Facebook has announced a new strategy which will involve further development of hardware-based services such as virtual reality headsets. This article will analyze the concept of the metaverse, explore potential uses and outline its future development, in order to provide businesses with a greater understanding of the implications for their organization.
Definition of the Metaverse
Avatars enable users to engage in a virtual universe known as the metaverse, where they can conduct business, have fun, or meet new individuals. Although this is not yet a reality, users can gain an insight into what the metaverse could be like through online games and collaboration tools for remote workers. TechRepublic’s Metaverse Cheat Sheet outlines how games such as Animal Crossing and Fortnite offer a preview of what the metaverse could be like.
There is a distinction to be made between the metaverse and virtual reality, with their relationship being similar to smartphones and applications. Currently, access to the metaverse may require virtual reality headsets; however, scientists anticipate that in the future these will no longer be necessary and instead the metaverse and the physical world will exist harmoniously side by side.
Example Applications of the Metaverse
Keep an eye out for implementations of metaverse technology as it develops in the following fields.
- Manufacturing. The implementation of Metaverse technology could provide warehouse employees with assistance in the form of projections on their work surfaces.
- Training. Other fields such as the medical, educational, mechanical and military sectors may benefit from using metaverse platforms for training purposes.
- Healthcare. The use of virtual reality technology in the operating room has the potential to greatly improve the quality of care provided to patients.
- Education. In a virtual classroom setting, instructors and students can interact in the same manner they would in a physical environment, as well as undertake realistic virtual field trips to historical sites.
- Actual property. Prospective buyers may look at houses in other regions, even other countries.
- Combined methods are being used. The metaverse may facilitate communication between employees in different locations and settings.
- Activities of a sporting nature and other forms of entertainment. Operators may record performances and transport viewers into the middle of the action in the metaverse.
- Retail. Immersive virtual shops will provide customers with an experience that combines the best of both online and in-person shopping.
Implications for Your Company
Bernard Marr, a noted futurist, has published an essay and video detailing the many ways in which companies might profit from the metaverse.
- Advertising. The metaverse, like the internet, will be awash with marketing opportunities.
- Sponsorship for an event. Marr highlights the potential for organizations to capitalize on the variety of opportunities for sponsorship that may arise from more events and concerts being staged in the metaverse.
- Products that are available just in digital form. As Marr states, “People may wish to purchase a variety of items for the metaverse, from clothing and accessories to houses, cars and other items that we cannot yet imagine.
- Work from home. Providers of virtual office space will have the chance to adapt their products for use in the metaverse.
- Games. Despite the fact that the metaverse extends beyond video games, gaming remains a key part of its foundations. Game development studios should therefore contemplate adopting a business model suitable for the metaverse.
- Services geared on easing businesses’ transition into the metaverse. Companies will require metaverse advisors to assist them migrate just as they already use social media gurus.
- Tech for the metaverse. Hardware manufacturers must create haptic suits, lightweight glasses and contact lenses to ensure users of these devices can easily navigate the metaverse.
Predictions for the Future
In the coming years, existing technologies such as multiplayer games such as Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox will be used to create new possibilities. It is plausible that there may be a cryptocurrency tailored to the metaverse, and that both the cryptocurrency and associated goods can be transferred across different metaverses.
Sifted claims that it is possible to convert a pixelated sword from a Roblox game into a powerful pistol in Fortnite. Furthermore, operators can increase computer capacity to a level that is able to support much higher demand.
Is It Time to Start Thinking About Your Thinking?
It is wise to plan ahead and contemplate the potential advantages that the metaverse could bring to your organization, however it may be wise to wait until some of the more pressing issues are addressed. All virtual and electronic services, which includes those in the metaverse, necessitate programming. Additionally, the ethical implications of ensuring virtual assets are accessible to all people without prejudice are still being discussed.
Intellectual property issues, the risk of unsuccessful attempts to create a unified virtual world, and the lack of trained engineers, designers, and administrators to maintain the technology present further obstacles. Nevertheless, despite these impediments, the metaverse is anticipated to progress in a similar way to the development of the internet. In the long-term, most organizations are likely to desire a presence there, and it will be your decision to decide if and when to join them.