Metaverse platforms, especially those designed for businesses, are still in their infancy. Here are some things to be aware of and media to watch in 2023.
Whether you think the metaverse is a collection of specialized applications or, as its proponents assert, the future of how we work and play, the COVID-19 pandemic changes brought about by Facebook’s rebranding as Meta has brought the idea of a 3D internet into the spotlight. The result? Businesses no longer discount the idea of using a virtual shared workspace in a professional setting.
According to Gartner, 25% of people will engage in metaverse-related activities for at least an hour per day by 2026. This includes professional experiences that expand on the remote work platforms implemented during the pandemic.
According to Gartner, “Enterprises will improve employee engagement, collaboration, and connection through immersive workspaces in virtual offices,” adding that the metaverse platform providers will handle the bulk of the work. “The metaverse will provide the framework, so businesses won’t need to create their own infrastructure to do so.”
Features of the Metaverse platform
According to Marty Resnick, vice president, and analyst at Gartner, metaverse platforms have the following five characteristics: The platform’s infrastructure should support the creator economy, enable interaction, and be immersive, interoperable, and manage identity.
He added that the platforms must convey a “feeling of presence, which is the idea of being there.” Users should have control over their interactions with digital objects even though they are still in the physical world. Users should be able to build environments, things, and experiences inside Metaverse development company
Enterprise use cases
There are only “metaverse-style” platforms available right now, according to J. P. Gownder, the principal analyst at Forrester. We don’t believe the metaverse is real, he added.
He cited platforms that provide workplaces for team collaboration that use 3D and spatial computing technologies like digital twins and machine vision. These technologies claim to enable more organic virtual cooperation between individuals.
They are currently “very nascent and unproven” in a business setting, according to Gownder. Furthermore, it will take longer than people anticipate to convince workers to use the metaverse. Unless they are gamers, employees entering the metaverse will be exposed to “totally new behavior,” which is currently targeted more at a younger workforce, he said. Many don’t realize that “mastering using it” is much more difficult.
Gownder listed the primary employee use cases for metaverse platforms as virtual offices (collaboration for knowledge workers), remote assistance, and employee onboarding and training (collaboration for frontline workers like field service technicians). He predicted that each of these would take time to become standard.
According to Jason Warnke, senior managing director and head of the digital experience at Accenture, it’s critical to comprehend the potential reach of the metaverse. He said the technologies behind extended reality, blockchain, digital twins, and edge computing “are converging to reshape human experiences. It’s a continuum of realities, digital worlds, and business models.”
He said that we view the metaverse as broader than a single technology or digital space, similar to how the internet evolved beyond simple websites to support many of today’s businesses.
Warnke has a more upbeat outlook on using metaverse technology in the workplace. He mentioned that some metaverse platforms, such as the Nth Floor developed by Accenture, are already in use. Using a laptop or one of the 60,000 Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets the company has purchased, employees can access the Nth Floor. According to Warnke, Nth Floor allows workers to engage in immersive learning, interact in teams, and complete new hire orientation.
12 platforms for the metaverse to be aware of in 2023
Here are some of the top metaverse platforms you should be familiar with by 2023, according to analysts.
The virtual platform, which Microsoft acquired in 2017, is a component of the Mixed Reality division of the tech behemoth and allows for the creation of virtual events. Users can host a meetup, a show, or a class.
A video platform called BlueJeans from Verizon is made to maximize flexible work in enterprise and midsized businesses. To reimagine “virtual events in the era of the metaverse with 3D, VR and AR immersive environments, avatars and AI chatbots,” the company teamed up with MootUp in 2021.
A virtual world gaming platform called Cryptovoxels is supported by cryptocurrency and the Ethereum blockchain. It includes basic infrastructure like buildings and roads. Like Cryptovoxels, Gownder declared that “anything with the word “crypto” won’t hit my list.”
Gather is primarily concerned with video chat, which creates a virtual layer over the real world. According to Gownder, it is an enterprise-specific offering that closely resembles an office setup and fully integrates with video conferencing.
Anyone can be a hero in the Metahero universe created by Web3 company Pixel Vault. The platform offers six distinct kits with individualized and customizable avatars.
Horizon Workrooms and Meta Horizon Worlds
With its nascent metaverse Horizon platform, Meta (formerly Facebook) markets itself as an “ever-expanding social universe” where users can hang out with friends and make their worlds. The company’s mixed reality app for employee collaboration is called Workrooms.
The virtual platform of the chipmaker focuses on 3D computer graphics design work, simulations, and the creation of new worlds.
Roblox’s mission is to provide users with a platform that allows them to design unique experiences. Our goal is to reinvent how people interact with one another while creating, playing, exploring, and learning.
Marketing and sales teams in education, retail, life sciences, and manufacturing can use Rooom’s enterprise virtual showrooms, 3D product presentations, and virtual events.
On the Ethereum blockchain technology software development, a community-driven gaming platform called Sandbox was created. Creators can sell voxel assets. There is nothing secure or enterprise-focused about a crypto gaming platform, according to Gownder, so it would only enter his consideration set.
The immersive experiences offered by Metaverse City in Second Life, which bills itself as “a welcoming role-play community,” allow players to come and go as they please. Gownder says it’s a relatively insecure area. “Most of these more generic virtual worlds are like working in a bar, which is fine, but they’re not specifically designed platforms for work,” she said. Second Life by Linden Labs, which debuted as an online virtual game in 2003, was referred to.
Somnium Space, an open-source gaming platform, appeals to Gownder more as a platform for casual gamers. Among other things, users can buy digital land parcels, construct houses and other structures, and launch businesses. Most clients I speak with prefer working with secure and easily auditable tools, so he claimed that anything built on Web3 is inherently suspect. In his opinion, Web3 tools could be clearer.
What to anticipate going forward
Decentraland, Altura, Bramble, and MeetinVR are additional platforms for the metaverse that frequently appear on top platform lists.
The next-generation IT infrastructure, known as Web3.0, is being heavily invested in by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, to support 3D immersive virtual and augmented reality experiences. Before the market is mature, there will be a lot of experimentation, as with any newly emerging technology, according to Forrester’s Gownder. He predicted that while some startups for the metaverse platform would fail, others would be acquired.
Indeed, Gownder is still hesitant about the potential of metaverse platforms, noting that there has been a lot of unwarranted enthusiasm in the consumer market. In the early 1990s, VR arcades and movies created excitement, but “then it faded and flopped for a good 15 to 20 years.”
However, he thinks it will be interesting to watch the enterprise space “because we have new problems we have to solve,” particularly with a highly dispersed workforce and incomplete collaborative offerings today. For instance, Gownder said that while video conferencing is great, trying to look people in the eyes while on camera has cognitive costs. “You can’t do some things like you can in the office,”
Because they can move more naturally and form groups, avatars can improve communication and help people recover from Zoom fatigue. In contrast to a video conference, it “simulates a sense of physical space,” he claimed.
Gartner stated that even though people should be aware of immersive and metaverse tech platforms, “that does not mean you have to invest in them today.” He suggests that people fully comprehend what these platforms do and consider the potential effects, benefits, and drawbacks that emerging metaverses might offer.