Imagine a digital world where you no longer need to leave your home to see a movie at the cinema, a concert by your favorite artist, visit an exhibition, meet your friends, play with them.
A limitless world, accessible all the time, in which you can evolve as you wish, become whoever you want.
Welcome to the Metaverse, a concept developed in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in the sci-fi novel Snow Crash, a cult book for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
The Metaverse is changing the gaming industry, the social industry, even the everyday way of life.
This is why it became the latest macro lens for most of the world’s tech giants, and became the driving force behind Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR.
But what is the metaverse? Here you are going to find out everything.
What Is The Metaverse?
The “metaverse” designates a meta universe parallel to physical reality which identically recreates the real world, from the professional environment to commerce, through entertainment and social relations, in which users evolve in the form of realistic avatars and can interact without physical limitations, according to a system of teleports.
Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, describes this as the future “Holy Grail of social interactions”. “Screens, holograms, VR headsets and augmented reality glasses will soon allow fluid movements of virtual universes in physical places, such as teleport”, says Zuckerberg.
A Virtual Parallel Universe
The metaverse is expected to break through the boundaries of the physical world until the real and virtual universe eventually become one.
The platforms can take different forms: video games, coffee shops, nightclubs, libraries, offices, shops, bars, casinos, monuments, etc.
They can also be implemented through economic, meteorological or seasonal factors (virtual currency system, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, summer, winter, and so on.).
Beyond the simple fact of communicating, these platforms are created so that the Internet user can interact with his virtual environment and thus make the immersion more realistic.
The avatars are also programmed so that all web surfers can understand expressions, gestures, and all nonverbal communication. This adds realism to the metaverse.
Why Use the Metaverse?
The metaverse has the potential to reach a level never seen before as a new computing platform or content medium. It is possible to create mini virtual worlds to convey a message, a speech, participate in an online event or even play games.
Since the global Covid-19 pandemic, several platforms such as Fortnite, Animal Crossing, Roblox, Facebook Horizon, have developed and offered a multitude of content and events that could no longer take place. And this, without limit of space or number.
We can find concerts, broadcasts of all kinds, cinema shows, video game creations, meetings between colleagues and even political speeches.
In April 2020, still in the confinement caused by the covid-19 pandemic, five virtual concerts by the American rapper Travis Scott, who appeared as an avatar on Fortnite, were followed by more than 12 million players.
The surreal and fantastical elements that parent company Epic Games brought to Ariana Grande’s virtual concerts, held recently also within the video game Fortnite, have had excitable tech enthusiasts talking anew about the imminence of the “metaverse”.
A tool in the future of Medicine
Virtual reality technology provides applications in many sectors, and medicine is not excluded. Virtual reality training and learning solutions in the global health sector are constantly increasing around the world.
First of all, there is an improvement in the training of surgeons.
In addition, by using VR technology, healthcare professionals are entitled to obtain a very effective tool to overcome pain and to relieve chronic pain, such as cancer. You can even use it to relieve labor pain without having to resort to epidural anesthesia.
Several laboratories are studying virtual reality scenarios that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease early.
Further research is also underway in order to be able to diagnose Parkinson’s disease by measuring brain activity of patients when performing various tasks in VR.
Here are a few examples of applications, but virtual reality can also be found in rehabilitation, seasickness treatment, future doctors training, depression and other mental illness treatment.
Virtual reality is an excellent tool that allows various patients to better understand their health status. When used in the world of medicine, VR technology can indeed provide detailed and understandable virtual reconstructions of different parts of the body.
Thanks to this, any patient can understand the principles of each treatment, which will undoubtedly make the procedure more satisfactory. The future will undoubtedly show us the huge potential of virtual reality.
How Can Localization Leverage Metaverse Universe?
The pandemic has pushed us to adapt, to use new technologies more and more. These evolve over time and companies see in the metaverse the means to free themselves from the limits of reality and to open up still unknown and abstract borders.
After having known the Internet and its many improvements over time, metaverse is undoubtedly the future version of a global network of exchange and communication and will upset our perception of the world with immersion.
For individuals, as for companies, it will be necessary to be part of it.
Augmented and virtual reality are gaining traction. In such a landscape, virtual universe localization is crucial to making sure they’re a success in any of the markets they’re going to be advertised and sold in.
To increase its popularity, reaching an international audience is essential. This is an area where user experience is essential, and a fully localization allows players to have a consistent and enjoyable experience.
Essential Considerations for Localization
This is an opportunity to adjust marketing strategies to enter potentially lucrative markets.
Since augmented and virtual reality are more visual forms of marketing, the first thing that brands should consider is the cultural contexts in how they present visual content, titles, and even the layout of the technology, outside of the western world.
For example, in Arabic, the text is displayed from right to left, different from Latin text which is displayed from left to right.
Graphics, icons, and the manner text are positioned on screen are affected by this. For example, the Arabic screen applications are read from the top right-hand corner.
Symbols also have their own specific cultural contexts of that region and brands that use augmented reality will need to ensure that symbols for currency, icons, and other graphics, for instance, resonate with the target audience.
Colors are also heavily influenced by culture, and a brand looking to market in Asia using red, might be well received as red is associated with luck, but not in some parts of South Africa, where the color is associated with mourning and struggle.
Localization Is Therefore Essential
There are many people who mistakenly believe that localization is just translating text –although that’s an important part of the process – nothing could be further from the truth!
The process involves carefully adapting the product to the language and cultural references of a specific audience, respecting the original meaning, text length and context.
It includes all the instructions that appear on the screen, dialogues, menus, error or help messages, subtitles or voice dubbing for dialogues, indicators, inventories and any other element related to the interface. So players from Argentina, France or Australia have the same experience as Japanese players.
Compliance with censorship laws is also an indispensable part of digital world translations, because censorship rules are not the same in all countries/regions.
Other more drastic changes occur when localizing audiovisual communications, technologies, and require specialized development work.
This involves, for example, changing the background music to adapt it to the musical trends of a certain culture, or changing entire scenes so that they respect the preferences and familiarities of a specific culture.
A well-planned and executed localization strategy – under the guidance of a strong localization partner -, will enable you to recreate the virtual world and adapt to many different translation media.
The Final Word
With augmented and virtual reality set to take over, brands need to position themselves in a place where they can actualize these benefits across multilingual markets.
Furthermore, the industry advancement and the sophistication of products being developed have made virtual reality comparable to cinematographic works, with stories and dialogue worthy of major audiovisual products.
All of this needs to be localized to ensure that the exact same message is transmitted in the new target language.
Technology is constantly evolving and the localization is doing the same.
The two are intrinsically connected and it will be very interesting in the future to see the actual impact of these new technologies on the translation market.
All in all, the localization process is more complicated than it might seem at first sight, and developers need to give it much more consideration than before when launching their products on the international markets.
To benefit from a high-quality localization, it is best to hire a translation company with previous experience in marketing or in audiovisual translation and localization.
As a tech-enabled translation agency, our responsibility is to establish a link between translators and developers.
Therefore, if you need localization services, don’t hesitate to contact us. Through our strategic partnership, your project will be a great success.
October 4, 2021