The world of technology is all about evolving to advancements and bringing on the developments that gradually unwind the traditional ideas & concepts. Similar is the case of the Metaverse, a word that has gained global consideration in the last few months. The concept of Metaverse was introduced long ago by a Sci-fi Writer Neal Stephenson in 1992, as he used the word to describe a 3D Virtual Space; however, it is now witnessing inescapable popularity ever since Facebook revealed that it would rebrand as Meta. All in all, the prevalence of Metaverse platforms has sparked countless questions in various planes, one of which is the events industry. Let us walk you through some of the most essential questions around the Metaverse, and further, its influence on the events’ sphere.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is a virtual world with shared 3D virtual spaces operated through multiple virtual tools. Like our real & dynamic world, it is a digital world where everything would be online in an immersive 3D real-like environment. In the digital or virtual universe, people would be able to create their personalized metaverse avatars, coexist with other avatars, and explore all the different platforms in it.
While this is the present image of the Metaverse, the bigger picture is quite different and a lot more advanced!
The Long Term Plan of the Metaverse
The Metaverse plan is to build a virtual reality world where real and digital life blends to provide users with endless space to explore boundless new opportunities & possibilities. In the idealistic imagined scenario, you will be able to feel, explore, and experience the virtual universe exactly like you are physically present at the location with the help of advanced metaverse technology.
The high-definition 3D engaging environments of the Metaverse will be accessible through equipment like VR Goggles or Haptic Gloves; that would help you control your metaverse avatars, interact with other avatars, and simply function in the virtual world as you do in the real one. However, an advanced technology that everybody could access & experience does not fully exist yet.
There are various companies or platforms that have already begun providing prebuilt, customizable, and collaborative 3D environments in the metaverse. To name a few, Fortnite, Metaverse, Decentraland, and Spatial are some of the most well-known emerging platforms, providing fully advanced three-dimensional spaces.
These spaces feature virtual venues like conference halls, meeting rooms, auditoriums, booths, and a lot more. People participating or exploring these environments would not only be able to personalize their own avatars but also make them do activities like a wave, run, dance, jump, and much more. Not just this, but there can also be 3D items that the metaverse avatars can hold & inspect. Moving further with a step ahead, the users can also turn on their avatar’s webcam, enabling face-to-face interactions.
As mentioned in the Metaverse Report by Grayscale, the Metaverse is estimated to be a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity across diverse industries and sectors.
Top Features of the Metaverse
1) Digital 3D Avatars
Digital 3D avatar is one of the key aspects of metaverse technology. Users can seamlessly create their digital replicas while entering a metaverse platform and control their 3D avatars to access & experience the technology to the fullest. Not just their replicas, but the users can also create an avatar of their own preference! The digital 3D avatar enables the users to commit actions like run, dance, sway, and a lot more. In an idealistic metaverse, the users can completely control these avatars with the help of AR/VR metaverse technologies.
2) Completely Immersive User-Experience
Metaverse creates a truly immersive user experience for the users where they can seamlessly engage using all the senses like sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. It is so because AR and VR metaverse technology involves elements like multi-definition sounds and surround images that enable a user to have a real-like experience. Metaverse can also require the use of technologies like omnidirectional treadmills and haptic body suits that help the users experience & navigate a virtual environment.
3) Real-time 3D Spaces
In the metaverse, users can participate and experience real-time 3D spaces and locations. These virtual spaces can either be a whole new location or even the exact digital replica of any existing physical location. An easy example is the Roblox metaverse which is enabled by the gaming platform and has its own currency, the Robux. Users operating in the Roblox metaverse can purchase Robux and spend it on virtual avatar accessories, virtual items, the experience, and a lot more. However, a developed metaverse will also have a fully functioning economy where users could participate in diverse activities.
The different 3D virtual worlds or spaces in the metaverse are highly customizable. In the virtual environment, users can personalize or design a venue as per their preference and include diverse features to create an immersive experience. Ever since the Metaverse has come into prevalence, many brands and users have built a customized virtual environment to host diverse events. Explore the most prominent customized metaverse events here.
5) Interoperable Network
Metaverse is built with a connected series of networks that allows the user to carry or have the same virtual items or assets across different metaverse experiences. In simpler terms, a user can experience the cross-platform capability in the metaverse where they can purchase & use the same virtual item across different metaverse platforms, spaces, events, etc. Similarly, the technology will become more and more advanced in terms of different virtual activities enabling the creation of a virtual economy.
6) Interactivity & Synchronicity
Another efficient feature of the technology is that the users can have real-time interaction & engagement. With AR & VR metaverse technology, users can seamlessly connect with other users in the virtual venue through the functionality of digital avatars. Not just this, but users can also react to each other and the digital environment just like they do in the real world. Interactivity in the metaverse can be thought of as an enhanced version of a virtual event. Users present over different remote locations share the experience of being at the event together and interacting through multiple tools. However, metaverse brings users the opportunity to have an absolutely immersive interactivity experience.
