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    ‘It would be naive to not acknowledge there are avenues to it’: Why Australia needed a Metaverse Advisory Council

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    As always, the truth lies somewhere in between. The Australian Metaverse Advisory Committee (AMAC) was launched last month to separate potential from hype. Angus Stevens, chairman and co-founder of the organization, tells Mumbrella why we need an organization like this.

    Can you explain what AMAC offers and why you think we need an organization like this now?

    I think part of the purpose of creating AMAC is that we don’t want to just be the lever that pumps air into the tires and adds to the hype cycle and spin. In reality, it’s really important to provide organizations with real-world knowledge and examples to help them navigate and build different ways to leverage the technology at hand, whether it’s experiences, training, or VR. is. [virtual reality]A.R. [augmented reality]Blockchain, etc. As the metaverse becomes more sophisticated and more evolved, we can have a pathway to it where the infrastructure is already in place to really leverage it.

    AMAC’s key objectives are to advocate, educate, and advise. What that actually means is that you can survive the hype cycle. For example, when Apple launches a new headset, what does that mean compared to Meta’s headset in terms of how businesses can use it? Apart from speculating about how they work, we have insight and knowledge about how these headsets can actually help in real-world situations.

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    One of the reasons we wanted to establish AMAC was because we wanted to focus on the Australian industry. Rather than having technology companies be the sole voice for the industry, we have practitioners who are actually building content for Australian businesses, enterprises and educational institutions to provide real-world examples. . You will be able to leverage local knowledge on how to use these to suit your specific needs.

    Is there any information on where Australia stands in terms of global adoption of the Metaverse? Are we ahead of the curve? Are we becoming obsolete?

    Earlier this year, Mehta invited myself and about 3-4 other people from Australia, as well as people from Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan, to Singapore to attend this three-day seminar and help them understand their vision of the world. We are talking about. Metaverse. And the reason they wanted to host this event is because globally, our region is one of the biggest growth areas.

    And Australia is very well placed to take advantage of that and make a leap forward. We don’t have the challenges that America or Europe have. Very large uptake is also occurring in countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam. Japan is clearly already there, and so is South Korea. So it’s a really interesting time for Australian industry and where we sit within that global perspective.

    What advice would you give to people with anxiety? The Metaverse is a bit “apocalyptic” because it’s often used interchangeably with AI, but we know that’s not true. However, many people put them in the same basket. That means robots are coming. Do you have any advice for people who have that perspective, are a little afraid of it, or see it as a threat?

    Well, there are two. One, you know, when the movie first started, people ran out of the theater screaming because they felt a train coming through the screen. There is a fear of new things, and I think that’s human nature.

    Like anything that hooks into human nature, it will be used for good or evil. But you know, we don’t do any particular type of VR. For the simple reason that I don’t think it’s in the interest of humanity. And some people will use it to do things that are not in the interest of humanity.

    But in terms of what the Metaverse can do, it can bring people together, it can increase empathy, it can allow people to see the world differently, it can take them to different environments that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to go to. . And from there, they learn in a different way. Even if English isn’t your first language, being able to understand concepts using augmented reality or virtual reality experiences can help you level up better, rather than being held back by language-based learning rather than a real knowledge base. think. Gain knowledge in a visual, uninterrupted way. So I think there’s a lot of different ways that it can really benefit people.

    I know it would be naive of me not to acknowledge that fearful people can fall into a pear-shaped situation, but one of the reasons I founded AMAC was because I felt helpless. It’s just that I don’t want to be. It’s playing. I want to have an industry body that reflects Australia’s needs and can actively work to guide Australia’s future.

    Just like in the ’90s when the internet started, there were a lot of naive, optimistic people who said, “Okay, this is what we want.” But at least they set the premise for having an open source web that allows people to look at the code, learn it, and run it themselves. And we want to make sure that there are versions of the metaverse that behave the same way. This allows us to not only rely on big tech in terms of how this element works, but there is actually a uniquely Australian perspective. And we have an opportunity to shake up that conversation and ensure the needs of Australians are met, not just at a corporate level, but at a community and individual level.

    And how do we incorporate advertising, branding, and marketing into the metaverse in an elegant way (pardon the joke), rather than actually showing up in front of our eyes?

    That’s a good question. So I feel like there’s a few different paths out there. One of the things that people are realizing is that there are great ways to relate to new technology. It’s about connecting the thrill of technology and the experiences associated with it to your brand.

    Specifically, on a near-term and immediate level, once the Metaverse is configured as a virtual and augmented reality experience, brands can consider making it visible and visible as a B2B, or content marketing play. Masu. Explain your brand and how your machines and equipment work to people who are looking to buy your product. Then I think it’s already there. And it can appear right before your eyes. Because, to understand the concept of how this feature works, for example, you can take a look at the AR interactive work and actually see how this air conditioning unit purifies the air in your room. It’s from.

    Thinking of marketing as simply showing off your work limits your thinking.

    However, if you consider that marketing is about educating your audience about the value of your product, then I think marketing has a lot going for it. Going further, the traditional notion of the Metaverse as an avatar-driven virtual world will eventually become a reality, with major brands already playing in that space.

    But I think there’s an opportunity at this point for Australian brands to just look at their expanded virtual run as a way to attract new audiences.

    So, can AMAC serve as a guiding light through this changing landscape?

    Yeah. AMAC’s purpose is to provide the industry with a single source of information to help find talent who can guide the industry. It’s not about trying to sell it, it’s about practicing what it actually is and its pros and cons. And be really realistic about what that means at the moment. That way you can build a solid foundation so that as it evolves and moves forward, people don’t become skeptical due to hype and fantasy. They are actually knowledgeable and based on their benefits. As technology evolves, so can they.

    That’s important to AMAC. It’s about having people who know what they’re doing and talking to other people who don’t really know.

    You’re not promoting the Metaverse, you’re explaining it.

    Yes, it will evolve and change as needed. But it really is, so if you’re thinking, “Oh, is this bullshit?” you can now find out what AMAC is thinking. – and get a practitioner’s perspective from an Australian perspective.

    Angus Stevens is Chair of the Australian Metaverse Advisory Council and CEO and Co-Founder of Start Beyond, an AFR Top 10 Most Innovative Technology Company of 2023.

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