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THE METAVERSE

A quarter of consumers will soon spend an hour a day on the metaverse

By our News Team | 2022

The metaverse will impact every business that consumers interact with every day, creating new opportunities and challenges for organisations.

By the year 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social and/or entertainment. This is according to a study released last week by international insights company, Gartner.

“Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds,” said Marty Resnick, Research Vice president at Gartner. 

“From attending virtual classrooms to buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, these activities are currently being conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse – with multiple destinations across technologies and experiences.”

The Metaverse

Image by Nurudeen Ayaga Alidu from Pixabay

Gartner defines a metaverse as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality. It is persistent, providing enhanced immersive experiences, as well as being device-independent and accessible through any type of device – ranging from tablets to head-mounted displays.

Andrew Bosworth of Facebook Reality Labs has a slightly different explanation: “The defining quality of the metaverse will be presence – the feeling of really being there with people… so you can remove the limitations of physics and move between them with the same ease as moving from one room in your home to the next.” 

A virtual economy in the metaverse

Because no single vendor will own the metaverse, Gartner expects it to have a virtual economy enabled by digital currencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The metaverse will impact every business that consumers interact with every day.

It will also impact how work gets done. Enterprises will provide better engagement, collaboration and connection to their employees through immersive workspaces in virtual offices. Businesses will not need to create their own infrastructure to do so because the metaverse will provide the framework. 

In addition, virtual events that have gained popularity over the last 18 months will offer more collaborative and immersive networking opportunities and workshops.

“Enterprises will have the ability to expand and enhance their business models in unprecedented ways by moving from a digital business to a metaverse business,” said Resnick. “By 2026, 30% of the organisations in the world will have products and services ready for metaverse.”

The adoption of metaverse technologies is nascent and fragmented, and Gartner cautions organisations about investing heavily in a specific metaverse. 

“It is still too early to know which investments will be viable in the long term, but product managers should take the time to learn, explore and prepare for a metaverse in order to position themselves competitively,” Resnick explained.

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