THE METAVERSE: AN OVERVIEW OF THIS NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY


Author: Francesco Caliceti

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Date of Publication: 09/06/2022





On October 28th, Facebook changed its famous name to Meta. Someone could say that It was just a re-branding policy after the Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp shutdown. According to Bernard Marr, one of the most experts in the technology and futuristic field, Facebook has already started to invest in virtual reality in 2014 when it acquired Oculus VR for 2 billion dollars. This was a clear signal that Mark Zuckerberg’s Brand has a long-term plan and wants to make business into a new dimension.




Even if the concept of Metaverse is trending right now due to this famous corporate name change, this word has been introduced in 1982 by Neil Stevenson. This American author wrote a novel entitled “Snow Crash” where the characters could escape from physical reality to another dimension named Metaverse. Another step forward took place in the early 1990s when the corporation Sega broke into the market with the Sega VR-1 motion simulator that allows the users to enjoy virtual reality.


For example, In 2010 Palmer Luckey, a young American entrepreneur made the prototype for Oculus Vr up. In 2014 Google broke into the market with Google Glass AR and IKEA in 2017 realized its app where the customer could select the type of furniture and test how it looks in its office or flat. In the end, in 2020 Apple added Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) to its devices allowing the owner of an iPhone or an Ipad to take 3D photos. These are only a few of the main events that underlie the will of the companies to proceed in the direction of Metaverse.


BUT WHAT IS METAVERSE?


Looking up the exact definition of “metaverse” on the Cambridge Dictionary it is possible to find this description: The Metaverse is a virtual world where humans, as avatars, interact with each other in a three-dimensional space that mimics reality. For Cathy Hackl, one of the most important experts in tech and futuristic topics, the Metaverse is a convergence of our physical and digital lives. It’s our online styles of life, living on smartphones or laptops, that slowly join our physical lives in a rapid way”.


According to a Forbes article published on 3 March 2022, “the metaverse is a (potential network of) 3D virtual world(s) on the internet. These worlds are typically designed to be highly social and require users to have virtual identities, often through avatars with specific attributes.”. In the end, in research led by Mattew Kanterman, Bloomberg Intelligence Senior Industry Analyst, the metaverse is defined as convergence of the physical and digital realms in the next evolution of the internet and social networks using real-time 3D software.


So there is not yet a shared definition of what metaverse is in the literature regarding this topic, but the business corporation can not wait for the description of this new reality to start acting. According to Mattew Kanterman’s expectations, the market’s opportunities in the Metaverse will come to 800 billion dollars. The corporation has to start thinking now about new strategies for their business in this new dimension if they want to achieve some important goals.


INDUSTRIES WILL BE STRONGLY TRANSFORMED BY THE METAVERSE REVOLUTION


The Metaverse is not going to touch all the sectors instinctively. In an article published on Forbes, the Forbes Councils Member, Micheal Adair, reported five industries that in his own opinion will be profoundly revolutionized by the Metaverse. The first one is the gaming industry. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are changing the rules of this sector. According to Mattew Kanterman’s review on Bloomberg, the gaming software and hardware market will hit a 412.9 billion dollars peak in 2024 and the game advertising revenue will take 70% of the total market size. These numbers pushed NFL, Ralph Lauren, Nike and many more sports brands to start partnerships in this field.


The Covid-19 pandemic opened the door to the VR tools in Media and Entertainment. In particular, artists like Imagine Dragons, Ariana Grande, Lil Nas X and many more performed their first VR concerts when it was not possible to perform on the stage in front of thousands of people. This black swan changed the rule of the game and created different new and unexpected business relations between industries that before were not so directly correlated. For example during the Covid-19 lockdown Epic Games and Roblox hosted live concerts. The live entertainment business on Metaverse will amount to 200 billion dollars in 2024.



The metaverse is also an opportunity for the eCommerce and retail industry. In fact, technology like AR and 3D tools help the customers along the purchase process. Therefore, big corporations such as Amazon, eBay, and Shopify are investing in these new technologies. The metaverse revolution will also profoundly change the architecture and engineering industries. Specifically this program as Nvidia’s Omniverse, allows architects and engineers to work and collaborate on the same 3D project from anywhere in the world.


In the end, the metaverse will change the manufacturing industry because this will allow the optimization of the process and will help in designing new prototypes of products. So, these are the main sectors that will be hit by the metaverse but it is a common belief that the metaverse will change the rule of the game in other industries.


 

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