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It’s time for businesses to embrace the immersive metaverse



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Two of the strongest innovation trends right now are immersive experiences and the development of the metaverse. Forrester predicts that 2022 is the year when organizations’ investments in immersive experiences will turn browsing into virtual inhabiting. The consumer tech industry’s new vision for its version of the metaverse, including speech-generated virtual worlds, generates headlines daily. 

What doesn’t get discussed quite as much is how the blending of immersive and metaversal technologies and experience designs will amplify the effects of each. Because immersive and metaversal technology development is accelerating, organizations don’t have time to wait and see what’s going to happen. Instead, they need to focus on bringing the change now.

When thinking about metaversal experiences, it’s important to realize that while the metaverse as a specific set of experiences provided by in or beyond a technology company’s proprietary space may be in the early stages of development, the real-world metaverse has been quietly expanding over time. Most of us simply don’t think of the technology-driven, connected experiences we have as metaversal, but they are. 

Consider the philosophical question of where the mind ends and the rest of the world begins. It’s arguable that every mode of recording, sharing and analyzing data, information, knowledge and wisdom (DIKW) outside of people’s own minds and person-to-person interactions is metaversal. By that standard, humans have been slowly building a metaverse for millennia, from cave paintings to the printing press to the telephone. 

Now, thanks to the internet, wireless connectivity and new technology manufacturing capabilities, the pace of metaverse expansion is accelerating. Advances in technology also have the potential to make the metaverse less intrusive and more seamless. For example, a field service technician today can point a tablet at a piece of equipment and get an AR image that shows an arrow pointing at the part they need to remove. 

That’s helpful, but it can go even further. Just as landline telephone users were limited to calls from specific locations where there was a phone available, current metaversal experiences require an intrusive headset to deliver an immersive experience. Future experiences will be more like interacting with a smartphone no matter where you are and what you’re doing. 

The differences between the immersive metaverse of tomorrow and today’s tools for sharing experiences are the number of senses involved and the friction or intrusiveness of the wearables guiding the experience. For example, in an immersive metaverse experience, the technician’s glasses will draw their vision to a part, and when they look at that part, they’ll hear a pleasant sound or get a pleasant smell. The gloves they wear will guide their hands to the correct tools and help them use those tools correctly. If the technician does something that could injure them, the wearables will leverage the appropriate senses to keep them safe. In the immersive metaverse, the technician interacts with reality intuitively to do their job safely and efficiently.

Opportunities to create immersive metaversal experiences are everywhere

Right now, there are a couple of obvious use cases for immersive metaversal experiences that go beyond cool and compelling brand engagements. The first is handling tasks, like our immersive metaverse example involving the field technician. In these cases, customer experiences may be enhanced, optimized, and made more cost-effective at scale with immersive metaversal solutions. 

For example, maybe the bank that delivers customer service through an app and phone calls will develop an immersive process that alerts customers of potential issues in real-time and walks them through a solution on whatever device or platform the customer prefers? 

Immersive metaversal customer experiences could also accelerate the pace of B2B ecommerce and large-ticket consumer purchases. We already see automakers rendering 3D models of builds as the customer selects options online. What if the customer could pick their options and then virtually walk around the car, look under the hood, sit in the driver’s seat, and smell the leather? On the B2B side, what if a plant manager could have the same kind of immersive interaction with an industrial motor, rather than having to fly or drive to the manufacturer to see it before placing an order? 

Companies need to understand what’s possible in the metaverse, what’s already in use and what customers or employees will expect as more organizations create immersive experiences to differentiate their products and services. The possibilities may include improvements in what companies are doing now as well as revolutionary changes in the way companies operate, connect and engage with customers and employees to increase loyalty. 

How can leaders start to identify opportunities in the metaverse? Start, as always, with low-hanging fruit, like commerce and brand experiences that can benefit from immersive support. Also consider the technology that can enable what you need. From an architectural standpoint, it’s helpful to think of immersive experiences as a three-layer cake. The top layer is where users get access via systems of engagement. The middle layer is where messages are sent, received and routed to the right people via systems of integration. The bottom layer comprises the databases and transactions — the systems of record.

When companies consider new options for user interfaces (UI), user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX), they need to think about how evolving metaversal technology and user expectations may impact those systems of engagement. For example, future engagement may include desktop, mobile, and wearable experiences, as well as experiences that haven’t been developed yet, like headset experiences or an experience that’s synthesized across all those devices. 

The possibility of rapid and dramatic experience changes requires thinking outside of silos. How will users move fluidly between entry points to those systems of engagement? Organizations that can figure that out can change the way users engage to a more immersive, continuous experience. We already see some organizations taking this approach. 

For example, for many years, customers who had a problem with a product or service would call the company’s customer support line as a first step. Very few people enjoy calling customer service because it takes time and can be frustrating. Companies don’t like fielding lots of customer service calls because they’re an expensive way to solve customer problems. Now, some organizations have moved most customer service processes to their app, so that customers only need to speak to a service representative when they have an issue the app can’t resolve – and they can call from the app. Expect to see that kind of fluidity across engagement points grow, especially as more immersive technology becomes available. 

