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Doug Hohulin | The Metaverse Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

Welcome to eXchange where we discuss what’s next for intentional experience design with expert change agents. This season focuses on demystifying the metaverse and explaining how the foundations of this emerging reality will change how we all come together. In this podcast summary, we’re visiting with change agent, Doug Hohulin, technology & innovation advisor in the areas of 5G/6G and XR/metaverse.

Does the metaverse exist?

The metaverse is:

  • Here, it’s just not evenly distributed
  • The internet plus 3D, VR, network, cloud, and AI
  • Whatever the Internet is going to be in 2030
  • Spatial, it’s immersive

“As an engineer, I want people to forget about the technology and just have immersive, enjoyable experiences.”

Does the metaverse offer meaningful experiences?

Yes, you can have meaningful connections. People talk about the real and the virtual worlds, but every connection whether physical or virtual can be meaningful or unmeaningful. The question is can I use emerging technology to enhance meaningful connections. As an engineer, I want people to forget about technology and just have immersive, enjoyable experiences.

What’s the equitable use of the metaverse for most people?

Equitable use depends on answering the following questions:

  • Is it available?
  • Is it affordable?
  • Is it relevant to my life?
  • Do I have the readiness to use the technology?

How will metaverse impact work life?

“[It’s about] providing meaningful connections and relationships, bypassing any time and space, where you can connect to people anywhere around the world.”

A lot of the adoption of this technology has come in the wake of COVID. Now remote work and globalization are here to stay. So, 70% of people in China use XR technology for business (B2B or B2C). In the United States, in the west, it’s only 30% for business.

Why is the metaverse inevitable?

Because technology is inevitable. People are investing lots of time and effort and money in the metaverse. And just like technology was inevitable in the past, it will be in the future.

The best part of the metaverse will be?

Providing meaningful connections and relationships, bypassing any time and space, where you can connect to people anywhere around the world.

What’s missing in all digital communication right now?

Connecting everyone equally. Only 5 billion people are connected to the internet. In Africa, 50% of them are using 2 or 3G technology. So, it’s equivalent to using technology 20 years ago. We’re working on making technology more equally distributed.

What would it take for people to want to work in the metaverse?

  1. They’re ready for it.
  2. It’s relevant to their lives
  3. They understand how they could use these tools today
  4. The technology user interfaces need to keep getting better
  5. Devices need to get lighter. In the next five years, we’ll be using our smart glasses like we’re using our phones today

What’s a positive change with increased adoption of the metaverse?

It will allow us to connect with people around the world so we can understand them better. People who like teachers can help people who aren’t ready for some of this technology to learn.

What’s your biggest worry about what the metaverse could bring?

The question is how to not become addicted and isolated from the metaverse. Are you using the metaverse to connect with others to have a more immersive experience? If at the end of the day, you’ve been using VR/metaverse technology and you haven’t had a meaningful connection with a human, you’re doing the metaverse wrong. Think about: can I have a meaningful relationship with a human and not just AI?

Guest Bio – Doug Hohulin

After recently retiring from Nokia after 33 years (and Motorola 22 years) in account management and business development, Doug has retired to work on immersive metaverse technology full-time. He has worked with 1G-6G, automated vehicles, telepresence, distance learning, telemedicine, and metaverse technologies.

About Allseated

Backed by more than a decade of innovation, Allseated sets the standard in 3D virtual reality solutions and digital experiences for the events industry. Allseated powers virtual and hybrid events for some of the world’s leading corporations. In 2022, the company launched Meetaverse, a platform that makes it easy to build corporate metaverses.

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