The Future of Virtual Meetings: The Metaverse
By Amy Townsend
Bill Gates recently predicted that remote work meetings will be held in the metaverse within the next three years. We have already watched the world transition to a digital work setting in response to the pandemic, but it doesn’t seem like we’re done evolving just yet.
Gates predicts that virtual meetings will transition from 2D camera image grids to the metaverse space with 3D digital avatars.
This blog discusses the metaverse, what meetings in the metaverse will look like, and what concerns this concept creates.
What Would These Metaverse Meetings Look Like?
The metaverse can be described as a digital universe where users can “live” by using various forms of technology, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and video. The idea is that people can work, play, and stay connected with friends through various virtual activities (i.e. concerts, traveling, working, etc.).
The idea behind metaverse meetings is that users would log into their virtual avatar and travel to the metaverse meeting room, where they would meet with their fellow team members–as if they were in a physical meeting space in the office.
For remote employees to properly experience metaverse meetings – they would need to use some form of VR goggles (like Oculus) to get the full experience of body language, expressions, and voice.
One major concern about meetings in the metaverse is security. At the beginning of the pandemic, Zoom underwent major scrutiny as teleconferences and online classrooms were being hijacked by hackers.
This is a concern for metaverse meetings, where it’s expected that confidential business-related conversations will take place. How will organizations be able to gate their meetings so that only those invited can join?
A second concern is user access to the accessories required to successfully meet in the metaverse (e.g. VR goggles). Organizations would need to provide this equipment to their employees, which is currently a heavy ticket item.
Although virtual 2D meetings have become the norm, it’s highly possible that we will continue to evolve to an even more virtual way of working–in the metaverse. While this still feels like a futuristic dream, Bill Gates thinks it’s only a few years away. That being said, there are a lot of factors that still need to be addressed before metaverse meetings become a reality.