What is the metaverse?
Whether you have heard about Facebook’s rebranding to Meta or read about whether the Metaverse will mean the end for in-person human connection as we know it, the Metaverse has become a hot topic in recent years and one of the internet's favourite buzzwords.
The term Metaverse originally appeared in a 1992 science-fiction novel and referred to a digital world running parallel to our own, which major companies like Google, Meta and Apple are planning on making a reality as they invest into a market already predicted to be worth $80 billion by 2024.
This3D version of the internet offers a virtual environment where users can play, interact and work whether in augmented or virtual reality, and its applications range from revolutionising our social media engagement to changing our consumer habits and even how we apply for and obtain new job roles in the future.
How is the metaverse making an impact in Singapore?
A study of 6000 people across South-East Asia recently found that those in Singapore are the least sure about the metaverse, with only 56% choosing from one of the positive response options available, a stark difference to the 72% positive average.
Despite this, there is no doubt that the next stage of the technological frontier will have a substantial impact in the region. Already businesses in Singapore are exploring and adapting to the metaverse, with professional services company Accenture partially conducting employee orientation in the metaverse and offering ongoing training in virtual environments.
What will this mean for business?
If embraced top its full potential, there are almost limitless ways that the metaverse can change how we conduct business, and the services that companies can offer.
A key change for businesses will come in how and where they conduct day-to-day activities.
The metaverse offers vast options for meeting and interacting with colleagues and clients in virtual environments,while in reality, usersare comfortably based at home, or in another setting outside of the traditional office.
Teams at Meta are already utilising this feature to hold team meetings, so the rollout to other companies is a lot closer than you may realise.
Retail is one industry predicted to have massive expansion opportunities through the metaverse. Future developments will enable users to enter digital shops designed to their own preferences, pick up and try on items and even project certain items into their own real environments, for example showing a TV on a wall or a wardrobe in a bedroom to ensure products are perfect for a certain space before purchase.
For businesses in Singapore, one key benefit of the metaverse is that it can be utilised by theoretically any industry, so from insurance to technology, companies can conduct interviews, carry out check-ins with their team and even socialise after hours all in digital spaces.
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