To bring awareness about a realm that unifies human presence with the virtual world of avatars, was an opportunity for design thinkers to contemplate over from the panel discussion of experts at the Rajasthan Digifest event which took place on 18th and 19th August, 2022. The event was organized by The Government of Rajasthan at the Birla Auditorium in Jaipur. Among the various panel discussions organized by the ARCH College of Business and Design, one of them focused on the ‘Metaverse – a realm that connects the virtual world to reality.’
The esteemed panelists from the Bringle Academy and the ARCH College of Business and Design presented their opinions from the discussion. They discussed the possibilities, opportunities, challenges, and knowledge gaps for this virtual reality to come into existence. The panelists for the session were –
- Mr. Anshav Jain – Chairman & MD, Bringle Academy
- Prof. Bhargav Mistry, Dean – Design Culture, ARCH College of Design & Business
- Mr. Raj Kumar Jani, Entrepreneurship – Mentor, ARCH College of Design & Business
- The Moderator – Mr. Anand James, Dean-Academics, ARCH College of Design & Business
Speaking about the Metaverse, Mr. James initiated the conversation, sparking interest in the subject – the Metaverse. He gave the audience a basic idea about the forefront of the subject and explained how the word metaverse came about. The metaverse is the verse or realm that exists ‘beyond the universe’ and includes programming virtual human beings or avatars that behave independently as humans do.
Mr. Anshav Jain carried the discussion ahead by focusing on the idea of avatars and their application to real-life situations. Much similar to a universe, VR includes a large number of mindmaps to envision and run them smoothly.
Empathy and The Opportunities That the Metaverse Offers
Before moving on to the components of the metaverse, Prof Bhargav began by aptly expressing and extending the quote of famous thinker Jalal Ad Din Rumi: `Somewhere between the right and the wrong, there’s a garden. I’ll meet you there’ He extended it further to say, `Somewhere between the blended space of human centered design and extended reality, there’s a garden called the `Metaverse’ – I’ll meet you there’. Mr. Bhargav shared some remarkable observations such as how the principles of design will change as it enters the arena of the metaverse. Also, it will alter the usability of the designs in a significant way. To what proportion, is a question for later revelations. However, a bigger and more important question is the role and flavour of empathy within the metaverse.
It lies majorly in the hands of the avatar owner or controller. Presenting his views on the same, Mr. Anshav has said that using Metaverse, will be at a different level than the existing applications of video calling. The metaverse will basically allow people to meet, chat, feel and touch and even build relationships in the metaverse. It will help them feel less lonely. Hence, it will be the key to helping people feel closer and providing near-to-reality means to connect.
Components of the Metaverse
Speaking about the metaverse, Mr. Anshav answered a question from Mr. Bhargav about who will be accountable for the avatars’ well-being against the natural dangers within this realm. To answer the question, Mr. Anshav talked about the third component of Metaverse, after mentioning the three main components –
- Web tree
- Virtual reality
Talking of the role of metaverse and VR, it would be possible to taste food of a particular restaurant thousands of miles away right from your seat, merely by your thoughts. Not just that, Mr. Anshav asserted that in the coming future, the possibility of teleportation would become a reality for all of us. Also, along with the owner in the metaverse, the avatar in reality dies as well. Once the metaverse comes into existence, there ought to be some more detailed research, observations, and assessments.
Existence of Metaverse in near Future
Mr. Anshav shed light on the various developments happening presently in the field of virtual reality, naming brands such as Facebook, Microsoft, BMW, Nvidia, Google, and the first of its kind – The Bringle Verse, etc that have invested heavily in bringing the world of VR into existence in real-time. These companies are dedicated to working towards the dream to develop and put this technology to commercial usage at the earliest.
Commercial Utilization and Upcoming Opportunities
Talking about the commercial utilization of metaverse, Mr. Raj Kumar presented an explanation as to how metaverse would be great for creating employment. Metaverse is a vision towards which several major brand names are taking baby steps. Metaverse is an opportunity for creative minds to embrace this fresh field with open hands. Today’s youth must develop knowledge about the metaverse in order to be prepared for the coming challenges and opportunities.
By understanding these services, students and design aspirants can learn how to apply their skill sets to develop beyond what is visible. Aspirants can become creative entrepreneurs for the metaverse. This multi-faceted realm has the potential of generating a large number of job opportunities.
By 2030, the world will witness a change in terms of virtual reality becoming a prominent trend. Mr. Anshav explained that due to the Pandemic, the human race has advanced by at least 20 years. Focussing on the importance of this realm, Mr. Raj spoke about how the metaverse will ensure that your data will be collected in one place, and will be shared only upon your authorization. The session concluded with doubt solving where Mr. Anshav elaborately answered questions related to the decentralized system and its meaning. He also clarified the role of governments in this era of Metaverse, when it becomes a reality.