Whether you think the Metaverse is the future of the internet, or simply a niche immersive experience that has acquired some early-adopters and many critics, well, you might be right.
Opinions seem to range from mild curiosity to – who cares? And much of the hype relies on the idea that VR and AR technology will become as seamless to use as our smartphones.
One New York Times reporter describes the Metaverse as being in its infancy with her comparison of Meta Horizon Worlds to the AOL chat rooms of the 1990s.
“Except here,” she reports, “I was making eye contact with the people I’d met, seeing their movements and hearing their voices.”
Meta Horizon Worlds describes itself as “a free app that can be experienced on the Meta Quest headset. It is an ever-expanding social universe where you can hang with friends, meet new people, play games, attend cool events and there are over 10,000 worlds and experiences to explore.”
Yet one year after Meta (Facebook’s rebranded “Metaverse company”) has tried to leap into the next technological era, the results are mixed at best. In November, Meta cut its workforce by 13%. It currently has around 200,000 monthly users (more than a quarter million less than they projected). And the rumored release of AR glasses from Apple in 2022 has recently been pushed back to 2025 or 2026 amid “design issues”.
Of course it’s a lot easier to be skeptical of innovation than it is to actually create it. So, at this early stage, who can really say? But at One Floor Up, we do like to stay informed.
HOW WILL THE METAVERSE AFFECT VIDEO PRODUCTION?
With the emergence of the Metaverse, there’s the new possibility of re-imagined trade shows in this immersive environment. Will this mean the videos we create for trade show booths will take on new dimensions, and lead to greater demand for 360 degree video?
Many early adopters report that time spent in the Metaverse has replaced the time they previously spent watching TV. They opt instead to frequent virtual comedy clubs, from the comfort of their home (often in their pajamas). Or to network with other avatars, rather than reach out to friends via more traditional means.
If more people switch to the Metaverse for socializing and entertainment, will traditional marketing videos also require a design overhaul, so they’re more VR-friendly?
This kind of mass appeal, however, still seems far off. One barrier to entry may be the need for an expensive headset (although they have started to come down in price).
At One Floor Up we set up a VR experimentation space to ensure that we’re ready for any rise in demand for VR video production.
The fact that we’re a smaller company doesn’t mean we aren’t trying out new technology. Rather, I think it’s just the opposite. It allows us to be nimble, and to bring together people who are interested in new technology and who are always thinking about how to incorporate it.