One in four of us will be shopping, learning, socialising and entertaining in our metaverse of choice for an hour a day by 2026 according to Gartner.
According to Marty Resnick, research vice president at Gartner, “Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds.”
“From attending virtual classrooms to buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, these activities are currently being conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse – with multiple destinations across technologies and experiences.”
Gartner defines a metaverse as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality.
Metaverses will provide persistent, enhanced immersive experiences, and will be device-independent and accessible through any type of device, from tablets to head-mounted displays.
And, said Gartner, no single vendor will own the metaverse (Sorry Zuck!).
This new and emerging virtual economy will be enabled by digital currencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and will impact every business that consumers interact with every day, according to the analysts.
It will also impact how work gets done, said Gartner.
It argues that enterprises will provide better engagement, collaboration and connection to their employees through immersive workspaces in virtual offices. Businesses will not need to create their own infrastructure to do so because the metaverse will provide the framework. In addition, virtual events that have gained popularity over the last 18 months will offer more collaborative and immersive networking opportunities and workshops.
“Enterprises will have the ability to expand and enhance their business models in unprecedented ways by moving from a digital business to a metaverse business,” said Resnick. “By 2026, 30 percent of the organisations in the world will have products and services ready for metaverse.”
Expect the early days to be fragmented and risky. Gartner cautions organisations about investing heavily in a specific metaverse. “It is still too early to know which investments will be viable in the long term, but product managers should take the time to learn, explore and prepare for a metaverse in order to position themselves competitively,” said Resnick.