How Will Multilanguage Merge Into Metaverse?
A world beyond the real world in which we move as avatars? Where we meet up with our loved ones, enjoy concerts together, pursue hobbies, work, shop? We are looking forward to such a “metaverse”.
From texts to videos: The way we communicate is constantly changing, with no end in sight. The next platform will be even more comprehensive, even more real – and it will require completely new operations. Users/customers become an integral part of the action and are no longer just spectators: This is the Metaverse.
The social orientation of the Metaverse will have a strong impact on the area of digital communication in particular: It ensures a fundamental change and improves the functioning of communication. Let’s take a look at Metaverse and what does it offer?
What Is Metaverse?
The term metaverse was first used in Neal Stephenson’s 1991 science fiction novel Snow Crash. The author describes the Metaverse as a kind of global virtual reality in which people walk around as avatars. The whole thing is a bit reminiscent of today’s mass multiplayer online role-playing games. Only there is no game, no high score, no set goal. Rather, the Metaverse is built as a digital alternative to the physical world.
The idea of a metaverse has been taken up and described again and again in other novels, computer games, and films. These include, for example, the computer game Habitat from 1985, the online game Second Live from 2003, the Matrix movies from 1999, or the film adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s book “Ready Player One” from 2018, and many more.
Metaverse is a vision for a shared online world. The virtual world, augmented reality, and the physical world merge in it. There are extensive interaction options for users. They move with their digital identity in a common virtual space without internal borders.
Many IT experts, analysts, and tech companies see the Metaverse as an important future trend. The renaming from Facebook to Meta should also be seen in this context. The word Metaverse is made up of the two parts “meta” and “universe”. Here, the “universe” stands for the totality of space, time, matter, and energy and the prefix “meta” means “beyond” in the sense of a higher level of the universe.
Today, the vision of a common online world is called the Metaverse. It should merge the virtual world (virtual reality), augmented reality (augmented reality), cyberspace, and the real physical world in a common digital space without inner borders. However, an exact definition of the Metaverse does not exist. The exact design of a metaverse is sometimes interpreted quite differently.
Key Technologies, Traits, and Properties of the Metaverse
Numerous key technologies are necessary to realize the vision of a metaverse. These key technologies include virtual reality glasses, smart glasses, augmented reality, holographic processes, a decentralized Web3, blockchain technology, NFTs (non-fungible tokens), peer-to-peer communication, fast mobile internet (5G), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and much more.
A central feature of the Metaverse is the interoperability of the applications in the digital and real space. It allows you to take elements and objects into the various applications of the real and virtual world. Digital possessions can, for example, be clearly identified and identified using NFTs. Another important feature is the decentralization of the Metaverse, even if tech giants will try to control as much of the Metaverse as possible.
This decentralization is based partly on Web3 concepts. It thus prevents a few large platforms and corporations such as Amazon, Google, or Facebook from exerting too much influence on the Metaverse. The technical basis for the Metaverse is a collective and shared infrastructure. In Web3, users have full control and sovereignty over their actions at all times. Technologies such as blockchains used for cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer communication are key technologies for decentralization. People interact and communicate directly with each other without an intermediary or influencing platform in between.
Other properties and characteristics of the Metaverse are:
- Real-time, three-dimensional spaces without inner borders,
- Continuous progression of the Metaverse without pause or end,
- Users move freely with their digital identities and avatars,
- Possibility of interaction and communication regardless of physical location,
- Users can create, influence, or change digital spaces themselves and make them available to others,
- Open and closed virtual spaces,
- Comprehensive exchange between the virtual and physical world,
- Unified economy of virtual and real currencies,
- No limits on the number of users.
Will There Be Equity Established?
The biggest challenge is to avoid the Metaverse becoming a centrally organized space – unlike the decentralized internet. Some experts warn of a possible situation where a single company controls the Metaverse – and thus gains control of a virtual space that encompasses the entire Earth and all digital communication taking place there. The power of such a corporation would even be many times greater than that of today’s Internet giants, Google and Facebook.
The Metaverse users are not pure consumers but rather interact with their digital identity in virtual space. Meaning that you help shape the Metaverse. Humans live, work and communicate in the Metaverse. In contrast to the purely virtual world, however, there is no parallel world; instead, the objects and components of both worlds can be taken from the real world to the virtual world and vice versa or mapped there. Many elements of the Metaverse are based on the idea and vision of a decentralized online ecosystem in the form of Web3). However, equating the terms Metaverse and Web3 does not do justice to the vision of the Metaverse.
In principle, each of us can create new worlds and spaces. For example, every person can decide with their avatar in which world, in which room, in which environment, in which social interaction they go, and with which other people or avatars they meet. And this is completely independent of the platforms of the big tech companies.
The whole thing can always occur peer-to-peer, without anything or anyone – without an intermediary in between. And this is where the next key topic comes into play: Multilingual experience, more specifically, localization practices that will take place in this new universe.
What Do We Expect from Multilingual Experience in Metaverse?
Advances in artificial intelligence in language processing make an old sci-fi dream very real: A universal, real-time translation system that eliminates all language barriers. The banner bearer company, Meta, is working on it.
