The metaverse. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It is almost impossible to surf the internet or scroll through social media without encountering news or information about the metaverse. The real question is…what is it?
Just a few months ago, it was breaking news that Facebook would rebrand and become “Meta”. This news as well as the series of investments that were announced brought the internet into a confused frenzy, hungry to understand exactly what “Meta'' was and the changes that would come with it. It was all over headlines, corporate news, memes, gaming platforms, and social media. Many questioned-and continue to question- its purpose, fearing that it might completely revolutionize digital interaction to the point of limiting real-life physical world experiences. Instead, the metaverse is a virtual world that goes beyond or acts as an extension of our physical world. The technology behind the metaverse has been in use for years now, commonly in gaming platforms such as Roblox and Fortnite.
The word metaverse has also been around for a few decades, writer Neal Stephenson first coined the term "metaverse" in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. The metaverse is a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for user interaction mimicking the real world. To clarify, AR enhances your physical world with a digital layer, while VR submerges you in a digital environment. Think of it as a virtual universe where users have access to digital avatars that let them “live” in this digital world. In the metaverse, people can connect with friends, buy and trade digital assets, take virtual trips to digital locations (both real and unreal), and more. Although it may seem like the metaverse is a thing of the distant future, it is slowly becoming a more prevalent way to consume content. Now is the perfect time to learn about the metaverse and think about how this innovative technology can potentially impact your business.
The core purpose of the metaverse is furthering social connection. In Mark Zuckerberg’s words, “the metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. 3D spaces in the metaverse will let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine.”
In other words, the metaverse seeks to reframe the interactions with products, objects, or transactions we have now with enhanced virtual experiences, furthering the ongoing evolution of the relationship between technology and humans. The metaverse is immersive just like a videogame would be, without the actual gaming. Since gamers understand that exploring the environment is part of a game’s experience, it isn't a far-fetched idea to think that when brands or businesses will expand to create AR and VR experiences for consumers, it will soon become the norm to explore the digital environment of a brand in order for them to make purchasing decisions.
So what role does it play in increasing revenue for brands and businesses? It can work as a way to build a deeper connection between the product or service and the consumer. An example would be a brand creating digital connections with their consumer base through AR and VR experiences with specific products, giving them an environment and curated world to live in, so consumers can explore and view the products -quite literally- through a different lens. This can extend to shopping experiences, streaming platforms, entertainment, social media, real estate, and so much more. The metaverse is a tool to fuel the connection between consumers and brands/businesses.
You might be thinking that your business has no applications to the metaverse, that maybe it will continue to exist the way it does without the involvement of immersive experiences. Almost every industry, from clothing to soft drinks, has dabbled with VR and AR content and will continue to develop that content in the future. At View Labs, with our cultivated technologies and strong customer demand, we’ve expanded our offerings to conceptualize and develop metaverse/virtual worlds, using our solutions to their fullest potential. If you’d like to learn more about our technology or believe your business can benefit from AVR content or expand into the metaverse, reach out to us to request a demo and more information on the services we can offer.
If you’re still confused, I urge you to watch Steven Spielberg’s 2011 film Ready Player One.