According to the World Economic Forum, a working metaverse has three key components: presence, interoperability, and standardization.
While virtual and augmented experiences get more immersive by the day, interoperability and standardization should be wired into the metaverse's DNA from day one to avoid silos and walled gardens. So how can we construct the foundation of an open, utopic metaverse in which the travel and hospitality industries can flourish without being paralyzed by the same old Web 2.0 paradigm?
There are 2 major adoption hurdles for the Metaverse: hardware & interoperability.
1- Hardware: most Metaverses that run on crypto (Decentraland, Sandbox, etc) require a powerful computer, that barely anyone has or can afford. They are akin to video games with limited graphics, so their mass adoption is very unlikely.
In the metaverse, we are only bound by our creativity and the resources at our disposal. Because it is digital, anything can be created as long as we set our minds to it. After all, in the digital world, the laws of physics do not apply, even if we interact with the physical world. As such, in the metaverse, you can be who you want to be, create what you want, where you want, for whom you want, and how you want. This complete freedom for creators will undoubtedly lead to some fascinating experiences and has the potential to drive significant economic growth, but only if we create an open metaverse.
I think the answer is the same to the question : "An open internet for an open, decentralized industry" and Web3 is trying to address it.
So, rather than looking for a metaverse specific reply, we should treat the problem as a common one (i.e. the metaverse is a subset of the web).
With Presence and Interoperability being a given in the web3 space, I believe standardization remains a variable with certain standards being a must and others coming with the evolution of the Metaverse.
A certain layer of decentralization is built into every Metaverse as these ecosystems are typically on the Blockchain; However, contrary to popular belief, the mere presence of a project on the blockchain does not make it decentralized, what makes a project truly decentralized is Governance. Governance is what determines how transparent the Metaverse will be, what kind of Data the users choose to share (if any), what level of freedom a user is given within the space, and most importantly how the users can create value; since after-all, web3 is the evolution of the internet into a creator's economy.
The hospitality Metaverse should be addressed as reality in aspects of users' security and well-being while enforcing common social behaviors from the real world.
The strength of the Metaverse comes from its ability to "materialize" yourself anywhere, anytime, and, of course, experience all you can imagine and beyond that.
For me, it is essential to define the Metaverse. We often see this as something blurry we aim for, but some of us think a virtual conference can be it, while others believe it must be a Ready player one experience.
I am strongly in favor of interoperability and breaking down silos. But when it comes to the metaverse, I can imagine multiple different worlds where interoperability or standardization is not a mandatory requirement. Imagine a work-life oriented Metaverse, where you can embrace a professional persona and attend meetings, job interviews, etc. Then a different one where you can easily travel around the globe and explore real or artificial places. Next, more gaming oriented where you want to transform into a knight or a unicorn and do some role-playing.
Silos have been amongst us for hundreds of years. If anything, we could say they are part of human nature. Have you ever imagined a world where we all spoke the same language? I often dream about travelling the globe being able to communicate with every single living organism in this planet, how much wisdom could be shared!
The metaverse is a vast virtual world that involves a growing variety of elements, such as avatars, architects, fashion, music, marketing, and even hardware. Thus, it is almost impossible that all those things will be provided by one company. Interoperability will come naturally in the metaverse.
In the history of computing and technology, competition has always been between an open system and a closed system. So, for laptops and computers, Microsoft represents the open system and Apple represents the closed system. As for mobile phones, Android would be an example of an open system and Apple would be a closed system as well.
Since the Metaverse is a convergence of many businesses and innovations the biggest challenge is creating a standard that allows interoperability between multiple platforms, coming from different industries, which already have a high degree of complexity.
It is true that what the Metaverse aims for is standardization and interoperability, meaning that users should be able to travel from one Metaverse to another seamlessly, using its same configuration (avatar, assets and wallet) and that the technology we use for it has to share minimum technical characteristics that allows us to work in them. Complex concepts like "Decentralization", "Cloud computing", "Blockchains" or "NFTs" plays a role here.
Web3 should be empowering every individual to have more personalized experience in the digital world. We have seen how web2 changed and revolutionized borderless interaction between user. We exchanged information, shared vision, and formed remote collaboration. In web3, we will welcome an era where it wasn't just digital info/data, ads preference, or web cookies. Web3 era will be an enormous growth of digital civilization, metaverse and NFT are just a small beginning.