Since Mark Zuckerberg of Meta (Formerly Facebook) announced his plan to build his company’s future in the “Metaverse”, interest in the topic has exploded.
Though still a relatively new concept to most, the Metaverse has the potential to become an $800 billion market in the next years. Currently, the idea is being touted as the next “huge” tech platform.
The metaverse is a technology landscape conceived to extend the dimensions of the physical world. More than just a VR or AR experience, the metaverse aims to create an embodied, immersive version of the internet, which allows us to leverage the full potential of our digital lives.
Since most of us already spend a significant portion of our lives online, the metaverse makes much sense for tech-savvy future generations.
However, it’s not just a novel concept for future consumers. The metaverse can also be a powerful opportunity for companies. Here are some of the reasons why you should invest in metaverse technology in 2022.
New Opportunities for Collaboration
One of the major selling points of the metaverse from a professional perspective is it offers us a new platform for collaboration and communication in a distributed landscape. During the pandemic, many companies became accustomed to using Zoom, Microsoft Teams and similar tools to keep their staff connected. However, these tools can only do so much.
The metaverse could provide companies with a way to create a true sense of presence and connection with teams located elsewhere in the world. Companies can use VR to create immersive office spaces for shared ideation in the metaverse, or leverage holographic projections of staff in AR or MR.
Everyday individual work could move into the metaverse too, providing people working from home with a virtually-enriched environment where they can interact with everything from digital blueprints to knowledgebase articles in seconds.
“Experience” is one of the most important concepts for any business to consider in today’s competitive landscape. To stay ahead of other companies in a digitally-transforming world, you need to create amazing experiences for users, employees, and customers alike.
What better way to unlock unforgettable experiences than to extend the potential of the real world with the metaverse?
In a metaverse future, retailers will be able to use apps with AR signage to digitally guide customers around a store and provide information on products in real-time.
Travel companies are already investing in concepts like VR tourism, to give potential customers an insight into what they can expect from an amazing trip to a far-off destination.
The unique technology within the metaverse, from 3D reconstructed virtual content, to holograms, will create fantastic new experiences. The result should be more engaged teams and customers.
Improved Training and Learning Opportunities
Both in the professional world and academic environment, we’ve seen a rapid series of changes to the way people absorb knowledge and learn.
Similar to the shifting collaborative environment, the learning space has adapted to lockdowns and social distancing through the use of video conferencing. However, there are still barriers to overcome with these technologies.
The metaverse promises a more connected and aligned online experience, where a single avatar can explore everything from virtual lecture halls to science labs. Universities are already using online worlds like Second Life to create enhanced lectures and allow distance learners to virtually visit a campus.
The Metaverse can also transform existing environments into training simulations with AR and MR technology. Access to things like artificial intelligence built into the experience means people will be able to interact with the technology more efficiently they’re using to learn and develop skills more effectively.
New Economic Opportunities
The metaverse represents new earning opportunities for companies in a range of industries. We’ve already discussed how travel companies can deliver unique experiences to potential customers by allowing them to virtually visit a space with a headset. However, there are a range of other opportunities available to unlock with the metaverse too.
The blockchain and crypto-based economy laying the foundation of the metaverse provides a new landscape for trading different kinds of value.
Already artists and fashion companies are leveraging the blockchain ecosystem at the heart of the metaverse to experiment with concepts like NFTs (or Non-Fungible tokens).
Once the metaverse is fully executed, there will also be a host of new opportunities available to help companies interact with their customers through everything from digital events to virtual advertising. Experts estimate these opportunities could give the metaverse a value of around $1 trillion.
By giving us access to more information and experiences in a digital format, the metaverse could potentially improve global sustainability.
The underlying “XR” environment within the metaverse will make it much easier to avoid things like daily commutes and travels which contribute to a huge amount of fossil fuels consumed every day.
At the same time, we’ll be able to access various forms of documents, contracts, other tools online, without having to waste assets in person.
The metaverse could even help companies to bring team members together to build digital twins in a VR environment, so staff can design new forms of products without wasting physical materials.
There’s even a potential for us to become less dependent on a range of “consumption” goods. According to Zuckerberg, things that are “physical” today, like a TV screen, may become holographic in the future.
Better Customer Experiences
Finally, the metaverse has the potential to deliver a host of exciting new experiences for your customers throughout the entire consumer journey.
You can use the metaverse to invest in new advertising opportunities or find ways to reach your audience through digital events. You can even place your brand into existing metaverse environments to capture the attention of your audience.
Recently, Wendy’s got involved with the Metaverse by building a character representing the brand’s mascot into the digital community in Fortnite, to kill all the freezers in the game during the game’s Food Fight mode. The brand achieved a 119% increase in social media mentions as a result.
The Metaverse could also be a powerful way to improve customer service, by creating more helpful digital experiences for customers when they’re facing issues with their purchases. You could even have team members visit your customers “in-person” in the form of a mixed reality avatar, to guide them through the process of setting up new technology.