Over the past two years, we have experienced significant digital transformation driven by the pandemic. Almost every aspect of life has to migrate dramatically to the digital world: people working remotely, students studying online, businesses digitalizing their services and operations. The list goes on.
However, talking to a 2D image via a screen is no longer satisfying. People demand a ‘closer’ – more real-life feeling – online interaction even after the pandemic. That is what Metaverse can do.
Metaverse offers a more immersive experience that enables people to live a parallel life in a virtual space regardless of geographical barriers.
In this episode of Vietnam Innovators season 3, Khoi Le, Meta's Country Director in Vietnam and Liem Thai, founder and CEO of game studio Topebox discuss the definition of Metaverse, the value this virtual world would bring, and how Vietnam could be a part of this trend in the future.
Metaverse – 'The next generation of the Internet'
Evidently, COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption. More people now are familiar with AR and VR, which is also a part of Metaverse technology. The value and benefits of Metaverse are tangible in our daily lives and the global economic opportunities it brings.
According to Khoi, 8 out of 10 Vietnamese consumers desire to experience AR technology. One clear example of the application of AR is face filters on social networks like Instagram or Facebook. Customers can utilize these tools to try a new product or test how the makeup looks on their face, which would inevitably shape the future of retail, especially in e-commerce.
Liem realizes that games have significant advantages in accessing the virtual universe as a game developer and a gamer. He hopes the technology will be upgraded to become more accessible and cheaper. Topebox will also host the first marathon event on Metaverse, allowing people anywhere to run on the same track.
Opportunities for Vietnam to join Metaverse
Khoi said that Metaverse is a fair opportunity for developed and developing countries. With the high population of internet users and good internet accessibility, Vietnam possesses many advantages and capabilities to learn and adopt new technologies, thus having the potential to become a “trendsetter” in the world.
According to Khoi, Metaverse is a place for people to connect and bond with each other. What stays in the long-term is community connection and Vietnam, well-known as a close-knit nation, has this sense of connection. When Facebook was renamed Meta, the company set a more substantial target for economic development in Vietnam, starting by creating more job opportunities for the Vietnamese market.
Global corporations in Vietnam, such as Samsung and Unilever, have gradually applied metaverse technology to their business strategies and product promotion. For example, with the clever use of AR filter, Lifebuoy, a soap brand owned by Unilever, successfully ran a COVID-19 campaign that reached more than 20 million people and achieved the highest market share ever.
With the readiness of technologies like AR and VR, the phase of metaverse adaptation is happening steadily. Khoi and Liem believe that experimentation is a prerequisite factor for promoting businesses in the rapidly developing technology context.
Vision with Metaverse
During the mobility restriction period, being at home for a long time caused content consumption to skyrocket across multiple platforms. That is the golden opportunity for content creators to promote their branding. Khoi also emphasizes Meta's role in helping people build content so that when the new technology emerges, they can immediately ride the wave and thrive faster.
Liem found that Vietnamese people have impressive creativity. Therefore, he hopes to see more products “made in Vietnam” by Vietnamese people that are well-received worldwide in the long term.
Technology will never go at the same pace, only faster and faster. For example, the digital transition is supposed to happen in five years condensed into one year due to a pandemic. Therefore, if young people want to keep up with technology development, they need to be more reckless and "crazy," just like the working culture Liem is building at Topebox. Liem believes that Metaverse can connect people with different skills (concept creators, programmers, etc.) so that anyone can make games.
Besides, Khoi predicts that more and more companies will share the pie of the Metaverse, so over time, the experience and value that the Metaverse could bring will get more enormous.
Translated by Bich Tram