Metaverse is the avant-garde of the technological world which is having its moment worldwide. Its popularity spurred more with the disruptions of offline/traditional business models and the rise of digital-based economies due to COVID. In addition, the introduction of Non-Fungible Assets, blockchain, and digital assets further fueled the talks of The Metaverse.
Metaverse is a virtual-reality space where you can interact, live, work, and shop with others, simultaneously enjoying the comforts of your bed in physical reality. In metaverse apps, you can use avatars to embody your character or yourself. They allow you to build a community, travel through metaverses leisurely and use digital currency to buy items like- clothes, shieldings, weapons, etc., using controllers and a VR headset.
Simply put, it’s a virtual world mimicking aspects of the natural world with more futuristic features.
What are companies using the metaverse for?
Upgraded Customer Experiences:
As Companies realize the potential of metaverse platforms, they are beginning to transform how they reach out to their audience. Using extended reality, they are enabled to create new experiences and practices to provide information.
Let’s take a few interesting use cases to expand.
Automakers like BMW are virtually building 3D twins of their factories to interactively and mutually access them. They can use them to assess the adjustments or modifications they are thinking of making just at the early planning stages, that is, before actually executing it.
Another fascinating example could be ski resorts. Skiing businesses in Colorado are using virtual guides for skiers to deliver a more realistic and personalized virtual skiing experience of going down a mountain before they do. In addition, some tour guides are using this tech to bring historical places to live in old cities, which is a phenomenal step toward enhancing the touring experience.
Conferences and meetings:
Companies focused on metaverse innovation aim to take the comfort of Zoom Meetings to the next version, from 2D image grids to 3D spaces. This technology is helping companies replicate the feeling of being in the conference room with their colleagues during meetings. They can not only converse but can transport from one work location to another, execute tasks virtually, see expressions and body language and hear quality voices using goggles and motion capture gloves.
Metaverse Marketing and Advertising:
Numerous brands have meticulously started to build their presence in virtual settings. Hyundai is again one such example; the company recently launched “Hyundai Mobility Adventure” on Roblox, a gaming platform. It is an initiative to provide a metaverse experience where people can savvy an interactive understanding of Hyundai’s future projects and current products.
Warner Bros. Pictures has also begun to host virtual parties on Roblox to market its upcoming movies.
Another exciting feat is that of The Walt Disney Co. The company recently announced “Disney’s Theme Park Metaverse,” providing immersive storytelling to its guests in attractions such as the Star Wars hotel, Galactic Starcruiser, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, or Turtle Talk. They aim to do so with AI virtual characters that interact with them more personally wherever you are, in parks or at home.
Brands also explore partnerships with virtual influencers to sell their products and market creative campaigns. Virtual influencers like Imma, Lil Miquela, and Shudu are already nailing high-profile campaigns for esteemed brands like Dior, Valentino, Calvin Klein, and Balmain. Users can follow these influencers the same way they do now with human influencers.
Training and education:
Educational institutions were adopting e-learning platforms already in the wake of COVID. But now, they are also considering collaborating with the future of the metaverse. Instructors around the globe are improving the way they deliver their lessons by meeting in metaverses and working through real-life scenarios collectively with students using simulations. These virtual spaces can train people for emergency flight landings for pilots, lab skills, cooking, farming, and fire fighting, among many other things.
Companies are using these simulated scenarios to include many routines, abnormal operations, and high-consequence procedures- all practiced and trained in a safe and controlled environment. As a result, the metaverse shows great promise in building human capabilities in every field at an extraordinarily faster pace.
Digital real estate:
Many dynamic real estate entrepreneurs believe in the future of digital locations accessible entirely online and by logging in. Each land parcel in the metaverse sits uniquely and is non-replicable.
Numerous metaverse platforms are offering the opportunity to buy a property with the help of digital wallets. You can purchase plots as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) in the real estate metaverse by using cryptocurrency; interested investors can do so by linking their wallets to the platform. Some brokers are already selling luxury real estate land in the metaverse, and the same entrepreneurs have started accumulating these plots the same way they do traditionally.
For example, Decentraland and Sandbox are the most popular metaverses at a market cap of $5.6 billion and $4.5 billion, respectively.
Furthermore, just like traditional land investments, their value will increase when the demand for these digital assets increases. These land pieces are programmable and allow users to develop, socialize and do transactions as they do in real-world scenarios.
Buyers are even trying to capture concert venues, malls, and other commercial areas to draw the interest of certain groups by creating “environments” and providing a location for people to connect in 3D space.
Another fascinating example is meta-restaurants, where real-life restaurant owners have created a meta presence, and people can work, play and explore their digital space. People can even place real-world orders while being in the metaverse. This enables customers to place orders seamlessly without having to log in to the restaurant’s website and move through several web pages.
To make things interesting, they can surely add options for people to earn loyalty points and play games while waiting for food delivery.
What do I expect from the future?
The future of Metaverse platforms can significantly contribute to the rise of the virtual economy, which will depend on interactive virtual worlds and video games. Its popularity and growth will set off in the future not by replacing existing services and tech but by capitalizing on specific uses that complement and enhance them. That is why metaverse has successfully brought fast consumer adoption in sports, entertainment, gaming, and some retail businesses.
In the next few years, new opportunities and options will continue to emerge in the metaverse segment as it is a fluid and decentralized entity. While collaborating metaverse with your operations, take a long-term view of your investments, consider your KPI around employee and consumer engagement and have a broad digital transformation agenda.
It is very much so on businesses, organizations, governments, and regulators to steer the concept of the metaverse and its application to more and more industries and activities as innovatively as possible.
Metaverse platforms are certainly the next generation of the internet. This immersive landscape is expected to solve several engineering challenges. They are being developed continuously around daily things we enjoy doing and aim to make them more enjoyable with our friends and coworkers. It goes without saying that creators and users can expect to go places they never imagined.
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