The key concept for organizations to keep in mind is that we already live, work, and play where the metaverse meets reality. Now, we’re waiting to see how these new technologies will make the metaverse less intrusive and more immersive, but the fundamental building blocks for creating and delivering richer metaversal user experiences already exist for visionary organizations to work with now. 

Andy Forbes is the Salesforce solution architect at Capgemini Americas. Michael Martin is the enterprise architect of mobile solutions at Capgemini Americas.


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AMD CEO says 5-nm Zen 4 processors coming this fall



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Advanced Micro Devices revealed its 5-nanometer Zen 4 processor architecture today at the Computex 2022 event in Taiwan.

The new AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors with Zen 4 cores will be coming this fall, said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, in a keynote speech.

Su said the new processors with Zen 4 architecture will deliver a significant increase in performance upon their launch in the fall of 2022. Additionally, Su highlighted the strong growth and momentum for AMD in the mobile market as 70 of the more than 200 expected ultrathin, gaming and commercial notebook designs powered by Ryzen 6000 Series processors have been launched or announced to-date.

In addition, other AMD executives announced the newest addition to the Ryzen Mobile lineup, “Mendocino;” the newest AMD smart technology, SmartAccess Storage; and more details of the new AM5 platform, including support from leading motherboard manufacturers.

“At Computex 2022 we highlighted growing adoption of AMD in ultrathin, gaming, and commercial notebooks from the leading PC providers based on the leadership performance and battery life of our Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors,” said Su. “With our upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors, we will bring even more leadership to the desktop market with our next-generation 5-nm Zen 4 architecture and provide an unparalleled, high-

performance computing experience for gamers and creators.”

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors

The new Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors will double the amount of L2 cache per core, feature higher clock speeds, and are projected to provide greater than 15% uplift in single-thread performance versus the prior generation, for a better desktop PC experience.

During the keynote, a pre-production Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processor was demonstrated running at 5.5 GHz clock speed throughout AAA game play. The same processor was also demonstrated performing more than 30% faster than an Intel Core i9 12900K in a Blender multi-threaded rendering workload.

In addition to new “Zen 4” compute dies, the Ryzen 7000 series features an all-new 6nm I/O die. The new I/O die includes AMD RDNA 2-based graphics engine, a new low-power architecture adopted from AMD Ryzen mobile processors, support for the latest memory and connectivity technologies like DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0, and support for up to four displays.

AMD Socket AM5 Platform

The new AMD Socket AM5 platform provides advanced connectivity for our most demanding enthusiasts. This new socket features a 1718-pin LGA design with support for up to 170W TDP processors, dual-channel DDR5 memory, and new SVI3 power infrastructure for leading all-core performance with our Ryzen 7000 Series processors. AMD Socket AM5 features the most PCIe 5.0 lanes in the industry with up to 24 lanes, making it our fastest, largest, and most expansive desktop platform with support for the next-generation and beyond class of storage and graphics cards.

And AMD said the “Mendocino” processors will offer great everyday performance and are expected to be priced from $400 to $700.

Featuring “Zen 2” cores and RDNA 2 architecture-based graphics, the processors are designed to deliver the best battery life and performance in the price band so users can get the most out of their laptop at an attractive price.

The first systems featuring the new “Mendocino” processors will be available from computer partners in Q4 2022.

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AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores



AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips will mark another major milestone for the company: they’ll be the first desktop processors running 5 nanometer cores. During her Computex keynote presentation today, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that Ryzen 7000 chips will launch this fall. Under the hood, they’ll feature dual 5nm Zen 4 cores, as well as a redesigned 6nm I/O core (which includes RDNA2 graphics, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 controllers and a low-power architecture). Earlier this month, the company teased its plans for high-end “Dragon Range” Ryzen 7000 laptop chips, which are expected to launch in 2023.

Since this is just a Computex glimpse, AMD isn’t giving us many other details about the Ryzen 7000 yet. The company says it will offer a 15 percent performance jump in Cinebench’s single-threaded benchmark compared to the Ryzen 5950X. Still, it’d be more interesting to hear about multi-threaded performance, especially given the progress Intel has made with its 12th-gen CPUs. You can expect 1MB of L2 cache per core, as well as maximum boost speeds beyond 5GHz and better hardware acceleration for AI tasks.

AMD is also debuting Socket AM5 motherboards alongside its new flagship processor. The company is moving towards a 1718-pin LGA socket, but it will still support AM4 coolers. That’s a big deal if you’ve already invested a ton into your cooling setup. The new motherboards will offer up to 24 channels of PCIe 5.0 split across storage and graphics, up to 14 USB SuperSpeed ports running at 20 Gbps, and up to 4 HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2 ports. You’ll find them in three different flavors: B650 for mainstream systems, X650 for enthusiasts who want PCIe 5.0 for storage and graphics and X650 Extreme for the most demanding folks.

