A Functional Metaverse and the Future of Work

“Meta-optimists” are convinced that as we move into 2023, it will be a time when the Metaverse will gain acceptance and wide adoption. The Metaverse itself is composed of a cocktail of technologies that included blockchain, gaming, crypto, and VR. Indeed, Covid pandemic has confirmed that remote working is not just a possibility, but it is the future.. In this article, we state what working in the metaverse entails and the benefits of doing that.

Accessing the Metaverse

Getting into the Metaverse will require some headsets such as VR headsets and access to the internet. One can also access it using their desktop or mobile devices. Companies are working to develop solutions that can give one access to the metaverse without the need for a VR headset. Some innovations around this include the use of holograms to project images and avatars into real space. Meta is also working on special gloves that enable its users to have a sense of touch while in the metaverse

The Metaverse seeks to bring a paradigm shift in the way we interact. Avatars will be used to teleport from one location to another, with enhanced experiences giving you a feel of your surroundings. Employees can also pop into each other’s workstations for a quick chat and catch-up. You can navigate the metaverse, in the same manner, you do in the physical world. If you would like to have a chat or live call with a colleague, then your webcam is activated automatically. Once done with the call, the webcam turns off and you can proceed with your stroll. Companies have already started working on avatars that can move from one virtual company to another- mimicking the physical world.

An employee can choose an avatar that they can use to navigate the metaverse. One that will act as their digital twin. This digital twin will act as their representative in the metaverse, with emotions and a sense of touch. These digital twins can be assigned to perform mundane and recurring tasks. In the event that you are busy and would not have time to attend to certain obligations such as meetings and conference calls, you can send your digital twin to go and represent you in these meetings. This frees you up for other tasks.

Organizations can also set up areas where employees can go hang out and relax with experiences such as music and scenic views such as hills and forests. This is meant to boost employee productivity while in the metaverse.

There is also the option of making orders while in the metaverse. Employees can either order for virtual goods/food and get them delivered to their houses. You can be working on the metaverse, make an order on McDonalds and get the physical food delivered straight to your door without leaving the metaverse.

Employees also have the chance to create and customize their virtual environments in a way that is unique and suits their personality- spurring creativity. Virtual work spaces will not be similar to conventional office spaces. Each employee can have their unique work environment that can be changed intermittently with minimal cost. Companies can also offer trainings with ease from the metaverse and then deploy their staff into different virtual locations. Imagine a situation where you have 10 employees that need to be inducted into the company. Instead of hosting meetups and sending them writeups, a company can organize for a virtual tour while in the metaverse to take them through their work places, with the employees moving around in their avatars- ensuring have a detailed and first-hand experience of their workplace . We shouldn’t be shocked when we see companies created and operating purely on metaverses such Sandbox and have employees that report and work on different shifts just like in physical work environments. Such a scenario will cascade and affect different industries such as ecommerce and fashion as avatars will need different clothing to attend various occasions and office spaces will need to be spruced up.

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Benefits of working in the Metaverse

Promotes equity

Being in the metaverse provides an equal playing field for all employees. You can work from anywhere and interact with ease. Additionally, having virtual work spaces ensures that staff have access to the same digital resources regardless of their physical location.

Working as an avatar may also help prevent workplace prejudices such as discrimination on skin color, gender or even accent. Imagine going to work as an avatar and choosing the skin color or gender you may want to identify as. It can also help during interview sessions as you may not be anxious because of your physical attributes.

An upgrade from conventional video conferencing

The metaverse will be an upgrade from the normal video conferencing calls such as zoom, skype and Google meet. It offers a richer, enhanced and more immersive experience. For example, if a company wants to test a new product or even open a new location, the CEO can take the employees on a virtual tour to this new location.

Enhances productivity

With the metaverse, company staff have the chance to work from anywhere- something that may have been hard to achieve with physical workspaces. For example, an employee may be working while immersed underwater in a submarine or even in space shuttle. This helps boost productivity as you can choose to work in an environment where you feel most at ease.

