Why Globant seeks to decouple metaverse from hardware

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Since Meta presented its vision of the metaverse, many technology companies have joined the wave.

However, this virtual reality-based world in which people communicate through avatars and where a virtual society and economy develops may still be a long way off.

But a metaverse that is not associated with hardware and accessible from any mobile phone is about to become a reality.

“Animal Crossing [the video game] looks more like what we think of as a metaverse,” Kevin Janzen, managing director of game and metaverse studio at Argentinian tech company Globant, told a press conference.

Janzen says the Metaverse shouldn’t be associated with specific hardware — virtual reality headsets or video game consoles — because that excludes a portion of the population, so it needs to be inclusive and accessible through cellphones.

Globant’s version of the metaverse is more like a video game experience than virtual or augmented reality.

The company creates its own virtual world to generate greater interaction among its employees, encouraging them to share common interests and have a greater sense of belonging.

In this world, Globant intends its users to be able to perform work interactions, as well as entertainment. The first version of its metaverse should be ready by the end of the year, Janzen confirmed during the conference.

Going forward, Globant intends to offer the virtual metaverse platform as a white label.

WHO INVESTS IN METAVERSE?

In general, startups and technology companies are the first to invest in the creation of virtual worlds.

“The further they are from technology, the more they are lost, to the point that we ask ourselves questions [from companies] like: should I make money or spend money on the metaverse? Janzen told BNamericas.

“We’re like with the internet in the 1990s, we knew it would be big but we couldn’t predict how big,” said Verónica Futaoka, chief product officer of Globant.

According to Janzen, few companies are currently investing in the new virtual world, which may have applications for video games as well as for businesses in terms of brand positioning, new customer service channels, new business models and monetization. , as well as new products and services.

Moreover, the metaverse appears as a continuation of the digital twins that companies use for training and testing before making process re-engineering decisions.

According to Forrester, 76% of companies worldwide plan to spend a portion of their marketing budget on metaverse-related activities. However, in terms of investment in the metaverse, the figure is much lower.

“There’s a lot of interest, but we still don’t see that they’ve made the decision to invest,” Janzen said.

One of the problems is related to the budget, since the creation of a metaverse costs almost a million dollars. “It may make sense for the business, but you have to look carefully at the budget because these are projects from six zeros,” he said.

Janzen said prices might only start falling “once things are built on a consolidated platform.”

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, seeks to be that platform. However, earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg’s company said that in the medium term, its efforts to build the metaverse would mean a significant loss of money.

In Latin America, Mexico and Brazil are the biggest investors in building the metaverse, according to Meta.

Japanese IT consultancy and services group NTT Data previously confirmed to BNamericas that it was designing proof-of-concept metaverses with companies in the region.

During Internet Day 2022 held in Buenos Aires, Benjamín Silva, digital director of Huawei Global Video, said that at least one telecommunications operator in Argentina was working on metaverse issues.

“In general, large multinationals invest, but there is also a lot of trial and error,” Futaoka said in response to a question from BNamericas. “There is a very strong world of startups [in the region],” she added.

SCREENINGS

Citibank predicts that the metaverse market could grow to $8-13 billion by 2030 as it becomes more accessible across multiple devices and can support a wide variety of use cases, including commerce, art, media, advertising, health and social collaboration.

According to BCG, virtual assets traded in these digital worlds are expected to be between US$150 billion and US$300 billion by 2025.

“But to reach this market level, it will be necessary to invest in infrastructure. The metaverse content streaming environment will likely require an improvement in computational efficiency over 1,000 times current levels. Investments will be required in areas such as compute, storage, network infrastructure, consumer hardware and game development platforms,” ​​Citi said in a statement in late March.

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