The metaverse is capable of more things than you can ever fathom thanks to the power of VR and blockchain. Our digital lives—our online identities, experiences, connections, and possessions—become more significant to us than our physical lives at the point known as the metaverse. By placing the emphasis on the human experience, this viewpoint transforms the transition to the metaverse from a technological to a sociological one.
Metaverse is a 5C ecosystem play – Chip, Connectivity, Cloud, Consumer, and Commerce, says V. Padmanabhan, Senior Vice President – Engineering, GlobalLogic India. Excerpts:
DQ: What are the actual Metaverse solutions?
V. Padmanabhan: Metaverse is defined basis the domain or industry it is being referred or in relation to, which is a shared virtual 3D world that is interactive & immersive. It can also be defined as an elevated 3D virtual collaboration platform as opposed to bridge-based calls. For gaming industry, Metaverse is a true-blue multiplayer, real-time gaming environment that provides highly interactive 3D gaming experience with several concurrent tournaments happening at the same time live streamed to all metaverse citizens.
Metaverse enables advertising and marketing industry with all their target demography and to deliver them with hyper targeted content (notwithstanding the third-party cookie deprecation and emergence of alternatives to contextualize). For a content developer or a studio, Metaverse is the perfect platform to deliver high quality and immersive content experience to their audiences. For infrastructure and manufacturing domain, this is an ideal parallel universe to expand the Digital Twin experience. From banking and finance domains perspective, Metaverse will enable trade through digital currencies.
Metaverse shows immense promise to transform and converge the physical and virtual space. Enterprises are competing to invest and steal a lion’s share of it. No one wants to be late to this party unlike the earlier transformations, be it digital content / OTT, Industry 4.0 and factory automation, electric and autonomous connected cars, or app based as-a-service business models driven by on-demand doorstep services.
DQ: How will it affect business?
V. Padmanabhan: As we imagine metaverse to be a parallel universe, the business possibilities are immense. This is true across all industries such as banking, retail, education, manufacturing etc. The trend will only be accelerated by continued innovations in silicon and edge technologies to power 'always on’ devices and AR/VR accessories like glasses and watches, gaming consoles. This will be coupled with increasing internet speed and reduced response time which will only increase the adoption in Metaverse solutions. The death of keyboard as an input device is imminent and that helps make Metaverse much more than a social media craze.
In banking, there are numerous strong trends emerging around digital currencies, NFTs and blockchain. Moreover, virtual retail banking will stand to be the biggest beneficiary of the Metaverse as it will instantly provide access to global markets with virtual branches and ATMs, which was otherwise too cost prohibitive to expand. For instance, banks can expand their customer base globally, providing same or better ‘real world’ customer experience across the globe, interacting with a virtual or real assistant, and catering to “end-to-end” customer lifecycle from account opening to transactions and support.
Besides that, the retail experience is set be transformed with the concept of ‘infinite aisle’ in the Metaverse. A retail store in Metaverse will transcend limitations of a 2D search driven online experience to an ‘In Store’ experience with real world assistance from store reps, try and buy models, and virtual experience zones for gadget demos and sales. A retail mega store in Metaverse will maximize customer experience by creating personalized aisles, minimize cost of store setup, and improve revenue per consumer.
The power of Metaverse can truly be seen in highly personalized education delivery across the globe by instantly expanding the addressable market. Several premium institutes with a brand and reach to expand will find physical boundaries no longer relevant to expand their offerings to a global student ecosystem. Combined with powerful 3D simulations, a very intense experiential learning platform will deliver highly informed and competitive student, normalizing the talent differential across the world.
Therefore, the business scope of Metaverse grows with global reach, expansion in addressable market opportunity, personalized immersive consumer experience driven by data, and a true convergence of real and digital world, enabling a real-world gratification through digital engagement.
DQ: How will it integrate into cloud user experience? How are companies improving their presence, and user experiences and CX in a virtual world?
V. Padmanabhan: Metaverse experience is as much dependent on the power of the edge as much as the cloud. While cloud will continue to provide complex enterprise functionalities such as catalog management, service rendering, charging & commerce, authentication, and securities-based offering etc., it is the edge that will make the customer experience more powerful.
The 3D experience at the front end will be defined by the power of edge, driven by GPUs and cloud, which will provide the powerful backend for all data driven personalization and business fulfillment functionalities.
