Following Facebook’s rebranding initiative into Meta, ambitious entrepreneurs started looking into ways to leverage the metaverse for business purposes. Numerous tech vendors are now providing metaverse development services for businesses, aiming for a top spot in the new tech market. For business leaders, it could be an opportunity to go beyond the limitations of reality and work towards providing better, improved services and products in a 3D virtual world.
The metaverse: an overview
Commonly known as an open virtual space that integrates the digital and the physical world, a metaverse for business uses 3D avatars to facilitate people interactions. Also, it’s a space where users can buy and trade digital assets like NFTs. To enter a metaverse for business and enjoy the immersive experience, users need a VR helmet, AR glasses, or an extended reality device, as well as an internet connection.
The end goal of tech giants like Nvidia, Microsoft, and Facebook – currently developing their own versions of the metaverse – is to create a perfect blend between the real world and the digital world. According to industry experts, a quarter of the global population could be on the metaverse by 2026.
The metaverse: how it works
Extended reality lies at the heart of all metaverse-based applications. Additional tech stacks like AI, the IoT, cloud computing, and machine learning, also play a key role in building the foundation for creating video content, virtual avatars, mapping, and near-life use interactions. However, some of the technologies are still in development, particularly quantum computing, mature blockchain platforms, and stable cryptocurrencies.
Although it might take years for tech giants to perfect their technologies, sooner or later it will happen. The best example of a functional metaverse is the video Red Dead Redemption 2, which took 8 years to be released.
The metaverse for business: opportunities & business models
No matter how long it takes for tech companies to develop a fully-functional metaverse, it already fuels the creation of innovative business models. Initiatives such as learn-to-earn, play-to-earn, and create-to-earn are motivating users to diversify their earnings, particularly in blockchain-based metaverses. From a business perspective, Nvidia and Microsoft are already integrating metaverse applications for simulating challenging processes, such as industrial manufacturing.
In terms of activities that can be performed on the metaverse, buying digital land is probably the most well-known. Blockchain-based platforms like Decentraland, Sandbox, and Star Atlas are enabling real people to jump online to construct virtual homes, exchange collectibles, and trade different virtual products in return for cryptocurrencies.
The metaverse: a digital economy ruled by NFTs
Trading digital products is a core use case for metaverse businesses. To streamline the process, buyers and content creators want to keep their virtual assets safe; and there’s no place safer to do so than the blockchain. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are basically assets created in the digital realm. Their uniqueness builds up their value, and via tokenization, the creators can keep them safe on the blockchain metaverse.
Well-known Canadian musician, Grimes, earned $5.18 million for 10 digital videos and images of his WarNymph collection. Former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, traded his first-ever tweet for $2.9 billion. Leveraging NFTs in a virtual space such as the metaverse enables creators to monetize their proprietary content, and thus combat digital piracy, fix intellectual property disputes, and eliminate third parties during trades.
The metaverse: why use it for business?
In many ways, the metaverse has been misunderstood. Its aim is not to convince people to give up the real world but to provide them with an opportunity to overcome the limitations of reality. For business leaders, it could open new revenue doors. In retail, for example, companies like Home Depot and IKEA are already providing virtual try-ons. L’Oréal uses augmented reality in quality control and order assembly, and fine art broker, Sotheby’s, recently created a digital twin of their Londonese gallery in Decentraland.
Currently, it may seem futuristic to leverage the metaverse in business. However, C-suite executives should definitely learn more about it. It’s the technology of the future that will change the way businesses drive revenue, and soon enough it will completely change the way people interact and connect, both in real life and digitally.