The metaverse is a digital reality combining social media, online gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, and cryptocurrencies to allow virtual user interaction. The metaverse may refer to anything on the internet, including all of AR’s offerings. Virtual space of the future describes the metaverse, providing access to all kinds of entertainment and projects, including the opportunity to work.
We expect the metaverse to be immersive, ubiquitous, and free to access. It will be digitally focused, and potentially involves entertainment, social connection, work productivity, and behavior modification at scale. It will create an entire ecosystem for developers, apps, ads, and new digital innovations. The metaverse will facilitate convenience, consumption, and a frictionless access to services.
Only a few companies today have a real stake in the metaverse. They include ByteDance, Tencent, Facebook, Spotify, Zoom, Amazon (Twitch), Alibaba, Roblox, Bilibili, Snapchat, Kuaishou, and Huawei. Apple’s wearables also point to the metaverse with AR glasses coming soon. Microsoft with Microsoft Teams and gaming is perhaps the most advanced company in the world regarding the metaverse. WeChat’s ability to facilitate payments and access to a variety of services is the start of the metaverse super apps.
As the metaverse ecosystem grows in 2022, we expect it will have a direct impact on the future of many technology sectors. These include gaming, wearables, VR and AR, collaborative productivity (Canva, Slack), consumer tech products (including AR glasses or smart speakers), social networks, educational technology, health technology, communication technology (Zoom), digital currencies, and convenience mobilization and on-demand consumption (Amazon, Meituan, Alibaba, JD.com, Shopify).