Everybody is getting into Metaverse. Or so it seems. Meta got off the blocks first. Microsoft said it was also getting into the action. HP is planning to take printing to the metaverse. Now, the Walt Disney Company has revealed plans of "looking beyond Disney+ to the potential metaverse." Its CEO Bob Chapek has said that the company plans to build its metaverse by connecting physical and digital worlds even more closely.
“Our efforts to date are merely a prologue to a time when we'll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse. And we look forward to creating unparalleled opportunities for consumers to experience everything Disney has to offer across our products and platforms, wherever the consumer may be,” Chapek told reporters in a corporate earnings call last week.
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Disney & Technology
Disney has a well-established presence in the physical world through parks and resorts, as well as media entertainment assets in the digital world. And Chapek said that Disney has a long and good track record as an early adopter in the use of technology to enhance the entertainment experience. For instance, Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon with synchronized sound, was its groundbreaking development and use of audio animatronics.
“We were the first to distribute downloaded content on the new Apple iPod back in 2005. Pixar has been a pioneer in computer animation. These are just a few examples,” Chapek pointed out.
The Disney CEO also sounded excited about the company's future given the diverse assets in its portfolio. “As we look ahead to this next frontier, given our unique combination of brands, franchises, physical and digital experiences and global reach, we see limitless potential and that makes us as excited as ever about The Walt Disney Company's next 100 years.”
Can Disney make a mark with Metaverse?
Metaverse, as many of you may know, basically blends augmented reality, virtual reality and the real world together, giving people a kaleidoscopic surrealistic experience. But make no mistake about it, it is in the digital space represented by digital representations of people, places, and things. So people may need to wear virtual reality headsets to experience the virtual world through their near tangible virtual avatars. The metaverse, going forward, is expected to have its own digital products, experiences and currencies.
Quite typically for Disney, the metaverse may involve visiting virtual reality versions of Disneyland. A metaverse Disneyland, as it were, where you can experience different games, movies and presentations through your digital avatar.
In a sense, Metaverse is ideally suited for a company like Disney. Who wouldn’t want to step into a 3D or avatar-driven Disney movie and talk with the characters? As Chapek said "Disney could become the happiest place in the Metaverse.”
Entertainment industry is bound to benefit from the immersive experience that metaverse promises. And an entity like Disney is poised to reap the benefits even more.