Fri. Nov 25th, 2022

Every month, The Future of Everything publishes a new issue focused on a different aspect of how technology is transforming our daily lives, including transportation, education, and recreation. Work will be available online on February 2 and in print on February 10 of this year.

Chris Longwood, a music mastering engineer, spends countless hours communicating via Zoom calls and email with musicians all over the world in order to complete a new album in time for its official release. He is eagerly anticipating the day when he will be able to collaborate with them in real time via a virtual sound studio.

For Mr. Longwood, a 35-year-old Houstonian, “I see the future where my clients can put on a headset or glasses and feel like they are in the studio with me.” Like on Zoom, we wouldn’t be limited to one person speaking at a time.”

Once upon a time, this was science fiction. These are the kinds of things that technologists expect to see in the so-called “metaverse.” Aside from chatting, we’ll meet with colleagues and customers in virtual spaces so lifelike that it feels like we’re actually in the same room. We’ll be able to communicate with each other via avatars that resemble our real-life selves, if we so choose. We’ll be able to manipulate virtual versions of things like machinery or fabrics by putting on specialised gloves and using our real hands.

Everything’s Future

It’s not uncommon for companies that support remote work to still hold in-person meetings from time to time. The new virtual realm is expected to fundamentally change the way many people do their jobs—and also create new jobs, some of which are unknown at this time. However, some workplace experts. In spite of its early stages, the metaverse has strong potential benefits that are enticing companies to invest in coming years, despite its expensive and clunky hardware.

As the importance of a person’s physical location lessens in the metaverse, there will be more competition for jobs and a higher rate of employee turnover. Increased employee surveillance by the employer raises concerns about the protection of employee privacy. And virtual offices will have to deal with new rules, such as avatar dress codes.

Virtual meetings don’t necessitate people wearing headsets for the majority of their workdays. Predictors see virtual interactions taking place when they are most beneficial—either as a partial or full immersion. Improved technology will lead to lighter and more cost-effective devices.

Forecasting firm L’Atelier BNP Paribas chief executive John Egan says the metaverse will be evolutionary, not revolutionary. “In the same way that computers and mobile phones enabled higher levels of productivity and complexity, our productive capacity will be significantly expanded.”

The metaverse is expected to alter the workplace in a number of ways.

Come to the Whiteboard with Me!

Forget about schlepping across an entire corporate campus to meet with coworkers or business associates.

Founder and CEO Florent Crivello of Teamflow, a startup that provides virtual office spaces, says that teleportation makes it easier to find people.

Meetings like these will go far beyond Zoom sessions, allowing employees to work together on 3D models of toys, furniture, and buildings. Virtual bowling is an excellent way to socialise when you’re not working. Metaverse advocates argue that a virtual water cooler could be a more engaging experience than an old-school phone call.

Working in a virtual environment could reduce the time and effort required to complete complex and time-consuming tasks. HP Inc.’s chief technology officer, Tolga Kurtoglu, envisions testing new vehicles’ crash performance before they are built. There are virtual cars that can be used to show how a vehicle performs in any weather or traffic situation.

When it comes to product development, Dr. Kurtoglu says, “the more next-generation collaboration tools you bring in, the faster it will be.”

Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab’s founding director, Jeremy Bailenson, believes that people whose jobs require them to handle hazardous or expensive equipment can safely practise or experiment with new methods in a virtual setting.

According to him, that’s what will bring people to the metaverse. “There’s got to be a reason to go into VR,” he says. “A lot of us think we’re going to put on goggles to come to offices.”

An Unusual Career Path

Businesses of all kinds jumped on the Internet bandwagon when it first appeared. Forecasters predict that a similar shift will take place in the metaverse, resulting in the creation of new jobs. For new virtual shops, entertainment venues and classrooms as well as for the people who build them, there will be a need for live support and people who can build them.

Some new jobs may have never existed before. “Would you have ever guessed there would be people called social-media influencers making a living?” Dr. Kurtoglu believes this. New job categories may be created in the metaverse, but we don’t know about them yet.

Working in a virtual environment could reduce the time and effort required to complete complex and time-consuming tasks. Sabato Visconti for The Wall Street Journal provided this photo illustration.
Other jobs will change as well. According to Mr. Egan, L’Atelier’s Mr. Egan, real-estate agents and tour guides will soon be able to show customers virtual replicas of properties for sale and virtual previews of real-world vacations. There’s a possibility that purely virtual residences and vacation spots will be offered in the future.

According to Mr. Egan, AI-powered bots that mimic the appearance and behaviour of real people, living or dead, will create new job opportunities. In order to make a living from these experiences, “someone has to build them,” he says. What if you had to design a lecture by Albert Einstein, an Elvis concert, or a poem reading by Maya Angelou using archived footage?

Recruiting and Educating New Employees

It is possible that the metaverse will increase the trend of workers living far from their employers, giving both job seekers and employers more choices. According to Nvidia Corp. executive Richard Kerris, co-leader of the Omniverse metaverse infrastructure project, “Talent won’t be acquired depending on location.”

Metaverse interviewing will be used in some capacity for job applications at the very least. According to Microsoft’s Jared Spataro, a corporate vice president of modern work, this means that candidates will need to acquire the appropriate avatar attire. “How you represent yourself in the virtual world will be just as important as how you represent yourself in the real world,” he says..

How does it feel to be trapped in the Metaverse for a full 24 hours?

Trapped in the Metaverse: Here’s What 24 Hours Feels Like

The metaverse is the talk of the town. However, what will the digital world of the future look like? The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern checked into a hotel and donned a virtual reality headset for the day.. She attended virtual shows, made new avatar friends, and attended meetings virtually. Tammy Lian/The Wall Street Journal provided this photo illustration.
In the future, new hires’ training will change. Tech visionaries predict that virtual reality and augmented reality, which are already being used to train personnel in the military, law enforcement, and the healthcare industry, will become more sophisticated. In manufacturing plants, warehouses, and retail stores, new hires will learn how to operate complex machinery, how to pack boxes, and where each product goes–all in virtual replicas of those places.

Which aspects of your life might be affected by the metaverse?

Virtual-reality training courses were developed by Accenture PLC in-house. Eventually, employees will be able to use VR to practise giving feedback to artificial intelligence (AI) bots or to simulate working on an oil rig in the real world.
When it comes to the benefits of immersive learning, “you can just keep doing it until you get better at it,” says Accenture PLC’s Jason Warnke, who heads up Accenture’s Global Digital Experience.

By Adam

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