AR and the Metaverse
In a post-pandemic reality, virtually interacting with people has become the new normal.
Little by little, our perception is shifting towards a new hybrid reality. Hybrid because it is an augmented reality made of virtual worlds, aka the metaverse. Through the metaverse, Internet users can experience a whole universe completely detached from reality. It consists in moving to the “beyond”, beyond our senses and beyond imagination.
We are ignoring how much the metaverse is influencing our lives. It comes in the form of a digital scenario where any exchange is possible, from cyber money to styles, designs, opinions, without physically being involved, or at least for the moment. It’s a shared virtual space that mimics the real, tangible world.
How powerful can this detachment from reality become?
The consequence of it all is a blurring space where the physical and the digital worlds merge and become two interchangeable realities. On the one hand it frees imagination, it empowers possibilities and encourages people to dream big. On the other, it isolates people by creating avatars that ideally personify ourselves.
Take for example this virtual brand, DRESSX. At first glance it may appear as another BTC fashion brand. But when you look at the clothes and you read, “digital clothes fit all sizes”, then you realise these clothes do not exist in reality.
They are digital items, existing only in a digital space. Their use is merely digital. So, you can improve your outfit on Instagram, paste a suit on your business profile picture on LinkedIn. Or, you could even dress your avatar in your favourite video game.
What does this imply, exactly?
The result is the possibility of enhancing your real life, and self. You get the chance to show yourself with new clothes despite you will never touch them, for which purpose?
Ideally, it could lead to a democratisation of fashion. All of us can get the chance to wear expensive design pieces and express our taste at full potential.
However, my fear is that our mental health could be at stake. The virtual world could absorb the real one leading to a gradual loss of our identity.
So this apparent enhancement of people’s lives becomes a risky de-materialisation of ourselves and fashion as we know it today.
I close by asking the following questions,
What is luxury going to become?
Will the metaverse change how we perceive fashion and affect the fashion business as a whole?