Metaverse: Open for business? | MIT Technology Review

Metaverse is increasingly becoming part of companies’ mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategies. In December 2021, Nike announced the acquisition of digital design studio RTFKT, which the sportswear company said it hopes will help it explore the possibilities presented by the metaverse. In January 2022, Microsoft announced it plans to acquire game developer and interactive entertainment content publisher Activision Blizzard, the software giant said it hopes to “provide the building blocks for the metaverse.”

As an experiential vehicle, the metaverse is most prominent at the consumer-facing level. For example, luxury fashion house Gucci has started selling items on the game platform with digital version of a famous bag higher cost than physical model. Stella Artois, building on the history of live horse races, has worked with Zed Run to create a 3D Tamagotchi-like experience associated with the Kentucky Derby.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR,) the forerunners of the metaverse, were also initially directed to consumers through gadgets like Google Glass or Oculus. But these never worked out. It is in corporate settings, such as training in manufacturing and healthcare, that augmented reality has gained real traction by allowing workers to do new basics and boost productivity. , cooperation and efficiency. Those same dynamics are moving into the metaverse era.

In January 2022, Hyundai, in partnership with Unity, a producer of 3D content, has announced plans to build the foundation for a superfactory to enable remote problem solving, test runs of new facilities, and simulations for consumers. BMW worked with AI company Nvidia to create a digital double demo of a BMW factory that allows 3D design teams to work together simultaneously on multiple software suites in a shared virtual space.

The marketplace for digital twins — virtual representations that act as real-time copies of a physical object — is expected to grow to $86 billion by 2025According to business consulting firm Grand View Research, with Unilever, Boeingand Siemens Energy among those who accept.

A “health metaverse” is also taking shape. 8chili — a technology-intensive company building the underlying infrastructure to create and distribute diverse content—launch a partnership with digital therapy company Aventyn in March 2022 to develop a virtual reality platform that enables virtual training, patient interaction and wellness coaching. In the UK, distance and augmented reality training company Virti worked with NHS to train and upgrade staff, even during a pandemic, when many healthcare workers have to move to different units and functions.

The financial services industry, already a heavy user of blockchain, is increasing its interest in payment and advisory services in the metaverse. JP Morgan became the first major bank to join the metaverse when it opened a “lounge” in the blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland at an event in February 2022. The Wall Street bank said it believes the metaverse can be. bring something interesting $1 trillion annual revenue opportunity for businesses across all sectors. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon believes A virtual real estate market could emerge with supporting services such as credit, mortgages and rental agreements.

Across all sectors, the metaverse offers companies new opportunities to manage meetings, video conferencing, training and broader workforce development in a post-covid hybrid world. In terms of future potential, a global digital service provider Infosys believes that the content creation and distribution space will see “enormous innovation and competition” for the supermarket, citing the digital twins of theatres, studios and boardrooms, which will provide a “near-realistic experience” to the user. Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates calculates virtual meetings will move to the metaverse model in the next two or three years — Meta and Microsoft already run them internally.

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