Tech experts weigh in on Sweden’s metaverse investment
According to global data platform Dealroom, Sweden’s investment into the metaverse is the third largest among European countries over the last decade, trailing only the United Kingdom and France. Sweden’s tech experts and stakeholders recently discussed the country’s ambitions for the metaverse.
MobilityXlab director Katarina Brud said Sweden’s big bet on the metaverse aligned with its “nature” as an innovative and collaborative nation. As a result, Sweden emerged as one of the earlier adopters of metaverse technology.
Many Swedish companies have already ventured into the metaverse. For example, postal service provider PostNord conducted staff training in the virtual world. Fashion retailer H&M also launched a metaverse platform where consumers can dress up and show their fashion sense more sustainably.
“We have a tremendous technical background but also a creative background, which is what the metaverse is a combination of. And Sweden has players in every part of the ecosystem.”
Daniel Wilén, Managing Director of Arctic Game
Arctic Game managing director Daniel Wilén explained that the sector thrives in Sweden because it has technical and creative resources — the two main components of the metaverse.
Challenges in metaverse
The metaverse faces several challenges in achieving its full potential. Ericsson ConsumerLab head Jasmeet Sethi said the development of metaverse devices, which are essential for an immersive experience, had hit roadblocks.
“It’s tough to build a device that you can use on a day-to-day basis without any friction,” Sethi explained. “You’d need user interfaces that are voice-governed, AI-enabled and frictionless, but that is not happening today: 15 minutes in virtual reality and you will feel sick.”
A sheer amount of data is necessary to operate the virtual world, meaning a need for higher network capacity. Therefore, the connectivity issue also hampers the development of the metaverse. LatenceTech co-founder and CEO Benoit Gendron said the metaverse requires 15 milliseconds of latency at the maximum, but most networks today can only support as low as 40 to 50 milliseconds.
Sethi explained that players in the sector are creating their own versions of the metaverse, which means consumers must choose among a “collection” of products. He said companies and institutions must understand that “convergence of technologies” is necessary to fulfil consumer expectations.
Given the various challenges, Sethi expected it would take at least a decade for the metaverse to reach its full potential. Regardless, tech experts are confident that Sweden will remain one of the biggest players in the sector because of its early engagement with metaverse technology.
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