DQ: Harnessing the power of important tools/technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), Extended Reality (ER) to enable metaverse, how is the increased use of technology enabling rapid adoption of metaverse?
V. Padmanabhan: The use of technologies that consumers choose will shape the Metaverse. Therefore, technology players in the ecosystem are betting big on the development of these advanced technologies for the rapid adoption of Metaverse as an alternate reality.
The consumer electronic companies are exploring new avenues to innovate newer engagement gadgets with improvised AR/VR capabilities and a full body haptics to provide a real time feedback-based experience. While telecoms are pinning their case on massive amounts of high throughput bandwidth, this parallel universe will consume and maximize ARPUs. Cloud players are looking at Metaverse to massively accelerate their business from compute to storage to data ecosystems to edge.
Moreover, silicon vendors are gearing up with advanced compute capabilities through GPU, solving complex 3D rendering problems and massive edge-based data challenges. Technologies like Web 3.0 (Decentralized web), Blockchain etc. are extremely critical to build this whole ecosystem based on Trust and Security.
At GlobalLogic, we are looking at this evolving phenomenon as an integrated ecosystem challenge to be solved with an end-to-end view. We are focusing on enabling industry specific scenarios, be it education, manufacturing, advertising, banking, or digital twins. With a focus on experience, content, data, and devices, we are building expertise to develop platforms that will help our customers experiment and engage with their employees or consumers through their own branded universe.
DQ: What is GlobalLogic doing in Metaverse?
V. Padmanabhan: GlobalLogic is a Product Engineering & Services (PES) firm. The Metaverse offers us a world of opportunities to leverage our expertise to drive transformative experiences for our customers and their audiences. While there is lot of focus on user experience and setting up the collaborative world, the opportunity exists elsewhere. The real question is, how we can make Metaverse business relevant, deliver business growth, and elevate customer experience.
At GlobalLogic, we aim to drive end-to-end digital solutions to address business problems for our clients by catering to their specified needs. Particular requirements such as – What actual edge silicon strategy needs to be implemented starting from AR/VR devices to Web 3.0 to a smart front end strategy?
- How the user experience should be designed crossing the boundaries and limitations of keyboard, extending into the world of voice and haptics?
- How should the security of such a platform be managed, governed?
- What type of data farm needs to be setup to deliver highly efficient streaming analytics and privacy aware models that will deliver hyper targeted experience?
- How we integrate this ecosystem with existing and legacy platforms of enterprises that complements and delivers a complete customer lifecycle?
These components require expertise and an integrated metaverse strategies including business consulting, experience design, edge/device, platform/cloud, enterprise data blueprint, security & privacy management, and enterprise integration, delivering a complete business outcome. Our specialized Metaverse team encompasses architects and specialists with business and technology expertise from all these streams that delivers an end-to-end solution driven approach to our customers.
DQ: What is the role PES companies play in enabling the metaverse?
V. Padmanabhan: Metaverse is a 5C ecosystem play – Chip, Connectivity, Cloud, Consumer, and Commerce. If we look at it as a social collaboration platform, the application and its outcomes are extremely limited. But, when we look at Metaverse as a parallel universe, the applications expand to replicating all business models that apply to real world universe with immense business potential and possibilities. PES companies that approach this opportunity comprehensively across device, design, and data landscape have a phenomenal potential to not only enable legacy enterprises, but to launch greenfield enterprises and business models.
Metaverse enables a world of offerings that enhances real-world experiences with hyper personalized data-driven interaction possibilities. PES companies play a pivotal role in enabling it by providing end-to-end services to its customers which comprises of business model consulting to architectural blueprint, silicon / edge design and development, cloud services, and integration into of end-to-end data platform.
DQ: What will be the Future of metaverse?
V. Padmanabhan: The increasing adoption of digital technologies across industries will bring a paradigm shift in how we collaborate and interact virtually. The increasing convergence of these advanced technologies in bridging physical and virtual interactions is accelerating the adoption of Metaverse for mainstream use. In the near future, Metaverse will be successful in creating alternate business models across all industry verticals, providing a realistic experience in a virtual world.
Metaverse coupled with smart edge, haptic sensory devices and a robust bandwidth will take the digital transformation to its next level, delivering a true 3D experience to enterprises and customers alike. GlobalLogic is focused on making Metaverse a reality for its customers by successfully implementing integrated platforms for enterprises rather than just letting Metaverse be a collaboration and social engagement platform.