The Firmament presenters and guests focused primarily on discussing one trend – metaversum. At its foundation lie such technologies as virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Combined, they are meant to transport users into a virtual world, where the boundary between the real and the virtual blurs, making the virtual seem real.
Working in the metaverse
And when that happens, what will life and work look like? Opinions are divided among the guests of the program. Maciej Noga, co-founder of Grupa Pracuj.pl, believes that the metaverse will not only spread, but also change the remote work model. Admittedly, we will still work from our homes and apartments, but the difference is that we will wear VR goggles, thanks to which we will have the feeling as if we were working from an office. Before that, only our bodies will be scanned into the metaverse, and an actual avatar will be created from the scan, somewhat resembling a human hologram.
– Before the SXSW conference, the metaverse seemed to me like an imaginary creation of generation Z, which we know from games. However, being here, I took part in a portal show, during which cameras rendered participants’ bodies, and participants entered the virtual world as themselves, in order to take part in virtual meetings – says Maciej Noga. In his opinion, this is how work will look like in the future.
Closer to games
Jowita Michalska, the CEO of Digital University, somewhat agrees with the co-founder of Pracuj.pl Group. In her opinion, the meta-world will also influence work, but she thinks that entering the virtual world will not have to take place in a human form. We will also be able to present ourselves at work as, for example, dragon avatars. This is how it looks in popular games.
– It’s easier for the generation raised on Fortnite to enter the metaverse than to participate in a meeting on Zoom – says Jowita Michalska. Why? Because in the game its participants can take any form. On Zoom you have to show your face. The younger generation, like generation Z, are used to avatars. Perhaps at work they will appear precisely in the form of any avatar.
Business, emotions and relationships
During the broadcast, its presenter stated that business is not just about communication. It’s also about behind-the-scenes conversations and friendships and relationships that can’t be developed online or in the form of a dragon. There was a question whether there will be a place in the metaverse for creating deep bonds between its participants.
According to Jowita Michalska, yes. This is already happening, for example, in virtual games. CEO of Digital University claims that Fortnite players form real relationships, based on friendships and emotions. Players get angry, happy, express their dissatisfaction, and unite to beat the opposing team. All these relationships will successfully transfer to the metaverse.
InCredibles is a four-year long mentoring program for startups initiated by Sebastian Kulczyk. During the first edition of InCredibles, 426 startups entered the competition. From among them, the jury selected five winners: Archdesk, Hotailors, Radionet, Tidio, UserEngage. In the second edition, which took place in 2018, 302 startups from the CEE region entered the competition. From among them, five winners were selected: Czech companies Avocade and Neuron Soundware and three Polish companies: Genomtec, Infermedica and Nuadu.
In 2019, InCredibles has changed its formula and increased its reach. In response to the companies’ suggestions, the organizers put more emphasis on mentoring and networking and instead of a separate competition for startups, the program took the form of support for companies selected in other competitions supported by Sebastian Kulczyk, including European Start-up Challenge, SingularityU Poland Global Impact Challenge. So far, 270 hours of workshops with mentors have been held as part of InCredibles.
In the fourth edition of the InCredibles program, 10 startups became finalists: Handerek Technologies, Molecule.One, Therapify, Skriware, Progresja Space, KPMP, Biotts, NataLab, ICsec and Gamehag.