7) Multi-Device Functionality
Another characteristic of the metaverse is that a user can access, operate, and experience it from any device. However, to operate and have a completely immersive experience, users need to use metaverse AR & VR tools like goggles and gloves, which are not supported on devices like phones or tablets. Therefore, this feature of the metaverse comes with a limitation for the users as they could only operate the lighter versions of the metaverse from devices like phones or tablets. It is so because the simpler metaverse events can easily be accessible over traditional devices, without requiring technologies like metaverse AR or VR.
The virtual worlds in the metaverse will exist irrespective of time and place. It is going to be real-time persistent in the long run where the digital world and activities never come on hold, just like the real world. In simpler terms, the technology will continue to exist and function even after the users leave the virtual spaces, platforms, or venues.
The Different Use Cases & Applications of the Metaverse Technology
The metaverse is assumed to be the future of technology and everything that involves human interaction. So, in the context of use cases and possibilities that come with the metaverse, it can be defined as an infinite digital land that can be explored without any stop. The applications and uses of the metaverse technology can keep increasing along with the advancements that take place in the upcoming future. To gain a better understanding of the same, let us explore some of the top use cases of the metaverse technology as mentioned below:
The Top Use Cases of the Metaverse
#1 Virtual Businesses & E-Commerce:
From different business activities to e-commerce, everything is possible in the digital metaverse world. As mentioned in the Metaverse Report by Grayscale, the Metaverse is estimated to be a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity across diverse industries and sectors.
Businesses will be able to promote and enhance their diverse services by taking the activities virtually. If thought practically, everything that happens in the metaverse would include basic business traits! The simplest example of business application in the metaverse is- Walmart’s years-old vision of digital immersive shopping, where the users will be able to market in the digital store through an immersive metaverse experience.
Similarly, various e-commerce business owners can take their services virtual and execute the trading formalities like product inspections and deal finalization with merchants and other users in their own metaverse spaces. It would also give a whole new turn to the digital marketing aspects as metaverse features would ease the process of trust-building and authentic servicing.
#2 Virtual Work & Office:
The pandemic made businesses and organizations across the world shift to digital or online modes of communication. With this, virtual meeting and conferencing platforms that provided multi-format communication tools in a customized virtual venue also gained matchless prevalence. Similarly, the metaverse has opened a new opportunity for organizations to hold significant office activities in an immersive environment, supporting the people’s preference to collaborate remotely.
#3 Virtual Education & Learning:
Just like virtual office activities, education and learning could also go virtual using immersive technology. Educational organizations also had to shift to the online format of learning which indeed resulted in students across the globe missing out on practical knowledge. Through metaverse, users can seamlessly participate in immersive e-learning activities in the technology’s engaging experience.
#4 Gaming & Leisure:
Gaming can be considered to be the one industry where the metaverse experience partially came way earlier. It is so because gaming platforms already created immersive virtual environments and used AR & VR metaverse technology to provide a digital world experience to the users. In fact, many gaming platforms like Roblox metaverse and Fortnite metaverse are providing users with customizable virtual venues to organize activities & venues. All in all, the digital metaverse world can be a great option for gaming & leisure activities.
#5 Virtual Real Estate:
Virtual real estate has become a real thing with the inception of the metaverse. Users can not only take their real estate trade activities virtual but actually deal with virtual lands. From showcasing real properties in the virtual world to trading virtual lands, everything is now possible in the metaverse. An excellent example of a platform dealing in virtual lands is Decentraland, a 3D world where users can buy lands in the form of NFT through blockchain technology.
#6 Virtual Tourism:
The tourism industry was badly hit by the pandemic, as traveling and gathering in large groups became a constraint. So, the travel and tourism industry can efficiently take a step ahead from 360-degree image representation to a 3D immersive experience, and make a powerful comeback with metaverse technology. However, by taking tourism virtual, a new opportunity can be created for worldwide users to explore global sites without having to travel.
#7 Virtual Events:
After the pandemic came, the events industry chose to go virtual and help worldwide event organizers to organize personalized events in engaging virtual platforms. The metaverse technology is just a way further for the events industry to create an even more immersive environment for global event attendees. Many event organizers, brands, and artists are already hosting significant events on the metaverse event platforms. From virtual metaverse weddings to metaverse product launches, all types of events are being organized in the metaverse event venues.
