Metaverse Technologies: Trends, Market Overview, Use Cases
In this article, we dive into the world of the metaverse, exploring its technologies and trends. Find out what challenges the metaverse might face in the future.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is the concept of an online 3D digital world with virtual inhabitants and objects. Imagine a world where you can work remotely, visit virtual museums to see the latest art, or join a virtual rock concert from the comfort of your home.
Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and Decentraland have already incorporated certain aspects of the metaverse to bring many elements of our lives to online worlds. However, the metaverse is still a work in progress. No one knows if it will be one big, all-encompassing virtual world or multiple metaverses that you can travel through.
As the idea evolves, it’s expected to move beyond video games and social media platforms. Remote work, decentralized governance, and digital identity are just some of the potential features the metaverse could support. It may also become multi-dimensional, with connected headsets and virtual reality glasses so users can physically walk around while exploring 3D spaces.
Metaverse market overview
According to an analysis by Bloomberg and data from Newzoo, IDC, PwC, Statista, and Two Circles, the potential worldwide revenue from metaverse technologies could approach $800 billion in 2024, up from about $500 billion in 2020. Online games and gaming equipment manufacturers may account for over $400 billion of this market in 2024, with the remainder in live entertainment and social media capabilities.
As video game makers continue to transform existing games into 3D online worlds that more closely resemble social networks, their market opportunities may expand to encapsulate live entertainment such as concerts and sporting events. Video games may even compete for a share of social media advertising revenue. The total size of the metaverse market could be 2.7 times total gaming software, services, and advertising revenue.
According to Bloomberg’s analysis, the main revenue opportunity the metaverse presents for video game manufacturers. The metaverse can also promote growth in sales of gaming hardware. Within this core market, which could reach $412.9B in 2024, up from $274.9B in 2020, revenue from software and services as well as in-game advertising accounts for about 70% of total revenue.
Metaverse use cases
Uncovering market perspectives
Among the primary use cases for the metaverse will be opening up new marketing opportunities.A metaverse is a virtual world where users participate in different activities as their digital avatars. Metaverse users may make purchases or chat, or participate in leisure or educational activities. Brands can benefit from exclusive marketing opportunities in various virtual worlds.
A great number of brands have successfully capitalized on the marketing opportunities of the metaverse. For example, Anzu has used ads to track real-time views in game environments on mobile and console platforms. Recently, Roblox started advertising brands including Paramount+ and WarnerMedia.
Ads in the metaverse feel like real-life ads and fit well with the gameplay. For example, billboards in a game or branded clothing worn by characters provide a promising brand image.
The use of the metaverse to unlock new marketing opportunities has become evident in metaverse games.
Blockchain use cases
The most important use case for metaverse technology is to extend blockchain metaverse use cases. A blockchain is one of the main requirements for a decentralized metaverse. It can also serve as a vital tool to encourage widespread adoption of metaverse technologies across industries. Blockchains support cryptocurrencies and also serve as distributed ledgers for documenting peer-to-peer transactions. Additionally, they support the creation of dApps and NFTs.
The benefits of a blockchain metaverse can facilitate the development of new, realistic, and attractive NFT trading platforms. With the help of the metaverse, NFT marketplaces can become more interactive, allowing users to interact with each other. An interactive environment supported by the metaverse could allow users to view NFTs to make informed buying decisions.
Since the metaverse offers a shared virtual space, other potential use cases for a metaverse blockchain, such as promoting new NFTs or blockchain games, have become prominent. NFT or blockchain games can allow players to acquire a variety of in-game collectibles that they can trade with other players or in external markets. The metaverse can serve as a vital backbone for the next generation of blockchain-based online gaming.
Virtual tourism is another use case for the metaverse. Technology has advanced to the point where you can enjoy travel without physically visiting your destination. The main difference between visiting a place in person and seeing it on video is the first-person view.
The metaverse, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) can be combined to create an immersive digital environment. With an immersive digital reality with realistic content, you might have the perfect platform to develop your audience’s imagination. As a result, your audience can perceive a place as if they were there in person.
Virtual tourism is one of the new uses of the metaverse that could become widespread. Popular video streaming platforms like YouTube and many other content hosting services are expanding their collections of 360-degree video content. However, one huge setback for virtual tourism is a lack of freedom within the environment. Users are not able to navigate through a tourist destination, as they can only view recorded content.
Real-time web communication
The search for metaverse blockchain use cases will also point to potential metaverse applications to facilitate real-time communication in web interfaces. Real-time internet communication refers to an open source initiative that offers real-time communication capabilities for mobile apps and web browsers. This is one of the most promising use cases for the metaverse and could change traditional approaches to audio and video communication.
With real-time web communication, you don’t need intermediate servers to relay communications between clients. The value of peer-to-peer communication in the metaverse could open up new opportunities for direct communication between browsers.
Metaverse technology use cases provide a favorable framework for defining new standards for web communications. In addition, the value of real-time web communications can be doubled due to multiple media streams, which are critical to the development of the virtual world.
Virtual office and study spaces
The global pandemic has spurred the growth of remote work. Professionals from companies across sectors have used Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom during the pandemic. These tools support virtual communication among professionals working remotely.
However, the metaverse opens up many opportunities for developing a virtual office space or learning environment. The metaverse, for example, can offer the experience of working or studying in the same room.
