The topic has been discussed a lot since Facebook, now Meta revealed its ambitious plans for creating the metaverse. Both large and small businesses around the globe have started to investigate the new trend and seek out ways to profit from it. What is the metaverse, and how can businesses profit from it? Let’s dive into this topic.
Understanding the Metaverse
Because we don’t see it as tangible, understanding the metaverse becomes more difficult. It is still confused with all interconnected technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality(AR), Artificial Intelligence, (AI), 5G, and so forth. These technologies are constantly evolving and growing, and the metaverse is the catalyst for their convergence. These technologies, which are presented in interlocking pieces form a new world of digital 3D virtual spaces.
The intense metaverse development opens up new business opportunities, as Mark Zuckerberg announced. Zuckerberg is introducing metaverse technology, which allows virtual reality users to enter the world via their devices and gadgets. According to the European Business Review, AR/VR technology will play an important role in this development of digital space.
Although the metaverse that harnesses the power of social interaction is still being developed, a few elements of Meta that can benefit businesses have been identified.
· Facebook Home has been replaced by Horizon Home. This is the area where friends can be invited to hang out, watch videos, play apps, or just have fun. Even better, you can go to a concert together from your home. What does this all have to do about business? There is actually a direct link between the two. Companies may be open to this type of interaction with their employees and clients. Horizon Workrooms, a beta version of the app, allows colleagues to connect and collaborate in virtual reality environments. The app is compatible with both VR and the internet, so employees can bring their own computers, keyboards, and desks to the virtual spaces. Users use their hands to input primary information, instead of using controllers. This allows for a mix of physical and digital experiences.
· Quest for Business is a suite that offers a variety of features for businesses. This means that you can use Quest 2 headset with a work account to communicate and run applications such as Horizon Workrooms. You also have access to key functions within the workplace environment including single-sign-on (SSO), account management, and third-party device and account management. Quest for Business will be fully launched in 2023.
Although Roblox, Nvidia, and Microsoft had attempted to create the metaverse, Facebook’s massive investments show the potential of this technology. Think about it. Try to read between: Facebook is investing $10bn in Reality Labs to create the metaverse.
The metaverse is a stage in the evolution of the Internet that Facebook’s investments continue to perpetuate. The question of the limitations of the technologies that fuel the metaverse is now raised. The cost of VR devices is high and they are not always suitable for long-term usage. Therefore, AR solutions that can be accessed via smartphones might be the technology focus. Augmented reality development agencies will help companies around the world with metaverse implementation.
The Metaverse’s general benefits for business
Customers can interact more effectively with businesses through digital spaces, which include a 3-D view. This is the first step in a new online marketplace. Virtual storefronts will greatly improve customer experience.
Blockchain technology is at the heart of the metaverse platforms, so new currencies can be easily introduced and scaled. This will boost business growth. Parallel to the development of the metaverse platforms, non-fungible tokens, and blockchain games will be created.
Through VR and AR implementation, practical applications and digital products enhance communication in the metaverse. The new generation of communication tools will be available to employees. Video conferences can be combined with physical meetings in digital spaces, giving users the feeling of being present and making the conversation more real. This format is better than the existing webinar tools that we have been using.
Businesses can use metaverse platforms to create applications for the healthcare sector. Diseases are quickly diagnosed and treated with accuracy. Doctors and other healthcare professionals will be able to interact remotely using the metaverse.
Companies involved in esports might develop immersive applications that offer training via Virtual Reality.
Employment will be generated by companies that operate in the metaverse. New jobs could be created in architecture, or the creation and maintenance of objects that are not yet found in the real world. NFT certificates will allow objects to be assigned to their owners. There are also new job opportunities in the metaverse, which include video games where commentators, trainers, or gardeners, just like in Minecraft.
The Metaverse Use Cases
The metaverse is still in the development and formative stages. It’s not possible to cover all aspects and use cases. The metaverse can be a marketing tool for enterprises, opening up new opportunities. The willingness of companies to invest online in brand presence is evident by the 6.3% increase in digital advertising volumes in Europe in 2020.
Anzu, an Israeli-based in-game advertising platform, has already developed advertising solutions for Roblox and other gaming platforms. The ads are imitative of real-life and embedded into the game’s plot. The whole thing is very creative as branded clothing and billboards are included in the games. This ad solution allows global companies to reach Roblox’s users.
Facebook’s ever-evolving nature is the reason this platform has been a top choice for marketers. Brands can also benefit from the metaverse’s marketing opportunities. They can quickly build relationships with Millennials and Gen X, and target them with their products. Vans already have a virtual skatepark that it uses to promote its brand. It is amazing to see 46,000,000 users visiting the online skating park daily. Vans are able to reach the target audience between 13 and 35 years of age.
Reuters states that Boeing is an active user of digital technologies, such as VR and AR solutions intends to use the metaverse for designing airplanes. The overall goal is to create a digital ecosystem that would include service operations, product development, as well as production. HoloLens headsets will be used by all Boeing mechanics around the world for their daily work and interaction. The robots will also play a role in 3D design creation.
BMW worked closely with NVIDIA to develop virtual space. This is a variation of the Omniverse, where multiple users can simultaneously work on the same design project. The teams collaborate to test everything before it is released in real life.
The metaverse use cases mentioned are only examples of business strategies. Let’s now take a look at specific industries that could benefit from the metaverse trend.
Improved communication for education and work
One of the most prominent use cases for metaverse is virtual work and learning spaces. This is because the pandemic has made video conferencing, remote working, and online classes more popular than ever, which requires new methods of interaction beyond traditional audio and visual communication. The metaverse elevates user experience to a new level thanks to avatars and a sophisticated virtual setting. Students, teachers, and colleagues can communicate with one another through the virtual reality environment by using their avatars.
Virtual workspaces look great, but there are concerns about surveillance and compliance with interaction norms. Is it possible to visit an office without being invited? What about the distance between avatars? Companies must establish rules and policies. Some employees may be concerned about being required to live in a virtual space all the time and the possibility of employers monitoring them in the metaverse. However, most employees are comfortable using apps that have AR or VR functionality for their work. These apps are complex and cost $300 000 to develop.
Although the future design and functionality of online stores cannot be predicted, there is already a trend toward the metaverse. We can use existing trends to help us understand the future of eCommerce. These scenarios, such as visiting an “underwater” dive shop and chatting with football stars while shopping for boots in the store, are becoming more possible.
Virtual shopping will be possible through digital stores, which allow for seamless integration of online and offline experiences. Gamification features may be included to encourage customers to spend more time in the store and earn discounts or bonuses. Nike, for example, has launched NIKE LAND via Roblox. It features a high level of personalization and community engagement.
The metaverse is a gateway to tech innovation, and businesses can reap the benefits of its implementation. It will remove any physical limitations and create a highly personalized user experience that allows brands to scale.
Virtual reality and Augmented Reality will also contribute to the development of the metaverse. VR is more complicated and costly than the traditional Internet. AR technology can be a catalyst for the growth of the metaverse over the next few years.
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