#8 Blockchain Use Cases:
One of the most essential use cases of metaverse technology is the possibility of advanced blockchain use cases. Blockchain technology can serve as a significant tool to encourage large-scale support of metaverse technology across different industries. The top advantages & use cases of blockchain technology in the metaverse includes:
- Enables the use of cryptocurrencies
- Helps in building decentralized virtual spaces
- Provides a transparent solution for the ownership of virtual collectibles
- Enables Interoperability
- Shields the transparency of value transfer
#9 Social Interaction and Immersive Communication:
One of the most prominent uses of the metaverse is immersive social interaction and communication. The advanced technology enables the users to connect, engage, and network with other users present in diverse remote locations across the world.
#10 NFT Trade & Investment:
Metaverse technology has opened a whole new possibility for NFT marketplaces. As shared by Bloomberg, estimates showed that the NFT Market Surpassed $40 Billion in 2021. The technology is enabling the global users to view and make informed decisions while trading the NFTs. Not just this, but the users can also promote new NFTs, and the users can acquire virtual collectibles functional over different marketplaces.
Organizations are using various world-class technologies to skillfully create an immersive environment in the metaverse. Explore some of the top technologies below!
7 Key Technologies that Strengthens the Metaverse
#1 Augmented Reality:
Augmented Reality uses digital visual aspects, features, and characters to modify the real world. With the help of AR applications in various digital devices, users can see their surroundings with added interactive virtual visuals. AR elements like sensory stimuli and equipment like AR glasses help the users to have an engaging virtual experience in the real world.
#2 Virtual Reality:
VR creates an immersive virtual environment that can be explored and accessed using equipment like VR headsets, sensors, and gloves. It also has the capability to enhance the metaverse experience by involving physical stimulation through various advanced equipment. By using VR, users will be able to hear, feel, interact, and connect with other users present in other parts of the world.
The cutting-edge technology of the Blockchain enables the users to create and function a decentralized virtual environment that includes transparent ownership of virtual assets, value transfer, seamless accessibility, interoperability, and governance.
It helps the users in virtual activities like trade and value transfer as they explore and socialize in the 3D digital world of the metaverse. From trading NFTs to virtual lands, everything uses the technology of cryptocurrency.
#5 Artificial Intelligence:
AI plays the most vital role in creating a virtual metaverse world as it can process a lot of data in the blink of an eye. From facial recognition and metaverse avatar creation to guidance and lifelike conversations of the NPCs (non-player characters), everything functions through Artificial Intelligence.
#6 3D Reconstruction:
The implication of the 3D reconstruction enhances the virtual experience, creating a real-like environment that users can explore and navigate through their virtual metaverse avatars.
#7 Internet of Things:
IoT efficiently bridges the gap between the internet and the physical world, enabling data transfer through sensors. In the context of the metaverse, the internet of things connects the virtual world with the real world and helps in the creation of accurate virtual representations. In simpler terms, IoT data feeds can decide the system of objects in the Metaverse depending on the evolving environment.
The Pros and Cons of the Metaverse
Before stepping into the new digital world, it is significant to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of the metaverse. So, let us move ahead and explore the top benefits and drawbacks of the technology.
What are the Benefits of Metaverse Technology?
#1 Attainability to Experiences
Metaverse will make a wide range of knowledge, products, and experiences accessible to the world, irrespective of class. An excellent example of how technology always opens new possibilities is the prevalence of the internet. With the internet becoming accessible worldwide, people from every class, be it poor or middle-class, got the opportunity to access wide knowledge and gain matchless exposure. Similarly, the metaverse technology will enable humanity to attain high-quality experiences virtually.
#2 Limitless Possibilities for Businesses
As shared in a study by JP Morgan’ Opportunities in the Metaverse, supply and demand dynamics are driving more people into the meta-economy and this will necessitate the development of new skills and generate new opportunities to make money. Global businesses from diverse industries will get the opportunity to maximize their scale by taking their operations virtual. Their services & operations could easily reach the target audience present globally, making the functioning super easy and authentic for all the users.
#3 A Solution to Remote Work
As the pandemic took over the world, people had to choose an easier way to communicate and execute work. And so, the solution to go virtual came up. Organizations began hosting meetings and conferences virtually. However, with the help of metaverse technology, a complete shift of work & office can take place in the 3D digital metaverse world. In this case, the users will be able to join their offices and work virtually in an immersive virtual environment.
#4 New Way to E-Learning
Educational institutes and students had to pause because of the pandemic. With time, e-learning solutions came up as organizations decided to take live classes from their remote locations. However, this solution missed the element of practical & in-depth knowledge. With metaverse technology coming into the scene, educational institutes & students can seamlessly gain the much-needed practical knowledge through virtual venues & immersive activities.
#5 More Savings, Fewer Expenses
Virtual experiences through advanced technologies are helping people connect globally without having to travel. An excellent example of the same is virtual event platforms, a service that has enabled global users to organize and attend diverse significant events from their remote locations. Similarly, metaverse can help global users save more while spending comparatively very less.
