Proximus & metaverse
Stéphane: Community Manager Proximus
Hi, everyone. I'm Stéphane, Community Manager at Proximus.Today, there is more and more talk about Metaverse, but some still have trouble coming to grips with the concept. So, what exactly is it about? What are the existing models? What might this new world under construction look like? What is at stake for Proximus customers? These are just a few of the topics we will discuss with Daniel and Valentin, who both work in the Innovation department of Proximus. Let's go!
Question: Qu’est-ce que le Metaverse?
Valentin: Innovation Specialist. The term Metaverse is made up of two parts. 'Meta' means 'beyond' and 'verse' comes from 'universe'. When we talk about Metaverse, we are talking about a universe beyond the real universe. The term was coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his novel called "Snow Crash". But this concept existed before and it appeared elsewhere as well in the movies, under other names. In video games as well. Metaverse really started to surface everywhere in the news in 2021, when Facebook's parent company was rebranded "Meta" to show the group's ambitions in that domain.
Question: Quel rôle Proximus entend-elle jouer dans l'avènement du metaverse ?
Valentin: Proximus can play a key role in the advent of the Metaverse. Indeed, you can't access the Metaverse without the Internet and with fiber and 5G, Proximus can provide a network that is both fast and stable, which is a major enabler for the advent of the Metaverse. Today, deep down, everyone is convinced that we are heading towards the Metaverse. The question is: when and how? There are countless tools available today for Metaverse that allow for different experiences. Within Innovation, we started to look at what existed and we identified 3 areas in which Proximus could provide Metaverse experiences. First, there is the entertainment, the digital twins and the hybrid way of working.
Question : Qu'y a-t-il déjà dans le monde de l'entertainment qui pourrait nous offrir une nouvelle expérience ?
Valentin: As far as entertainment is concerned, Proximus Pickx is already a reference for a large number of users. The Metaverse could enable us to reshape the TV of tomorrow. Netflix already offers an immersive experience. We find ourselves some sort of cottage in virtual reality and we consume classic 2D content. We could imagine that tomorrow's TV is watched on a flat screen in a Metaverse apartment. Similarly, YouTube already offers 360 content at this stage. One can very well imagine that in the Metaverse, we could attend festivals and find ourselves surrounded by the crowd. Starting today, Horizon Venues, which has been integrated into Horizon World, provides a social experience which allows you to meet your friends, get together in the Metaverse and then leave a hall, enjoy a concert, go to another hall, meet on the International Space Station. All these elements could give us an insight on the TV of tomorrow. What it would look like and how we could watch it.
Question: Un "digital twin", c'est quoi au juste ?
Daniel: Innovation Specialist. Digital Twin: the name says it all. The idea is to model a digital twin of a physical object. Good news, I'm already working on it. For example, I have created an art gallery in the Metaverse, which makes it possible for people from all over the world to visit it via this digital twin. I also developed the Proximus Atrium, which would allow to attend from home events held there in real life. It would also be possible to create a demo store in the Metaverse. Digital twins are therefore an open door to a world where everything is possible. Think possible.
Question: Travailler dans le metaverse, ça changerait quoi ?
Valentin: To best illustrate the hybrid way of working in the Metaverse, let us join there Daniel and Stéphane. Hello, welcome to Workrooms, the Meta app designed for setting up meetings in the Metaverse. So what are your thoughts?
Stéphane: Impressive! It really feels as if we were totally teleported in another universe and I have to tell you that our avatars are really top notch. So Valentin, tell us what the impact will be in terms of experience, of these meetings in the Metaverse?
Valentin: To begin with, let us look at what is the same as in reality. So you can indeed, as in the real world, give a PowerPoint presentation. You can see we are now in presentation mode. One of the assets is that you can change the layout of the room at the snap of a finger and get into something more collaborative. There, you can get up, go to the board or start writing together. As you can see, we have customized the room based on the Proximus branding. But we could also imagine a meeting on the beach.
Stéphane: Sounds good to me! I suggest that we go there right now.
Valentin: Here we are, with our feet in the sand. So obviously, one of the perks of Metaverse meetings is it finally allows us to implement the hybrid way of working and so really get together as if we were in the same room while Daniel is actually in Liege, I am in Mons and you are in Brussels.Quite awesome, right? It's immersive. We are completely focussed on our meeting and we can sit next to each other from accross the country.
Stéphane: Great. Daniel, anything you'd like to add?
Daniel: Yes, I agree. It's really great. We can run training sessions too, workshops, team activities as well as after-work sessions.
Stéphane: Great. How about a high-five before leaving the Metaverse ? Daniel ? Thank you.Valentin? Thank you. And see you soon. We have now reached the end of this vlog about the Metaverse. We now have a slightly better idea of the countless possibilities available to us, and of the role that Proximus can play by offering ultra-stable, high-speed connections that will allow us to make the most of these experiences. Thank you for following us and see you soon!
The Metaverse is increasingly being referred to as the "Internet of the future" and as part of what experts call WEB3, which refers to the idea of a decentralized and freer Internet, independent of states and digital giants. But even if the press starts to talk about it more and more regularly, for many, it still doesn't mean much...
The Metaverse seems to promise us a new social and above all immersive experience through a physical virtual reality. But is this something new? Maybe not quite...
Remember, in the early 2000s, the "Second Life" phenomenon emerged and challenged the relationship with others by immersing them in a Sims-like world. At the time, even Belgacom created its own island (vidéo on youtube ) there and launched a recruitment campaign for 25 IT students.
Even if the concept still exists today and some people have remained faithful to it, this first form of Metaverse went downhill in 2007, a little before the arrival of Web 2.0 and social networks started to become part of our daily lives.
Perhaps we were not yet ready to take a step into the world of virtual reality. Since then, the entertainment world has continued to innovate, whether in gaming or TV content, offering us ever more immersive experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced us to rethink the work model in terms of collaboration or remote meetings.
The Metaverse will certainly take a few more years before it becomes part of our daily lives, but we are probably better prepared to experience it now.
Faced with such a world of possibilities, I want to show you in this vlog the role we will have to play at Proximus in the rise of the Metaverse and the experiences we could offer to our customers.
Being a Community Manager is about protecting the company's reputation on social media but it's also about following trends, understanding them and seeing how they can become an opportunity for the brand we represent.
This was the inspiration for this first vlog.