Better demarcation between work and Home

Working remotely is stressful. In most instances, employees cannot switch between being at work and at home. While working in the metaverse, it is easier for employees to demarcate between their home and work environments and can easily switch from one environment to another. You log in to your workspace in the metaverse environment and when you are done you can switch off and get back to the physical world.

Granted, we are still in the nascent stages of this technological development. However, companies, especially mega tech companies, are convinced that pivoting into the metaverse is worthwhile as the physical world is due for a digital twin. Companies like Facebook( Meta) and Microsoft have already started experimenting with the metaverse, spending billions on product development. It isn’t far-fetched to envisage that in the next few years, working in the metaverse will be the norm.

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Foodverse: Eating in Web 3.0

Eating entails more than fulfilling our nutritional needs-it goes deeper than that. It is communal, enhances friendships and builds bonds.

Chinua Achebe, an African literary icon, said:

” When people gather together to eat, it is not because they do not have food in their houses. They gather to eat because it is good for kinsmen to eat together. “

This underscores the deep impact food has in building relationships and society at large. With the advent of the metaverse, it is inevitable that food will find its way into web 3.0. Large brands have already started experimenting with this. This primer will look at how we can consume food in the metaverse and what food brands are currently doing as they get into web 3.0.

FoodVerse:  What It Entails.

The foodverse can be defined as bringing food into the metaverse. Basically, it is having an experience of eating, whether real or virtual food, while experiencing the metaverse.

Firstly, brands can use the metaverse to enhance client-experience when ordering food. People are used to getting menus when ordering meals. The metaverse can help project these menus in ‘real life’ and help a client have a visual experience of the food they would like to order, how it will look like and even feel it before they make an order.

Secondly, friends can also meet together in a room and say have a drink or even share a meal while enjoying the immersive experience of the metaverse. For example, they can meet and have a meal while on a cruise ship, in the middle of a forest or attending a live session of their favorite band. This digital immersion enhances their relationship and creates an experience that is similar to real world events.

Thirdly, food brands can use NFTs to create rare products, such as wine, and produce them in limited quantities. They can then mint NFTs for these products and sell them to their consumers. These NFTs are a mark of genuine ownership and enhance the brand value of their companies. Collectors would love this. Consumers have the option of selling these NFTs on secondary markets or even create communities around them in the metaverse. Tokenizing food products also helps communities to feel ownership of the companies and their brands.

Finally, users of Metaverse platforms such as Sandbox can  also buy land , build their homes and invite friends over for meals. This will be a game changer as a user can invite multiple friends over from across the world and share virtual meals or drinks with them. Of course, there is still a long way to go before we bridge the divide between virtual and physical food especially when such diverse geographies are involved, but this would be a step in the right direction.

Notable Brands in the Foodverse

At the moment, virtual food may look like it has little value, however, in the long term, merging both the virtual and physical world is the direction to take. Companies are experimenting with instances where you order your food on the metaverse, get it delivered to you and you eat without necessarily leaving the experience. One notable brand doing this is Chipotle. They have partnered with Roblox to allow customers have an experience of virtual food. When customers make orders on the metaverse, they earn credits which they can later redeem for free food delivered to their houses. This shows how the physical and digital world can merge.

Other companies like Onerare are tokenizing the food experience by bringing food lovers and linking them up with celebrity chefs. They then create NFTs from the experience they get from preparing and sharing meals. All of this is done on the metaverse in a gamified manner.

McDonald’s is also planning to open restaurants in the metaverse. The company has already patented ten trademarks on the metaverse. It intends to leverage virtual experiences and enable customers order food from the metaverse and get them delivered to their houses. Customers can also get digital food for their avatars. Other food companies that have filed for trademarks as they seek to launch products in the metaverse are: Kraft Foods Group, In- N- Out Burger and Del Monte Foods.

Restaurants and food brands stand to benefit from getting into the foodverse. Firstly, getting into the foodverse helps these companies build customer relationship and engagement. Secondly, it also enhances brand awareness and can drive more consumers to their products. Finally, it offers an opportunity for restaurants to create multiple income streams.

