NTT DATA demystifies Metaverse and points out technological trends for 2022

Fusion between physical and digital and impact on the economy were some of the topics discussed

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To contextualize and demystify important questions about the metaverse, a NTT DATE, the sixth largest IT and Business consultancy in the world, held last Thursday (17) the online event Metaverse and five other tech trends for 2022. Since October 2021, with the brand repositioning process carried out by Mark Zuckerberg, which started to unite all its products under the umbrella of a company called “Goal”, the concept became increasingly discussed. Although it has become the center of attention in technology, there are still many doubts about its practical application.

In addition to bringing the idea of the Metaverse closer to the “real world”, through conceptualizations and use cases, participants debated what influences this technology can exert in areas such as the economy, the job market and the arts, among others.

Participated in the event Ricardo Neves, CEO of NTT DATA, Pablo Saez, lead partner of Digital Technology from NTT DATA, and Cauê Dias, NTT DATA Innovation Manager, in addition to Gil Giardelli, global professor, roboticist and expert in Technology and Innovation.

What is it and what can it do?

In a simplified way, the Metaverse can be understood as a hybrid world, where the physical and the digital not only intersect but complement each other. Giardelli understands that Metaverso is still an instrument that is “taking its first steps” and has a lot to evolve in all aspects. “And this is not necessarily because the technology needs to develop more, as we see very real cases of the Metaverse all over the world. What is not yet ready are us as a society, still in the process of adapting to everything it can offer”, he said.

The specialist cites a survey that shows that, of the 500 largest companies in the world, 160 have projects for the use of the Metaverse. “There is also the case of Seoul, capital of South Korea. In an ambitious project whose investment is in the region of three billion dollars, the city plans to become a '100% metaversa' by 2030,” he said.

The key to understanding how technology works is, according to Cauê Silva, understanding the Web 3.0 concept. From there, the interaction with this integrated reality becomes possible with the creation of a virtual representation of ourselves, a kind of “avatar”. “We are moving towards the idea of the internet no longer being just a device and becoming an integral part of our environments and our bodies.”

Silva also cited some Metaverse use cases underway at NTT DATA. One of them is aimed at the real estate sector, from which, using an augmented reality device, the customer is able to simulate the arrangement of furniture in a newly purchased apartment and check the entrance of sunlight. And, in the same case, the purchase of the apartment is made via NFT, with the future tenant's possession record being saved on a blockchain. Also cited was an application for cell phones that allows the scanning of public spaces to facilitate the resolution of problems (such as faulty electricity poles).

Another case exposed by the Innovation manager explores the capabilities not only of the Metaverse, but also of 5G. It consists of the possibility of recording a live event (such as a football match in the stadium, for example) and transmitting the image to an augmented reality device, allowing the experience to be taken to users anywhere.

A decentralized economy

The economy is another sector that, according to experts, should undergo a major transformation with the consolidation of the Metaverse. Evidence of this can already be seen in the NFT market, which has attracted personalities such as athletes and Stephen Cury, and singer Justin Bieber. Giardelli says Metaverso will open up business opportunities for companies of all sizes. This stems from a fundamental characteristic of the Metaverse – being a decentralized space. This will make it difficult for the Metaverse to be “owned” by a large company. “In this space, a barrier-free creative economy finds an ideal space to thrive,” he said.

Giardelli says that new technologies will force a redefinition of the very idea of work. For this, it starts with a reflection: “In fact, all forms of work are worthy. But do they all still fit into the 21st century?”

forecasts

At the event, Pablo Saéz pointed out other trends for the world of Technology in 2022, in addition to the Metaverse. Are they:

– growth lever – “Technology has become a fundamental part of generating business for companies in all fields of activity”, said Saéz. In addition, it will increasingly serve as a differential in areas such as Customer Service and the generation of new business models.

– Overcoming barriers between industries – A trend made possible and facilitated by tools such as open banking is the breaking down of “barriers” between different sectors of the industry. Companies from certain sectors can enter and act more easily in other niches, in search of new markets and customers. In this new environment, a technology company starts to produce cars, and a car manufacturer presents itself as an “urban mobility” company, for example.

– Sustainable growth – The environment must be a topic of paramount importance in 2022. “The world of technology and its biggest players must be aware of their importance to the world, and the relevance they have in overcoming environmental impacts on the planet”, said Saéz .

– Expansion of Artificial Intelligence – With advances that allow an increasingly better treatment of image, video and text, we should see a growing popularization of the use of Artificial Intelligence beyond isolated use cases. The path lies, according to Sáez, in eventually arriving at AIs capable of learning on their own.

– Proximity to the physical world – Also related to the Metaverse. More and more benefits of the digital world will be taken advantage of in the physical world. “The potential of this hybrid space is enormous, and what it can bring to companies as well,” said the partner at NTT DATA.

A world of infinite possibilities

The professor and writer closed the event with a message of optimism, looking to the present and future. “If the news that shows images of conflict and war makes us think that maybe we are going backwards, technology reinforces that we never live in a world with so many possibilities and where things never seemed so within our reach.”

Finally, he quoted Marvin Minsky, scientist and one of the first scholars to use the term Artificial Intelligence: all this research and investment in new technologies is precisely so that we can become more and more human, giving time to what matters most to us, such as the family.

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