5 Things you should know about the metaverse
Many businesses are not so familiar with the metaverse, there is a lot of information online, but it can be difficult to navigate all the tech jargon. Anne-Liese Prem, a Brand Strategist and Future Trends expert, helps us understand the most important elements of the metaverse by answering 5 key questions. She's the founder of tomorrowstories, a future trends & brand strategy consultancy, host of the Web 3.0 Fashion Luxury Masterclass and of tomorrowstories podcast, where she interviews “some of the world’s most interesting web 3.0 thinkers and pioneers.”
1. Is the metaverse the future of fashion or just a niche market?
The metaverse is a term to describe the current merge of our digital lives and real lives, so it will impact virtually every industry. Technologies such as AR, VR, AI, blockchain, 5G, edge computing and more are becoming available mainstream and this will make the internet more immersive and add a 3D layer.
Because fashion is so visual and leading with creativity, it’s a very obvious playground for these technological advancements, but the metaverse represents a huge opportunity for brands in any kind of business.
2. How to access the metaverse?
If we define the metaverse as this wide digital transformation, it means that anyone can access the metaverse by engaging with these technologies: whether you are using an AR filter on your phone, or stepping into a virtual world on your gaming console, you are immersing yourself in digital experiences.
There are lots of virtual worlds available at our fingertips: You can dress up your avatar and start exploring. Often, we are already in the metaverse without even realising: if you are putting on a filter in your video call, you are altering reality and enhancing it with something digital. We will see this more and more, and fashion brands will step in and offer ways in which you can express yourself in the digital world.
3. What’s the most popular platform for the fashion industry?
We are currently seeing lots of fashion brands moving into gaming: Gucci for example already took bold steps in games like Roblox and The Sandbox. Many fashion brands also ventured into Fortnite and offered branded gaming skins for avatars. Last year, the first ever Metaverse Fashion Week was held in Decentraland, another popular virtual world.
But where I see most potential for this coming year 2023 is AR application on existing e-commerce sites, social media apps and even in store. As the technology gets better and better, fashion brands will embrace virtual try ons. Already, we can try on sneakers or sunglasses via AR filters on our phones. This will be the next big gamechanger for fashion.
4. Is cryptocurrency necessary to trade in the metaverse?
No, you don’t need to own cryptocurrencies to trade in the metaverse. While lots of metaverse fashion projects relied on crypto in the past, you can now pay for digital wearables with your credit card or bank transfer. To make metaverse fashion available to everyone, brands are now offering much more user friendly onboarding experiences.
Technologies that are difficult to understand, like NFTs, smart contracts, etc., are disappearing into the back end of the process: you do not need to know how your digital item shows up on the blockchain, you only need to know that it is there and it belongs to you!
5. How to promote your events/products in the metaverse to a wider audience?
The metaverse and web 3.0 are all about community. Ideally, you build your community before you launch events or products. Gone are the days where simply launching an NFT project of cash grab worked. The hype is over and it takes more diligence and hard work to get things off the ground. You need to build slowly and be real about what you are going to offer.
Great metaverse events and projects also partner with people/brands who know the web 3.0 space very well. It´s still very early, and the space is still rather small, so you need to make sure you engage with the early adopters in a smart and authentic way. But don’t wait to experiment, now is the perfect time to step into the metaverse and learn about this exciting opportunity for fashion.
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