Take a trip into the metaverse
What is the metaverse, and what does it mean for your business? Should the metaverse be included in your strategy when it doesn’t exist yet, and why does it make sense to produce content for a platform that no one knows what will look like? We ask questions and provide answers right here.
Disclaimer: If you need the long academic explanation behind the words “meta” and “universe,” that the word metaverse was coined in a science fiction novel from 1992, and that there is a reason why Facebook changed its name to Meta, Google is your friend. While everyone else is talking about the metaverse, we in Virsabi have decided to do something about it …
What is the metaverse?
The starting point for our work is that the metaverse is a version of the internet where you to a far larger extent access information, services, and social engagement through virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR, AR, and MR).
You can still access the internet through your pc, phone, or tablet, but you will more often use glasses or other means of headsets, and either be totally immersed in the experience (VR) or have the information blend into your surroundings or as a layer of data on top of the goods, the building, the artwork or whatever object you are engaging with (AR and MR). You will be able to access the same information as a digital layer on top of the real world on your phone.
At first, the big difference between the internet as you know it ad the metaverse will be the way you access it. Or framed differently: In the old days we dialed up to the internet. Today we are “on the internet.” Tomorrow – in the metaverse – we are “in the internet.”
What can I do in the metaverse?
The technology opens for new ways to collaborate without being physically together. With VR or MR, you will experience that you can cooperate and interact with the same 3D model, draw on the same white board, and exchange files and information much smoother than during today’s Teams or Zoom meetings.
The metaverse will open new possibilities for social activities like participating in a live concert with your friends. Even though you are at different locations, you will sense that you are next to each other sharing the experience. You will be able to talk, gesticulate and look each other in the eyes.
When does the metaverse arrive?
The crazy thing is that we can already do all of the above. In a way it is already here, and in a way it is some years in the distance.
The metaverse will not have a ‘grand opening’. It will sneak upon us as services and information are developed and implemented in VR, AR, and MR. Perhaps this adaptation process will even mean that the term ‘the metaverse’ will suffocate before it is a fact. Just like you don’t think that you are ‘on the internet’ if you look up an address on Google Maps on your phone, you probably wont think that you will ‘enter the metaverse’ when you access a specific service at the time.
One way to increase your presence in the metaverse is by utilizing webAR to display your products in AR online. This allows customers to experience your product where they are, whether its a living room or a production facility.
What does the metaverse mean for my business?
The metaverse is part of the technological development, and all businesses need to monitor and relate
themselves to the technological development to stay relevant. But for their customers and related to internal business processes.
Some of the most important aspects in that regard are covered below.
The metaverse as a sales channel
The metaverse will be e-commerce on speed. Consumers will come much closer to getting a sense that they can try a product before they buy it. As an example, you can try on clothes on your avatar which is modelled exactly after your body measures.
Shopping experiences in VR will be just that – experiences. Customers will be able to see a product from all angles, get really close to it, have salespeople talk about, and in several cases probably changes design elements themselves. With current developments within Industry 4.0, the best companies will manage to implement such features in their manufacturing system, and we will see the possibility for customized products explode. As consumers can interact with products in photorealistic 3D models, it will be much more desirable and intuitive to customize everything from furniture to sport goods than it is today on your PC or phone.
Even in retail the metaverse will matter. With your phone or your AR headset you can see details about a good just by looking at it. It can be expiry date on your milk, CO2 emissions on your next car, or the location where the cotton in the pullover you are looking at was picked.
The metaverse for marketing
Banners and adds on the internet will take a step up in the metaverse. Due to the three-dimensional spatial feeling, your possibilities for reaching your target audience with your advertisement right where they are at the right time will improve significantly. Contrary to the static location that online advertisement often has today, advertisement will show itself to consumers in a more relevant – and less annoying – context.
If you are working with B2B marketing, the metaverse will provide far better opportunities to showcase large equipment or visit otherwise hardly accessible sites as avatars. VR is already a popular tool at trade fairs because guests are allowed to immerse themselves in an experience. But it can also create lines of waiting, and the user is alone during the experience. In the metaverse, a guide can take a group of guests on a tour of the factory, an offshore platform, or a remote mine – no matter if the guests are physically present on the fair or not.
The metaverse for training and onboarding
New employees begin their onboarding in the metaverse. Here, they meet the company’s experts in every field without travelling, and they can meet and greet colleagues and leaders from all over the world.
Training in VR is already becoming a big thing today and with the metaverse that training will be even better and more immersive. Employees can train difficult tasks as many times they need, until the safety is internalized. They can practice alone, in groups, or with an expert next to them to guide them. It’s going to be big; it’s going to be exciting, and it’s going to improve safety in dangerous work tasks.
Why should we begin to produce content now?
You should begin now, because the benefits of using VR, AR, and MR for sales, marketing, training, and collaboration are already proven. What you do know will benefit you immediately.
Producing content now will also give you a head start when the metaverse have sneaked upon the consumers. If you produce 3D models in AR of all your products today, you will be rewarded immediately
and be far ahead of the competition who needs to start from scratch when consumers start moving around in the metaverse as naturally as the browse the internet today.