Even the non-techies among us have no doubt heard that Mark Zuckerberg has announced his company is all in when it comes to the creation of the metaverse, even going so far as to rebrand Facebook as Meta (the Facebook name remains for the app). But what is the metaverse? And, as many of our clients have asked, “What does it mean for my company?”
We’re going to keep this pretty high level for now, because at this point, there’s more that’s unknown than known. The metaverse, in a nutshell, is the internet in 3D. Instead of playing games, shopping, talking with friends, having meetings and such either in person or through a 2D screen, you would don a headset and interact virtually.
So, while you are sitting home in your PJs, your avatar (a 3D, digital representation of you) can walk through a virtual mall and make purchases. You can attend a concert with friends without leaving your home. Without having to book a flight or hotel room, you can visit the Louvre in Paris. You aren’t doing these things in real life, but you will feel almost like you are. There are games and apps out there now that can provide a 3D experience, but the metaverse sees this happening on much larger scale.
What Does My Company Need to Do?
For now, absolutely nothing. The metaverse will take billions of dollars and several years to build, and at this point, no one knows exactly what it will look like and how it will function. For one thing, it’s not a single product or company. There are lots of players in the metaverse arena, from Meta and Microsoft to gaming companies like Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) and chipmaker Nvidia. They are each looking to build their own visions of the metaverse, but how and if they will connect with each other to create a seamless experience is unknown.
Further, while tech moves fast, it’s not where it needs to be to support the metaverse in a comfortable, large-scale way. While companies around the world are working on building 5G networks, the metaverse will likely need 6G to make the experience smooth and enjoyable.
Beyond that, it remains to be seen how many people will opt to strap on the necessary headset to spend time in the metaverse. And even when they do, while it may seem cool to visit with your friend in another country virtually, at the end of the day, a virtual hug is no replacement for the real thing.
We keep an eye on all the latest tech developments and how they may impact or benefit our clients, but for now, we’re keeping the metaverse far back on our virtual burner. As always, if you have any questions, our team is happy to help.