It’s not virtual anymore – the metaverse is fast becoming a business reality for some of the biggest companies in the world. Global revenue in the metaverse was nearly $500 billion in 2020 and is estimated to top $800 billion in 2024.
Most of this revenue is derived from real estate sales on the four biggest metaverse platforms – Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels and Somnium – as companies, brands and investors speculate on the next digital London, Paris, Manhattan or Monaco.
So if you’re asking if you or your company is ready for the metaverse, the good news is that you’re fashionably late to the party.
Neale Petersen, who was one of South Africa’s early adopters of this new digital platform when his company, REI, hosted an industry-first Digitalisation ‘Proptech’ Summit in the metaverse last year, believes that it is important for companies to have their own private metaverse to engage with staff, partners, clients and other stakeholders.
“Obviously companies want to tap into the potential benefits of the Metaverse, but at the same time they can’t risk making everything accessible to everyone”, says Petersen. “Although the big four metaverse platforms offer publicly accessible virtual worlds, Organisations often need a more focused subset of virtual experiences aimed at helping employees, clients and the public engage in a secure, curated platform.”
“We developed Metaverse Spaces in conjunction with South African based tech developers Y-Dangle to offer any company a commercial platform to create their own metaverse, enabling them to showcase their products, host their partners and clients for meetings, events and networking gatherings in an interactive 3D metaverse space,” says Peterson.
“Metaverse Spaces is a wonderful platform where you can engage with the public, but it also can offer virtual experiences to everyone within a company, ranging from the very first virtual job interview, virtual onboarding and training to daily virtual meetings, design reviews,troubleshooting and so on.”
“Some people think you need an expensive AR headset with google to visit the metaverse but that’s not the case at all – you just need a decent computer and a headset,” says Peterson. “Although virtual reality has been around for a while, only fairly recently have we had the necessary tech developments to ensure it can run an interactive metaverse smoothly on most modern computers.”
“We have helped local companies such as Greater Tygerberg Partnership, MRI Software and IWG host their own event in the Metaverse Space and have catered for nearly 1000 digital guests at a time.”
READ MORE: How to enter the Metaverse era
A decade ago, it was social media that changed the nature of how millions of us interact and do business on a daily basis. The metaverse is the next step in the digital evolution and we are only beginning to understand and explore some of the important roles it will play in the future of business and the ways of working.