Neal Stephenson wrote a sci-fi novel, Snow Crash, in 1992. This is where the term ‘metaverse’ was coined the first time. Metaverse was considered a mere sci-fi concept used in movies, games or books that didn’t have any real-world use. However, we have come far beyond this in the recent years. It is no longer a bookish concept; it is now an ecosystem of computer-generated, networked extended reality (XR).
Not only in gaming, the metaverse is trending technology in other industries too. In fact, companies have already started leveraging the metaverse to keep their customers engaged and improve their brand performance. The development of immersive, 3D, online worlds is rapidly in progress and is said to benefit all aspects of the business world. From education to healthcare to retail and manufacturing, several more industries are said to be majorly transformed by the evolution of metaverse.
Gartner says that about 30% of the world’s organizations will have metaverse products and services by 2026.
Popularity of metaverse
Why is ‘metaverse’ trending? It won’t be wrong to say that the metaverse achieved fame after Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook to Meta. No longer a gaming or entertainment form, the metaverse is in limelight recently for several reasons. There is a wide variety of uses for virtual properties, from organizing to attending concerts in the metaverse.
Technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) are now maturing to offer enhanced immersive experiences to the users. It will further boost the popularity of metaverse in different industries. Let’s understand how various industries leverage the metaverse.
7 industries transformed by metaverse
With the rise in the metaverse, Industry 4.0 is ready to be improved and reach next level of innovation. One of its prime uses for the manufacturing industry is digital twin. Manufacturers can create a virtual prototype as well as test its design and working without jeopardizing employees’ safety or productivity.
Manufacturers ship more than 5 million VR and AR headsets a year. – Dataprot
In the manufacturing industry, digital twins help to compare the design of a product in the virtual environment to the physical version. Manufacturers can effortlessly look for product flaws virtually and address those issues before engineering the product. This helps companies to save time and cost.
Another use case of the metaverse in manufacturing is training technicians virtually. Immersive experiences allow employees safely operate machines and heavy equipment in hazardous situation. Training new employees in such environment becomes easy and feasible as it is risk-free to employee’s health. This solution help manufacturers achieve faster turnaround time and enhance maintenance and service processes.
Shopping from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping, the retail paradigm has changed drastically. The shift is still evolving with the introduction to the metaverse. In virtual games, users are already buying clothing and accessories for their online avatars. Apart from gaming, shopping in the metaverse will be as normalized as e-commerce soon.
5.8 billion virtual items were acquired on Roblox
Retail giants are already investing billions of dollars to book their virtual space in metaverses like Decentraland, Voxels and more. Shopping in the metaverse can mean that your consumers can buy virtual items either for their online avatar or try those items on their avatar to get them delivered physically later. This will empower the virtual economy as retailers will thrive to adopt this new way of business to stay ahead of the competition.
The metaverse is influencing a new frontier in the automobile sector. The ever-changing demands of customers and rapid technological transformations are propelling automotive companies to embrace the disruptive innovation. With digital auto showrooms in the metaverse, users can tour and test drive the vehicles with their avatars before making a decision to buy them.
The global metaverse market for automotive is projected to grow from USD 1.9 billion in 2022 to USD 16.5 billion by 2030. – MarketsandMarkets
Not only for users, the metaverse will also prove to be a game changer for automotive manufacturers. Organizations can optimize their operations from vehicle design to procurement of materials and manufacturing. This in turn offers companies a secure environment to conduct research and test products cost-effectively.
Entertainment and media
Remember going to a concert or visiting a theme park? It used to me much more fun before the pandemic. However, Covid-19 has changed the way we look at the entertainment world.
10.7 million players saw Marshmello perform live in a Fortnite concert. – Banklesstimes
With the metaverse in picture, the entertainment industry has become more accessible. Instead of travelling long distance, individuals can sit in a comfortable environment of their home and yet be able to attend the concert of their favorite band or singer.
Remote healthcare is a new way of providing healthcare services to patients located at inaccessible areas. People who cannot visit their clinicians or doctors can seek remote healthcare assistance for consultation.
The predicted growth of the metaverse in healthcare market share from 2021 to 2026 is USD 3.80 billion at a progressing CAGR of 33.83%. – PRNewswire
The metaverse will enable not only patients but also healthcare providers with ease of access to patients’ data in real-time for accurate diagnosis. Moreover, psychiatrists and psychologists can offer immersive environments in aversion therapy to patients with mental illness.
Banking and finance
To uplift the virtual economy, technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrencies are noticeably marking its presence in the metaverse. This will entirely change the way people bank and interact with their money.
The metaverse market share in finance is expected to increase to USD 50.37 billion from 2021 to 2026. – Financial Express
With non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies, people can transact, sell and purchase virtual goods. Also, banks can set their crypto-based financial institutes that will allow their customers to visit the branch and perform banking activities without going to the location physically.
Virtual land appears to yield a better ROI than real estate. For real estate investors, virtual land in the metaverse offer lucrative opportunities. Indeed, there are many possible use cases for metaverse real estate.
The metaverse real estate market share is expected to increase by USD 5.37 billion from 2021 to 2026. – PRNewswire
Metaverse properties can be developed, sold, or leased. Companies can also rent out their virtual space for concerts or give them on lease for other entertainment/gaming activities.
Metaverse and infinite opportunities: real-world use cases
BMW utilized simulation for six months at a new factory to build virtual cars on a one-to-one scale within the metaverse, before deploying the final layout for the factory.
One of the leading sportswear brands, Nike, launched its own virtual Nikeland world within the online game Roblox, where players can buy branded products for their avatars.
Metaverse Property becomes world’s first company to offer real-estate solutions in the metaverse. It supports metaverse like Decentraland, The Sandbox, Upland, etc.
Hyundai Motor Company
Hyundai has partnered with Unity, a company that builds real-time 3D projects, to design a metaverse platform for smart manufacturing called Meta-Factory. This will allow Hyundai to test-run a factory virtually.
Walt Disney will create a theme park for all its audiences in the metaverse by leveraging VR and smart devices.
Establishing business in the metaverse
In this dynamic digital universe, the metaverse has truly opened Pandora’s box. Although new, it promises to bring a 180-degree change in the way companies carry out their business. It might not be in its infancy stage, the metaverse is comparatively new. Hence, organizations are still trying to figure out how they can create innovative opportunities in the metaverse.
With experience and expertise in technologies like AR, VR and MR, Softweb Solutions has offered various immersive solutions to our clients. If you are looking to dive into the metaverse but unsure how to, you can discuss it with our adept team of consultants. If you already have an idea or use case, we can help you accelerate your journey towards your end-goal. Talk to our experts to discuss further.