Now at the center of all attention, the metaverse is expected to take an important place in the world in the years to come. According to a study by Gartner, one in four people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse in 2026. The reasons given are multiple: work, shopping, education, social activities or entertainment.
What is the metaverse?
Coming from the contraction of the words “meta” and “universe”, the metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual world that allows you to evolve through an avatar or a hologram. It is based on Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies.
This collective virtual space would be device independent, and not owned by a single vendor, as it is an independent virtual economy based on cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
Gartner explains that activities that currently take place in the real environments can take place in a single metaverse. The activities mentioned are:
- Buy outfits / accessories for your avatar online,
- Buy digital land to build virtual homes,
- Participate in virtual social experiences,
- Shopping in virtual malls with immersive commerce,
- Buy digital art, collectibles and NFTs…
What impact for businesses?
The study explains that the metaverse is designed to allow people to replicate or even improve on activities they already know in the real world. It is therefore highly possible that professional activities will be impacted by the metaverse, and that the way in which work is carried out will evolve.
Gartner states that:
“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.”
Gartner Vice President Matty Resnick also explains that companies will have the opportunity to expand and improve their business models by moving from a digital business to a metaverse business. He also states that “by 2026, 30% of the organizations in the world will have products and services ready for metaverse”.
Be careful though, these metaverse technologies are still very recent and fragmented, and it is still far too early to know which investments will or will not be viable in the long term. Gartner cautions organizations against investing heavily in a specific metaverse. Nevertheless, it is important for them to continue to learn and explore, in order to be able to position themselves competitively in due time.