What are companies doing in the Metaverse? 5 great use cases
According to a report by the world’s leading market research store, the global market for Metaverse estimated at US$107.1 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$758.6 Billion by 2026.
Looking at the sheer size of the market, no doubt companies from tech giants to startups are investing heavily to enter the Metaverse to offer customers immersive experiences and to engage employees.
In this article we will be discussing, top 5 best use cases of the Metaverse and which all companies are working on the Metaverse.
But first, let us briefly understand what is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a 3D world which allows people to interact with virtual objects and friends. In the Metaverse, people can own NFTs which are cryptographic tokens that live on blockchain representing ownership of a digital asset.
In order to get into the Metaverse, people can either use VR headsets like Oculus Quest 2 and visit Meta’s metaverse ‘Horizon’ or simply explore decentralized platforms like Roblox and Decentraland using a desktop browser or a smartphone.
Top 5 applications of the Metaverse
The metaverse can be used or many different applications, we’ve noted the top 5 and found some great examples.
Training and Onboarding
Onboarding employees and training them on products or services or procedures can be daunting and time consuming. The COVID19 situation further exacerbated the situation. With 48% of the employees expressing interest in working remotely, it is therefore important for organizations to seek a digital route.
The Metaverse provides the enterprises the opportunity to build a digital twin of their organization or a part of the company. With that, workers across the globe can join in the virtual space and get familiarized with the company’s culture and ethics.
Unlike the traditional onboarding process which is a bit mundane and disengaging, Metaverse is immersive and scalable. For example, instead of going through a three hour presentation, trainees can be given a virtual tour of the facility, meet their seniors in a shared virtual room, visualize and operate a manufacturing unit and play fun games and quizzes.
Examples of onboarding in the Metaverse
One of the largest public relation firms, Havas Group opened a virtual village last month in Sandbox which includes a recruitment services to make the onboarding experience seamless and exciting for the joinees.
BMW Group is currently using NVIDIA’s Omniverse, which is a 3D collaborative metaverse platform, to create a future factory, a perfect “digital twin” designed entirely in digital and simulated from beginning to end to train and remotely connect its workers in a spatial environment.
From the Australian Open’s sporting event to Samsung’s product launch, many brands are planning to organize their next corporate event in the Metaverse.
It provides enterprises a cost effective way to reach their target audience who don’t have to leave their houses to attend the event. Using a desktop/laptop or a VR headset, users can enter the Metaverse, build their own digital avatars, and make genuine connections with people around the world.
Metaverse allows brands to create meaningful and unforgettable experiences by taking consumers on a product journey, allowing them to interact with it in a more immersive way. Further, it allows brands to monitor how their customers behave, how they interact with your products and what elements catch their gaze.
Examples of events in The Metaverse
With more than 300000 monthly users and 18000 daily active users, Decentraland, an Ethereum-based decentralized metaverse platform has become a go-to venue for various event planners around the world. As per VogueBusiness.com, Decentraland will be hosting a four-day digital fashion week in order to encourage brands and labels to buy virtual lands and organize events and concerts.
Just like Decentraland, Somnium Space is an open source platform built on Ethereum blockchain that lets users play, build and buy virtual lands. There are land parcels available in three different sizes in the Somnium Spac, giving options to event organizers to choose which one is suitable for their event.
Although you can enter the virtual world using various devices, the team at Somnium Space launched an open-source and modular VR headset last year to make the experience more immersive for its users.
Metaverse allows online and offline retailers to create a 3D virtual environment that gives customers a greater level of presence and enables meaningful interaction with the brands. The immersive experience allows customers to visualize and try the products from the comfort of their homes. A study conducted by Obsess titled ‘Metaverse Mindset: Consumer Shopping Insights’ showed that 70 percent of the consumers who visited a virtual store ended up buying an item.
One of the main advantages of opening a virtual store in the Metaverse is that the entire experience is customizable. This way, brands can create a more personalized experience for the consumers which can result in higher engagement and returns.
Examples of e-commerce in The Metaverse
After partnering with Fortnite for its virtual clothing, Cédric Charbit, CEO of a luxury brand, Balenciaga is planning to launch and explore the commerce opportunities in the Metaverse. According to a website, Highsnobiety, more than 100 people were working on the new initiative at one point.
Mcdonalds has filed 10 patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office to open a virtual restaurant offering virtual food and beverage products, online actual and virtual concert and downloadable multimedia files like audios, videos and NFTs
Researchers across universities and organizations are utilizing VR/AR to analyze consumer purchase patterns and behavior in the Metaverse.
Traditional research methodologies like surveys, focus groups and questionnaires can give biased results. However with the use of immersive technologies like eye tracking VR combined with biometric devices allow researchers to capture involuntary muscle movements like emotional levels, heart-rate, gaze and other key performance metrics.
Examples of research in The Metaverse
Last year, Facebook announced a $50 million fund called the XR programs and research fund to help develop a responsible Metaverse. Meta stated in a blog that it would collaborate with Women in Immersive Tech, Africa No filter, Electric South, and the Organization of American States as a part of its initiative. The fund will also invest money to conduct external research with the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore.
A Germany-based engineering and electronics company, the Bosch group, announced its North American division will partner with Carnegie Mellon University to further explore the use of spatial computing in manufacturing environments.The team is interested in finding how a digital factory can be incorporated in workers’ learning environment.
Metaverse will change how users can book their favorite destinations. As of now, people visit various travel websites and decide where they want to stay by looking at the images. Although it certainly helps in making a decision, the experience is two-dimensional and monotonous.
With a Metaverse led approach, the hospitality industry can create immersive 3D virtual tours where users can walk in and out in digital avatars.
Example of Virtual Tourism in The Metaverse
Ariva Wonderland is a travel metaverse that allows people to travel to virtual tours of popular tourist spots around the world like Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Arc-De-Triomphe, etc. With the ‘time-travel’ functionality users can visit in the past to see how pyramids were built during those days or travel in the future to get a sense of how our world would look like in the next 20-30 years.
The hotel chain had launched its NFT collection titled as Power of Travel collection in partnership with digital content creators at Art Basel Miami Beach, last year in Dec.
Three winners at the unveiling won one of the works along with 200,000 Bonvoy points. The points offered winners to book free stays and recreational activities.
The next phase of the internet is seeing a lot of investments from the companies to create out of the box experiences for the customers. With the passage of time we are going to witness numerous such applications that can revolutionize the way we work, collaborate and socialize with each other.