The metaverse – a shared, immersive virtual world where people can work, shop, learn and interact with each other – may still be in the starting blocks, but the potential to grow quickly is huge. “We believe that the metaverse will follow exactly the same path as the internet did 20 years ago,” says François Ribeiro, the CEO of Infinite Reality Europe. “There is not one specific owner or creator of the internet, but the power of the idea was so huge that it very quickly spread and completely transformed the way people get information and do transactions. I think that the metaverse is going to offer the same opportunities, with a social interaction layer on top of it all.”
Build your own metaverse
This conviction led the company to develop its new, innovative tool. “Here today is the world premiere for what we will launch in a few weeks: a product allowing an average person – not a developer – to develop their own metaverse,” said John Acunto, CEO of Infinite Reality, when speaking at ICT Spring in Luxembourg. By making metaverse creation much more accessible, Infinite Reality expects the new solution to change the reality for many businesses and have an impact on our daily lives.
Our customers will own their data, their customers and their experience.
Contrary to most leading social media platforms that retain all information regarding the consumption and use of content created by their members, Infinite Reality plans to fully put its products in the hands of creators and innovators. “Our customers will own their data, their customers and their experience,” Mr Acunto pointed out.
Luxembourg: metaverse hub
The choice to announce the new solution in Luxembourg was not a coincidence. “Luxembourg is the natural home of the metaverse,” Mr Acunto said to the ICT Spring audience. “If offers the security, infrastructure and government support needed and is home to a community that wants to do the next big thing. And we want to be part of this.”
Luxembourg is the natural home of the metaverse.
The company will use Luxembourg as its base for setting up its European technical and creative teams, and probably also for hosting servers. According to Mr Ribeiro, Infinite Reality has “very strong partnerships with the Ministry of the Economy, the University of Luxembourg and national innovation agency Luxinnovation. My job is now to duplicate what the company has quite successfully done in the US here in Europe, from our hub in Luxembourg.”
Creating inclusive experiences
Infinite Reality’s metaverses can be viewed without any specific equipment such as a headset. “The only things that you need are an internet connection and a phone, iPad or laptop,” Mr Ribeiro explains. “This means that a huge proportion of the population will be able to benefit from our metaverse experience without investing in any additional gear.”
Accessibility and inclusion seem to be keywords for the newly appointed European CEO, who has spent the past 20 years running the sport events division of Warner Bros Discovery. “When I first met John Acunto last year, quite frankly I knew very little about the metaverse. But when I told him what my job encompassed – organising 50-60 major sport events per year on five different continents and dealing with the event experience, the fan engagement, the TV production, the media involvement, the licencing, and so on – he saw the potential to become the first sport rights holder to develop a full-scale metaverse experience that would be accessible to anyone, regardless of their location, resources and ability to travel.”
We want to use Luxembourg as a launch pad for expanding our business in Europe.
The discussion spurred Mr Ribeiro to start cooperating with Infinite Reality and, in early 2023, to leave his former position and join the company full time. “The way this technology will allow people to experience real-life events remotely, interact with others and enter into a completely new space for transactions, e-commerce, streaming and socialisation is fascinating. I have not seen anything so disruptive since I started to work 25 years ago. The perspective that this sector is offering in the next 5, 10 or 20 years is mind-blowing.”
He is excited to take the lead in Infinite Reality’s European development. “We want to use Luxembourg as a launch pad for expanding our business in Europe. We think that this country is in a great position for offering us an excellent set of assets, access and services to grow.”