What Companies Should Know About the Metaverse
While technology remains a respectable distance away from the science fiction future depicted in novels by William Gibson (the man who practically invented the cyberpunk literary genre), you can experience the next best thing by using the metaverse. Since many entities in the business world eagerly anticipate a near future where corporations can market their products and services using VR (virtual reality) technology, you may be wondering how to get in on the action yourself. Find out more about what companies should know about the metaverse to get ahead and the importance of preparing for the potential future of eCommerce.
What is the Metaverse and How Will it Impact the World of Business?
For those unfamiliar with the term outside of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, the current usage of “metaverse” refers to the concept of a fully realized virtual world where people can communicate, interact, make purchases, and so much more. While individuals such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame have fully committed to a particular vision of what the metaverse should be, it would be more accurate to say that there are several concurrent efforts to create a true multiverse, most of which lack interoperability with each other. In an ideal metaverse, you could utilize the same digital avatar and toolsets across multiple platforms, experience dangerous activities like skydiving without the actual risk, try on virtual versions of real-world clothing, and even practice surgical procedures without having to risk an actual patient.
Several major corporations besides Meta are currently developing the metaverse concept, including Google, Binance, and Microsoft, leading to innovations in VR, AR (augmented reality), NFTs (non-fungible tokens), software engineering, and game development. In addition, major gaming platforms such as Tencent and Epic Games have also made considerable efforts and investments toward developing interactive, metaverse-ready games and other content. According to data released by Bloomberg in December 2021, the growth potential of the metaverse market is estimated to climb to 800 billion dollars by the year 2024.
Although this future vision relies heavily on the ability of various organizations to create a metaverse platform that can operate seamlessly with all kinds of software and services, the potential for business profits is certainly worth considering. Given that the major corporations mentioned above have already begun developing a virtual toehold and establishing operations in the metaverse, you should consider whether becoming an early adopter makes sense for your company.
What Will the Metaverse Offer My Business to Grow, Develop, and Profit?
While the metaverse as envisioned does not currently exist, there are still several incentives for your company to incorporate metaverse technology and techniques going forward. One of the most obvious sources of potential income is getting in on the NFT boom of virtual accessories, clothing, avatars, and other virtual collectibles. No longer the sole purview of gaming platforms like Xbox and PlayStation, fashion business giants including Nike, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren are now offering digital items for sale and starting to rake in some substantial profits.
Considering the massive shift towards videoconferencing and online meetings over the last couple of years, projects based in the metaverse could help usher in a new age of virtual communications. For example, instead of meeting with a client or team members using Zoom or another similar service, you can be present with others in a digital meeting space using personalized avatars where gestures and expressions can be seen.
Having the ability to interact simultaneously with physically present people, as well as those in virtual settings, could allow your workers to travel to locations across the planet instantly. This could be especially useful when combined with your business operations to help direct and implement services in the field while maintaining excellent levels of communication.
Depending on which field of business your company specializes in, you could use metaverse technology to bring your customers a new level of virtual experiences. For example, companies that provide tours of famous historical locations could easily benefit from AR technology, providing a digital overlay with added information, reconstructed buildings, immersive audio, and so on.
If your business is engaged in the field of education, allowing your students to interact with other classmates and professors in a 3D virtual classroom can help with engagement and reduce any alienation that conventional methods may cause. You could also use such technology to provide specialized training to employees, like walking through a typical day on the job, which is continually informed by constant data collection.
Considering that the gaming and advertising industries have enjoyed a long and profitable partnership, it is no surprise that major corporations, including Warner Bros. Pictures and the Hyundai Motor Company, have recently engaged in events and experiences through the popular gaming platform Roblox. Furthermore, since Roblox has already taken significant steps towards creating its own version of metaverse-based interactive gaming, engaging in similar advertising efforts can associate your company with the metaverse and other popular services.
While no one company has successfully managed to consolidate its competition and create a metaverse capable of genuine interoperability across all platforms, your business should consider learning more about its potential to profit going forward. Check out our other articles to learn more about the metaverse, how it works, and how your business could stand to benefit.
About Dan Martin: Daniel Martin is a technology researcher and writer with more than a decade of experience. He is a professional librarian and an experienced tech teacher, writer and blogger. Specializing in technology, Dan has taught courses in technology and writing at the college level, developed web pages for businesses and higher educational institutions, written on tech topics for leading national publications and created numerous how-to guides.