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Companies test the waters of the metaverse and prepare for future potential

Of all the technological trends discussed during the IT Forum Trancoso, few arouse as much interest and doubts among CIOs as Metaverso. Technology – or rather, the set of technologies that compose it – was the subject of debate during the third day of the event, Friday (22nd), in a panel that sought to show real Metaverse applications that have been explored to generate business.

During the discussion, organizations from very different areas of business – the Brazilian media giant Globo and Banestes, Banco do Estado do Espírito Santo – spoke about their experiences with Metaverso and shared some of the results achieved so far. In the opinion of both, it is time to test the waters with technology, seeking learning and developing expertise for a future in which it can shine.

“It is very complex to talk about the Metaverse. It doesn't have a clear definition of what it is, how it is, what it is for. There is great uncertainty about the commercial viability of the Metaverso”, pointed out Tasso de Macedo Lugon, Director of Technology and Innovation at Banestes, at the beginning of the debate. “So we decided to explore the technology.” In the annual survey 'Before IT, the Strategy', carried out by IT Mídia with leaders of the 500 largest companies in the country, Metaverso appears at the bottom of the list of priority investments by CIOs. Only 13% of responding companies say they plan a Metaverse project in 2023. Only 1% of respondents list Metaverse as one of their top three priorities for the year.

The Banestes initiative was born in the context of Baneshub, Banestes' innovation hub that was launched in 2022 to develop innovation projects for the bank. The Banestes Metaverse project emerged from the inspiration of digital games that mix the real and virtual worlds, such as Pokémon Go. In the game, players interact with virtual objectives “anchored” to objects in the real world, earning in-game items.

The idea motivated the bank to develop its own Metaverso virtual environment, as a place that could attract a younger audience to the Bank's offers and services. “The idea is to experiment with technology, move our innovation hub and bring in new partners to evolve the project itself”, explained Lugon. “Get to know the technology and bring it into the company so that in the future, when this has evolved, we won't be left behind”.

The perspective was the same applied by Globo, which saw in a Metaverso initiative an alternative to develop expertise with the tendency to, in the future, create applications that give better results. “[If you] don't test and experience these technologies, for sure, when you implement them, you'll be far behind”, pointed out Wanderley Baccalá, executive director Hub Digital at Globo.

The organization's first big test with Metaverso was in 2021, but it didn't bring any kind of monetization. The following year, the company bet on a new interactive experience for the Big Brother Brasil 2022 program – once again, the financial results did not come. “Nobody believed. We couldn't bring any money. The technology was a little ahead of the business model,” he said.

For the third experiment, the company changed its focus: it produced a play for the telenovela Travessia, starring the actor Humberto Martins, in an interaction on Metaverso in which the actor bought jewelry from the Pandora store in virtual reality. More than 32 million people were impacted by the action. With the success of this action, the BBB 23 "had a queue" of companies interested in technological experimentation, according to Baccalá.

In March of this year, the company delivered a new Metaverso interaction within the BBB23, in partnership with the McDonalds brand. Dubbed 'MéquiVerso', the action took participants from the reality show into a virtual store at the snack bar, where they could interact with each other and buy real snacks. In total, 26 million people were impacted, and McDonalds had more than 8,000 orders made during the action due to associated QRcodes. Source: Itforum


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