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What is the Metaverse? How is it Transforming Online Businesses?

1690 Views | 7 min | Published On: January 10, 2023 Last Updated: January 13, 2023
What is the metaverse

Metaverse is the future, and the future has arrived. At present, it is among the most sought-after tech concepts that people and organisations across the globe are going gaga over. You can understand the intensity of the subject with the fact that Facebook recently renamed itself Meta.

Other organisations are also looking forward to making the most out of the metaverse. FAANG (now MAANG) companies are already setting an example for others.

Internet evolution

Netflix, for instance, has entered the metaverse (metaV) with Decentraland. Amazon, on the other hand, is utilising the concept to offer augmented rooms to its eCommerce customers. Microsoft and Nvidia are developing their metaverses to facilitate online collaboration. Likewise, the world has to follow them.

Although the concept is in its infancy and there are no exact details on how it will evolve, organisations around the world need to embrace it to explore new horizons of what they could achieve. Hence, it is mandatory for businesses to develop a sound understanding of the metaV if they want to make the most out of it.

The purpose of this blog post is to answer the billion-dollar question, what is the metaverse? We’ll also discuss how it is transforming online businesses and how your business can benefit from it.

What is the Metaverse?

Try to visualise the metaverse as the digital equivalent of our physical world. Interestingly, the word metaV first appeared in Snow Crash, a 1992 sci-fi novel by Neal Stephenson. Metaverse takes immersive experiences – AR, VR, and MR – to a whole new level.

According to GlobalData, the metaverse market size is projected to grow from $22.8 billion in 2021 to more than $996 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 39.8%.

Let’s talk about the etymology of the word metaV. It is a merged word that forms from the union of “meta” and “universe”. In this case, meta means more or additional and universe means world or worlds. Hence, metaverse means additional worlds or more worlds.

Although the concept made its way into the world in the 90s, it has been only recently that it has gained traction. The recent interest in the metaV is a direct result of Web 3.0, which is the next stage in the evolution of the internet after the Internet of Things.

Technologies Powering the Metaverse

So now that we now know metaverse meaning, it’s time to dissect the concept to the fundamental units that make it.

Immersive technologies, – augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) – internet, blockchain, AI, networking, cloud, and AdTech are the primary technologies empowering the metaV. Let’s know each one of them in brief:

1. Immersive Technologies

Immersive technologies is an umbrella term for AR, VR, and MR, which forms the entry points for the metaverse. Virtual reality is the immersive experience of experiencing virtual worlds. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is adding virtual displays and information on top of real-world objects. Mixed reality is an amalgamation of AR and VR. It can also be understood as the mishmash of real and virtual worlds.

2. Internet

Compared to the other entries on the list, this one’s easy to comprehend as this is what we are using day in and day out. The internet is defined as the giant, omnipresent network of computer networks.

The web is an indispensable part of the metaV. Without internet connectivity, it is not possible to develop and gain access to the metaverse.

3. Blockchain and Cryptography

Another important part of the metaV tech stack is blockchain. Thanks to the popularity enjoyed by cryptocurrencies, more and more businesses are looking forward to integrating blockchain (and decentralisation) in their metaverse endeavours.

4. AI

Artificial intelligence is improving, and improving fast. Nowadays, it’s everywhere. It is the ability of machines to think on their own and take subsequent actions based on the results deduced from analysing collected and fed data.

Data science is closely related to AI. Machine learning and deep learning are the subsets of artificial intelligence that can be further divided into natural language processing (NLP), neural networks, robotics, and more.

5. Networking Equipment

This is the hardware that allows exchanging of data and information from one point to another. Networking equipment includes routers, bridges, cables, switches, multiplexers, et cetera.

6. Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud is an indispensable part of the metaverse. Large cloud networks have functions distributed over many locations called data centres.

7. AdTech

AdTech stands for Advertising Technology. It is the collection of all the software that allows businesses – agencies, brands, publishers, etc. – to target, deliver, and analyse their digital advertising endeavours. Brands and agencies gain access to advertising space by purchasing it via AdTech platforms.

How Metaverse is Transforming Online Businesses?

There are many segments that are benefitting from utilising the metaV. These range from healthcare and online learning to video gaming and banking. Let’s know about some of the most important ones, one at a time:

Industries transformed by the Metaverse

1. BFSI

MetaV is changing the way digital transactions happen. It is primarily influenced by blockchain, which is an important part of the metaverse ecosystem.

The production of digital clothing, furniture, objects, properties, etc. require developing an alternative financial model to support them. Banks, NBFCs, and other financial institutions need to develop innovative solutions for adapting to these changes. Let’s talk about some examples.

JPMorgan has already released its own cryptocurrency labelled JPMCoin while Nubank unveiled Nucripto – a Bitcoin and Ether trading platform – to the world and is looking forward to launching its own crypto coin, appropriately titled Nucoin, sometime in the first half of 2023. Other banks are likely to follow the trend.

2. eCommerce and Retail

We are living in a time when sustainability is a major concern. Metaverse facilitates the development of clothing that can be worn by our avatars in digitally-rendered VR and AR worlds. This allows people to express their opinions all the while lessening the impact on the environment significantly.

In addition to clothing, digital experiences also require other things like accessories and furniture. Hence, selling these can also give retail companies additional revenue streams.

3. Education

Education is one of the most prominent sectors to reap benefits from the developments in metaverse tech. Online learning has become a big market. It will cross the $57 billion mark in 2023.

According to Statista, user penetration in online learning will hit 9.5% in 2023 and 11.6% by 2027.

The COVID pandemic gave a huge boost to online learning. Platforms like Coursera, Skillshare, Udacity and Udemy are getting bigger and better by the day. Nowadays, students prefer learning from the comfort of their homes rather than visiting brick-and-mortar classrooms.

Although digital learning solutions are good for delivering lectures, the importance of practical learning, such as lab experiments and collaborative project development can’t be overlooked. MetaV can enter into the picture to fill this gap.

Edtech startups like Axon Park, NextMeet, and VRAcademi are already experimenting with the idea of leveraging digital spaces and 3D simulations to offer immersive and gamified learning experiences to learners. The results produced so far are promising.

4. F&B

Believe it or not but Metaverse also has a huge scope in the food and beverage industry. Recently, Coca-Cola announced an exclusive set of NFT collectibles in collaboration with Crypto.com on the occasion of FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

OneRare is the world’s first metaV aimed towards the food and beverage industry. Here, users can:

  • Claim NFTs from their favourite brands, chefs, and restaurants.
  • Compete and win prizes.
  • Enjoy social food experiences.
  • Exchange NFTs for real dishes.

The possibilities are endless. Food brands can leverage technologies like augmented reality, mixed reality, and AI to create new food trends, reduce food waste, and so on.

5. Fashion

Metaverse can also serve as a virtual showroom for fashion products. Direct-to-avatar or D2A is a rapidly growing sector that produces experiences and products catered to digital identities a.k.a. avatars.

Adidas, Balenciaga, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Nike, The North Face, and Zara are some of the leading fashion brands that have joined the D2A race. Unlike real-world fashion products, D2A products don’t rely on supply chains. Thus, their deliveries are much quicker than their tangible counterparts.

6. Healthcare

Another segment that is benefitting hugely – and can even more in the future – with the advent of metaV is healthcare. It is already leveraging state-of-the-art technologies, like AI, AR, mixed reality, and VR, to offer better services and reach a wider audience. Some examples are:

  • Mixed reality is helpful in designing medical devices. It facilitates the design and assembly of surgical tools and operating rooms.
  • Neurosurgeons from Johns Hopkins are using augmented reality to assist surgeries.
  • Psychiatrists are leveraging VR to treat PTSD in combat veterans.
  • The World Health Organization is training COVID response teams using augmented reality.

iMining is working to launch the first hospital in the Decentraland Metaverse. Apollo Hospitals has joined forces with 8chili, Inc. – an AR/VR platform focusing on healthcare – to offer first-of-a-kind medical services in the metaV.

7. Hospitality

Virtual tours powered by VR allows tourists to experience a location beforehand. Augmented reality allows travellers to experience something more while visiting places. It allows adding a personal touch to the vacation experience.

8. Manufacturing

Augmented reality and virtual reality also finds use in manufacturing processes and systems that are complex to build and difficult to operate. Doing so will not only cut human labour but also will reduce costs and human error.

Azure Digital Twins is a modelling and simulation IoT platform that facilitates the creation of an accurate digital representation of real business processes, people, places, and things. Digital Twins decreases risk while improving productivity and visibility into the process undertaken.

9. Marketing

One of the most popular uses of the metaverse that has been gaining traction lately is marketing and advertising. Some of the most popular examples are:

  • In-game advertising.
  • Hosting virtual events.
  • Limited edition digital collectibles.
  • Selling virtual goods to virtual avatars of real people.

Businesses are leveraging the power of the metaV to market themselves and their products. The trend is going to get even bigger in the next few years.

10. Others

In addition to the market segments mentioned above, metaverse is helping businesses to flourish in aerospace, defence, media and entertainment, and video gaming.

How to Invest in Metaverse?

Investing into the metaverse

Contrary to what you might be thinking, investing in the metaverse is simple. Any business – or even individual – can invest in the metaV either by purchasing stocks of companies or ETFs that invest in the metaverse or by purchasing assets and properties inside the metaV.

Another more preferred way to invest in the metaverse is to develop a metaV of your own like that of Facebook and Microsoft. Although it is a costly endeavour, the incessant development in the field is making the task affordable.

Let Apptunix Be Your Guide into the Metaverse

The possibilities that the metaverse brings to the table are endless for both individuals and businesses. If you’re looking for a trustworthy aide then Apptunix can be your guide to metaverse development.

Our professionals are skilled in developing fully-functional, feature-rich AR, VR, and blockchain apps. Hiring our team gives you the flexibility to completely outsource your project or make specific selection of professionals based on your requirements. In any case, you’re in full control of the team.

Conclusion

Like it or not but the metaV is the reality that we are heading towards. In fact, we are already living in its early days. To ensure that your business stays relevant, you need to embrace the concept.

The concept has huge potential to revolutionise the world in many wonderful ways. The ones we’ve mentioned above are going to only improve and mushroom in the near future with the exponential expansion of the metaverse.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q 1. What is metaverse?

The metaverse is the network of virtual spaces focused on developing social connections. It can also be understood as the evolution of the internet.

Q 2. What are some examples of metaverse?

Fortnite, Pokemon Go, Ready Player One, Roblox, and Second Life are some of the most notable examples of metaverse.

Q 3. How will the metaverse change the world?

Metaverse has a huge potential to change the way the world works. It has implications on finance, healthcare, video gaming, business operations, and so on.

Q 4. What are the dangers of the metaverse?

Information privacy, user addiction, and user safety are the three most important concerns associated with the metaverse.

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