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Not Left Behind: The Fashion Industry Grand Entry into the Metaverse

From buying prime pieces of land, developing them and selling them for profit, playing games and earning income, to trading with digital cash and making money from the NFT market, endless possibilities abound in the Metaverse. Doubtlessly, the Metaverse will change multiple aspects of our lives, although it might take time to fully actualize the project.

The fashion industry hasn’t been left behind. In March this year, Tommy Hilfiger, Roberto Cavalli, and Etro hosted the world’s first runaway show on Decentraland. The four-day event also included virtual panel discussions, besides allowing fashion enthusiasts to shop around.

Notable Fashion Brands in the Metaverse

Like tech and gaming brands, there has been a surge in the number of fashion brands entering the Metaverse. Among them is Gucci, a leading luxury brand. The company teamed up with Roblox, a leader in the igaming space, to exhibit items like sunglasses, hats, and handbags in the form of avatars.

The 2-week exhibition was hosted on ‘Gucci Garden’, Gucci’s space on the Metaverse, enabling fashion and NFT enthusiasts to grab the brand’s virtual collectibles.

Founded in 1919, Balenciaga is known for revolutionizing the fashion space, particularly the women’s fashion industry. From high-end handbags to the popular Balenciaga crocs, the firm has frequently created a stir, drawing criticism and praise in equal measure.

The fashion house’s recent partnership with Fortnite, an online game, revealed its interest in Metaverse. The agreement will see Balenciaga-labeled items used as avatars across the game.

Also, Balenciaga promised to refashion three Fortnite avatars, which will see them clad in the Balenciaga creations. Meanwhile, the game allows for trading Balenciagas digital assets across the platform.

Pomp and circumstance marked Lois Vuitton’s 200th birthday. The unique event included the company kick-starting its metaverse journey and launching LOUIS THE GAME, a mobile game embedded with 30 NFTs.

The artwork, estimated at USD 69.3 million, was created in conjunction with Beeple (Michael Joseph Winkelmann), an esteemed NFT artist. However, the collage is solely for gaming purposes and, therefore, not available for trading in the NFT market.

Seizing the Moment

While critics cite different reasons for not buying into the Metaverse idea, the innovation is a voice to reckon with. After all, figures don’t lie. For instance, D&G NFT is said to have accrued $6 million. Similarly, Gucci, Nike, and Adidas, Nike have collectively amassed $137.5 million in the NFT market. It means that the entry of fashion into Metaverse is something whales as well as retail investors, have their eyes on. Rightfully so, this is an unstoppable wave.

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All you need to know about Investing in Metaverse Real estate

According to Mckinsey, the market cap of the metaverse will be over $ 5 Trillion by 2030. Well, this seems to be the future of the internet. This primer breaks down all you need to know about investing in real estate on the metaverse.

What is the metaverse

The metaverse is described as a virtual world where you can interact, build a home, play games, host events and even attend meeting s and concerts. Think of anything you can do in the real world, and now take that online- except eating, at least not at the moment 😊. It is mostly powered on the blockchain and leverages web 3.0 technologies such NFTs and Cryptocurrencies.

The concept of having a metaverse is not entirely new as gaming companies have been trying to create them on their platforms. The recent foray of blockchain, its popularity and widespread adoption has given impetus to the metaverse, enabling gaming developers to create 3 D models of the world that replicate day to day real-life activities. Users can visit the metaverse through their laptops/ phones or they can access it through virtual reality headsets.

Buying Land on the Metaverse

These are popular sites where you can buy parcels of land on the metaverse:

  1. Sandbox- native token is SAND
  2. Decentraland- native token is MANA
  3. Upland- native token is UPX
  4. Somnium Space- native toke is CUBE
  5. Axie Infinity- native token is AXS
  6. Illuvium- native token is ILV
  7. Roblox-native token is Robux

Parcels of land on the metaverse are usually limited and scarce. For example, on Sandbox metaverse, there is a total of 166, 464 parcels of land. This means that once all these  have been sold, no new land can be developed on this metaverse. There are over 12000 land owners on the Sandbox Metaverse and this number keeps increasing. These parcels are big in size and are measured in Voxels. To put it into perspective, one parcel of land has a length 96 meters, width of  96 meters and height of 128 meters. One meter is equivalent to 32 voxels.

