In July, Mark Zuckerberg had said that Facebook plans to transition from being a social media company to a metaverse company in the coming years. To achieve this goal, the company has been strategically investing and hiring talent who specialize in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). The company already has 10,000 specialists working in their Reality Lab and has plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union to work on futuristic technology in the next five years.
Not just Facebook, but giants like Microsoft, Nvidia, and Epic Games believe it to be the next revolution in the digital world. Jensen Huang plans to build “a virtual world that is a digital twin of ours.” Satya Nadella wants to build an enterprise metaverse to add a new layer of the infrastructure stack where the digital and physical worlds converge. Tim Sweeny has been advocating the idea for years now.
But what is Metaverse and why are Tech giants placing big bets on it?
The term ‘Metaverse was coined by American writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow crash, where the avatars of real people inhabited a 3D virtual world. Metaverse is a shared virtual world environment created using VR or AR that allows you to engage and interact with elements or fellow participants who don’t share the same physical space as you.
Let us simplify it further. We all have friends who live overseas or in a different zip code, and because of which we wait months and even years to meet them. We don’t have to with metaverse, as it will allow us to meet and interact with our friends in a virtual world. Whether one wishes to go shopping, take a stroll in a park or attend a music concert together, metaverse will allow us to experience all this from the comfort of our homes.
Metaverse will revolutionize the digital experience
In the dynamic business world where customer expectations are evolving rapidly, Metaverse can emerge as a revolutionary solution to create a captivating experience for consumers. Industries that are likely to see a significant transformation are:
- Gaming – The gaming industry has always been at the forefront of technology adaptation and will likely bring the first Metaverse experience to the end-users. This is already playing out with the massively popular online games like Fortnite and Minecraft, where users create richly imagined virtual worlds and interact with fellow players.
- E-commerce and Retail- Metaverse will bring a new evolution in the world of retail and e-commerce as it will combine the two key advantages of these business models- the in-person shopping experience from the comfort of your homes. In metaverse, consumers can virtually experience the products, try them on and make an informed purchase decision without physically visiting a store. One might even see e-commerce platforms turning into virtual stores in the Metaverse universe.
- Entertainment – Metaverse will transform the entertainment industry forever. Not only will it bring entertainment to the users, but it will enable them to experience it in a 3D virtual reality, making the experience more authentic and captivating. Imagine being able to watch your favourite team in a virtual stadium or watch your favourite band perform at a virtual concert, where you get to be part of the crowd. Something similar to the recent virtual concert by Ariana Grande in collaboration with Fortnite that was joined by millions of fans worldwide.
- Travel and Tourism- Metaverse will introduce a new dimension in the Travel and Tourism industry, enabling users to have a first-person experience of places and people. Tourism Ireland collaboration with Ubisoft’s Assassin Creed is just a small preview of metaverse’s potential to revolutionize the travel and tourism industry.
- Enterprise – With metaverse in play, businesses can create virtual offices that allow employees to work efficiently, collaborate seamlessly and be productive while operating remotely. Microsoft is actively exploring the possibilities of creating a digital twin of our physical reality to help businesses tap the true potential of a seamlessly connected virtual metaverse.
The metaverse has the potential to change the way we live our daily lives fundamentally. And the rapid adoption of AR and VR technology only proves that industries are ready for this next evolution in the digital realm.