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Posted by Onyx IT ● Jan 5, 2023 4:09:43 PM

The new buzzword in town is "metaverse". What does that actually mean for businesses? Is it just something social media companies need to think about?

According to people like Apple's CEO Tim Cook, the metaverse is on the rise. He stated that "life without AR will soon be unthinkable" Whether this is a short-term or long-term prediction, businesses need to be prepared.

First, it's important to understand what the metaverse is. It is a general term - so it's not capitalized like a proper noun. The metaverse refers to a collective upgrading of the Internet to a 3D virtual environment. It's a world in which different websites are interconnected. These sites would mirror the immersive games seen today.

Did Facebook/Meta invent the metaverse? No.

The idea of interconnected 3D worlds has been around for decades. Several online gaming companies have carved out territory in the metaverse. But their applications are less interconnected.

What's one of the best representations of the early metaverse? It's a short-lived piece of software called Adobe Atmosphere. This immersive 3D experience included interconnected online worlds. It also allowed you to chat with others. It was a bit before its time, but shows that the concept of metaverse has been around for a while.

The metaverse is getting attention now because technology has advanced. It has begun to meet the needs of such a world. This includes fast Internet connections and immense computing power. It also includes a transmission method for 3D that works on most PCs.

Are we there yet? Not quite yet. But the Metaverse is picking up steam. Recently, Microsoft announced a partnership with Meta. This partnership is designed to bring Microsoft 365 applications into the metaverse. That means collaboration in a whole new way. Microsoft notes that 50% of Generation Z and Millennials expect to do some of their work in the Metaverse in the next two years.

Image source: Microsoft

How Will the Metaverse Change Business?

With companies like Microsoft looking at the future of AR /VR, this could soon be a reality. You can expect the Metaverse to affect your own business in some way in the next few years. Here's a preview of the potential impact.


Where Can You Advertise?

When the Internet was first introduced, businesses didn't immediately recognize its potential. Today, most businesses can't imagine operating without a website. It's a necessity for gaining customer contacts and generating sales.

If the metaverse catches on as a new 3D variant of the Internet, it could become just as important. This means that you should look into metaverse-like advertising in virtual worlds. You may also be able to set up your own website, VR, or a showroom.


How to Service Customers

As social media grew in popularity, businesses realized that customers were using it to reach out. Seventy-nine percent of consumers expect businesses to respond to a message on social media. And they expect that response within a day.

To meet this need, many companies have a social media presence. They use it for marketing and to answer questions and inquiries from customers.

The Metaverse could be the next step. When people are on there, they'll expect to interact with businesses in that space. Just like they do now with social networks.

That means companies need to be aware of how customers are using the metaverse as it grows. Including a question about metaverse usage in a year-end customer survey could be one way to proactively address this issue.


Employee Training

One of the touted benefits of the Metaverse is its ability to enable immersive training. This could greatly enhance training opportunities for everyone from doctors to forklift drivers.

Imagine being able to more accurately replicate a task in a virtual world. A person could safely make mistakes there. Then people could familiarize themselves with the task before performing it in real life.

Think about what kind of training your employees need. Then consider how a VR world could make training safer or more efficient. The Metaverse may not offer what you're looking for now. But at the rate technology is advancing, it might in a year or two.


More Engaging Remote Team Collaboration

Virtual meetings skyrocketed out of necessity during the pandemic. Today, meetings via teams or Zoom are commonplace. The next generation of online team meetings could take place in a virtual world.

As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft is already working to bring its applications into a virtual space. Add a few avatars and an immersive environment. Suddenly, you have a completely different meeting experience.

Is there another way to improve remote team collaboration in the metaverse? It has to do with building design and maintenance. Imagine being able to walk through a 3D replica of a space before it's built. And then fine-tuning the construction while you're in that space. Is your company ready for the next digital transformation?


 Is Your Company Ready for the Next Digital Transformation? 

What are your plans for digital transformation for the next year? The next three years? If you’re not sure where to begin, Onyx IT team can help. Contact Onyx IT today to schedule a technology brainstorming session.

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Article used with permission from The Technology Press.