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"If it's still a buzzword to its insiders, metavers is no longer a novelty to its enthusiasts, as it's been around for over 20 years. On the B2B side, opportunities relating to metavers already exist, and capital-intensive industries are already tapping into the undeniable monetization potential of virtual worlds in various forms"
(source: METADAYS 2022)

Does the Metaverse exist or not?

Just one year ago (at the time of writing), Facebook became " Meta ", appropriating the word " Metaverse ", for some to total indifference, for others by entering directly into the top 10 of ultra-clivant polemics on social networks.

At either end of the battlefield, to put it crudely: Cyberpunk culture enthusiasts (1), facing advertisers (2) in search of viral marketing, and in the middle, players in the process of structuring their services.
All of this is played out in front of a public that is often dubious and lost in this nebula of announcements and articles from a plethora of "great specialists". 

    • (1) The former are fans of utopias or dystopias, in particular the novel Snow Crash*. They dream of traveling with their alter-ego through a digital parallel world close to our own, where all fantasies are possible, describing a technologically advanced but rather disorganized universe. For them, the Metaverse doesn't yet exist.
    • (2) The latter are advertisers, and as soon as you mention an online shared space, a virtual reality headset, or a 360° experience, they conjure up this magic word, "Metaverse", as in the-jeu-du-mot-mystery to be placed at all costs during a party, even if nobody understands what it's for!

* Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson - 1992: in his novel, the author describes a rather apocalyptic universe from which the characters can momentarily escape by plunging into a parallel virtual reality universe, a "meta-universe", which he calls the Metaverse. The Greek prefix META is particularly well-chosen, since depending on the context, it expresses reflection, change, succession, going beyond, alongside, between or with. Spielberg's "Ready Player One" is an example of this kind of escape.

But then... who's right?

There's no simple answer, but let's just say that today there are embryos of this new world, "protometaverses", each with their own uses.


frankly, do we have any useful examples?

Where there's use, there's need. Paradoxically, our business in the immersive tools industry began with questions relating to our hobbies. In the team, we love the sea (we live nearby), and we're divers. A few years ago, when my club put me in charge of teaching scuba diving theory, I realized that nothing had changed in the 70 years of recreational diving: the technologies had evolved, but not the methods! In the age of Web 2.0 and 3D Gaming, we were still stuck with "cobbled-together" books full of formulas, and no solutions in place to get around the most recurrent problems:

  • explain things that are sometimes boring and/or complex (physics or biology courses, repetitive exercises, unsuitable training rooms, etc.).
  • use heavy, ultra-technical equipment, limited in quantity, time-consuming to prepare and only available to certified operators (diving cylinders, high-pressure inflation, creating different gas mixtures, etc.).
  • bring learners together in the same place at the same time to optimize supervisor resources
  • check what you've learned in an environment that can become very hostile (far underwater) if you haven't assimilated the course properly

Simple training...

OK, but having said that, we had to find the right tool...

What better way to overcome these obstacles than to create an environment that resembles our own: immersive, 360° spatialized, where we can all invite each other in and chat as if in real life, reaching each other in 2 clicks without needing our cars?

And what if you could distribute as much material as you wanted, vary the laws of physics, die 3 times an hour from decompression sickness and come back to life... all via your avatar, from the comfort of your sofa with a cold drink in hand?

In 2007, an immersive online world made it all possible: Second Life®, and we made the most of it!

One of our franchise stores in Second Life, where you can buy simulation equipment
to take courses or experience diving in real time (around 15,000 outfits sold).


The advantage of this tool is that it can be accessed from anywhere and by anyone via an Internet connection. PADI® (6,600 dive centers and bases and over 128,000 professional members) was intrigued, and the volunteer work for the dive club turned into a business specializing in immersion. Since then, training has been provided virtually by PADI®, via our "subOceana®" brand of diving simulation equipment (don't surf, dive into the web).

Twelve years after its debut, in the midst of a pandemic, we had to give it a facelift to accommodate new features, to come to the rescue of clubs whose training rooms had emptied of members! Today, a training session costs 250€ and delivers the same certificate to everyone, whether in a diving club or in Second Life®.

Complete your EANx Specialty Online and in a 3D Virtual World

Enriched Air Diver is PADI's most popular specialty for certified divers. It's also a great way for qualified divers from any training agency to earn a PADI certification. You'll do this online with the new PADI Enriched Air Diver eLearning and in a stunning 3D virtual environment where you'll experience highly realistic gas analysis and scuba diving simulations. This immersive technology provides an unparalleled learning experience.

Say, what's it like inside?

The Metaverse is not a video game. Games can indeed be created, but it is above all an open tool, fully customizable by its users. It's an evolution of Internet use whose main value propositions are : 

    • A spatialized, immersive digital world built by its users
    • Persistent (when I turn off my PC, the world lives on)
    • The ability to interact with virtual elements in the environment and with other users
    • The ability to manage your avatar (appearance, gestures, gait, expressions, etc.). With subjective view in VR helmet immersion and/or 3rd person avatars (piloted and seen from the outside). Long-lasting avatars.
    • Ubiquity (being in several places at once, piloting several avatars if you wish)
    • A diversity of users and communities
    • Freedom unconstrained by arbitrary moral rules
    • A universe with its own economy
    • An interoperable tool, with the ability to manage possessions and move from one environment to another if different Metaverse bricks were based on different technologies.
    • A multi-platform tool (PC, MAC, smartphones, virtual reality headsets, mixed reality...)
    • Decentralization and security (data is certified, and the system belongs to the users, not to a single entity)


These proposals are organized in 7 layers, a model of which is shown below:

Building the Metaverse ©JonRadoff

The Internet is becoming increasingly spatialized and immersive, and is taking advantage of 3D environments derived from gaming, but to date no platform has ticked all the boxes of the concept: everything is being built in bricks.


