you buy one NFT of an exclusive t-shirt for your team, but discover that you can’t wear it anywhere, because the platforms don’t support the format. A customer of a large bank decides to make an investment cryptocurrencies through a fintech, but realizes that his avatar can’t enter virtual agency
It is to avoid such situations that the great technologists mobilize around the issue interoperability in the metavers. Behind the hard word is a simple idea: in the metaverse, everyone should be able to jump from one platform to another, without bureaucracy or technical difficulties.
“Discussions on what are the best standards and rules for building this interoperability are at the beginning,” says Conrado Leister, country director general of Goal in Brazil. “Therefore, the more companies, creators and entities participate in the conversation,” the better.
In May, Mark Zuckerberg’s company announced a move in that direction, launching avatars in Latin America that can be used on any platform. “They’re still simple avatars, far from where we want to go: very faithful representations of the user, reminiscent of a hologram,” Leister says. “It simply came to our notice then. In the meantime, we want the user to have a taste of what our vision for the future is. “
The contradiction between what is presented today as the metavers and what should in fact be technology in the future is one of the topics of the interview that the executive did in BUSINESS SEASON. Check out the main excerpts below.
The company announced in May the launch of 3D avatars in Latin America. It should be noted that these avatars can be used on Instagram and Facebook, even if they are not immersive environments.
You see, the avatar is an intrinsic component of the metavers, the first interface with this new world. Therefore, we want the user to understand our vision. We are still at the beginning of the metavers: it is like the beginning of the Internet, which began in a very rudimentary way. There is a lot to develop, but the long-term vision is that we will be able to enter real-world-like environments and feel immersed in that experience. With evolution, the avatar should take on a shape very close to who you are, almost like a hologram. But it will still take a while. Mark Zuckerberg talks a lot in a five- to ten-year-old vision, which makes sense. We need to see an evolution in hardware, in the ecosystem of creators and solution providers.
It was also announced that the avatars may be used on other platforms. Are we starting to see the interoperability of metavers?
Yes. In fact, this is a very important point, because not only the avatar, but the metavers as a whole, can not stay in one place. Therefore, the issue of interoperability is crucial. You need to be able to move from one immersive experience to another without friction. If you bought a unique football jersey on your team’s website, you should be able to take it anywhere. It is important to guarantee this diverse construction, although we know that it is not possible to do the metavers with a single company. It’s like the whole internet is made by one company, can you imagine? Impossible. Discussions on how to build this interoperability are at the beginning. Thus, the more companies, creators and entities participate, the better.
Another novelty is that the Horizon Worlds virtual space platform can be accessed by browsing browsers.
It is another alternative for the user to experience the metavers, even if it is not yet our vision for the future. On the web, you can go in and see more or less what the space is like. It’s not that immersive experience, but it’s the beginning, as if the user is using virtual augmented reality filters.
If the essence of the metavers is that it is an immersive experience, is there no contradiction in these types of ads? It’s like saying, “I’ll show you what a metaverse is, showing you something other than a metaverse.”
I agree with you. The best narrative I see to explain this is the evolution of the mobile internet. At first, people accessed Facebook from their mobile phones, but there was only text, no image, no video, nothing. Then came the first smartphones, with simple cameras. And then people started posting photos. But it was not possible to make videos, because the bandwidth of the Internet was very limited. In other words, technological innovations were needed to reach the world we have today. So today’s metavers is like the phase where we only posted text on mobile. It’s not just about showing the immersive, it’s about being able to contextualize what will be as well.
The difference is that in the case of mobile internet, the user was discovering the possibilities. In the case of the metavers, there is a company that says, “It will be like this, I still can’t show you.”
I understand your point, but I think it’s part of this idea of a vision for the future. And also, honestly, I think it changes a lot when a person puts it to the test. In the United States, anyone who tries the Oculus Quest 2 in two minutes says, “Okay, that’s it.” But again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. These disruptive technological innovations take time because they are a lot of hardware challenges. How do you move your hands on the metavers? How do we roll our eyes in virtual? So there is a lot to evolve.
When will the Oculus Quest 2 be launched in Brazil?
It has no date. Obviously, we want to bring this equipment to more countries as soon as possible. But many customization processes are needed. In addition to translating everything into Portuguese, we need to make sure we create the best experiences. All I can say is that I’m excited, I can’t wait to have Quest 2 here.
Speaking to SXSW, Mark Zuckerberg said we are still a long way from ideal glasses, which should be much smaller, lighter, more affordable and easier to wear.
Yes, it is true. Mark often says that people are impressed with important things, such as “I will create a rocket that can take humans to Mars,” as SpaceX says. But for him, it is even more complex and sophisticated to be able to miniaturize things. The challenge of making simple glasses with a thin lens, which carry all the resources of the metavers, is very challenging.
Meta launched its first physical store in California in May. Isn’t it ironic that a physical space is perhaps the best way to show the metavers?
I agree that this is perhaps the best way to show our vision. Because the store’s proposal is less to sell and more to experiment with. You can try Oculus Quest, Ray-Ban Stories, the 3D avatar experience, the metavers anyway. At the moment there is only the store in California, but I think the idea is to take it to other countries as well.
Within the possibilities we have today, what are the opportunities for brands?
There are many opportunities. What we say to brands is that they should develop the best possible campaigns using the resources available today, which are already very interesting, not only to promote their products, but also as a preparation for the future. Using augmented reality is an example of how you can create this immersive experience. Brands like Natura and Avon offer customers the chance to see what their makeup will look like through technology. Fiat has launched a campaign in which the customer can take a 3D tour of the car, with RD. It’s not an immersive moment yet, but it’s getting closer.
It also aims to intensify investment in startups in the initial phase, through the NPE Ignite fund. How does this selection work?
The focus is on seed investments, for companies that have a prototype but are not yet working, which suggest innovations for Latin America, linked or not to metavers. Register your idea and, if you are selected, you will have the participation of Meta to help you develop it.
We are five months away from the elections in Brazil. What does Facebook do to try to contain misinformation?
This year, we have worked very closely with the TSE to create an information and verification channel. Users themselves may report content they consider to be fake. We’ve reactivated the Operations Center, already used in the last election, to try to quickly address situations where misinformation is spreading. And the center also helps in the interface between the reporting user and the fact check. There are several ways to try to create a process where the platforms are not used by malicious people.