Metaverse and it’s Limitless Possibilities

Abstract

In July 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced how Facebook plans to make metaverse a reality in the future. On 28th October 2021, he announced that Facebook Inc. would rename itself as Meta Platforms Inc. and Meta in short. The gaming industry is gung-ho about it and is betting big.

According to the market research firm Strategy Analytics Inc., the global metaverse market could grow to $280 Bn. by 2025 from $46 Bn. in 2020. This artefact attempts to provide a glimpse of this technology.

 

Introduction to Metaverse

There are several schools of thought on what a ‘metaverse’ means. In simple words, it will effectively change the way we communicate and will shape our experiences by merging the physical and the virtual worlds more realistically. At the same time, it will also allow us to port this world across environments, wherever we go. Let us assume I usually work at my office desk on a computer or a laptop. In the metaverse, I could step outside my workplace and continue to work without carrying these gadgets. I could call in my colleague, who would virtually get teleported to where I am, to show the artefacts I have created, seek feedback, bid adieu, and continue with my work.

Metaverse in Action

Metaverse is an environment where one can transport themselves into a virtual world using a VR device or any other emerging mechanisms and carry out specific tasks like attending meetings, playing multiplayer games, engaging and interacting with others, etc.

Consensus 2021, one of the biggest Crypto and Blockchain events related, held in May 2021, hosted half an hour roundtable talks every day using metaverse.

Gaming is one of the pioneer industries of building metaverse alongside crypto, fashion, and Hollywood movie industries. Metaverse has already made rapid strides in many multiplayer games, the most notable ones being Fortnite: Battle Royale, Roblox, and Minecraft. Top players are keen on building inter-operability among these games, like migrating their costumes/avatars from one game to another to elevate the end user’s experience to the next level. Close to 100 companies are creating metaverse ranging from programming engines, hardware interfaces, products, avatars, marketplaces, etc.

Let’s see a couple of more cases to get a better view.

NVIDIA and BMW are building a Factory of the Future, an amalgamation of reality, virtual reality, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). BMW will replicate virtual operations of its manufacturing plant using this future factory, allowing humans and robots to collaborate.

Nike has already filed for seven trademark applications and is looking to make and sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel. Sotheby had launched a digital art platform and will act as a marketplace to sell Non – Fungible Tokens (NFT).

 

Opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for all, a few of which are:

  • Individuals, groups and organizations can create and sell NFTs
  • One can escape into the virtual world, get immersive experiences hitherto seen in dreams and movies
  • Get an afterlife/marine world experience from a different perspective
  • Flaunt NFTs, attain stardom, grow the network and net worth
  • Organizations can mimic real-world assets and processes for an immersive experience and make humans and systems collaborate
  • Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) will force more and more organizations to embrace this and provide service opportunities for service providers
  • Hardware manufacturers will produce new devices and strategies to make existing devices obsolete
  • Devices might become micro/nano and easier to carry
  • Introduction of state-of-the-art technologies for better revenue opportunities and business models
  • New jobs will get added, and thereby the world economy will grow
  • Raise fresh investment avenues to explore
  • Organizations can add a new twist to their business and roll out new offerings

Challenges

It is exciting to note that there are limitless opportunities for individuals and companies to create, access, experience, buy and sell products/services/virtual environments but on the other hand, it comes with its challenges and threats:

  • It will be addictive and become quite pervasive. The mental well-being of people needs to be guarded against addiction, and care of the affected who will be unable to distinguish between a real and virtual world
  • A lot has to be considered if interoperability must become a reality in terms of persistence across various virtual worlds with real and virtual world interactions
  • Many new technologies can spring up, and we will have to catch up by testing multiple devices/applications that provide numerous uses
  • Data privacy laws are still an afterthought for any digital transformation undertaken by companies. What sort of policies, within and outside geographical borders, laws would be needed to provide a level playing field
  • What sort of regulations would be needed to ensure fairness to all involved and safeguard the environment at the same time
  • How to keep consumers continuously educated about the new possibilities
  • How to ensure a smooth transition from currently bulky devices owned (by consumers) to probably micro/nano ones that might emerge soon

 

In short, the metaverse is evolving and providing captivating experiences in various ways. Use cases are getting added daily, and we see many companies joining the bandwagon to be a part of this revolutionary technology both – as a provider and as a consumer. It is a long way before the ecosystem can make the metaverse a thriving reality, and the future seems exciting towards this endeavour. Get ready to wear different virtual avatars, buy an exclusive piece of land on Mars, own crazy NFTs, flaunt stylish dresses, etc., to have the most fulfilling immersive experience!

Author Details

Kavitha Sundararajan

I am a Banking domain expert with more than a decade of experience, especially in the Lending area. In iCETS Unit, I handle multiple activities like working in large transformation deals, interactions with various stakeholders, developing marketing strategies, and building product roadmaps.

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