As part of an event for their own AI projects, Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg announced that he wanted to use artificial intelligence to develop a real-time universal translator – also for rare languages. “AI will make this possible in our lifetime,” says Zuckerberg.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg describes the universal translation technology that his company has been researching for years as a “superpower that people have always dreamed of.” “The elimination of language barriers would be fundamental and would allow billions of people to access information online in their native language or their preferred language.” Meta’s AI researchers emphasize the importance of the project.
Conversational AI is particularly exceptional as it would enable the creation of AI-controlled virtual characters to populate the virtual, immersive worlds. These AI-based avatars would be able to interact through many other human expressions besides speech, e.g., facial expressions, body language, emotions, and physical interactions.
As a fundamental toolset, Conversational AI will play a central role in creating complex, naturally acting virtual characters. These will provide users with immersive digital experiences in the Metaverse – with speech being just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the communication skills of these AI characters. The level of immersion these experiences provide will determine the success of the Metaverse.
As people interact, communicate and trade directly with each other without any intermediary, state, or platform in between, there are no limits to the creativity, dynamics, and a number of these Metaverse worlds. It’s a completely new, digital world overall. But in terms of social interactions, communication, economics, commerce, etc., the world is real – and not far removed from our physical world where translation and localization services are vital for global operations.
Metaverse is the most competitive platform for brands, and localization is much more than just a translation into other languages. Products and marketing messages must also be credible for people from other cultures. Localization creates an individual connection and makes a product desirable in the eyes of consumers. So, it is of prime importance for both the brands and users.
How Do Companies Invest in Metaverse?
With the new company name, Zuckerberg emphasizes how focused he is on the vision. Other companies and start-ups are following suit, as are the media, analysts, and investors. Everyone smells “the next big thing.”
Companies are already crowding around there, especially to appeal to younger people. The South Korean brand Hyundai recently opened its world there. Fortnite is working on the Metaverse alongside the game developers Roblox and Second Life. Concerts and film premiere also take place there. They have already reached millions of viewers.
But there are also critical voices, including prominent faces like Tesla boss Elon Musk. The Metaverse is more “marketing than reality.” And Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that he would instead concentrate on this world than on a metaverse. Because of the immense computing power, experts expect a fully developed metaverse to take 10 to 20 years.
But the tech giants are also investing huge sums of money to jump on the hype and earn money on the Metaverse. Microsoft wants to create a virtual world for working life and move meetings into virtual space by allowing participants to meet their colleagues as avatars in digital conference rooms. By the end of the year, the company wants to integrate virtual reality and augmented reality glasses in Microsoft Teams. These special glasses enable the wearer to perceive a computer-generated world in real-time (virtual reality, VR) or to display digital content in the real environment of the viewer (augmented reality (AR).
Meta, formerly Facebook, wants to create an all-encompassing metaverse that integrates all areas of life. Currently, the focus is initially on chat rooms for friends and colleagues.
Nvidia is developing the Omniverse, a hardware and software platform that can be used to virtualize real complex objects. BMW was one of the first users to simulate production in the real factory in order to predict and eliminate errors before construction began.
Tencent and Epic Games, the companies behind Fortnite, also want to convert their computer games into a large metaverse. In addition to the actual games, events such as concerts are to take place.
Why Should You Prioritize Localization?
Digitization has changed the way we react and behave. Because it’s easier to meet on a social platform than in person, our language of communication has changed, as have our responses to emotions. The social orientation of the Metaverse will have a strong impact on the area of digital communication in particular: It ensures a fundamental change and improves the functioning of communication.
This also applies to brands that want to communicate and interact with their customers or followers. In the Metaverse, they meet in a virtual space and can communicate more naturally and closely than ever before through direct interaction.
Conveying emotions among different languages as naturally as possible is the crux. The new dimension of proximity will probably also increase the degree of authenticity, which will create an even more familiar, closer relationship between creators and followers. This can be achieved only through the proper localization of many languages.
Many companies are already using sophisticated chatbots to support their customers with various tasks. Such a virtual concierge service would also be in demand in the Metaverse. And because everything happens on a global scale, every aspect has to adapt to the local culture. This forces users and brands to deal with issues such as translation, design and software interventions, and various technical requirements. In Europe alone, 23 official languages are spoken. The challenge is to connect people, products, and brands that don’t speak the same language.
The digital world offers an increasingly tailor-made online experience through personalization options. Unique avatars can be created on gaming platforms as well as in the social media area. The algorithms used on the respective platforms play out individual contributions tailored to the user. It is to be expected that users will have more and more opportunities to express their personalities digitally. The trend undoubtedly points in the direction of localization of the languages.
With an increase in this and the individualization of the digital world, classic mass marketing is falling behind. Target group-oriented marketing is gaining importance and efficiency. Brands must also adapt to relational styles and interactions. Brands’ “personalization” becomes even more direct in 3D.
Metaverse Experience in the Arab World
Metaverse has naturally reached Arab countries, too. There are many virtual worlds, such as Muxlim Pal, a Muslim-oriented social network that prohibits sexual, violent, and drug-related activities.
Various Arab islands, such as the Saudi Arabia Island and the Middle East Island, can host many events and meetings which welcome the whole Muslim world. You can even experience religious activities such as a pilgrimage to Mecca, lectures about religious issues, and demonstrations related to the history of religion.
A new phase of the internet is emerging and will have an enormous impact on society. Marketing and communications professionals face new challenges, but they also have new opportunities. The new era of the Metaverse will unleash extraordinary creativity and open new frontiers and horizons.