Nadine Barrett-Maitland | Metaverse – burgeoning new technological order | Commentary

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    Using virtual versions of themselves known as avatars, people enter virtual worlds to work, play and do business. They’re entering a supermarket marketplace where you can buy and sell everything from medical equipment and services to educational supplies, games, vacation and travel packages, and anything else you can think of from the comfort of your own home. This is the metaverse.

    One of the earliest implementations of the Metaverse dates back to the game Second Life, released in 2003. This game is still very popular today. As the name suggests, it allows players to escape reality and live a different life in a virtual world. But lately, the metaverse has taken on a new meaning, and people are talking about the technology. Metaverse can be said to be a virtual space that can express various aspects of the natural world.

    The platform can accommodate social media, online gaming, marketing, and digital/cryptocurrencies. It facilitates interaction between users and has the potential to expand into many other areas. This technology creates a more realistic virtual space that closely resembles the natural environment in which users can live, explore and develop. For example, the Metaverse can turn online meetings into interactive sessions that are more like face-to-face interactions, much like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did in his 2021.

    Metaverse promises to be a commercial game-changer where e-commerce can grow. Small, medium and micro businesses can use this medium to expand their global reach and grow their business, and large organizations can be even more profitable.

    immersive nature

    The immersive nature of this technology is expected to change the way customers purchase goods and services online. With this technology, you can virtually visit a store, check the quality of the goods, and pay for the goods that can be delivered to the buyer’s home. Users can explore vacation suggestions and sample expected experiences such as spending time with people, access to parks and other facilities, and experiencing environmental conditions. before purchasing a vacation package. This is an opportunity to further develop the tourism product, expand its reach and further promote economic growth in this sector.

    EXPO Jamaica 2023 provided a great example of the potential economic benefits of participating in the Metaverse. Over 21,000 people attended, including 568 buyers and 219 sellers. Using technologies such as the Metaverse platform, virtual participation can increase that number exponentially. Through this medium, vendors will be able to market their goods and services in real-time, and participants will have the same opportunities as the people in the location to experience the look and feel of these goods and services. I can.

    The Metaverse will also impact other industries as it facilitates human interaction across technological boundaries. Using this technology, healthcare professionals may be able to virtually examine and diagnose patients. It is predicted that future releases of the Metaverse technology may allow surgery to be performed virtually. Students at the institution benefit from access to high-tech laboratory facilities not available in the space and a vast knowledge pool of expert facilitators around the world. Imagine the potential impact in fields such as medicine, computing, engineering and agriculture.

    E-commerce platform

    Nevertheless, the Metaverse is primarily seen as an e-commerce platform as it is projected to allow direct purchase of goods and services within the immersion. This could improve Jamaica’s annual e-commerce revenue, which currently stands at US$669.1 million. E-commerce penetration is projected to reach 39.3% in 2023 and is expected to increase by only 4% by 2027.

    Using the metaverse can significantly increase these numbers. If we are serious about e-commerce, and thus the growth of our GDP and our economy, we need to improve our ability to effectively participate in the digital economy. A fundamental building block of e-commerce growth is the technological infrastructure that connects us to the world, so we need to intentionally ensure that it is in place.

    How will we participate in the new technological world order? Survival in this space will depend on how you plan and execute your digital strategy. This tsunami of technology is coming fast and furious. We need to pay attention to what is happening and act. We need champions to pilot ships in this highly digital sea. This requires strong visionary leadership and strategic planning.

    Developing and implementing the necessary resources requires public-private partnerships. These are exciting times. As these different techno-economic models emerge, let us ponder them and act proactively. Be prepared for the inevitable and stay unaware when the digital tsunami strikes.

    Dr. Barrett-Maitland is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Information Technology, Jamaica Institute of Technology.Send feedback to


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