John Payne: An Interesting Commentary on Metaverse Predictions

During a recent interview, John Payne, CEO of Croquet, shared his insights on the Metaverse and its potential development. When asked about his thoughts on writing predictions for the Metaverse, John had some interesting commentary to offer. According to John, the Metaverse will happen faster than people expect, thanks to the 3D worlds gaining traction in traditional websites. In fact, he believes that if the web were multiuser and 3D, it would essentially become the Metaverse. He says “Millions of virtual 3D spaces and worlds embedded in the web will soon collectively form a significant portion of the larger, interoperable Metaverse”. John clarified that no one is going to throw away their current website and build a new one that is multiuser and immersive, but instead, the parts of the site that benefit most will evolve in those directions very rapidly. He emphasized that the Metaverse is an evolution of the web, the next generation of it, rather than a revolution.

How the Metaverse can Grow without VR?

The CEO of Croquet, also shared his thoughts on the growth of the Metaverse, specifically addressing the use of virtual reality (VR). According to him, one of the most significant limiting factors of VR in the Metaverse is the “one walkie-talkie problem” – only a small percentage of the population currently have VR headsets, which makes it difficult for them to join in and participate in the Metaverse. However, he pointed out that the growth of the Metaverse can still be accelerated massively without VR by allowing any user to participate using Metaverse Browsers that are entirely cross-platform to any device with a browser, without requiring downloads or native apps. This frictionless approach will increase participation and engagement in the Metaverse. While VR can deliver a more immersive experience, it is not the only solution and has a high cost. John Payne emphasized that very good immersive 3D experiences are available today in cross-platform environments that can be offered across any device, ranging from desktops to phones and head mount XR devices. In his opinion, perfect VR should not be the enemy of very good and useful experiences available today.

Metaverse for Marketing Only? Payne Shares His Thoughts

According to Payne, Large companies will always do marketing, advertising, and customer
acquisition and promotions in centralized environments like Roblox, Meta, and Decentraland but and exclaims that they will “NEVER SEND THEIR CUSTOMERS, DATA, OR TRANSACTIONS THERE,” often because of laws or compliance policies preventing them from doing so. Instead, Payne believes that the “Real” Metaverse will emerge as an extension of the Web and the Internet, where these large companies already have a significant presence on their existing web properties. In his view, the Open Metaverse is decentralized and interoperable, and it will form the basis for how large companies interact with existing customers for transactions, support, upselling, and logistics on the websites they already manage and control today.

The Future of Content Creation in the Metaverse

When asked about how artificial intelligence will impact content creation in the Metaverse? John Payne, CEO of Croquet says “Tools like GitHub Copilot, DALL-E, and ChatGPT will continue to evolve, become more accessible to a wider audience, and become more ethically acceptable to use”. He continues by saying that, Metaverse technologies rely heavily on high-quality content, which has historically been expensive and time-consuming to produce and that content will become inexpensive to make, and those content creators will not need to invest as much time in learning the tools. Also, John Payne puts his perspective on how metaverse platforms evolve in terms of content, saying that “Real-time communication platforms are and will continue to be important, but not all users can be online at the same time. Ghost avatars, rich notes between friends, and other time-independent interactive content will continue to evolve”.

Decentralization as the Key to Anti-Harassment in the Metaverse

John Payne concludes by saying, “It’s imperative that metaverse technologies be built for people with a wide range of backgrounds and abilities”.  As solutions for identity in the metaverse continue to evolve, people will have the ability to express themselves in the way that feels most comfortable and safe for them. Safety and anti-harassment tools will also be integrated into platforms as they become more decentralized.

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