- Remember back in 2009, when hearing avatar, made you think mainly about James Cameron’s blockbuster hit with the same title?
- Although Avatar is getting its sequels soon, nowadays, the term can be more associated with metaverse and virtual reality, and more importantly – with the way YOU want to be perceived.
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- 1. Be yourself, whatever it means
- 2. Avatar Fashion Week
- 3. Corporations in favor of avatars
- 4. WLook at your look
Be yourself, whatever it means
The term avatar is even older than Cameron’s blue world. It’s almost as old as personal computers. Older users surely remember setting a small, sometimes pixelesque, avatars on message boards. Avatar is just that, a representation of ourselves in the digital world. A meticulously chosen photo on social media is also an avatar. It’s an opportunity for creative expression.
Thanks to the metaverse avatars get another dimension. In 3D we no longer have to limit ourselves to blurry pictures representing us. We can literally scan our bodies to give photorealistic representation we deserve.
Or maybe a simpler one, like Mark Zuckerberg’s avatar. Or maybe we prefer to hide behind the fictional representation of ourselves. That’s also possible. It’s also possible to have all of this and use them interchangeably between situations, places, or platforms.
Avatar Fashion Week
Avatars’ potential is already used for profit by the fashion industry. Just as in the real world, what we are wearing can and will be used for or against us, and virtual reality is no exception. Luxury brands such as Prada or Balenciaga are already offering their hottest collections to the users of Zuckerberg’s platform, and their authenticity is confirmed by, you guessed it, NFTs.
But maybe something good can come out of it? Like, no longer waiting in lines in front of the dressing rooms because VR and realistic avatars can show us how we’re looking in certain clothes. And by accurately measuring our bodies, shopping apps can suggest us the right sizes every time. Who knows, maybe thanks to haptic technology, we’ll even be able to feel virtual clothes on our bodies one day.
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Corporations in favor of avatars
Home office is a hot topic, with as many proponents as opponents. The latter group mainly complains about lack of motivation, problems with onboarding (with as many as 12% reflecting positively on their job onboarding experiences in 2017, before the pandemic even began) and deprivation of social interactions inside the workplace. The solution can come in the form of digital twins of real office buildings such as The Nth Floor. By meeting our virtual co-workers there we could enjoy all the benefits of office experience from the cozyness of our own bedroom. There’s even a place for new workers to personally introduce them to the specific culture of any workplace. This year as much as 150 thousand new workers used that opportunity.
Training is also much more effective thanks to avatars and virtual reality compared to video form. The majority of learners forgets 70% of the content of their training in the first 24 hours after completion.
After a month that number rises up to 90%. But when VR is used, learners have 33% higher learning retention.
Avatars are also helpful in healthcare: after all we’re all different, and we need individual help suited to our needs. 3D avatars can be a powerful tool for clinicians in offering personalized treatment.
Take a look at your look
Seeing the face of the person we’re talking to, helps in building the immersion in virtual reality. It’s not only a matter of expressing ourselves with digital clothes and alterations just as in real life, but also a question of natural interaction. An avatar can help in maintaining eye contact during a conversation, but it can also convey realistically micro-expressions that help in communication. That can open up plenty of people – a study from 2022 showed that 30% of respondents preferred disclosing negative information through VR (with a corresponding 10% when disclosing positive information).
For many, avatars will be seen as a necessity that comes with the metaverse, but for some, it can be a chance to open up to people in a way impossible to achieve before. With a level of honesty and truthfulness that James Cameron can only dream about.
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