In a virtual world where anything is possible, the design of our digital reality should be driven by people’s participation and human potential – not just the potential of technology. As we embark on a journey into the realms of mixed reality, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the Metaverse, we must ensure that we create a digital society rooted in empathy and democracy.
Countless videos have emerged, showing a possible future of the Metaverse society experienced through AR glasses. These visuals depict our field of vision filled with information, advertisements, and constant distractions vying for our attention. While this future may seem overwhelming, we have the power to shape the digital world in which we want to live.
As a designer of customer experiences and advocate for Design Thinking, I firmly believe that innovation should begin with empathy. Understanding the customer’s perspective is crucial. Speakers and product designers, like Kat Zhou, call for ethical design, which means considering the consequences of our creations – both positive and negative – for society and individuals.
SogetiLabs’ research series on “Digital Happiness” explores how digital development can contribute to human growth. Mere focus on efficiency is no longer sufficient to drive digital progress. As parents in a world where internet insecurity among young people is reaching new heights, we must ask ourselves, “What kind of digital world do I want my child to grow up in?”
In the “Age of the Customer,” businesses need to become obsessed with getting to know their customers or risk becoming obsolete. Those who understand their customers will have a competitive edge in the market.
The future of AR and VR will play a significant role in our lives, from traffic information to shopping experiences. Analog, static environments will be replaced with digital, dynamic, and connected alternatives. As we progress, it will become an expected reality.
As the Metaverse takes shape before our eyes, how do we ensure we create a virtual world that is good for us and rooted in empathy for our fellow humans? The onus is on businesses to listen to their customers’ desires daily and make decisions accordingly.
In the short term, the potential of AR technology may drive the pendulum to swing heavily in one direction. However, it is the voice of the customer that will determine if it swings back. It is our collective responsibility as citizens and human beings to approve or disapprove of the innovations that emerge.
What kind of Metaverse society do we want? What kind of society do you want? Together, let’s create a digital world that prioritizes human rights, democracy and dreams, as we embrace the exciting new era of XR and the Metaverse.