What is the embodied internet?
Somewhere in the midst of all the discourse, it hit me — the term “metaverse” had become too unwieldy. It covered too much, and seemed too far in the future for most people to grasp. Then as I was running one day, it hit me like a lightning bolt — we need to take a step back and focus on one of the near term futures embedded in the grand vision, that of the “embodied internet.”
I still believe that the metaverse is the far future, but the near future, the thing brands are paying attention to right now, is the embodied internet. Put simply, the embodied internet is made up of virtual worlds like Horizon Worlds, VRChat, and Spatial — spaces where you embody an avatar and use your voice to communicate. But aside from avatars as opposed to images and voice as opposed to text, it is still fundamentally similar to the internet we have now — built on community, collaboration, and communication.
The next seven essays, co-written with Pamela Jaber, will cover how people should be thinking about the embodied internet, from brands who want to create spaces to users who want to make sure they are ethically representing themselves. These are not the final answers but prompts for discussion, learning, and growth.