The metaverse refers to technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). A metaverse is made up of a series of 3D virtual worlds connected via digital social experiences. In a nutshell, the entire internet and every program are seen as interconnected and related to one another, much as earth is the rock we all inhabit.
Metaverse could be described as an extended reality (XR) made up of mixed reality technology. As with any new term or technology, defining the metaverse isn’t as easy as one might think. It’s a bit difficult to understand for non-technical people and no one can quite define what all it’s made up of.
As people embrace VR, they will see virtual worlds they can live and interact in. It will become an extension of their daily lives, much as Zoom meetings have become more commonplace in the last couple of years.
What Are the Business Opportunities in Metaverse?
Bloomberg estimates the metaverse will be an $80 billion market by 2024. As connectivity continues to become more stable and high-speed internet expands into rural areas, more and more people are discovering the benefits and fun of interacting in a virtual world.
Entrepreneurs who can see the opportunity and run with it will be poised to expand their businesses, much as those who jumped onto the internet website bandwagon back in the late 80s and early 90s. Here are some key business opportunities in the metaverse you can tap into today.
The obvious place where businesses can easily tap into the metaverse is gaming. Rather than static games, people will utilize them to interact. Users already utilize gaming systems to connect with other players and exist in virtual worlds.
Expect companies to allow users to create their own worlds, though. It will be like gaming on steroids with new users coming in every day. A good opportunity exists to create gaming apps that connect via smart phones.
Already those in the wellness industry draw on sensors and biotech to help patients overcome diseases and find better health. As the metaverse expands, doctors and other medical professionals will likely tap into virtual worlds allowing them to operate on patients before the actual surgery so they get in additional practice and perfect their skills.
Other applications that might make a good business model include anything that expands on the knowledge of the human body. Sensors, tiny cameras that map the inside of a person’s digestive tract and many other inventions not yet thought of all come together to create a new medical universe.
Business opportunities could also include telemedicine, which grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Expect new platforms and easier ways to immediately connect with healthcare professionals, including mental health professionals.
Right now we consider entertainment a concert we attend, a movie we see in the theater or another outing with friends. Imagine a metaverse where you go to the movies and sit next to your favorite character from that movie. Perhaps you attend a virtual concert and the lead singer comes up to you and sings a song just for you.
The possibilities are endless and many we can’t even imagine yet, because the technology for holograms and other VR capabilities haven’t quite caught up with our imaginations.
If you want to find business to invest in, seek out entertainment firms tapping into the power of VR to do something cutting edge. You don’t necessarily have to start a company if you don’t have experience in the industry. What you can do is be an angel investor or offer your expertise and services in what you do know.
Approximately 82% of company leaders feel vacation time improves health and keeps employees from burning out. Taking time off can improve productivity and refill the creative well.
However, the pandemic showed us that travel isn’t always possible or affordable. Enter mixed reality. The user could spend the day at the beach, just laying on the sand and listening to the seagulls. In the metaverse, there’s no need for sunscreen, because you won’t get a sunburn even with the warmth of the sun on your skin all day.
Donning a headset allows you to go anywhere in the world without ever living the safety or comfort of your living room. While there will always be a place for traditional travel, adding a virtual element even to in-person visits could take things to the next level. Imagine standing in the Roman Colosseum and donning a headset that lets you see armies of old battling it out.
The metaverse has more applications in business than anyone might imagine. Hosting a virtual meeting, putting on a conference or looking at someone’s backyard through a headset and adding event seating, tents and lighting to plan out a wedding reception.
At first glance, the most obvious way to make money from the metaverse is to come up with better meeting options. Every day, all around the world, business people meet with one another to plan strategy, discuss projects and brainstorm ideas. Creating an app that taps into the power of VR and video conference could be the next big thing.
However, you can also just use what is already in the metaverse to improve the way you run your current business and grow from the use of smart technology.
When Will the Metaverse Expand?
The Metaverse still has a long way to go. One big issue is with easy connectivity. There may come a day when people wear a contact lens that puts them instantly into a new world with a command. Already, Google creates glasses meant to help people live simultaneously in the real world and a virtual one.
Technology expands every year. New inventions come out, people tap into things they never expected to. Think about the beginning of the internet, when the military used it and then a few libraries and finally a few newsgroups. Today, it is a living, breathing thing with new data added constantly.
The metaverse will grow in a similar way as more and more people embrace the use of VR technologies. Today is a good time to prepare your business for the changes on the horizon. Invest in a new business model or adapt your current company to meet the changing needs of employees and customers. With a little foresight, you’ll grab the view of the metaverse and improve your business model.
This guest post was authored by Eleanor Hecks
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.