2 min read

Authenticity in the Metaverse

Creating a metaverse experience is easy. The hard part is making it useful, desirable, and memorable. There’s no playbook for building a metaverse app of true value, largely because we don’t know what will ultimately become the primary use cases for the metaverse. Frankly, no one knows how the masses will come to use the Spatial Internet.

The best you can do is test right now. But there’s a right way to test.

Authenticity should be the main priority for any builders, companies, and founders looking to enter the metaverse. It’s the only principle that teams should optimize around at this point in time.

There are many reasons that authenticity should be the driving force of your metaverse strategy

  1. Authenticity protects your brand against creating false expectations. The last thing you want to do is oversell what the metaverse is today.
  2. Authenticity sets the stage that this is a work in progress you’re actively pursuing, but not forcing on your existing customers.
  3. Authenticity shows that you’re not changing what your organization stands for, but rather finding a way to upgrade your value proposition to benefit your customers.

So how does authenticity show up in the metaverse?

Metaverse authenticity is about finding the thing within your organization that already has a spatial quality. In other words, it’s about identifying something core to your company that lends itself to immersion.

This will make more sense by looking at concrete examples.

Automotive Metaverse Authenticity

I think that the automotive industry is particularly well-suited to enter the metaverse in an authentic way because cars originate as CAD files. Every piece of a car is designed in 3D software before it gets manufactured. Therefore, translating that to a metaverse experience feels natural.

Three ways I’d go about metaverse design as a car company:

  1. Custom Artist RenderingsLamborghini hired the artist Krista Kim to design the paint job for a 1/1 Aventador, which was produced physically and digitally as an NFT. Car companies should lean into artist customization as a way to bring their cars into the metaverse in a flashy and fun way. In many ways, it could be a platform like Nike ID that allows anyone to create their ideal sneaker.
  2. Innovating the Passenger ExperienceHoloride has created a metaverse experience for passengers which integrates movement data from the car to alter the in-headset content. There’s a lot of idle time spent riding in cars; time that auto companies can create unique immersive experiences for.
  3. Simulation Engines – After-market car customization is a massive hobby that car companies mostly dismiss. Creating a metaverse app that enables your customers to design and modify cars in a digital sandbox, and then run performance simulations, would make for an engaging metaverse experience.

Art Metaverse Authenticity

The art world is battling the emergence of advanced text-to-image algorithms, with many worrying it could jeopardize the future for the majority of artists. Now is the time for art institutions to make a statement and show where their allegiance lies.

  1. Always-On, Ever-Changing Galleries – The cost to update a metaverse gallery is nothing compared to a physical space. Gallerists should take advantage of this paradigm shift and create metaverse galleries that are frequently changing, giving people a new reason to visit them daily. (I think DMINTI is doing a good job of this with its metaverse.)
  2. The Artist Sandbox – MoMA PS1 created a space for artist experimentation and collaboration that has pushed the boundaries of art for decades. Who is going to create the metaverse equivalent where artists have free reign to be edgy in this new medium?

Every industry will have to find unique ways to show up in the metaverse and prove to their audiences/customers that there is unique value there. I don’t believe there’s a shortage of desire among organizations to invest in the metaverse. The challenge is knowing what to build that feels authentic and timeless.