Google the term ‘metaverse’ and you’ll see it’s a complex concept that people are still trying to pin down and define. It seems in the eight months since Facebook’s parent company rebranded as Meta and staked its claim on the future of social connection on the internet, we’re still a bit fuzzy on what the metaverse is, how we’ll get there, and what we’ll do when we arrive.
But the first thing you should know about the metaverse, even as it’s still emerging and being defined, is that the time to act is now. The metaverse is expected to contribute USD 3 trillion to global GDP by 2013 and customers will expect immersive and interactive activities and apps from your brand. So, let’s see what’s possible.
What is the metaverse?
Officially, the metaverse is “the concept of a highly immersive virtual world where people gather to socialize, play, and work.” Meta means “transcending reality” so metaverse really means “transcending the universe as we know it.” Zuckerberg brought it back down to earth when he called the metaverse “the next chapter for the internet.”
Forbes defines the metaverse as “a virtual world where people can interact with each other and businesses entirely realistically. This revolutionary technology is made possible by a combination of virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain.”
LeewayHertz CEO Akash Takyar goes further: “We must think of a three-dimensional web powered by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The metaverse is persistent, self-sustaining, infinite, interoperable, and in real-time, and these features are its key characteristics. Persistent means it exists regardless of the user’s physical presence. Infinite supports countless contemporary users and VR worlds. Self-sustaining means that users can earn within the metaverse and pay for their utility. Interoperability helps users move their virtual items, including avatars, from one metaverse project to another. Real-time allows users to relish live experiences.”
Entry to this shared virtual world is mostly via VR headsets right now, but smartphone access will be commonplace in future. In fact, some say it will be augmented reality (AR) and not VR that drives the metaverse forward and solves the physical separation and discomfort issues of VR headsets. AR digitally enhances the real world in real time, rather than takes us out of it, and this might appeal to more people.
The metaverse is a huge opportunity for business
The metaverse presents a vast profitable frontier for business. It’s where companies and customers can interact completely virtually and harness untold possibilities in immersive customer service, marketing, events and tourism, healthcare, research and training, and more. Geographical borders and physical environments are no barrier. Profits, customer loyalty and trust are massive benefits.
In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic showed us what’s possible for remote interaction and the concept has boomed. The global market for the metaverse is projected to be worth around USD 1,607.12 billion by 2030. In the past year, the number of companies working in the space went from 200 to 500. Visionary brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce Gabbana, Gucci, Puma, Nike, Samsung, Hyundai, Coco-Cola, Adidas, Wendy’s, and Accenture are already using the technology for marketing, customer service, and training.
If you’re in business, now is the time to develop a metaverse strategy and embrace the new technology.
The metaverse will rely on decentralized identity and blockchain
Two new technologies will make widespread uptake of the metaverse possible: decentralized identity and blockchain. The metaverse will run its own digital economy with cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and participants will depend on digital proof of identity for gaining access (verifiable credentials). The digital wallet will be essential for user control and seamless transactions.
Our co-CEO Dr Paul Ashley recently told a blockchain event that decentralized identity is the most important use case for blockchain, and both are essential to the metaverse and Web3. LeewayHertz’s Askash Takyarsays: “With blockchain, enterprises can build decentralized and transparent solutions to provide digital proof of ownership, digital collectability, value transfer, and interoperability.”
Sudo Platform is a fast pass to the metaverse
If you’re wondering how to break into the metaverse and start developing products and applications, Anonyome Labs is ready for you. Our cloud platform for privacy – Sudo Platform – offers a menu of APIs to power next-generation customer applications for a cloud-first, decentralized, Web3 world. With Sudo Platform, you can go fast to market, differentiate your brand, and build trust.
Talk to us about possibilities in the metaverse today.