Beyond entertainment and video games, metaverse technologies will revolutionise the way we interact with each other and with computers, just as the internet revolutionised the digital age. The possibilities are endless.

The technological Metaverse, on the new paradigm of the Web3 , has an impact on sectors such as leisure, social networks, finance, real estate and training. In its commercial and retail dimension, the digital society is fuelled and revolves to a large extent around the monetisation of the information obtained from the user. The exchange of data and privacy in exchange for access to new digital means of socialisation raises enormous challenges and can become tainted, without proper design, if it departs from the mandates associated with the principle of know your customer (KYC) that govern people's relations with companies in certain economic sectors and with the Administration.

Consumers need transparency about what data they will freely hand over to these new technologies, so they can make informed decisions, but also the support of reliable means of digital identity verification that allows them to know who they are interacting with. Research from Harvard University shows that after just 5 minutes of play on a virtual reality device a person can be perfectly identified through the subtlety of their body movements, and a study from The Extended Mind on women's experiences in social virtual reality revealed that 49% of women had experienced at least one incident of harassment. The Metaverse also connects to other promising areas of the technological revolution such as virtual twins or digital currencies, and decentralised information management systems such as the blockchain.

The world's leading tech companies have just planted the seeds of the metaverse, a concept thought up as science fiction in the early 1990s. Full integration with this new digital world will take years, probably decades, but the first products will soon begin to flourish thanks to advances in virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Beyond entertainment and video games, metaverse technologies will revolutionise the way we interact with each other and with computers, just as the internet revolutionised the digital age. The possibilities are endless.

Metarverse for education and telemedicine

The metaverse also opens up new opportunities in fields such as distance learning and telemedicine. Thanks to undoubtedly improved internet connections, the metaverse could transform the way we treat diseases. For example, neurosurgeons at John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, US, performed several operations using virtual reality applications that allowed them to overlay images from scans and X-rays with their real-time experience with patients. Advances in the metaverse could allow interventions over long distances, democratising medicine and enabling personalised treatments. These systems have also been used to increase the veracity of models for the education and training of young doctors. The augmented reality of the metaverse allows the use of mannequins that, through digital lenses, computer simulations and images of patients, suffer from real diseases.

Psychology and psychiatry have also explored the use of metaverse-like systems to treat disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Thanks to digital environments and devices developed by Meta, as well as companies such as HP and Magic Leap, therapists can guide patients through virtual worlds programmed to promote recovery, as well as simulated and controlled stress exposure situations to assess the rate of improvement. Although the metaverse is still in its infancy, medical researchers are eager to see results and see tremendous potential to transform and improve the public health system.

In schools, the metaverse could also add enormous value by creating new learning experiences, as Meta explained during the launch of the technology. Through the coordinated integration of new technologies and evidence-based pedagogical methodologies, the metaverse can facilitate learning and improve opportunities for disadvantaged communities. Of course, a large part of success will lie in properly training the teaching community in the use of Metaverse platforms, as online classes pose new challenges, often neglected by educational plans.

The metaverse is also likely to completely transform our economy. New virtual worlds will create new opportunities for small users and big brands alike. Many anticipate that these economic systems will be based on blockchain technology. blockchainThe same one that supports digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and property systems based on encrypted digital files, such as NFTs. However, most of the studies and articles that suggest strong dependencies between the metaverse and the blockchain have major conflicts of interest, as they are funded by cryptocurrency investment platforms. It is possible that the metaverse and cryptocurrencies are laying the foundations for the new web 3.0, but only time and the development of these digital technologies will provide an answer.