From being an obscure sci-fi term, The Metaverse is suddenly here! We dive into what it is and if your business should be there.
A couple of months back, when Facebook… erm, sorry, “Meta” popularized this Metaverse term, our impulse here at Koalition was that this would be a world-changing evolution of the web with plenty of exciting opportunities.
So what is the Metaverse exactly? Well, it can mean many things, which is why it is so difficult to explain to our grandparents. But let’s dive in!
In 1992, Author Neal Stephenson created the term “metaverse” in his novel Snow Crash. Stephenson (along with William Gibson) was a bit of a modern-day Nostradamus. He predicted the emergence of virtual reality and electronic currency.
The term “metaverse” does not solely refer to one specific technology. It’s more complex than that. It keeps transforming and evolving daily in new forms and uses. So we can’t be sure what it will eventually turn into.
In broad strokes, when technology companies talk about the “Metaverse,” it can be Virtual Reality (VR) — characterized by persisting virtual worlds that keep existing even if you quit playing — and augmenting reality that helps combine physical and digital aspects of the world.
It can also mean virtual worlds, digital concerts, video conferences, online avatars, and “virtual” retail stores.
Is the Metaverse just another questionable fad, or should you drop everything and early bird in now? Where do you even start? Well, let’s take a peek at some Metaverse platforms.
There are many platforms within the metaverse, but some leading players are Decentraland, Axie Infinity, and Cryptovoxels.
Decentraland is a virtual and social world. It is based on the blockchain, a digital ledger that continuously records the transactions of cryptocurrency on the network of computers.
Additionally, the Decentraland platform is used to play games, host conferences, virtual trade products in marketplaces, and conveniently socialize with other members.
In the gaming universe of Axie Infinity, there is a population of truly astonishing creatures known as “Axies.” During bloody wars and battles, players can capture those creatures and use them to their advantage, such as developing, expanding, and shoring up the defense.
Crypto Voxels is an Ethereum based metaverse platform or virtual world. In addition, Crypto Voxels is one of the eminent metaverse platforms that allows you to buy virtual parcels of land and establish new experiences within it.
Cryptovoxels appeared first on the scene in 2018 and have developed many new features. Throughout the world of the Metaverses, Cryptovoxels has forged ahead and marked a real market presence today.
There are numerous reasons businesses should consider leaping into the Metaverse now. Immersive experiences, virtual events, showing products, innovative advertising, better team collaboration, easy transactions worldwide, reliable business modeling, improved learning and training, and the booming virtual digital real estate market.
The Metaverse platforms allow businesses to reach new markets, engage with customers, build brand loyalty and create new revenue streams. There is the potential to launch new products, services, branded gaming adventures, virtual goods, and AR/VR showrooms. These are fantastic opportunities to create immersive experiences to show and establish your brand differently.
It’s an understatement to say that covid-19 helped accelerate the number of webinars and video meetings. How we socialize and work together has likely changed forever and introduced virtual work to people that didn’t need to pre-pandemic. Even the most technology-challenged now have a doctorate in video software like Zoom meetings, FaceTime, and Google Meet.
The Metaverse takes video conferencing further by putting everyone’s virtual selves in the same room. You can use virtual reality to hang out with your coworkers by the water cooler again, albeit in the digital version (VR workrooms have been launched by Meta already). And after hours, you can join your friends (and potentially a million others worldwide) to see a virtual show by your favorite artist.
We are, of course, still only touching the surface of the possibilities for virtual events, but traditional live video streaming already seems a bit dated.
The most effective way to sell is to show. But, displaying products has been a real challenge for e-commerce since its birth. Stuff just doesn’t always look so great on a flat screen, and you can’t interact with it.
Augmented Reality is about to solve this by letting customers try 3D versions of products before they contemplate buying them. We can now throw on our Virtual Reality headset and try on clothes, see if a sofa fits in the living room, or get a virtual makeover with new make-up and hairstyle.
In the Metaverse, you can buy or rent commercial spaces where users will be able to discover your product. A whole new way of getting your brand out there and selling more.
The Metaverse can introduce new ways to approach brand storytelling and advertising. Storytelling is considered one of the most effective approaches to building your brand identity and awareness. People love stories; they tell more about the company and its values than hollow taglines.
Just imagine how intriguing your brand storytelling will be with the help of VR and other technologies in the metaverse. Storytelling might soon be transformed into “story-living”; the users will no longer be passive listeners but characters who make choices and influence events.
A cryptocurrency is purely digital currency sent from one person to another. It’s a decentralized method of exchanging financial value, also known as a virtual or digital currency. The Metaverse and cryptocurrency go hand in hand. In these early adoption days, you can’t enjoy the perks and privileges of the digital world without a crypto wallet.
For businesses and users, cryptocurrency has made online transactions very easy. You don’t need to link bank accounts with the virtual world anymore; payments are fast and just a few clicks away.
Regarding learning and training on metaverse, according to PWC, employees trained via VR can be trained four times faster and require less time to complete their training than those e-learners or classroom learners. That means the education and learning potential of the metaverse is so promising, so much so that its other famous applications.
VR, accompanied by the effects of the metaverse, has brought the learning experience to the qualitative level, not the quantitative one, though. Students can watch live experiments with high-quality knowledge resources. It removed all the linguistic and social barriers as well.
The metaverse is a virtual reality space that lets companies create their own little worlds. Companies can create a simulation of themselves, or they can create a set of simulations in which their products or services are shown in action. Users can visit these worlds and interact with them while earning tokens that they can then use to purchase goods and services from the sponsoring company.
It's a mutually beneficial relationship: the companies get exposure to their target audience and have the opportunity to sell their products; the users get access to virtual goods and services without having to leave the comfort of their homes.
Integrated shopping is now starting to pop up in the Metaverse. A few fashion companies sell their clothes as virtual items that people’s avatars can wear and then buy the real thing via their e-commerce store. One company that is doing this is Inverse. They sell clothing and accessories that users can buy and wear in VR, then buy the real thing from their website.
Other companies like Shopify and BigCommerce enable anyone to create their virtual store within a VR world, then sell products from that store using their existing e-commerce platform.
At the outset of 2022, JP Morgan predicted that the metaverse business is an opportunity of almost 1 trillion dollars. Citibank has even stated that the metaverse can be an opportunity worth $8 trillion to $13 trillion by 2030.
So, will the Metaverse be everything it’s cracked up to be? That’s a hard one to tell. But I do know that the possibilities and potential ramifications of this new technology are endless and many. Like any new initiative, it will take time, money, and collaboration to bring about all its full potential. But the story of technology is one of constant change. Just think… how different would your life be if there were no iPhones or Facebook?