Companies like Virtuworx have capitalized on the metaverse’s ability to create virtual office spaces. Virtuworx has developed a hybrid of VR and mixed reality environments with digital avatars, offering a meaningful and productive work experience. With a fully customizable solution, teams can access various features such as events, offices, conferences, virtual training, and trade shows.
Educational institutions have also identified the possibility of bridging gaps in communication with the benefits of the metaverse. Universities are using online platforms such as Minecraft and Second Life to improve student learning. In addition, metaverse virtual reality simulations can help architecture and medical students practice their skills.
What are the underlying technologies behind the metaverse?
Companies are looking to make the metaverse more immersive. To do this, they use cutting-edge technologies such as the blockchain, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, IoT, and 3D constructions to create virtual 3D worlds. With that in mind, let’s take a look at these technologies and complete the metaverse.
3D technology isn’t new, but over time it has become powerful. The importance of 3D reconstruction has increased in many industries, especially in the real estate industry. Due to extended shutdowns and social distancing practices, people are missing out on visiting properties in person. As a solution, real estate agencies have implemented 3D reconstruction technology to invite potential buyers on real estate tours without forcing them to leave their homes.
Similar to the metaverse, 3D reconstruction facilitates the creation of natural environments where users can move around using their avatars to view copies of physical buildings and objects
To further enhance the experience, developers have combined 3D with 4K video.
Artificial intelligence is widely used in our daily lives for business automation, creating strategies and planning, face recognition, speeding up computing, and more. Similarly, AI allows for the creation of an immersive virtual space. Regardless of the type of project (gaming, commercial, or niche), AI adds value to the metaverse in many ways:
- Data processing and management become easier and faster thanks to AI.
- In a game’s metaverse, AI empowers NPCs in a variety of ways, improving their actions and the ways they interact with each other.
- Artificial intelligence technology analyzes 3D scans and images to create more realistic avatars.
- Technology is also critical to making the entire metaverse experience dynamic so that the user experience is immersive every time a user steps into the space.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
AR and VR are critical to the metaverse, as they provide a fun and immersive 3D experience for users. These two technologies are entry points to the virtual world, metaverse, or similar digital space.
AR uses visual elements and graphical characters to transform the real world. AR-based apps allow users to view their surroundings with engaging digital images close to those in games like AR Dragon and Pokémon GO. Anyone with a digital device and a smart camera can access AR applications. VR is very different from AR and resembles the metaverse concept. It creates a complete computer-generated digital world that users can explore with a VR headset, gloves, and digital sensors.
The initial capabilities of VR and AR are an early model of the metaverse. These technologies have matured over time and should redefine our digital experience. In addition, AR and VR have generated a lot of buzz, which has prompted big tech giants to invest in the development of VR and AR hardware to realize futuristic metaverse projects.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things bridges the gap between our physical world and the internet by allowing data to be sent or received through sensors. For the metaverse, the Internet of Things collects data from the physical world and transfers it to virtual space, improving the accuracy of digital representations. This means that IoT data streams can determine the functioning of objects in the metaverse based on a changing environment and other events.
IoT technology easily connects the 3D virtual world with a variety of real-world devices and enables real-world processes to be recreated in a digital collaboration infrastructure. To further improve the metaverse ecosystem, the Internet of Things can use artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to efficiently manage the data it collects.
Advantages of the metaverse
Solves problems of remote work
The metaverse can solve problems of remote work. It allows managers to effectively communicate with employees, including by reading their body language and sending private messages. What’s more, employers can solve problems like productive time theft and a golden brick in the workplace by tracking the team’s performance with team members’ unique avatars.
Great tool for medical professionals
The metaverse is a boon for medical professionals who were previously unable to visit patients due to geographic restrictions. In the virtual world of the metaverse, doctors can interact with patients and have a clear idea of their health status.
More immersive online gaming
Most of today’s metaverse games have a decentralized economic model where developers and publishers own in-game assets and have the right to distribute them. Meanwhile, the idea of allowing avatars to explore a vast virtual space is captivating players.
Traveling is an adventure, but not everyone can travel the world. That’s where the metaverse comes in handy. It allows people to virtually visit places they cannot go physically. Using the combined power of the metaverse, AR, and VR, an advanced virtual world can be developed that offers first-person experiences to users.
Challenges in the metaverse
The metaverse is undoubtedly the greatest innovation in the world of virtual reality, and it will change the way we perceive interactions on the internet and social media. But the metaverse is still in its infancy. Like any new technology, the metaverse has some potential issues.
- Unlike in the real world, identifying people in the metaverse is quite difficult. Users need to be checked by voice, facial expressions, and avatar features.
- Fraudsters or bots trying to damage someone’s reputation can pretend to be someone’s avatar.
- The metaverse’s reliance on VR and AR devices may lead to leaks of personal data, as such devices are equipped with camera features and unique IDs.
Note that these issues are obvious and do not exist in every metaverse project. With sufficient knowledge of metaverse development and a professional team, you can easily design and run your personalized virtual world without risking your users’ security.
The various use cases for the metaverse, along with the various benefits associated with it, open up promising prospects for the future of the metaverse. As many companies have begun to explore the space of the metaverse, it’s only a matter of time before we see the metaverse concept become widespread. It can help in creating virtual office spaces and learning environments that enable real-time communication and first-hand experiences.