It’s a word you’ve heard for at least the past two years, if not more, and there’s plenty of argument over what it actually encompasses. But getting down to practicalities, all you really need to know is what the ‘metaverse’ is going to do for you and your business.
Incorporating different virtual worlds, interconnected digital services, and social networks, the metaverse is an amorphous and ever-growing thing that is apparently worth a huge $5 trillion right now.
Elements of the metaverse are in play right now, with networked gaming, online customer experiences that bring brands onto digital platforms where people are playing and socializing, and services that would previously have been in-person being migrated or offered in parallel online.
Retailers are finding ways to sell digital versions of previously material products, like clothing for example, making it available in pixel form for avatars at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. Furniture and interior design brands are helping customers fit out their homes by presenting their products in virtual reality to give a realistic 360 degree experience of a physical object.
Training and showcasing has moved online, with the kind of b2b relationships and professional learning taking place in virtual reality which would previously have been in person.
This might mean touring a facility in a VR headset, or having a meeting in a digital world, or taking part in an educational exercise that mimics a real world scenario.
Established physical festivals and cultural events are also moving into hybrid models where they can present content to their online as well as at their on-site audiences, and new events are being created that take place entirely online while still being marketed in the same way as real world happenings.