By Komal Dilip Shete – Product Portfolio Consultant, Tecnotree
The Metaverse is a popular topic of discussion, yet many people are still unsure about its meaning. Dubbed the next frontier of the internet, the Metaverse is a virtual reality realm where users can engage with each other in an immersive, computer-generated environment. With numerous industries looking to integrate it into their long-term strategies, the definition of the Metaverse and its applications constantly evolve. What is clear though is that it can revolutionize the way we perceive the world and communicate with each other.
Platforms such as Second Life, Roblox, and Fortnite have paved the way for the Metaverse by enabling users to create avatars and communicate with each other in 3D virtual spaces. However, the Metaverse is projected to be much more immersive, intuitive, and vast than these predecessors. It will offer a collective virtual realm that anybody can enter using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR), which can immerse users in a more virtual environment using avatars and holograms.
In addition, the Metaverse has the potential to revolutionize industry verticals by creating new business opportunities to engage with customers and offer unique experiences. By using digital twins, it can also provide a virtual representation of the physical world we live in, enabling organizations to recreate and redesign their products more efficiently and seamlessly.
However, as the Metaverse continues to evolve, there are growing concerns about ethical codes, government policies, and standards that need to be established to ensure user safety and protection. For instance, the Metaverse may need to address issues like data privacy, digital identity, and intellectual property rights. Although no single entity controls the Metaverse, it is anticipated to be open and available to everyone who wishes to participate, just like the internet.
The Use of the Metaverse in Various Applications:
The Metaverse offers exciting opportunities for creating immersive experiences, and companies are investing significant resources to develop its potential applications. One of the most promising uses of the Metaverse is in the development of AR/VR games using the Metaverse SDK to fully exploit virtual reality. VR headsets provide high-quality representations for an engaging experience, and users can trade digital assets using cryptocurrencies like ETP and NFTs.
While gamers are likely to be early adopters of the Metaverse, several challenges need to be addressed, such as inadequate internet connectivity and expensive hardware requirements. One potential solution is to bundle cloud gaming subscriptions with dedicated 5G connectivity to incentivize gamers to participate in the Metaverse
Other Metaverse applications include industries such as:
- Healthcare: In healthcare, AR/VR can be used to improve mental health or perform complex surgeries by using assistive surgical tools like HoloLens. Virtual reality can also aid in pain management by distracting patients from pain during medical procedures
- Manufacturing: The Metaverse has various use cases in manufacturing, including 3D design validation, remote inspections, and virtual operations. VR applications can aid employee training with safety and real-life simulations, resulting in fewer accidents and improved production processes. Additionally, the Metaverse can help companies develop new products and prototypes faster and more efficiently
- Education: Virtual reality can be a useful tool in education as it allows for immersive learning experiences. It can help students hone learning concepts through attractive visuals and real-life scenarios, making it easier to engage with the material
- Military: Tactical Augmented Reality (TAR) provides soldiers with precise locations during military combat, allowing them to make better decisions on the battlefield. It also helps them identify friendly forces and avoid friendly fire incidents
- Sports: The Metaverse can provide a unique platform for sports enthusiasts to engage in virtual sports experiences. Players can enter a virtual arena with a unique avatar, socialize, co-watch, train, work, purchase equipment, replay previous matches, and participate in sports leagues
- HR: Companies can create more human interactions and experiences by leveraging the Metaverse. For example, companies can conduct interviews, meetings, or walkthroughs virtually, even before someone starts working at a company. This can help streamline the hiring process and create a more personalized experience for job candidates
Integrating Low Code/ No Code and Real-world Open API with the Metaverse
One of the latest innovations in the world of technology is the Real-world Open API Standards, designed to provide a common framework for building and integrating applications in the real world. By integrating with the Metaverse, it enables the creation of applications that can interact with both the real and virtual worlds, providing a new way for businesses to engage with their customers and increase revenue.
This development is made even more accessible by implementing low code/no code. With these tools, developers can create Metaverse applications without extensive coding knowledge, making them more accessible to a broader audience. Pre-built templates and drag-and-drop interfaces allow developers to create applications quickly and easily, reducing development time and costs
The benefits of low code/no code implementation with the Metaverse extend beyond cost savings and efficiency gains. It also democratizes the development process, empowering businesses of all sizes and technical abilities to create their own Metaverse applications without relying on expensive developers. This opens up new opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers, experiment with new products and services, and drive growth
In addition to reducing development time and costs, the use of low code/no code and Real-world Open API also opens up new possibilities for collaboration and innovation. With a more accessible and intuitive development process, businesses and individuals can work together to create new and unique applications that integrate with the Metaverse. This could lead to the creation of new industries and job opportunities, as well as increased user engagement and revenue for businesses.
Moreover, the integration of Real-world Open API with the Metaverse can also lead to the creation of more efficient and streamlined workflows. For instance, businesses can create applications that track inventory in real-time or provide virtual customer support, thereby reducing the need for physical staff and lowering operational costs
As the Metaverse continues to evolve, the role of Real-world Open API and low code/no code will become increasingly important. These technologies will allow businesses to stay at the forefront of innovation, delivering new and exciting experiences for their customers. The possibilities for the Metaverse are endless, and the integration of Real-world Open API and low code/no code tools is a critical step in realizing its potential
The Metaverse and Connectivity
Connectivity is also crucial for the development and expansion of the Metaverse. With the help of 5G technology, consumers and businesses can enter the Metaverse with peak data speeds of multi-gigabits per second, ultra-low latency, and excellent reliability. In addition, telecom operators can play a more critical role in the Metaverse value chain by leveraging technologies such as 5G, Edge Computing, and AI whilst monetising new opportunities to enhance the customer experience.
Collaboration among partners such as Communication Service Providers (CSPs), private enterprise networks, and IoT developers is necessary to provide in-home connectivity packages that guarantee bandwidth, functionality, and security. As network technology advances to 6G, it is expected to further accelerate the development of the Metaverse with even higher bandwidth speeds and lower latency
However, like the internet, the Metaverse requires close monitoring for safety and privacy, competition, and open access to enable its evolution. Public policies for the Metaverse must be a collaborative effort involving industry leaders and policymakers, along with potential users in various communities. Businesses should consider the societal effects of the Metaverse, including psychological aspects related to addiction, application of law, trust, privacy, bias, and disinformation, before rushing in to develop new applications.
Nevertheless, the Metaverse will see the emergence of new technologies that will exploit these changes, making it an exciting time for technology, and businesses should not only look forward to witnessing its evolution but take part in it too.
The modern pay experience and the role of financial education
Attributed to Judith Lamb, CHRO at CloudPay
Despite news that salaries are on the rise, and turbulent economic conditions are still being experienced globally, few businesses can afford to keep pace with the increase in wage rise demands that much of the workforce is seeking. But with skills shortages being felt across sectors, employers are finding they need an alternative solution to help their staff, without breaking the bank. This is why we believe offering financial education and wellness as an employee benefit can play a significant role.
Better financial benefits
There is a glaring gap in education curriculums for financial education, in the UK at least. This lack of focus in syllabuses means that providing a base level of understanding around financial management is often left to the individual or their employers. While businesses may be committed to supporting the wider skills development of their workforce, providing this guidance on what is often considered a life skill is rarely taken into account.
With the uncertain economic climate that staff continue to face, though, providing this support will be valuable to both the workforce and organisation as it will serve as a crucial attraction and retention tool. Household budgets are being stretched and over-inflated salaries won’t be a sustainable option for anyone. Any ability to make money go further will be welcomed by workers struggling to manage their finances.
It also can’t be overlooked that by improving general money management skills amongst workforces, firms can then gain from the knock-on benefit of enabling staff to make more informed decisions on a professional level as well.
A modern pay experience for modern needs
While financial education will certainly act as an advantage for the workforce, it more broadly follows the trend of providing a modern pay experience as a benefit that is growing in popularity. How and when people are paid, how they access their financial information and what control staff have over their payroll has changed significantly in the last year, and will only continue to do so.
Nowadays, people expect a consumer-like experience in more than just their shopping habits. Online banking has put greater control into the hands of individuals to manage their finances at the touch of a screen. This has translated into payroll as well, and flexibility is a key driver of this change.
While flexible working isn’t always an option or a desire for everyone, these type of benefits are. Permanent employees are questioning why they should wait for a rigid monthly pay day for work they’ve already delivered. This sentiment was certainly more widely felt in the peaks of the Cost-of-Living crisis, but is a challenge to the norm that has been picking up pace for some time.
That’s why we’ve seen solutions such as Earned Wage Access (EWA) becoming increasingly popular, largely driven by the demands of the workforce than employers themselves. Streamlining processes for firms and individuals has also become a priority in the modern world of work. Time is hugely valuable to everyone and for that reason, no one wants to wait around for the payroll or accounts teams to give them data relating to their own salaries, taxes or other documentation that they need at any given time.
Everyone is becoming more aware of how their information and data is stored and used, and no one wants to wait around to access their own personal documents when applying for a mortgage, for example. They want instant access and full control.
This demand for a modern pay experience that is underpinned by financial education or support from their employer is only going to increase in popularity. For payroll and finance teams, this really is a prime opportunity to showcase the role they can play in changing the employee experience for the better and improve recruitment and staff retention levels. But it takes a commitment to and investment in the right technology to achieve.
Judith Lamb is CHRO at CloudPay, the expert in global pay solutions
How will regulations effect the open banking sector?