When purchasing land, visit the metaverse where you would like to purchase the land from and sign up. Once logged in, go to the market place and check various offering available. You need to have the native currency of the metaverse on which you will buy your land from. For example, if you are buying your land on Decentraland, you will need MENA tokens. If you are buying it from Sandbox, you need SAND tokens. The value of these tokens fluctuates with market forces and are also affected by the price of ETH. You can check the prices of these token on coinmarket cap. In some instances, you can purchase land from these metaverses on NFT marketplaces such Opensea. To get an experience of  parcels on Opensea, get the coordinates of the land and insert them on the metaverse you are buying from; it should give you details of the land and a general feel of the neighborhood. Before making any purchase, check and see how the parcel of land looks like by clicking on it and experience the area surrounding it.

Once the purchase has been made, you can build whatever you want on that piece of land. These lands are basically virtual grounds from which players can build their own experience and unlock their creative potential. When we talk about anything, we mean anything. This can range from property, wearables, games, parties, events, meeting and even a manufacturing plant. Metaverses are basically hinged on User generated Content- the users create the kind of world they would want and interact from there. On the metaverse, all assets created  are  NFTs- they are unique, represent ownership and can be traded.

The Value of Land

Value of land on the Metaverses is determined by the following factors:

  • Location/ Popularity

What’s the population and traffic that frequents that location?  Are there events that are hosted within your neighborhood? The higher the traffic, the higher the value of that parcel. As a buyer, you can also check the map and see who owns the parcels of land that surround your neighborhood. Land that is surrounded by big brands or notable names may be of higher value.

  • Size

Land sizes that are large tend to gain value over time as  they can host multiple businesses and can be rented out to large enterprises. Large piece of  land means developers have enough room to create more experiences within that  parcel, ultimately leading to more traffic.

  • Scarcity

In Sandbox metaverse, there’s a limited number of land that can be  developed. This scarcity tends to push the value of the land up since once all land has been sold on that metaverse then no more land can be developed.

Price of  Land

The price of land depends on its value and the metaverse you will be buying the land from. This can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. Land is usually priced in the native token of the host Metaverse. You can check the price of each land on the market place section of your preferred metaverse.

Uses of land/ Making Money from your Parcels

  • Buy and wait

You can buy your piece of land as a speculative asset and simply wait for its price to appreciate before selling it.

  • Build business and profit from it

You can basically build any business you want on your piece of land. Every asset you build is considered an NFT. Most metaverse platforms offer user friendly, no- code tools that gamers can use to build assets on their parcels of land. Land owners can create businesses that sell NFTs, assortments, in game ammunition and even avatars.

  • Rent it out

Land owners can also rent out their parcels of land to other buyers and earn rental income from the land.

  • Build a home

You can also build a home  and customize it to your liking, invite friends over, host parties and  meetings from this home.

Alternative strategies for Investing In Metaverse Real Estate

 Investors who consider buying land directly from the metaverse as being too  tedious still have a chance of benefiting from this tech trend. Here are some alternative land buying strategies to consider:

  • Metaverse Reits

Reits is short for real Estate Investment Trust. It is basically a fund that is managed by investment professionals who will invest on metaverse real estate on your behalf. As an investor, you will get annual returns from our investment based in the performance of your fund manager.

  • Metaverse Index

This is a basket of tokens that are related to the metaverse. If you invest in them, you get access to an assortment of tokens in the metaverse, thus, you are not exposed to the fluctuations from one token.

  • Invest in Metaverse Platform tokens

You can also invest in the native tokens of different Metaverse platforms. Seeing that this is still a novel technology, investors stand a chance to profit from the upside potential of these tokens as the market grows.

  • Invest in Metaverse Stocks/ Tech companies

Companies such as Facebook ( Meta) have expressed  their desire to pivot into the metaverse. Investors can take advantage of this by investing in their stocks early enough.

From all these, we see that there exists lots of opportunities to invest in land in the metaverse. Savvy investors can take advantage of this and invest in land on the metaverse.

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