Rise of the metaverse! At Solus we are always looking at accelerated, emerging industry trends with a view to how technology and innovation can lead the library and information industry to a brighter future. We also like to raise topics that we think you need to look at as they will impact on us all in the future.

Rise of the metaverse what is it? What do we need to know? What should library and infomation services be doing about it? How will it change the world? Can we influence its development? These and other questions!

Rise of the metaverse!

The metaverse is, at present, a broadly blank slate so we in the library and information world need to get up to speed on this! It might not exist yet, but the metaverse looks set to cause a very big stir in 2022.

” Caution and consideration on the long-term implications of the actions we take now are necessary, to ensure our efforts and massive investments are a true force for good in the evolution of this exciting innovation.” Anthony Magee

Billions are being invested in building it and tech tycoons are calling it the future, but what exactly is the metaverse? Described often as a concept for a 3D version of the internet, Wikipedia defines it “As metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection” In futurism and science fiction, the term is often described as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual world that is “facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets”

When Facebook changed its name to Meta in 2021 it may have come as a surprise to many of the platform’s users, but it was a major moment in the company’s history. It signalled Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions for his business; to be the leader in the development of the metaverse. He said at the time his company would be focusing on bringing the “metaverse to life” and “helping people connect, find communities and grow businesses.“ Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2295438-why-has-facebook-changed-its-name-to-meta-and-what-is-the-metaverse/#ixzz7JGJIMUsk

Gen Z, which has never known a world without the internet and smartphones, so for many, the boundaries between physical and virtual worlds have already blurred. What’s the point of a physical library? Why would anyone choose to watch a TV show at a set time every week? Who would buy a game or movie as a boxed disk when both can be readily downloaded faster and usually cheaper?

Anthony Magee, Director of Data and Experience Transformation, SYZYGY says that “This means that, with the injection of true purpose, it could serve as a fundamental component of scalable social care, pharmacies of the future, shopping and connected cities – much more than a glorified Second Life style online game. For example, some 40m people visit NHS UK online every month. Investment in an accessible NHS.meta is critical now. Otherwise, we continue the path towards this being a technology for gamers, savvy early adopters, and GenZ.” Digital Leaders


So how do you access it? Tom Harding says ” it’s through a video games console or VR headset who points out many young people are interacting this way already. “It’s a digital concept and in 10 years time, or whatever, we will have this digital interconnected world.”  https://www.business-live.co.uk/technology/what-metaverse-how-change-world-22643376

The metafuture is exceptionally bright. Caution and consideration on the long-term implications of the actions we take now are necessary, to ensure the metaverse is a true force for good.

What are the possibilities it could create when it finally becomes a reality? What will it mean for our services and customers? Let’s get on this, start your own learning, research and discussion. This is one topic for us in 2022 that we in the library and information industry need to get a grip of asap and I’d love to see us kick this off with a conference asap.

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