John Acunto, how do you expect the metaverse to impact how we do business in the next few years?

John Acunto, Infinite Reality, speaks about building skills for the metaverseJohn Acunto, CEO of Infinite Reality: I think the impact of the metaverse will be even more significant than the impact of the internet itself. The way the internet took shape in the 2004-2010 timeframe made commerce easier and information readily accessible. Then the smartphones came, and the internet became part of the very fabric of our being.

This is a fabulous time for interacting with technology and receiving responses that are more human and lifelike.

This new ability of having immersive experiences through the metaverse will take everyday things such as shopping, going to the grocery store, visiting friends and having social events to a new level. It will be much more vibrant, and you will really feel part of it. This is a fabulous time for interacting with technology and receiving responses that are more human and lifelike, rather than just interacting with words, dashes, numbers and zeros. This technology helps personalise our experience.

What is the role of Infinite Reality in this development?

John Acunto: We want to empower businesses by giving them the tools and services they need to have great metaverses. The difference between us and everybody else in this field is that we want our customers to own their clients, the experience and the related data.

Let me explain: in the beginning, the internet was open and free. Everyone built their own websites, provided the content they wanted, created their own online stores and interacted directly with their customers. They owned their customers, the experience they created and the data generated.

Starting sometime between 2007 and 2009, and then amplified for the last decade, the internet has become “siloed” with some huge platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Google and so on – owning the experience. Businesses use them to share content, advertise and sell, but it is the platforms that tell them how to interact with clients. They hold all the customer data and control how ads and content are displayed, and have in this way been able to create value exceeding $5 trillion in the past decade.

We want to do the exact opposite. We want our customers to build great immersive experiences in the metaverse, own all the customers that they acquire and have and understand all of the data around who their customers are. We want brands to be able to cut out the middlemen – Amazon, eBay, retail stores and so on – and sell their products directly to end clients. This is already an on-going trend, amplified by the development during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the metaverse will create a huge difference. At Infinite Reality, we feel that the edge that we have is providing powerful immersive metaverse experiences with this radically different approach.

Will the metaverse be accessible for other companies than leading high-tech ones?

John Acunto: While it is true that metaverse technology differs from current technologies in how we use it, it is not different in how it is made. Many companies already have trained specialists – web developers, app developers, server engineers, security experts, and so on – who master what has until now been very niched areas. The metaverse is a connection of all these niche areas. What is needed now is people who really understand how these areas connect.

What is your vision for developing skills and people capable of dealing with the metaverse? As the technology becomes increasingly common, the needs must be enormous.

John Acunto: Creativity is a very important part of innovation, and engineers who do not understand the creative element cannot make the metaverse work. The problem is that we do not teach creativity – we expect people to be born with it and nurture it themselves.

Creativity is a very important part of innovation, and engineers who do not understand the creative element cannot make the metaverse work.

What we want to do is to try to teach creativity. We want to help engineers understand the creative part of the business, because that is what is going to make immersive experiences better. This is why engineers who are able to understand this are so highly sought after. We think that if we join forces with intellectual institutions such as the University of Luxembourg to work with young people and encourage them to be creative, we certainly can go a long way towards creating the engineers of the future.

Pictures: © Infinite Reality

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