AbonnéInnovation & Know-How

The metaverse is going through an identity crisis

Bettina Bush Mignanego

By Bettina Bush Mignanego09 février 2023

If virtual reality is a revolution in progress, the figures show a contrasted truth. While Meta's Reality Labs division dedicated to the development of the metaverse was losing $13.7 billion in 2022, including $4.3 billion during the fourth quarter, 141 virtual worlds were created overall, according to an analysis by the Politecnico di Milano University.

The virtual exhibition of the Museum of Dante's House is available thanks to digital technology (ETT Digital Strategy & Design)

Is the virtual revolution we are all facing struggling to take off? Even though tech giants all had to undertake massive layoffs in 2022, the latest analysts' outlook is more optimistic. In early February 2023, Meta's first quarter revenue forecast was in line with expectations. As for Metavers, the early hype had given way in 2022 to general distrust among the public. However, recently, at the CES in Las Vegas 2023, innovations were almost entirely focused on Web3 and its virtual worlds, despite the declining market in this sector.

Giovanni Verreschi is the CEO of the company ETT of SCAI Group (ETT Digital Strategy & Design)

To better understand the issue, Serena Bertolucci, director of the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, Italy - the city's largest cultural and exhibition center - and Giovanni Verreschi, engineer and CEO of ETT, a company of the SCAI Group, give us their cross-sectional view of the metaverse, both from a creative perspective and from a technological and economic analysis of the sector. On this point, it is worth noting that ETT recently organized its first art exhibition in the metaverse, entitled Meta Effect, in which four artists participated, along with Serena Bertolucci and other specialists in the field. It was an opportunity for an immersive experience of digital works, with the possibility of interacting with the artists Corrado Zeni, Paolo Bonfiglio, Mark Cooper, and Gaia Midj, who was not the avatar of a real artist, but an artificial intelligence, very difficult to distinguish.

Navigating in the virtual world with a helmet is an amazing experience, difficult to describe in a few words. How did you feel exploring the Meta Effect exhibition?

Serena Bertolucci: When I received the invitation, I was initially suspicious, because I think that the virtual cannot replace the real. But then I realized that this same experience in the metaverse can be transformed into art, just like in a performance. We are not yet used to visiting these worlds, but if you manage to look at them through new perspectives, they become extremely stimulating.

At the Palazzo Ducale you organize international exhibitions, I'm thinking of the most recent ones about the artists Maurits Cornelis Escher, Claude Monet and Rubens. What potential does the metaverse have to offer?

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