From “Experience Candy” to Utility

Younite-AI
6 min readJan 17, 2023
Photo by julien Tromeur on Unsplash

As we step deeper into the Metaverse, we start to move beyond what I call “Experience Candy”, the showcase examples that are quickly spun up to take advantage of an attention grabbing new technology. Marketing fodder as ad people take advantage of attention and intrigue around something new before it becomes mainstream. A way to grab eyeballs and be seen as innovative, at least for a second or two (which can often be all that’s needed). Maybe my impressions are jaded having worked in advertising for many years, often as the “innovation” guy, where my crafted “ExperienceCandy” idea would take pride of place as the wrap up slides of a 50 page deck of TV ad concepts, which was the actual creative being pitched. But with Metaverse tech, things seem a bit different this time.

A Growing Acceptance of Disruption

The noise around the “Metaverse” has had many similarities to prior experiences I’ve had. The Metaverse, and the plethora of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and now Mixed Reality showpieces, are a sea of Experience Candy. I don’t knock it. In fact I love it. Seeing what people do gets my wheels turning and fuels my creativity. Because I myself cannot code or manhandle technologies in the ways developers can, I often say to my developers…

“Show me what you can do, and I’ll show you what you can do with it.”

This is part of the reason I like to build, and work in, collaborative teams of people from varied disciplines. That variety exposes different ways of looking at capabilities and then how to use them. It creates a potent mix of creativity.

With the Metaverse, there is seemingly a very genuine pervasive public curiosity about it. And, as I wrap my head around it myself, there seems to be more definition around Metaverse technology to better see a more clearly charted future with it. This acceptance could be simply an human behavioral evolution stemming from the fact that technology advancements have sunken their hooks firmly into our lives over the past couple of decades. It’s easy to think back to when being told you would receive emails on your phone was laughed at when the iPhone was introduced. Now we are all wise to tech advances. Accepting of an impending disruption. Maybe even excited about it now that we’ve seen the benefits of taking those leaps. This may be one of the first times in my career I see my creative curiosity around a piece of “tech” actually bearing tangible fruit as I see people genuinely excited for utility on the Metaverse now that they’ve openly played with experience candy.

Venture into the Utility Phase

For me, its really time to move on from experience candy and start getting past the “woah, this is cooool” and to start answering the “how do I use this for ______?” questions. When looking to answer those questions and looking at places to start creating utility, I think it’s relatively easy to isolate ones that can be supercharged with Metaverse and AI technologies. We just have to look at todays utilities that already exist in todays websites and even SaaS tools. After all, the “Metaverse” is essentially the next evolution of the web. Many of the tools and services that exist online today simply haven’t been looked at to reframe them using Metaverse technologies and leveraging the advantages and new methods of engagement this new technology brings over todays “internet”.

We’re already used to shopping online…on the web. What does that look like and how do we re-craft it to take advantage of Metaverse tech? How do we weave in the many tools that help us manage success with ecommerce online today. Then how do we create the tools that deliver similar benefit as a crafted ecommerce experiences on the Metaverse?

We’ve re-framed customer support on the web resulting in companies like the Intercoms of the world that have made a good business out of it. But we are no longer in an environment where we can lock a widget to the bottom right of our screen that nudges us…because we aren’t bound to a “screen”. I could go on. I think you get the point.

Context + Intelligence

Customization of physical products, buildings and spaces is also a utility that already exists online. But the experiences delivered are cumbersome, often dialed back in complexity, and rigid in format and delivery. Metaverse tech, and in particular our proprietary Younite platform solution, allows richer dynamic environments, more photorealistic renditions, and dynamic on-demand delivery of model and scene information to be rendered real-time, with little or no delay. And this capability will constantly improve as we delve deeper into developing the tech unlocking more and more possibilities.

3D experiences up until now have been largely a one-to-one experience when delivered online. Not with Metaverse technology driving the experience. Again, our own Younite platform facilitates supporting up to 3 people within a scene, all with the ability for each individual to manipulate it and almost unlimited passive viewers. That, in itself, unlocks collaborative consultations that can augment and personalize a sales or design review process where multiple stakeholders can work together resulting in more confident buyers and decision makers, and of course faster sales and decisions.

Introduce AI and ML models into the mix and these tools can be highly personalized. They can be dynamically presented per market with geo-location information influencing their presentation in real-time. One single application can deliver any available product options, along with dynamic data such as costs, and deliver them to a user, in any market, on-demand. We can even start to look at factors out with our virtual products and spaces themselves to add more personalization and utility. Predicted environmental impacts based on real world physical influences such as weather patterns can be introduced to contextualize to a physical place, but also do so in context of time. In the case of replicating buildings and physical spaces, window placements and natural lighting effects can be given context to impact how we may treat these spaces in the real world, or influence sustainability choices for architects and construction companies. And, of course, we can add more and more personalization to a viewers experience to account for additional influencing factors such as family types, or behavioral patterns and preferences, to create a hyper rich and instantly relatable personalized an experience. And just to emphasize again a large part of what makes all this amazing, it can be all delivered ON-DEMAND.

Then, if we look beyond the user engagement benefits these technologies introduce, and cast our gaze on the many tools and services surrounding these solutions and help us run them efficiently and optimally, such as analytics and tracking services, these services have yet to be fully thought through in the Metaverse. As a result it’s an even bigger sea of opportunity for companies to create, or re-imagine these tools for the Metaverse.

What’s Next?

Now is the time to move beyond practical utility and into intelligent tools. Applications that move beyond decision trees and into learned models to ones that intelligently respond to inputs of all kinds. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by not only Metaverse experts in my role at Younite-AI, but also the Data, AI and ML wizards that create the brains that drive these intelligent machines. As I mentioned before, being surrounded by what these people can do fuels my desire to show everyone what we can do with it. When it comes to the tools and applications we can make on the Metaverse when we weave in this intelligence, my head starts spinning with ever increasingly exciting things to create. I’d like to think we at Younite-AI are the perfect creative technology partner to guide our clients to those opportunities, show results that go beyond experience candy and in deliver on tangible ROI, and take them on that exciting journey into the Metaverse.

About the Author:

Dave Papworth is the Creative Cultivator and Product Leader for Younite-AI. His career has taken him through multimedia, development, design, innovation, and ultimately Younite-AI.

While working in the advertising industry he led teams focused on technical innovation and how it can be leveraged for marketing campaigns and brand building platforms, creating forward-thinking projects that have been showcased at events like Googles Sandbox, and even recognized in Time Magazine as an “Invention of the Year”.

At Younite-AI, his focus is on building a team that can tackle any challenge, look beyond their boundaries, and grow the collaborative relationships we desire with our clients.

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Younite-AI

Making intelligent tools for the age of Metaverse_