ideas of the metaverse. Metaverse, with customized capabilities, dialogue with customers and selected industries, and new avenues for virtual engagement, will find the most value in Metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS) offerings. It will enable its users to customize their own cities from AZ and will be the foundation of the next Internet.
So, what is MaaS? It’s a service model where brands can define their space as anything they want. MaaS platforms enable others to create digital locations tailored to the unique needs of each of their users, regardless of their appearance. For Metaverse’s success as a practical concept, MaaS solutions will be key. that’s why.
Each metaverse has different requirements
Everyone has their own opinion or vision of what the metaverse could be or become, whether it’s a gamified world or an access point to Web3. Users want the opportunity to define the space and shape it into a platform that reflects the most vivid imagination. The world where users can connect with their favorite musical or visual artist will be very different from one built to interact with sports fans. While Web3 acts as a common thread for many metaverses, the idea is to use decentralization to ensure that each metaverse is unique and serves a different purpose. One size fits all is not what the metaverse is about. With MaaS, customization will be critical and in the hands of the creator. Esports virtual world domes will rely more on team branding and gamification badges, while entertainers may want to create an event space to host virtual concerts.
Each Metaverse has different requirements depending on the industry and the layers of engagement they are considering activating with end users. Metaverse is where brands grow their fan base and build community as an additional layer of engagement. So not only will the elements be different, the branding of the entire Metaverse has to look different as well. As more brands choose to extend their community engagement efforts to the Metaverse, the more customizable it needs to be.
Not everyone has the skills to build this type of metaverse – just like not everyone can learn to code to build a website, but then came platforms like WordPress and Shopify. These platforms provide the opportunity for a core foundation built by technologists and experts in the field, while allowing end-users to customize based on branding and strategy. That’s the benefit of MaaS.
Built with interoperability in mind
Virtual environments are places to socialize, build relationships, and create communities, where people can interact with other users in real-time. To go further, users should not be locked into one metaverse or community, but must be able to interact with and transfer their avatars to and from other metaverses. Imagine if you had to switch browsers every time you visited a website, depending on how it was built or where it was hosted. You probably won’t. Interoperability ensures that any metaverse built will not become a virtual island, and that people across multiple metaverses will be able to exchange experiences and possessions. Therefore, every element must be designed around interoperability, as every Web3-based solution needs to work in every metaverse – whether it’s a token, avatar, NFT, or other digital asset.
Building with interoperability in mind will connect people, have open borders and make Metaverse more accessible to all. Borderless solutions have taken off in other industries, but the same concepts must apply to the digital realm as well. For example, avatars in the virtual world of eSports should also be able to travel to the virtual world of their favorite fashion brand to make purchases.
Enables users to build on top of the physical world
The Metaverse should not be used as a replacement for the physical world, but as an additional layer of engagement to augment the real world experience. MaaS will also enable users to integrate the engagement layer into their own physical world. For example, if a person exhibits an NFT in their physical home, a visitor can scan a QR code and end up in that person’s virtual world, where the visitor can continue to view the host’s NFT library – this feature can be activated by XR. Without MaaS as an option, Metaverse will continue to be a gamified world that exists only digitally in a single disconnected space. MaaS will bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds through immersive experiences and an always-on engagement layer.
As Metaverse continues to roll out, it’s not just the blockchain experts behind them who shape what they look like. MaaS will be a catalyst for creativity and the next necessary step for a thriving creator economy.
When the internet launched in the 1980s, it would never have grown into what it is today without the people who started building it. Early adopters will lay the groundwork for how Metaverse will develop and what it will grow in the future. Mass adoption of Metaverse will only be possible if MaaS enables users other than crypto natives to start creating their own Metaverse, paving the way for the next generation of digital ecosystems.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Sandra Herlow Head of Zilliqa Metaverse and NFTs. With in-depth knowledge and a multidisciplinary background spanning traditional and digital industries, Sandra leads Zilliqa’s NFT and Metaverse projects across growth, partnerships, strategy, marketing and conceptualization. Her global experience in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East enables her to achieve her goals at both a strategic and executive level. A futurist and action leader, Sandra works to enrich and innovate the creator economy, Web3 and MetaFi/NFT spaces.