Mon. Dec 6th, 2021

Richard Waters’ article highlights the significant investment by technology companies to make “the metaverse” a reality (“Facing the future: Microsoft to blend digital and physical worlds with avatars on Teams”, November 3).

It is important to fall in love with the problem, not the solution. In addition, organizations need to have a clear vision of what we want our real world to look like, to take advantage of most of the opportunities that the virtual one offers. Venturing into the metaverse can have sustainability and social benefits.

Following the pandemic, the fundamental human need for connectivity is one of the top priorities for businesses to address, and as COP26 emphasizes, it is vital that we do so in a sustainable manner.

Right now, personal collaboration remains the best way to make the connections that build trust and foster new ideas. Using avatars may seem strange at first, but it’s a step on the path to more natural online interactions.

They can give that sense of “presence”, allowing users to share eye contact and see each other’s body language, something people who have been plagued by video call fatigue have been missing.

However, the metaverse is not a magic bullet. As we design this next phase of the web, we need to take a more sustainable and social view, and learn from what has not worked with mobile and social platforms in the past.

Businesses need to explore the metaverse, not just for the opportunities it can offer, but for the urgent problems it can help solve.

Ed Greig
Chief Disruptor, Deloitte,
London EC4, UK

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