Given that Intel still won’t have a 7nm desktop chip until next year (barring any additional delays), AMD seems poised to once again take the performance lead for another generation. But given just how well Intel’s hybrid process for its 12th-gen chips has worked out, it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to respond. If anything, it sure is nice to see genuine competition in the CPU space again.

While Ryzen 7000 will be AMD’s main focus for the rest of the year, the company is also throwing a bone to mainstream laptops in the fourth quarter with its upcoming 6nm “Mendocino” CPUs. They’ll sport four 6nm Zen 2 cores, as well as RDNA 2 graphics, making them ideal for systems priced between $399 and $699. Sure, that’s not much to get excited about, but even basic machines like Lenovo’s Ideapad 1 deserve decent performance. And for many office drones, it could mean having work-issued machines that finally don’t stink.

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Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront



Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront

With Disney+, Disney is looking to set a new high-water mark for ad prices among the major ad-supported streamers. The pricey pitch is representative of a broader rising tide in streaming ad pricing in this year’s TV advertising upfront market, as Disney-owned Hulu, Amazon and even Fox’s Tubi are looking to press upfront advertisers to pay up.

In its initial pitch to advertisers and their agencies, Disney is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50, according to agency executives. That price point applies to broad-based targeting dubbed “P2+,” which refers to an audience of any viewer who is two years old or older (though Disney has told agency executives that programming aimed at viewers seven years old and younger will be excluded from carrying ads). In other words, more narrowly targeted ads are expected to cost more based on the level of targeting. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.

At a $50 CPM, Disney+ is surpassing the prices that NBCUniversal’s Peacock  and Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max sought in last year’s upfront market and that gave ad buyers sticker shock. The former sought CPMs in the $30 to $40 range, while the latter sought $40+ CPMs. By comparison, other major ad-supported streamers like Hulu, Discovery+ and Paramount+ were charging low-to-mid $20 CPMs that major ad-supported streamers charge. As a result, Peacock’s and HBO Max’s asks ended up being price prohibitive, with some advertisers limiting the amount of money they spent with the streamers because of their higher rates.

Unsurprisingly, agency executives are balking at Disney+’s price point. “They’re citing pricing that no longer exists, meaning Peacock and HBO Max recognized they came out too high and they’re reducing it. Disney+ is using earmuffs to pretend that second part didn’t happen,” said one agency executive.

However, Disney+ isn’t the only streamer seeking to raise the rates that ad buyers are accustomed to paying. Hulu is also seeking to increase its prices in this year’s upfront, with P2+ pricing going from a $20-$25 CPM average to averaging in the $25-$30 CPM range, according to agency executives. And during a call with reporters on May 16, Fox advertising sales president Marianne Gambelli said that the company will seek higher prices for its free, ad-supported streaming TV service Tubi in this year’s upfront market. It’s unclear what Tubi’s current rates are, but FAST services’ CPMS are typically in the low to mid teens, said the agency executives.

“We have to get the value for Tubi. Tubi has grown to a point — it’s doubled, tripled in size over the past couple of years. So we are going to obviously make that a priority and look for not only more volume but price,” Gambelli said.

Meanwhile, in pitching its Thursday Night Football package that will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, Amazon has been pressing for a premium on what Fox charged advertisers last year, according to agency executives. The e-commerce giant will be handling the games’ ad placements like traditional TV, meaning that it will run the same ad in each ad slot for every viewer as opposed to dynamically inserting targeted ads. “It’s streaming broadcast,” said a second agency executive.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on pricing but did provide a general statement. “Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch is a purely digital broadcast, and we’re excited to bring fans a new viewing experience. There are 80MM active Prime Video households in the U.S. and, in a survey of our 2021 TNF audience, 38% reported they don’t have a pay-TV service – meaning TNF on Prime Video and Twitch enables brands to connect with cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Brands can also reach these viewers beyond TNF. Our first-party insights enable them to reengage TNF audiences across Amazon, such as in Freevee content.”

One of the agency executives that Digiday spoke to said the latest ask is for a plus-10% increase on Fox’s rates, though what Fox’s rates were are unclear and other agency executives said the premium that Amazon is asking for varies. Ad Age reported in February that Amazon was seeking up to 20% higher prices than Fox’s rates. “I don’t know if it is consistently plus-10, but it is definitely more. Which is crazy because Fox couldn’t make money on it, which is why they gave it up for this fall,” said a second agency executive.

“Someone was eating way too many gummies before they put the pricing together,” said a second agency executive of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football pitch.

Ad-supported streaming service owners also see an opportunity to push for higher prices as advertisers to adopt more advanced targeting with their streaming campaigns, such as by using the media companies’ and/or advertisers’ first-party data to aim their ads on the streamers. 

Said one TV network executive, “You’ll see premiums, especially as it relates to advertisers that really want to hook into [their company’s streaming service] and buy those targeted audiences across the platform and either use [the TV network’s] first-party data or bring their own data to the table. That’s the biggest business we’re in, and that’s where we see great growth from a pricing standpoint.”


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