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Date: 2022-05-13 23:28:46
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The metaverse has the potential to disrupt several realms from gaming to advertising to retail and so much more. But to tap into this virtual world’s full power, leaders must address its possibilities and pitfalls over the coming years and determine where it fits in with their business models. To help you do that, Deloitte has shared an overview of metaverse technology and its implications for business leaders.
As Deloitte puts it, the metaverse is the term used to describe the convergence of an array of separate technologies that together will provide humanity with an immersive, three-dimensional virtual environment/platform to conduct business, interact, play and access new resources and experiences.
The metaverse, despite remaining years away from full realization and adoption, is a 30-year-old idea that has only just recently come into the spotlight and attracted considerable support and investment. Although it may have a comparable impact on the world as the internet did in the ‘90s or smartphones did at the turn of the century, it’s too early to accurately say.
Other than a virtual space, the metaverse is characterized by two other important elements that could constitute make it the new platform with seemingly unlimited uses. First, it’ll likely include both physical and digital worlds in the user’s experience, fusing both into one. Second, it may have a native economy with digitally native assets and trade.
Other elements of the metaverse that are already at play include immersive virtual worlds with avatars that interact, digital overlays on the physical world that provide data or commentary on what the user sees and digitally native trade and economic activity.
Several factors—including technical, social and financial—seem to be converging, which are in turn making the metaverse seem especially appealing. Deloitte says these are:
Several use cases for the metaverse exist across categories and industries, including work and learning, entertainment and experiences, retail, health and wellness, and manufacturing.
Within work and learning today, the metaverse is being used for telecommuting, virtual collaboration and immersive professional training. Deloitte predicts emerging trends could include digital renditions of physical operations and locations and even classroom tools and fully native schools. In five or more years, we may begin to see metaverse-native and dependent companies.
Currently, we’re able to “attend” concerts, shows and sports games and even watch movies while socializing with others’ avatars. Emerging entertainment metaverse trends could include interactive sports and events and possibly even tourism. In the long-term, Deloitte predicts there will be immersive “theme park” experiences that adapt to customers’ data profiles.
And in retail, we’re seeing the metaverse’s capacity to host boutique shopping experiences and digital customer contact centers. Soon we may see data-enhanced everyday shopping for things like groceries, furniture and appliances, Deloitte notes. People may even one day be able to purchase homes and cars in the metaverse. In the long-term we can expect to see full sensory immersion in retail experiences, complete with sights, sounds, smells and more.
According to Deloitte, the metaverse’s evolution will likely depend on consumer response as well as the outcome of at least four key unknowns, each with its own set of questions that will have to be answered:
Whether the metaverse has a future and what it might look like remains to be seen but there are four primary actions executives can take now to best prepare for the possibilities of what this potential paradigm shift could bring. Deloitte says these include: