What does the future hold for the so-called Metaverse and 3D immersive ecommerce? We’ve already covered this for B2B with Forrester, but I have a hunch that we haven’t heard the last of it. Indeed, it’s a habit with new technology, it’s at least where you least expect it that everything ends up moving. A recent announcement (and a press release that I’m adding at the end of this article) from Adobe came out at the Adobe Summit 2022, of which we are partners [transparency]. This announcement informs us about a major movement that is taking place involving big names in the marketing and technology industry. What future can we imagine for this field? Here are some thoughts from my reading of this press release.
Immersive 3D modelling for Metaverse and ecommerce: innovation is on its way
Disclosure: Adobe is our client. We have written this post with our usual aim of professionalism, independence and authenticity
Metaverse: one more time
If anyone had told me that we would see the return of secondlife 15 years later, I wouldn’t have believed it. However, there is a self-fulfilling side to technological innovation, and in a way it is self-explanatory.
A big technology player, in this case Meta, the new name for Facebook, embarks on a 100% strategy on an innovation that seemed either outdated or aimed at a niche (gamers mainly) and suddenly the whole technology industry is set in motion to provide software to the whole planet.
It’s hard to say where the Metaverse is or isn’t going
So far, nothing new. This is so much flavour of the month that it is difficult to explain it and say where it is all going. Some predict a flop and others say it’s an El Dorado, but let’s face it, nobody really knows.
In fact, the head of Adobe’s Digital Experience Business Anil Chakravarthi himself, in his introduction to the Adobe Summit Keynote yesterday afternoon, said nothing different. In essence, he said that “Metaverse is not going to happen in the immediate future” for the general public.
Technological innovation as self-fulfilling prophecy
However, a press release from the famous software vendor behind the Creative and Marketing clouds caught my attention yesterday when I received it. And looking at the press here and there (I’ll put some links at the end of this article) I realised that I was not alone and that my colleagues in the IT press had also taken notice of this announcement.
This is the announcement of the positioning of some of Adobe’s products around Metaverse in parallel with a collaboration with four major companies and not the least: Coca-Cola, Epic games, NASCAR and NVIDIA.
Around this announcement, one finds the provision of new 3D augmented reality tools to enable immersive 3D content creation, to enable virtual shopping experiences and the portability of virtual identities and goods.
Staying humble in the face of innovations and in particular Metaverse
Once again, the prophets of digital innovation will have to eat their hats and remain humble, it’s impossible to know if it will at all take off in a major way. Yet looking at how major players like those named in that press release, one senses that something is bound to happen, somewhere.
Even if the famous “Metaverse” itself is something that is still rather hazy as of now. And above all, it is still difficult to say where it will be found and which market player (Facebook? Ubisoft? Anybody else?) will be the main architect.
In any case, with this announcement, we can already foresee uses for this virtual economy, particularly with the merging of creative tools (Adobe creative cloud and Adobe Marketing cloud in this instance).
3 lessons learned from Adobe’s announcement on the Metaverse market
From this announcement, we can work out some enlightening principles for the future, because a major player like Adobe will never step into such a market without any reasons:
- Firstly: the virtual world is becoming more and more realistic. Through new 3D technologies and in particular the one demonstrated by Adobe with Substance 3D, which allows you to go directly from a photo to a 3D representation, whether it is for Metaverse or anything else.
- Secondly: the need for 3D representations in ecommerce paving the way for “augmented reality” shopping tools. It should be noted that ecommerce today is still very traditional. There is little difference between the Amazon of 25 years ago and that of today. The need to make ecommerce more immersive is indeed urgent and there is room for improvement. Whether for Metaverse itself or traditional ecommerce which must reinvent itself after a quarter of a century.
- Thirdly, in case Metaverse really takes off, whatever it is, the possibility of designing virtual characters and objects online. It’s hard to say today as far as the general public is concerned if this will outlive the buzzy campaigns of Coca-Cola and the likes. But once again, it is also difficult to claim the opposite. For B2B I refer you to my interview with Forrester. B2B is on this subject much more mature and industrial.
Innovations for Metaverse but not only
In conclusion, we have a major software player that is moving towards providing immersive 3D modelling that can be used both for the Metaverse but also, let’s be realistic here, plain vanilla ecommerce. On the other hand, there are a few major players who are taking advantage of this to make a lot of noise. Others are jockeying into position to extend, like NASCAR, their product from real life to the virtual world. In the field of online gaming, this is perfectly understandable.
The future will tell whether Metaverse, and especially Metaverse ecommerce, really takes off and where it shall be found, in B2B or B2C. In any case, what is certain is that the virtualisation of objects and people on the Internet is underway, that we are only at the beginning and that these modelling tools are becoming more and more sophisticated in this area.
We will therefore have to prepare for major innovations in the years to come, if an iron curtain doesn’t fall over the Internet under international political pressure such as the one we are currently experiencing.
Read the articles of our colleagues: