Metaverse is changing the rules of business at a pace that very few imagined was possible: New applications and projects related to metaverse are now coming up, impacting and transforming the very idea of sales, marketing, technological innovation, and business operations.
Imagine a person located thousands of miles away, sitting beside you on a couch in its hologram avatar, interacting and talking with you in real-time; or a user surfing the products at a store which is located in another continent, and touching it, feeling it and using it before buying.
Metaverse is the future of human connections, the next version of the Internet and Digital platforms, that is causing ripples across the world. Already, marriages are being conducted in a metaverse, companies are spending billions of dollars to own a slice of this next technological wave, and new games, entertainment concepts, and hardware are being launched to support and inspire the usage of the metaverse.
If you are an entrepreneur, then it becomes very relevant and critical for you to understand what metaverse is, and what are the practical, feasible, and doable business applications of metaverse that will accelerate your growth, and take your business to the next dimension.
Let’s discuss these in this article, straightaway!
What is Metaverse: Its history & present growth
In very simple terms, metaverse can be described as an interconnected, intuitive, and immersive set of experiences: A convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space.
The very first instance of the metaverse is found in a science-fiction novel published in 1992 called Snow Crash, where meta and Universe were combined to form a metaverse, wherein characters are described to live an alternate life.
In fact, the very concept and ideology behind metaverse have been in usage ever since then, via movies and games mainly. For example, a theory states that it’s a basic metaverse that propels popular games such as Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite, where players gather in 2D environments and interact and play with each other.
Second Life is yet another very good example of a metaverse-based social and gaming platform, which is actually 20 years old!
Some of the biggest tech companies such as Apple, Sony, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and others are now spending billions of dollars to create the next version of the Internet, by combining the powers of AR/VR headsets, smartphones, personal computers, and cloud-connected servers to provide an immersive experience to the end-users, and enabling to meet, interact and carry business in a virtual environment, or in a metaverse.
Three main properties of a Metaverse
An entity can be described as a metaverse when it fulfills these three properties:
- A 360-degree digital environment, that combines the physical and virtual worlds
- A digital environment that has a full-fledged economy to carry financial transactions
- And, Interoperability: The ability and functionality to shift from one metaverse to another, seamlessly.
This also shows the democratic nature of metaverse: It’s not an entity or a technology that can be owned by any single organization, but it will be collectively created, managed, and optimized by several organizations, in a decentralized manner.
And this is the reason that the possible business applications of metaverse are so exciting and full of never-seen-before possibilities.
How can you access Metaverse?
Presently, a metaverse can be accessed via VR or AR headsets only, but the platform where it can be accessed ranges from smartphones, laptops, personal computers, gaming consoles, or tablets.
Very soon, newer hardware innovations can be brought in, wherein a metaverse can be made accessible via smart glasses as well.
However, one aspect is pretty clear about the scope and possibilities of a metaverse: it will be a virtual, digital world that will match and will be parallel to our real life. Imagine a virtual world that mimics our actual homes, offices, shopping malls, highways, organizations, and more.
In a fascinating way, the metaverse will overlap physical and virtual worlds, and create an entirely new Universe: People are already spending millions to buy a piece of land in the metaverse, and some countries are even planning to launch embassies in the metaverse!
Practical & powerful business applications of Metaverse
Now, let’s dive straight to the point, and explore the unprecedented possibilities of real, practical, and powerful business applications when it comes to the metaverse.
These are based on our own business projects with global brands, industry experts, and the market trends as we observed..
#1 Enhanced Social Media Experience
“Embodied Internet” is the term that Meta (formerly Facebook) founder Mark Zuckerberg used in his letter to the shareholders in October 2021. And this is precisely what Social Media will transform into, once metaverse becomes mainstream.
Right now, current social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp etc are 2D platforms, wherein the users are only seeing a screen and the content that is displayed over there. Interaction is limited to ‘liking’, ‘commenting’ or ‘sharing’, which will be radically changed once metaverse kicks in.
With AR and VR-powered metaverse, social media will become immersive, with real-time interactions and meetings, just like in the real world. Instead of a mere screen to connect with, social media will replicate the actual world where people, or rather avatars of the users will interact, communicate and engage in a three-dimensional world, just like what social media is in the real world.
#2 Business Communication & Optimized Productivity
Metaverse will unleash a revolution in the business communication and productivity space, with never-seen-before innovations and breakthroughs. Right now, the most popular business communication channels such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet provide a 2D communication mode, via videos and audio.
This will become things of the past with metaverse, wherein hologram-based real-time communication will be enabled, just like a business meeting happening in real life. For example, a full-blown hologram of a person will sit in front of you, interact, and communicate with you as a real person does. Or say, a real estate company will enable a realistic virtual tour of their commercial and residential projects, wherein the guests will actually walk into the apartment or office, touch and feel the components, and experience the space and the dimensions like an actual visit.
This has tremendous implications in sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale, real estate, corporate meetings, and more. Even work from home will witness a change of perspective in terms of communication and productivity, as meetings and seminars will become realistic, real-time, and very much like actual, in-person communication.
#3 Immersive Sales & Marketing
With enhanced social media, and optimized business communication, the entire process of sales and marketing will witness an amazing transformation that will accelerate business growth all-around.
Imagine virtual hoardings and billboards on virtual highways and expressways, that are being seen by millions of users or avatars in real-time, and businesses actually spending money to acquire rights to those advertisement spaces! This is no more fiction, as investors are actually buying metaverse real-estate, and strengthening their virtual assets for monetization.
The creation, distribution, and consumption of marketing content will be changed forever, with metaverse. With numerous data points already available for the online users or avatars in a metaverse, brands will be in a better position to market their products, in a customized, tailor-made manner, with fascinating results. Targeting and positioning of products and services will be so accurate, that every metaverse user will experience marketing campaigns based on their specific preferences and choices.
Brands can set up their own metaverse-stores, and invite users from all across the world to visit them virtually and experience the products and services in real-time, with the options of virtually using them, check them out, and feeling them via ultra-advanced augmented reality.
And we have barely scratched the surface here when it comes to innovation that the metaverse will unleash!
#4 Revolutionized Online Education
The pandemic has forced online education to become mainstream, but the current medium of the asynchronous mode of teaching via video conferencing platforms is not that user-friendly and productive.
Metaverse will change this.
With metaverse, students can now form their own digital avatars, and attend classes like in the real world, learning and grasping the knowledge from the teachers with striking clarity and depth. Metaverse will unleash an immersive learning experience, fuelled with graphics-intensive virtual platforms and digital platforms for not only interacting, collaborating, and engaging with their classmates in real-time, but also practically learning the concepts and understanding the theories, maybe better than real life on several levels.
With three-dimensional learning tools, visualized learning aids, and access to the best professors and teachers with a click, online education will be revolutionized, with metaverse.
#5 Futuristic Blockchain Applications
It becomes a fascinating case study on how blockchain can actually complement and empower metaverse because both have the same underlying technology for building the blocks.
Blockchain is the technology that creates bitcoins, ethereum, and other digital currencies and also created NFTs or non-fungible tokens and blockchain gaming.
These technologies can be the founding blocks of a metaverse, to develop a practical, scalable and sustainable virtual economy, wherein the use of fiat money such as currencies won’t be needed. A very advanced combination of barter systems, along with blockchain-based technologies can be actually the catalyst for expanding and empowering metaverse and creating a parallel Universe that forever expands into new horizons.
#6 The Future of Entertainment
In the coming days, we may witness a new, never-seen-before entertainment industry, situated right at the core of metaverse: Imagine virtual concerts attended by millions of avatars, each paying a fee to get an entry, and experiencing live performances by the top-rated celebrities, all from the comfort of their homes.
Virtual reality theme parks, for example, can be another important application of a metaverse, wherein users from across the world can attend, participate and experience unique rides without moving out of their homes.
The same goes with sports: Unique competitive sports can be arranged within the metaverse, with advanced and fair sports bettings, and more.
These practical and powerful business applications are just a start.. When a full-fledged, feature-rich, immersive metaverse is actually created, we may witness tons of other business applications such as eCommerce, legal industry, manufacturing, retailing, books, movies, audio streaming, and more.
We at TechAhead are right now experimenting and analyzing some cutting-edge metaverse-based business applications that have the power to change the world.
And we will keep on sharing our learning experiences to empower our clients and patrons, and help them to accelerate their business growth.