Defining metaverse as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality, 25 per cent of people will spend at least one hour per day in the Metaverse by 2026, research firm Gartner Inc. predicts. People will use metaverse for work, shopping, education, social and/or entertainment. Metaverse is persistent, providing enhanced immersive experiences, as well as device independent and is accessible through any type of device, from tablets to head-mounted displays, the study claims.
While the world is still divided on metaverse, an increasing number of technology giants including Meta (erstwhile Facebook), Apple and Microsoft, to name a few, are heavily investing in this space. And metaverse hype will transition into new business models that extend digital business. And because no single vendor will own the metaverse, Gartner expects it to have a virtual economy enabled by digital currencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The metaverse will impact every business that consumers interact with every day.
“Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds,” said Marty Resnick, research vice president at Gartner.
“From attending virtual classrooms to buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, these activities are currently being conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse – with multiple destinations across technologies and experiences,” he said.
Enterprises will provide better engagement, collaboration and connection to their employees through immersive workspaces in virtual offices. Businesses will not need to create their own infrastructure to do so because the metaverse will provide the framework. In addition, virtual events that have gained popularity over the last 18 months will offer more collaborative and immersive networking opportunities and workshops.
“Enterprises will have the ability to expand and enhance their business models in unprecedented ways by moving from a digital business to a metaverse business,” said Resnick.
“By 2026, 30 per cent of the organisations in the world will have products and services ready for met averse,” he added.
However, given adoption of metaverse technologies being still nascent and fragmented, Gartner cautions organisations about investing heavily in a specific metaverse as it is still too early to know which investments will be viable in the long term.
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