Large corporations and tech companies of all sizes are beginning to bet on the Metaverse, the new hot buzzword of internet tech. What is this vision of the future and why should you be looking to invest in metaverse concepts and technology?
What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse is the new multi-platform allowing individuals to interact, play and work in what Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the newly named Meta (formerly Facebook), has described as the successor to the mobile internet and a set of interconnected digital spaces.
The Metaverse is a digital platform where augmented reality (AR), an overlay of computer generated content on the real world, and virtual reality (VR), three-dimensional, computer generated environments mix together with three dimensional (3D) holographic avatars and video. This new immersive and unified reality gives users the ability to live in a hyper realistic virtual universe and communicate on and in it.
From chat rooms to the online multimedia platform Second Life and more recently released popular games Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite, users have been able to create their own worlds and experience the metaverse in a unique manner. Using avatars, they have formed relationships, traded services and bought virtual land using blockchain technology, and crypto-currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
As part of its push into the Metaverse, Meta/Facebook - the company believes anyone should be able to connect and interact with each other in different spaces no matter the location - has launched its virtual reality (VR) platform Horizon Worlds and many are following suit. Whilst large parts of the platform are expected to be accessible to VR headset or AR glasses users, it is still unclear whether every user will require headsets like the Oculus Rift, the Lenovo Mirage Solo or the HTC Vive to access the Metaverse. Not surprisingly, Bloomberg anticipates the Metaverse will be a $800 billion (£590,5 billion) market opportunity by 2024.
What Does the Metaverse Mean for Business?
The Metaverse is not all about gaming and entertainment. It's also about business. VR is now set to connect individuals – companies, partners and customers - in virtual spaces through several already existing - and other much-anticipated – devices and superfast 5G connections.
The Metaverse is expected to change the way we work and how businesses operate by offering flexibility, immediate collaboration and new immersive workspace environments.
Microsoft Teams, for example - which is used by 250 million people worldwide - now facilitates virtual 3D business meetings through its Mesh cloud collaboration service. And many more companies are looking to create their own digital environments.
Through the use of headsets, mixed reality glasses and interfaces, the Metaverse will offer business solutions for every company, no matter its size, location or trade.
In business terms, this should allow for increased economic opportunities for companies. To achieve this, businesses are heavily investing in VR and Metaverse business solutions. Spending on VR technology alone is expected to jump from $17 billion (£12.5 billion) value in 2020 to $184 billion (£135.7 billion) by 2026.
Top Five Potential Metaverse Business Solutions
Whether business leaders operate in the online retail sector, banking or tech, the Metaverse is bringing plenty of business applications, from remote staff training to social commerce and flexible working practices. Here are five potential Metaverse enterprise solutions that will change businesses:
While the technology is still under development, the Metaverse can already allow companies to profit from digital commerce by bridging the gap between the real world (brick and mortar shops) and the online world. The immersive and interactive experience will re-define digital shopping from the virtual interaction with products to the use of instant and protected crypto-currencies payments.
Because the Metaverse will enable customers to customise their shopping experience, it will close the gap between social media and digital commerce by allowing their audience and brand fans to interact with each other, share photos and reviews.
Brand will be able to engage directly to a wider audience and reach even more potential customers than ever before.
Whether they are looking to set up virtual showrooms, dressing rooms or even car testing, companies can benefit from the Metaverse enterprise solutions. For years now, Nike has allowed customers to customise their own pair of trainers all through AR-enabled interfaces. Roblox, meanwhile, has teamed up with skateboarding apparel company Vans and luxury company Gucci to create virtual skateparks and clothing stores, respectively.
The pandemic saw the astronomical rise of virtual communication tools such as Zoom but the Metaverse can bring further virtual meetings spaces and events for companies, employees, partners and customers.
In a mixed-reality experience, Meta hosted the VR concerts of eccentric rapper Young Thug and electronic music producer and DJ David Guetta. Epic Games popular battle game Fortnite which boasts hundreds of millions of users - also held a VR concert by rapper Travis Scott whilst 90s legends Massive Attack hosted a festival on video game Minecraft.
Taken by surprise by the rise of the influencer culture, the advertising world is also expected to benefit from the Metaverse virtual brand possibilities in the years ahead.
Indeed, the new technology will allow companies to bring all their branding in one place: exit the temporary microsites or apps for different campaigns or products. Their virtual existence can also ensure that any customer, regardless of location or time zone, can walk into a virtual company event.
To stay competitive, business leaders have to start making plans now for how they will embrace and invest in the Metaverse vast business opportunities to power their brand, no matter the sector.
To do so, you will need to find the right partner to carry out your digital and virtual strategy. At ADAMAPP, we've developed e-commerce applications, mobile apps and AR navigation for clients, so we know how to build a strong foundation that can be developed into a successful strategy for the long-term.
Get in touch if you'd like to talk about ideas for your own Metaverse journey.