Source: Finance Derivative
Martin Hartley – Group CCO of emagine Consulting
Comments on the future of the open banking sector and how it will affect the UK market.
“The UK Open Banking Sector is still primarily driven by regulation. In my view, two of the major current regulations will remain at the forefront moving forward, namely the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), which mandated the major banks to provide open banking access to authorised third-party providers, and PSD2 (Second Payment Services Directive), which set the standards for secure data sharing. Cybersecurity regulations will only increase in importance, as will Brexit-related changes as any divergence between UK and EU standards could impact open banking.
“Over the upcoming months, increased data sharing through open banking will add crucial pressures to cybersecurity, likely creating a surge in the sector once again.
“I expect ongoing scrutiny and efforts to enhance data protection measures, potentially leading to more stringent cybersecurity regulations being adopted by businesses. I expect to see more partnerships between traditional banks and FinTechs or consultancy firms as they collaborate to enhance cybersecurity or offer innovative services to plug the gap. Conversely, there could be consolidation within the FinTech industry as companies merge to gain market share.
“When it comes to the size of the business and how it is affected, history has shown us that there are certainly positives and negatives of being an SMB when responding to new regulations. On the positive side, they can leverage their agility and they will have a more personal relationship with their customers, potentially leading to a higher level of trust. However, SMBs may face challenges due to their limited budgets and resources. The larger firms will have much larger budgets, allowing them to have more advanced IT systems and IT security, making it easier for them to integrate APIs and develop the necessary infrastructure.
“The benefits of open banking are endless, and the UK Government is showing their forward-thinking mentality in exploring the idea of implementing the technology to streamline wider services. But, much like anything, there are always pros and cons.
“Open banking would simplify payments for public services, making transactions quicker and more convenient for everyone. As it relies on APIs and authentication protocols, open banking would make payments more secure for the public and it would allow access to digital payments for members of the public who have smartphones but possibly no bank accounts. For any digital implementation, it goes without saying that we need to be aware of the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches. These, combined with the exclusion of non-tech savvy individuals, could mean that certain members of the public may not embrace the change, which poses a risk. There is also the additional cost of providing the infrastructure and this will have to be managed carefully to avoid burdening the taxpayer.
“We have already seen digital transformations in areas such as the GOV.UK Pay System and there are two main indicators of the success of any digital implementation; adoption rates and incidents. There haven’t been any high profile incidents that have hit the headlines in recent times so that to me is a huge positive and provides a level of confidence. It would be interesting to see how many government departments and agencies have adopted GOV.UK Pay for their payment processing needs to understand the system’s usefulness and acceptance within the government. The government must be committed to continuous improvement and to ensure that the system continues to comply with regulations and consciously drives the adoption rate to hit at least 90% of government departments and agencies.
“A favourable regulatory environment will encourage more banks and third-party providers to participate in open banking initiatives, leading to growth in the UK market and positioning the nation as industry leaders.”
Advancing green mobility for a sustainable future
Accelerating decarbonisation, the transition to SDVs and reshaping urban ecosystems, are helping revolutionise the global automotive industry
By Amit Chadha, CEO & Managing Director, L&T Technology Services
The world is changing. There is an urgent need for a transition toward sustainable practices to combat the threat of climate change. As global temperatures rise and weather patterns evolve, achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 could still help prevent irreversible damage to our planet.
With global carbon emission levels continuing to rise at an accelerated rate, there is a growing momentum toward addressing the scenario on war footing. As the most visible source of emissions, the automotive industry, and, consequently, the future of mobility, is in focus. By helping accelerate decarbonisation, reshape evolving urban ecosystems, and redefine the global automotive industry – we can help reverse the trend and preserve our shared future.
Green mobility has emerged as a major enabler in this direction. Leading stakeholders are becoming increasingly invested in developing a deeper understanding of the multifaceted realm of green mobility and its potential to shape a sustainable future.
Accelerating decarbonisation: A global mandate
Decarbonising the transportation sector is crucial to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. Fossil fuel-based vehicles are responsible for a substantial portion of carbon dioxide emissions, exacerbating the greenhouse effect. To accelerate decarbonisation, governments and businesses today need to prioritise the adoption of clean, renewable energy sources, such as electricity and hydrogen, for powering vehicles and other modes of public transportation.
Automakers, recovering from the impact of the pandemic and global supply chain disruptions, are therefore exploring new avenues to meet the rising demand for electric mobility. Electric vehicles (EVs), by eliminating the need for fossil fuel-powered engines, play a vital role in improving overall air quality and have emerged as a promising solution for reducing carbon emission levels. They are capable of meeting the diverse needs of all kinds of drivers and offer affordable mobility and maintenance options. Recent advancements in battery technology, including the growing availability of charging infrastructure and incentives for adoption, have led to a significant rise in the EVs popularity.
