The metaverse is still in its early stages of development, but there are already many possibilities for what it could become. One of the most important aspects of the metaverse is how it will be used to connect people and businesses. There are many different ways that this could happen, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore some of the potential uses for work in the metaverse.
Is the metaverse a virtual world?
The metaverse is a virtual world that people can connect to and interact with. To quote wired “the term doesn’t really refer to any one specific type of technology, but rather a broad (and often speculative) shift in how we interact with technology. And it’s entirely possible that the term itself will eventually become just as antiquated, even as the specific technology it once described becomes commonplace.”
It’s not the same as just VR (Virtual Reality) either. The metaverse is a more general term that can include VR, AR (Augmented Reality), and MR (Mixed Reality). Mixed reality is a term that is used to describe the blending of the physical and virtual worlds. It is often used interchangeably with augmented reality, but there is a distinction between the two. Augmented reality generally refers to overlaying digital information on top of the physical world, while mixed reality includes elements of both the physical and virtual worlds.
The ideas of use can be vague. There has been talk about using online payments and digital assets to shop and ‘live’ online. But this already happens in many games. Is it the metaverse? No one is quite sure. Fashion has predicted a change with the idea of digital avatars – one article suggested that we will soon buy clothes for our metaverse characters to “wear” as they move about and interact with others. (Source: The Metaverse Is Coming: What Will It Look Like?)
Some think the metaverse will be like a cross between the internet and video games and NFTs are also added into the mix.
Who owns the metaverse?
The metaverse is still in development, so there is no one clear answer to this question. However, there are a few different companies that are working on developing the metaverse. One of these companies is Linden Lab, which owns the popular virtual world Second Life. Another company is High Fidelity, which is working on creating a more realistic and immersive virtual world.
Facebook has also announced plans to create a metaverse to connect people and businesses, and that it will be open for developers to create new applications and experiences and 6 months ago rebranded as meta.
The issue is in technology and co-operation. We are still a device based generation – and an idea of a virtual metropolis where we wander around seems a stretch too far when you can’t get some apps on both Apple and Android.
There are many potential uses for work in the metaverse though if some elements do pan out. Businesses could use it to hold virtual meetings, or even to create entire virtual office spaces.
One company already offering this is Spatial who have created a ‘spatial operating system’ that “enables people to work together in AR, VR and mixed reality.”
It’s well worth a look – we enjoyed marvelling at a landscape made purely of pixels!
This would certainly allow employees to work from anywhere in the world, which many do already – but they could meet without having to physically travel to a central location. Additionally, businesses could use the metaverse to train employees or customers on new products and services. The possibilities are endless and somewhat ‘in the sky’, and it will be interesting to see how businesses begin to utilize the metaverse in the coming years.
What are some of the advantages of using the metaverse for work?
-Virtual offices: Businesses could have virtual office space
in the metaverse that employees can connect to from anywhere in the world. This would allow for more flexibility and could potentially reduce costs.
-Training and simulations: The metaverse could be used to train employees in a variety of skills, from customer service to technical skills. It could also be used to simulate work environments so that employees can get a feel for what it would be like to work in a particular job or industry. Students could attend classes and interact with their teachers in a virtual environment. This would allow students to attend class from anywhere in the world and make it easier for them to get access to quality education.
-Collaboration: The metaverse could be used as a platform for collaboration between employees, clients, and partners. This would allow for more efficient communication and could potentially lead to new innovations.
-Customers could also visit businesses in the metaverse to learn more about products or services.
Only time will tell what actually pans out as a useable, life changing tech – but with investments in the metaverse valued at $200bn in 2020 – it’s certainly something to keep an eye on.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!