However, it is time to start distinguishing the real opportunities. It’s not about getting carried away by the hype, it’s about understanding what’s already being done and what use cases will emerge in the near term.
Some understand that this immersive virtual world could change the way we use and interact with technology. Everyone will be able to access this area by interacting through their avatars. Critical voices were also raised against this technology due to the danger of its being used for social control, among other factors.
Somehow it will be a new means of communication, typical of a new stage in transformation and in digital culture, with the potential to break down the barriers of space and time. By combining virtual and augmented reality as well as interactive video, it will allow people to connect, play games and buy goods with digital currency.
A survey of US consumers asked what types of activities they would use the metaverse for, with the most popular choice being gaming, followed by hanging out with friends, working and gatherings, attending concerts, exercising, and studying with classmates. Many believe that metaverses will take time to become mainstream. One in five (20%) believe it will take 1-2 years to become widespread, while nearly half (49%) believe it will take 3-6 years. On the other hand, more than 77% of those interested in joining a metaverse said they are concerned that Facebook owns the data.
According to Gartner, by 2026, 25% of the population will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, socializing, and/or entertainment. And he predicts that by 2026, 30% of organizations in the world will have metaverse-ready products and services.
This consultancy defines the metaverse as “a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of a virtually enhanced physical and digital reality.” “The metaverse will affect all the businesses that consumers interact with every day,” he says. But at the same time, he warns organizations against investing heavily in a specific metaverse, since “it is still too early to know what investments will be viable in the long term.”
Some analysts believe that this digital space can give rise to a new market in continuous evolution, parallel to the current one, where new forms of electronic commerce and new forms of consumption will be channeled. The current business models that we know will continue to exist, “but they will also extend their processes to the digital reality of the metaverse, offering customers a different shopping experience.” In addition, this technology could enable new businesses.
New forms of consumption
In the world of gaming and entertainment, augmented reality applications that link player avatars in the same room are becoming increasingly popular. This is one of the fields that offer more obvious early opportunities for metaverse-style technologies.
In advertising, augmented reality and virtual reality, added to interactive programming, make it possible to offer attractive immersive experiences. The fashion industry and retailers can also find creative solutions in this new realm, with shopping experiences and virtual fitting rooms and launch spaces.
In education and training, this technology can help develop an immersive learning experience for students, with the possibility of teaching classes through virtual and augmented reality.
Another opportunity is that of virtual events and concerts, which will allow large audiences to gather regardless of the geographical location of the attendees.
For all this, organizations should analyze the Metaverse in relation to the business opportunities it offers. In this sense, at Baufest we created the so-called M-Lab. It is a laboratory of experts whose objective is to explore the capabilities offered by this new technology and, to study how the new universe will affect people, their accessibility and security.