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  • The Metaverse: The Definition, the Promise, the Hype with Vishwa Ranjan

    February 22, 2022
  • Vishwa Ranjan, Global Head of Infosys Extended Reality Center of Excellence and Co-Head of Infosys Innovation Network, discusses the meaning of metaverse. The discussion also covers what to expect and why it is important to get involved now.

    Hosted by Jeff Kavanaugh, VP and Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute.

    “There's no single definition of a metaverse, but in its simplest form, it can be thought of as the next iteration of the web.”

    “It's going to affect everyone on this planet at some point of time. And whatever is wrong with the current version of the web, here is the time to fix it. We all need to get involved. We all need to get ready. And we all need to prepared.”

    “Gaming companies in the beginning will likely end up taking the lead in building innovative and engaging experiences.”

    “Metaverse is not a new technology, it is more of an evolution due to confluence of technologies and circumstances rather than a real revolution.”

    “It's really time to get involved and, and not work in isolation.”

    - Vishwa Ranjan.


  • There's no single definition of a metaverse, but in its simplest form, it can be thought of as the next iteration of the web, which is slowly transforming in at least three important ways. First, it is becoming 3D and experimential through immersive technologies like extended reality. Second, it is becoming decentralized and democratized through distributed ledger technologies like blockchain, where there is no single custodian of data where creator economy is thriving via marketplaces, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. Third, lines are getting blurred between physical and digital world where computing is often embedded in the real world.
  • I would say the most common misconception that is causing a lot of confusion in people's minds is that it is some new technology that was just invented and it is going to change the world. In reality, it is more of an evolution due to confluence of technologies and circumstances than a real revolution.
  • Silicon and device companies have made extremely large investments in metaverse related technologies. One trusted source says over 10 billion has been invested so far in 500+ startups. A number of enterprise use cases are beginning to show signs of good return on investment.
  • Metaverse is mostly, in my opinion, in conceptual stages. And there will be major challenges at few different levels in fully realizing the metas as envisioned. First of all, it'll require many different technologies and companies to work together over many years. And then some of these technologies are yet to be invented.
  • Gaming companies in the beginning will likely end up taking the lead in building innovative and engaging experiences. There's really an acute shortage of talent who can create quality content and experiences. Hiring will be very competitive and training is not easily possible.
  • At Infosys, we are taking a more human-centric approach to experience design for metaverse and we strongly believe that digital alone doesn't drive enterprise productivity, profits innovation or resilience. Technologies need to be adopted with humans first in mind. This is like once in twenty year kind of opportunity. It is really time to get involved to help define the future of the web and drive towards the utopian meta and not the dystopian one.

Show Notes

  • 00:15

    Jeff introduces himself and Vishwa

  • 00:33

    What inspired you to make the transition from entertainment to tech here at Infosys?

  • 01:54

    What was it like working with George Lucas and what was a key thing that you learned?

  • 03:02

    Is there a crisp definition of the metaverse that people can walk away with based on your experience?

  • 04:29

    Why don't we pick a couple of companies that are real excited about it, like Meta and Nvidea. On the one hand, the social network company and then the other is someone making the engine, the chips for it. Can you talk about those two and why they're excited and specifically what business opportunities are they seeing?

  • 08:23

    From earlier in the career when a lot of technology integration, systems integration was about plugging things in, turning wrenches and getting different tech to work together, how have you seen it evolve to more orchestration, where there are different players that have to have different skillsets as well as different tech?

  • 11:18

    What can companies build in the metaverse that they can't build in the current internet or in VR today?

  • 12:50

    What are the major pit pile or challenges you see, especially in the short term?

  • 15:17

    What is one positive thing you can leave people with? That's the hope and the promise of the metaverse?

  • 16:37

    Given that broad purpose and direction, what's the one thing you advise business leaders to do now so that they get ready and can move forward on this?

About Vishwa Ranjan

Global Head, Infosys Extended Reality Center of Excellence, and Co-Head, Infosys Innovation Network

Vishwa Ranjan

Vishwa Ranjan sees things others don’t, thanks to his 20-some odd years working in the computer graphics field. At Infosys, Vishwa helps to paint a better picture of augmented and virtual reality capabilities by showing how the technologies will impact consumers and professionals, how they’ll buttress new and old industries, and what paths are necessary to get there. When he’s not showcasing VR demos at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Vishwa can be found in the classroom using his doctorate in computer graphics to teach. Prior to joining Infosys, Vishwa pushed the limits of animation and visual effects for Industrial Light & Magic, Electronic Arts, and DreamWorks Animation, including work on films and video games in the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises.