This past year everyone started talking about the “metaverse.” What is it and what does it actually mean for businesses? Is it just something that social media companies need to be concerned about or are the Powers That Be trying to change everything again?
It seems to be the second one. Regardless of what has happened to the tech sector this year, the consensus is that we’re going for virtual reality whether we like it or not. While it remains to be seen whether customers will go for it, businesses must at least take a look at it.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook claims the metaverse is coming. He stated that “Life without AR will soon be unthinkable.” Whether that’s a short-term or long-off prediction, companies need to at least start looking at it.
What Is “The Metaverse”?
First we must understand what the metaverse is. Metaverse is a general term, a regular noun – hence why it’s not capitalized like a proper name. The metaverse refers to a collective upgrade of the internet to a 3D virtual environment. This would be a virtual world interconnected between various sites. These sites would probably mimic immersive games that you see today.
Did Facebook/Meta invent the metaverse? No. As much as we’re sure Mr. Zuckerberg wishes he had.
The idea of connected 3D immersive worlds has been around for decades. Several online gaming companies have staked a territory in the metaverse. Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls, for example. Game applications are less interconnected than business and social media, though.
What’s one of the best representations of the early metaverse? It’s a short-lived software called Adobe Atmosphere. This 3D immersive experience included interconnected online worlds. It also gave people the ability to chat with others while in these online worlds. The program was a bit before its time but shows how the concept of the metaverse has been around for a while.
Why Is The Metaverse Important Now?
The metaverse is getting attention now because technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. It has begun to catch up to the needs of such a world. These needs includes fast internet connections and immense processing power. It also includes a delivery method for 3D that works on most PCs because nobody wants to wear those glasses/goggles/whatever they’re supposed to be.
Are we there yet? Not quite. But the metaverse is picking up steam. Recently, Microsoft announced a partnership with Meta. This partnership is to bring Microsoft 365 apps into the metaverse. These two tech giants partnering up means collaboration in an entirely new way. Microsoft notes that 50% of Gen Z and millennials expect to do some of their work in the metaverse in the next two years.
How Does the Metaverse Impact Your Company?
With companies like Microsoft looking at the future of AR/VR, it could be a reality soon. You can expect the metaverse to touch your own company in some way in the next few years. So we put together a preview of what it may impact.
Where to Advertise
When the internet was first introduced, many companies didn’t immediately realize its potential. Now, most companies wouldn’t consider operating without a website. Online presence became a necessity for driving leads and converting sales.
If the metaverse takes off as a new 3D iteration of the internet, it might be just as important as the original Internet. If so, companies must explore metaverse-type advertising in virtual worlds. One example of that exploration involves potentially creating your own VR site or showroom.
How to Service Customers
As the popularity of social media took off, companies realized customers used it to reach out to businesses they wanted to purchase from. Seventy-nine percent of consumers expect companies to respond to a social media message, and they expect that response within a day. They don’t want to call right off the bat, they want a private message back.
To address that opportunity, many businesses have a social media presence. They use this for marketing and to answer questions and inquiries from customers.
The metaverse may be the next step. If people begin hanging out there, they will expect to interact with businesses in that space. It’ll be the same progression as we saw with social media.
Companies need to be aware of how customers may be using the metaverse as it grows. Adding a question about metaverse use to a year-end customer survey could be a way to be proactive on this topic. Marketing and sales personnel should also keep up with current research on it.
One of the touted benefits of the metaverse is its ability to enable more immersive training. This could greatly increase training capabilities for everyone from doctors to forklift operators.
Imagine being able to replicate a task more closely in a virtual world. A person could safely make mistakes and gain muscle memory. Then they could grow proficient before doing that thing in real life.
Start thinking about the types of training that your employees use. Look at ways that a VR world may make the training safer, cheaper, or more efficient. The metaverse may not have what you’re looking for now. However, given the pace of technological advancement, it could in a year or two.
More Immersive Remote Team Collaboration
Virtual meetings skyrocketed out of necessity during the pandemic. Now, meeting by Teams or Zoom is commonplace. The next generation of online team meetings may end up being in a virtual world.
As we noted earlier, Microsoft is already working on bringing its apps into a virtual space. Add a few avatars and an immersive setting. Suddenly, you have a completely different meeting experience.
What’s one more way to enhance remote team collaboration in the metaverse? It has to do with building design and maintenance. Imagine being able to walk through a 3D recreation of a space before it’s built. Then fine-tuning the construction while inside that space.
Why Is This Published By A Business Phone Company?
Here at NoContractVoIP, we believe that your success is our success. And, since we specialize in business communication, we also want to help you communicate better while staying safe. We create the cutting edge communication systems that modern companies need.
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