Technology that uses virtual and augmented reality can change business and market dynamics in the future, with new possibilities for workers, businesses and consumers.
By Anna Beatrice Fogasa
The term metaverse gained fame in the media after Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook’s name to Meta in October of last year. As the term popularized and residents became curious about it, companies started investing in technology and using the virtual expanse of the physical world to expand their businesses.
The “metaverse is a virtual digital representation” says Professor Eldeberto Aparcido Rodillo, of the School of Economics, Management and Accountancy (FEA-RP) in Ribeirão Preto, a student in virtual and augmented reality applied to business scenarios, that “the metaverse is a virtual digital representation” and she believes that although there is a long way to go to implement it However, it could be a new option for businesses.
The expert says that there are currently two types of companies that use the technology. The first refers to those typical of metaverses, where all events take place in the virtual world, and cites the gaming world as an example: “It is pure e-commerce, where all factors, processes and products are digital” .
The second type refers to physical companies that use technology to transfer their business, giving the customer the possibility to enter the virtual world, choose their item, and receive the purchase at their home. Global brands like Nike and Gucci are already using the metaverse to attract more customers.
Being a bit of an explorer environment, Rodello says, “It’s still too early to really talk about the benefits the metaverse can bring to businesses,” but he says that, since it has its origin in the context of social networking, its benefits are associated with it, such as increased brand exposure. or a product.
Metaverse and the Brazilian consumer
Analyzing technology from the perspective of the consumer in Brazil, the professor believes that the metaverse can be well received by the population, because “Brazilians have a tendency to use social networks, Internet access and virtual shopping as well. I think the adaptation can be easy.”
However, he points out that this adaptation will not apply to all product categories. Speaking of clothes, the professor doesn’t think Brazilian consumers will use technology to purchase clothes, even though there are already ways to experience the item through augmented reality.
In terms of other types of products, such as electronics, appliances, and large equipment, such as agricultural combines, Rodello believes companies can get better results within the metaverse. Showing these products in the virtual world is much more practical compared to the ritual of buying clothes.
Impact on working relationships
The expert says that in addition to changing the dynamics between the company and the consumer, technology can bring about changes in business relationships. In the same way that the transformations that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic have occurred, such as the greater use of remote work, the metaverse can help overcome barriers to the physical world.
“The metaverse will be an extension of the relationships that already exist today. Being able to work in remote environments, working in another country, without necessarily having to move to that country,” explains the professor. It also emphasizes the possibility of working with different avatars, in different environments within the metaverse.
The professor also draws attention to another important change related to legal issues related to working with technology. “How people’s working hours will be calculated, their work will be evaluated, in short, how they can formally behave within a hypothetical work in the metaverse is a point that must be carefully analyzed.”
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