What is metaverse and how can organizations reap its benefits?

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From circumnavigating the globe to journeying into unknown realms, the desire to explore worlds beyond our own appears to be part of the human experience. And this is no less true for venturing into the virtual world. Welcome to the “metaverse.” 

Originally stemming from the 1992 Sci-Fi novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, the term “metaverse” is not new. Characters in the novel escape their dystopian reality by entering the online world as digital avatars. Does this sound familiar to you? That’s because it has already started becoming our reality.

The meta-what-now?

Metaverse is the latest buzzword to attract the tech industry’s attention, so much so that one of the most famed internet platforms has rebranded to reflect its embrace of the futuristic concept.

Facebook might have lit the metaverse fuse back in October, but now every major tech company, including Microsoft, Google, Intel, and countless other new startups one might have never heard of, are gearing up for their own grand meta fireworks show.

Mark Zuckerberg says the metaverse is ‘the next generation of the internet,’ but what exactly is it? Touted as a 3D sequel of sorts to today’s two-dimensional Internet, the metaverse will allow anyone – from anywhere and at any time – to socialize, work and do much more than we do in real life. It will also increasingly enable things, beings, events, experiences, and ‘worlds’ that we could only dream of previously and completely unshackle us from any physical limits. 

People will be able to jump in and out of this parallel world, which will encompass an infinite number of virtual spaces within other virtual spaces, including any type of setting you can possibly imagine. The metaverse will increasingly blur the lines between the two realities we already switch multiple times a day – the real world and the virtual one. 

Where’s the metaverse headed? 

With Facebook’s long-term commitment to becoming the Mecca of metaverses, questions about how such digital universes will be structured have been catapulted to prime-time television. You may wonder what we can do in the metaverse. The options are truly endless!

Virtual reality has been more of a novelty up until recently. People recognize the possibilities of the Metaverse as technologies like Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear VR are becoming more accessible to everyday users. And this extends well beyond gaming. Artists such as Travis Scott and Ariana Grande have already performed full concerts in the metaverse. Schools are creating virtual classrooms for better learning, while companies are transforming offices allowing employees to experience an immersive workspace with co-workers while still working from the comfort of their homes.

Working in the Metaverse

A few corporations have already begun to shape the landscape, with entertainment and gaming giants leading the way. This idea accelerated and gained traction during the periods of lock-down and social distancing when people began hanging out and even getting married en masse in video games. 

While unique architecture, artisanal snacks, and quirky features are still excellent complements to office culture, flexible approaches to working remotely will become the cornerstone for attracting talent in the future. With the possibility of an office metaverse and Zoom fatigue at an all-time high, technology that allows for a more immersive work environment has never been more crucial. If platforms like Teams, Zoom enabled cooperation at a distance and across time differences in the 2020 remote revolution, then the next leap in remote work will be facilitated by virtual and augmented reality, the metaverse’s building blocks.

The metaverse is destined to revolutionize the future of work and business, from team collaboration to learning and growth to company culture. This new metaverse era will unleash incredible creativity while also opening new horizons for brands and businesses.

Wrapping up

There is no shortage of promises regarding the metaverse’s capacity to improve connection, collaboration, and training procedures, lead to more efficient product development, and even reinvent marketing strategies. With metaverse being your oyster, the possibilities are limitless, your outreach is multidimensional, and the laws of physics do not bind you. 

At the moment, technology does not yet exist to power a digital world where millions of people can interact in a shared, synchronous space. But, it’s only a matter of time before the metaverse collides with our everyday lives. Or perhaps it already has, and we just haven’t realized it? 

Vijayalakshmi Venkataraman

About

Practice Head with a unique blend of Business Transformation capability, redefining Customer Experience Journey and Global Technology Delivery Management. Extensive experience leading Digital strategy, Agile Transformations, Client Relationship Building, creating innovative Solutions, Rapid prototyping, Business Development, and Product Eng. capabilities. Leading globally distributed team and proficient in building a culture of innovation, motivating and leading high-performing Management team.

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