Metaverse

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I know a few people here are in tech/IT (not that this is necessarily a tech question?), so thought I’d see if anyone can explain what a “metaverse” is (outside Marvel, that is!). I’ve been grappling with it for a while (though I’m one of those people who could write a few op eds on it without necessarily defining it, should life demand it), and have usually felt that the term is used very loosely for anything interactive, hence the confusion…

But now that KPMG, a firm I know well and almost worked for (ended up at PwC, though), has “entered the metaverse”, I feel like it’s time to dive in and ask what that actually means, in this context, at least? All I’m getting from the below is all sorts of interactive coaching sessions, e.g. Sharepoint, presumably, etc. But what on Earth is “metaverse healthcare”?

Here is a KPMG quote, drafted by some poor PR who likely understood no more than I do: ““The way we look at it, it’s not just augmented reality and virtual reality. It’s really the next iteration of the internet. It really encompasses everything that the internet would encompass, but it’s more interactive,” Cliff Justice, KPMG U.S. leader of enterprise innovation, told Fortune of the metaverse and Web3.”

I guess I’m not sure why “interactive” calls for its own category? Hasn’t the internet always been interactive (more so in the noughties than now, I’d argue - see all the debates about the Google search engine being ruined by ads)?

https://fortune-com.cdn.ampproject.o...ing-big-4/amp/

Anyway, any comment on what a metaverse means here much appreciated. My automatic mental reference point was Everything Everywhere All at Once, which surely can’t be good news…



Contra the PR person who says it's not just virtual/augmented reality...yeah, that's basically what it is.

They're using a new term for it not because it's different tech-wise, but in terms of anticipated user behavior. They think/expect it'll replace just hanging around. IE: you won't put on a VR headset to play a specific game for an hour or two, you'll put it on and just...leave it on. You'll talk to people that way, kill time, maybe play a game, stop playing the game but keep the headset on, etc. With this in mind, there are a lot of spaces that function like lobbies or public squares.



Contra the PR person who says it's not just virtual/augmented reality...yeah, that's basically what it is.

They're using a new term for it not because it's different tech-wise, but in terms of anticipated user behavior. They think/expect it'll replace just hanging around. IE: you won't put on a VR headset to play a specific game for an hour or two, you'll put it on and just...leave it on. You'll talk to people that way, kill time, maybe play a game, stop playing the game but keep the headset on, etc. With this in mind, there are a lot of spaces that function like lobbies or public squares.
That’s incredibly helpful, thank you. Had a gut feeling there’d be some PR fluff there.



Yeah, the best analogy I can come up with is that it used to be you had a computer, and you would go online, but eventually "online" became the default, right?

Insofar as this is significant, it's that it's aiming to sort of be the default. Not a thing you go into for a specific purpose, but basically analogous to just getting online, or killing time, or doing whatever. Whereas VR now is like going into a specific store, the Metaverse is more like "going outside." Ironically.



Yeah, the best analogy I can come up with is that it used to be you had a computer, and you would go online, but eventually "online" became the default, right?

Insofar as this is significant, it's that it's aiming to sort of be the default. Not a thing you go into for a specific purpose, but basically analogous to just getting online, or killing time, or doing whatever. Whereas VR now is like going into a specific store, the Metaverse is more like "going outside." Ironically.
Fair enough. A little unsettling, but again, very helpful, thanks.



Good essay about the Metaverse.

The first thing to understand about the metaverse is that it's not just virtual reality, or VR—that thing where you strap on goofy-looking electronic goggles and "jack in," then grope around the air looking like an idiot to anyone who can see you in the real world. The metaverse, as the venture capitalist Matthew Ball wrote in a lengthy online primer on the subject, is an interlinked mesh of technologies, including omnipresent networking capability, digital payment processing, portable computing, and shareable virtual identities, which can encompass not only your avatar but your digital wallet, your social networks, and various other forms of personal information.




But now that KPMG, a firm I know well and almost worked for
Can’t believe they’re still around.
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I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.



Can’t believe they’re still around.
Ha, indeed. Fair point. But then, see the knots they’re tying themselves in to safeguard their existence…