However, to achieve widespread adoption of electric vehicles, there is a need to address key issues such as battery disposal, supply chain sustainability, and equitable access to EV technology.
Reshaping urban ecosystems: Driving the frontiers of change
Urban areas are central to the momentum around green mobility transformation. As growing global populations gravitate towards cities – congestion, pollution, and limited availability of green spaces have emerged as major challenges. As a result, cities must increasingly reinvent themselves to promote sustainable mobility and improve the quality of life for their residents.
Smart technologies and vertical green systems can contribute to a reduction in the energy demands of buildings by providing shade and insulation, mitigating urban heat islands, and cooling down public spaces. They also enable carbon sequestration, a reduction in pollution levels, and improvements in biodiversity.
Implementing efficient transportation systems, such as buses and trains powered by clean energy, can further reduce individual vehicle usage, traffic congestion, and emissions. Pedestrian-friendly infrastructures, cycling lanes, and micro-mobility solutions like e-scooters and bike-sharing programs can further help promote eco-friendly transportation choices. At a macro-infra level, smart city technologies and data-driven urban planning practices are helping optimise traffic flow, reduce idling times, and minimise fuel consumption.
Integrating green mobility into urban ecosystems is therefore a win-win proposition – fostering cleaner air, enhanced mobility options, and healthier communities.
From a public health perspective, improved air quality can drive a decline in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases linked to air pollution. Healthier citizens translate to a more productive workforce and reduced healthcare costs, further strengthening the growing impetus for vehicle electrification. The shift towards vehicle electrification offers significant economic benefits, including greater job creation, enhanced research and development, and greater investments in sustainable innovations. A consequent reduction in the demand for fossil fuels, scarce in terms of availability and mostly imported, in turn, helps enhance energy security and stabilise fuel prices.
Software Defined Vehicles: Pioneering the change
The global automotive industry is at the core of driving the emerging frontiers of green mobility. Traditional automakers and new entrants are racing to produce eco-friendly vehicles, and this competitive spirit, in turn, is transforming the industry landscape.
Automakers worldwide need to embrace sustainable practices by reducing their carbon footprint during the production process and implementing circular economy principles. Moreover, investing in research and development of alternative materials and manufacturing processes can lead to lighter, more energy-efficient vehicles. The rise of autonomous vehicles presents an opportunity to optimise transportation networks, enhance traffic flow, and reduce accidents. Leveraging this technology, in combination with electric and shared mobility solutions, can lead to a more sustainable and efficient future for transportation.
Software would play a key role in this direction, delivering a streamlined passenger and driver experience paradigm while ensuring conformity with the evolving regulatory standards. With Software Defined Vehicles (SDVs) increasingly constituting a focus area for major automakers worldwide, the future would witness a greater demand for digital engineering services to unlock new value streams.
The importance of ecosystem partnerships
Automotive industry stakeholders are already working with ER&D partners who can deliver across the value chain and understand each of the key parameters in the EV/SDV ecosystem. However, approaching separate vendors for product conceptualisation, design and development, testing, maintenance, manufacturing and after-sales support can increase costs and complexities.
An ER&D partner, equipped with multi-industry expertise, digital engineering capabilities, and a co-innovation commitment, can help drive transformation initiatives for transportation enterprises, overcoming technology constraints with cross-vertical learnings. Leveraging global delivery capabilities, the partner can also provide computing models that consume less energy, boost performance, and optimise data-led algorithms. In addition, they can enable scalable software stacks that leverage sensors and physical components to provide the safety and performance that electric vehicles need.
ER&D companies are also increasingly being called upon to help redefine focus areas with software, ensuring third-party integration, driving feature deployment, enabling CloudOps and fast over-the-air updates. The rising complexities within the connected car landscape further call for adopting software-defined designs that can overcome multi-layered challenges – ranging from development to subsequent deployment, maintenance, and updates.
A multi-stakeholder approach
Achieving the goal of green mobility demands collaboration among various stakeholders. Governments play a crucial role in enacting policies and regulations that incentivise the adoption of sustainable practices and technologies. Subsidies for EVs, emission standards, and urban planning regulations are some of the ways governments can drive the transition towards greener mobility.
Private sector involvement is equally critical. Corporate sustainability initiatives, investment in research and development, and partnerships for innovative mobility solutions can accelerate the transformation. Additionally, consumer awareness and support for eco-friendly practices are essential in shaping market demands and influencing business decisions.
Advancing green mobility is a pivotal step towards a sustainable future. By accelerating decarbonisation, embracing the transition to SDvs, reshaping urban ecosystems, and revolutionsing the automotive industry, this can combat climate change on a significant battleground. The collective efforts of governments, industries, and individuals are crucial in driving this transformation.
Embracing green mobility is therefore not just about reducing emissions, but rather, about fostering a healthier, cleaner, and more resilient world. It is about our common future –striving together toward a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable tomorrow.