We therefore feel it is necessary to clarify what developments are underway at the corporate level, and what potential the concept has. For example, a report by the Gartner indicates that this technology “will evolve through three overlapping phases (emerging, advanced and mature) and will not be fully mature before 2030”. However, technology product leaders should begin to now evaluate opportunities to provide interaction, content and infrastructure capabilities.
The metaverse opens up the possibility of creating immersive experiences in real time. It creates digital worlds in which we can work, play, and socialize, within a persistent platform. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices are used in this domain, and it is expected to build a new paradigm over time where our digital and online lives converge.
Beyond the Internet, computer networks and immersive solutions, there are other technologies that support and will shape the metaverse, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.
Some analysts estimate that the metaverse will be powered by numerous content creators who will build different virtual environments, such as sports stadiums, concert halls, theme parks and casinos, where digital assets will be used and content will be shared.
The online gaming industry is already at the forefront of this new immersive space. But it is not only technology companies that are venturing into this virtual world: several companies from different industries started experimenting and tried to create new ways for consumers to experience the brand and products without having to be there in person. For example, sports brands such as Nike and Adidas launched gaming and virtual reality experiences. And well-known children’s entertainment companies created virtual simulators to develop interactive 3D experiences of their theme parks.
The fashion industry will use the metaverse to make a rapid transition to in-store and online apparel sales by creating 3D experiences to interact with apparel. This will enable a more engaging customer experience through augmented shopping.
By setting up a shop in the digital world, brands can also analyze customer data based on their interactions. Some brands are partnering with game developers to create environments in which their products are presented in games.
Also the music industry, which has already made some experiences with avatars, will use the metaverse to stream music content and live concerts, adding new digital merchandising concepts. Live events, festivals and immersive artistic experiences will be frequent in the metaverse. This is also an area of opportunity for museums and galleries, which can expand their presence and design new experiences for their audiences.
One of the most promising lines of work is that of generating collaborative environments for working on digital projects. Users personalize their avatars and organizations create immersive spaces within their respective web-based platforms. For example, there are already experiences of augmented reality laboratories that collaboratively design and prototype new products.
The metaverse concept is expected to merge with the idea of the digital twin and offer virtual simulations of real-world products, processes or operations that can be used to test and prototype new ideas.
At the corporate level, the metaverse is also explored for training purposes, with companies building their own virtual learning environments. And it is also used for talent recruitment. It is even emerging as a new marketing channel focused on customer experience and one-to-one connections. In fact, several companies have already started to build their presence in the metaverse, either by building their own platforms or by taking over third-party platforms.
At Baufest, we help organizations develop a strategy that provides them with competitive advantages, opens up opportunities and allows them to face the challenges presented by this new evolving space. We have created a special research team (M-Lab), focused on studying all the possibilities offered by the metaverse for companies, and analyzing the risks involved.