An innovation Mark Zuckerberg valued so highly that he promptly changed the name of his company to Meta. ‘The metaverse continues to build on various technologies that have emerged in recent years. In addition to the Internet, I am thinking in particular of augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), distributed ledger technology (a network of systems that are connected to one another) and Web 3.0’, says Thierry Mortier. At EY, he is responsible globally for digitisation and innovation in the energy and resource sector. Thinking about the impact of the metaverse is therefore something of a daily event for Mortier.
Mortier: ‘Initially the Internet was one-way traffic, but this changed with the advent of Web 2.0 in the early 2000s. From then on, people could post updates themselves or discuss them with others. We do this on intermediary platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which has advantages and disadvantages. In the future, more control and power will lie with the end users.’
The technology is one of the building blocks of the metaverse, a 3D world where people can walk around by putting on smart glasses, for example. ‘In that virtual world, you have an avatar and you can interact with each other. There is also a connection with the current world, because you can create digital copies of existing objects in the metaverse ’, says Patrick Rottiers, CEO of EY Belgium. ‘One of the big hurdles we still have to overcome is interoperability, as there will be several metaverses. There are already a number of platforms that you could consider a metaverse, but they are not yet interconnected. In the future, you will want to be able to take with you certain items that you have in one virtual world to another.’