So who runs this parallel world?

"The metaverse is not "a metaverse". It is the next generation of the internet: a decentralized multiverse, led by a new and abundant generation of creators."
Jon Radoff

Cyberpunk 2077: the aftermath of the 4th corporate war, also known as the "ocean war".

When a single entity, whether private or state-owned, has a monopoly on user data and distribution channels, the resulting problems of excess or, conversely, censorship are well known: Twitter, Facebook and TikTok are everyday examples. The centralization of information also raises the question of cybersecurity: in Europe, in most large, sensitive companies, it is forbidden to use American digital development tools, in order to avoid data leakage.

In theory, decentralization is the main building block of the Metaverse spirit, but it's still far from being efficient. This is THE source of controversy surrounding Mark Zuckerberg's "META", which has become the symbol of a monopolistic, quasi-totalitarian tool.

Mark vs V, ©explorations360

This feeling is made all the stronger by the fact that everything revolves around a movement at the explosive crossroads of the cyberpunk and libertarian* worlds. It's both a b(r)ouillon of culture(s) and a philosophy that advocates a society based on individual freedom and initiative. People organize and cooperate as they see fit, according to principles of autonomy, responsibility and commitment. Libertarianism is also based on private contract, property rights, the market and free enterprise, with the role of the state limited to that of arbiter and protector of individual freedom.

* The classic libertarian movement (anarcho-capitalism, right-wing minarchism, etc.) is a philosophical movement that sets out strong principles of individual freedom. This current is reinforced by left-wing libertarianism, which adds an egalitarian thesis on the ownership of natural resources.

See the link at the bottom of this article to John Perry Barlow's declaration of independence for cyberspace.

Today, there are snippets of decentralized tools, with platforms such as The Sandbox or Decentraland, based on Blockchain technologies (this is "one" of the building blocks of WEB3). In layman's terms, everything is secure, and the operating principle is that data and transactions are shared simultaneously on all users' devices, so nobody can press an "Off" button.

Mathematician Jean-Paul Delahaye gives the image of "a very large notebook that anyone can read, freely and gratuitously, on which anyone can write, but which is impossible to erase and indestructible".

Although all these objectives are far from being achieved, interfaces are being enriched, construction tools are less and less limited, and accessibility has been greatly improved.


Okay, so where do the pros go from here?

Even if the tools are pretty cool to use, apart from for acculturation or team-building sessions, you'll be reluctant to deploy platforms like META in your company, not least because of the rather sensitive RGPD aspect, or the currently unavoidable link with a Meta account (Facebook ).

Nor is there a decentralized alternative that's really easy to deploy in a professional environment for everyday uses such as virtual trade shows or meetings. These solutions require a permanent connection to the Internet (with fluctuating network response times, as WEB3 is obliged to do), which is not always easy depending on firewalls or uses (remote teaching, for example).

It's also worth recalling the energy-intensive and still often rather slow operation of validating even simple transactions via the Blockchain system. Platforms like Decentraland are still far from being tools where the user experience is fluid, and their future, in this context of degraded interface, remains uncertain. 

Workrooms: example of a meeting room

all that noise for nothing?

Not for nothing! We're changing the way we approach the dissemination of information and knowledge. Even if WEB3 does not yet exist in its ultimate version, it is being built in functional bricks. Even if these bricks are not all assembled or interoperable today, they are already efficient in their own fields, and have brought their share of changes, new services and uses:

for leisure

  • greater ease of networking, creating, chatting, attending a show, cybersex (and yes... it's often a not inconsiderable driving force), training, discovering one's universe, etc.

at work

  • manipulate a city's digital twin directly in your web browser
  • use real-time simulation for training, onboarding, etc.
  • visit an industrial site remotely, using a virtual reality headset
  • chat in a "3Dconference" room
  • present a product, an idea, a place or a heritage from a distance, but in the same virtual space
  • browse a trade show or event in real time and attend conferences, interact remotely
  • ...
Metaverse use cases

Prominent Use Cases for the Metaverse, source: Citi Global Insights

These changes are being felt in all sectors: from tourism to industry and training, we've seen a clear shift in customer requirements. Demand goes beyond "Metaverse" integration, to a desire to use innovative or differentiating tools for communication and work.

At the beginning of the WEB1 (the Internet of linked pages), we talked on the keyboard and Powerpoint was born for presentations.

During the WEB2 (the Internet of connected users videoconferencing, Prezi was born for presentations, and Moodle for training.

With the arrival of WEB3 (the Internet of certified and immutable data), we're already talking in spatialized 3D, and...

... and since we're on our Blog, a bit of communication about our work 😋, because precisely, in parallel to our workexploring/exploiting the Metaverse, explorations360 was born out of this observation of changing uses:

From Web1 to Web3

Tools are adapting to the evolution of the web and the public entering the job market, raised on Habbo, World of Warcraft, Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite (and their powerful economic engines). We're focusing on content and storytelling, and there's a growing demand to simplify the creation process , script editing and 360° publishing.

VR publishing tool

If you'd like to explore the Metaverse, understand and anticipate the disruption that's taking place, we can also accompany you and take you on a virtual tour. And come on, you can also try your hand at " Powerpoint for the WEB3 era ": explorations360which can even be integrated into your learning management system.

You're also welcome to take a (real) dive in Brittany!

📢Come and meet us onNOVEMBER 29 & 30, 2022 in PARIS
at the Centre de Congrès Rive Montparnasse, Stand S11 for the METADAYS!


To find out more :


1) The Declaration of Independence for Cyberspace

2) French government report. This report, from the perspective of the Metaverse, provides a state-of-the-art overview of digital tools in the broadest sense.

Exploratory mission on metaverse, French government.