#6 Accessibility to Events
As estimated, 86% of the people who have attended virtual events report higher or equal levels of engagement compared to in-person events. As backed by research, the world has found it more beneficial to go virtual in terms of attending events. Metaverse brings a technological advancement that enables users to have even more immersive & engaging experiences at virtual events. With metaverse, event organizers can go a level ahead to host memorable & successful events.
#7 Possibility of Virtual Tourism
While the majority of people like to travel or at least take a break and go on vacations, finding out the right time is no less than a task now. Moreover, everyone can not afford to travel across the world. This is where the metaverse technology steps in! It enables the users to visit places virtually in an engaging 3D environment. While a virtual metaverse world like that might not exist until now, the possibility is that the users will soon be able to have immersive travel & tourism experiences.
#8 Enhances the Gaming Experiences
Even if on a smaller level, the concept of a virtual world came a little early in the gaming world. Most of the metaverse games have a decentralized economic model where the game owners have the proprietorship of all the in-game assets and the right to distribute the same. However, metaverse will take this to a whole new level with the feature of interoperability and a boundless virtual economy where players could explore vast spaces through their avatars.
#9 A Boon for Healthcare Professionals
Metaverse is undoubtedly a big advantage for healthcare professionals and the medical industry. In times of the pandemic, the healthcare sphere gave its best to treat patients. However, many patients still couldn’t get the proper treatment because of geographical constraints, and this problem remains to exist in the regular world. With the help of a virtual metaverse world, the users would at least be able to interact with the patients and get a clear insight into their health condition, to further work on the treatment at the right time.
#10 A Sustainable Step into the Future!
The metaverse technology is a great boon in terms of sustainability. By taking various activities to a virtual world, countless precious resources can be saved or used sustainably. As pointed out by Mark Zuckerberg in the Connect 2021 Metaverse event, “Working in the Metaverse means that you just take one less flight each year, that’s probably better than almost anything else that you can do for the environment”. However, this is not it! When everything shifts to the digital metaverse world, the carbon footprint of all the users is minimized for the betterment of our nature.
The Disadvantages of Metaverse
Might be a few, but the drawbacks of the metaverse are formidable. Anything is healthy and advantageous only until it is used in limits without excessive addiction. As backed by various studies mentioned by Lifehack, the shift to technology through smartphones has already made the majority of people lazy and dependent. From degrading human memory to reducing natural instincts, technology can impact a healthy human being in countless ways by making things super easy & accessible. While a limit of this can be a great boon for the world, over the limit use of technology can easily become a bane.
The metaverse technology is various levels ahead of the technology we are already used to in the present world. Moving ahead, if there comes a time that everything goes virtual, humans will lose the direct human interaction and the upcoming generation might not even understand the importance of the same. Imagine a time when you lose all the direct human interaction owing to the immersive experience of new technology!
Technology is indeed our inevitable future but it can also completely distract humans from the real world. Ever since we have inclined more towards technology, the change that has come is completely visible to all. While a decade back, people would gather and relive old memories, now is the time when they would rather use mobile phones. With metaverse coming into excessive existence, situations like these would only extend.
The metaverse can have the following cons or disadvantages:
- Deterioration of human relationships & connection.
- Excessive addiction to a virtual world
- Separation from the real world and nature
- Future generations would grow up in a non-real world
- Privacy and security issues
- The inception of numerous health concerns
The metaverse is undoubtedly the next big step in the creation of history. However, the impact and influence of this technological advancement on the world’s growth, development, and evolution, depends a lot on us and how we use it.
Is the Event Industry heading Towards the Metaverse?
Yes, the metaverse technology is definitely influencing the events industry by opening new creative ways to explore countless new possibilities.
Since the last two years of fighting a pandemic, the world has already found a modern way to host diverse events, from meetings & conferences to exhibitions & launches. The events industry has effectively pivoted to the format of virtual events and is doing exceptionally well in ensuring an immersive online experience for virtual event attendees. However, while the events industry is developing engaging & interactive tools to create a life-like experience at online events, inventive technologies like Holograms, Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and now, the Metaverse are coming into prevalence.
As per a 2021 survey done by Kaltura, while only 45% of people had attended a virtual event before the pandemic, the percentage has now risen to 87 after the pandemic. The survey also shares that the trend has inspired more than 90% of the event organizers to host virtual events in 2022. This newfound favorability shows that the world is now open to the concept of going virtual and shifting to advanced technologies in the upcoming days. If we look into the matter in this context, the Metaverse is just a more modernized & revolutionized way of what we call ‘taking events virtual’. A comprehensive technology to bring the concept completely to life does not exist yet, and it still remains a barrier for an average event attendee to access such events. But, many tech companies have already begun to create or customize their own virtual event venues as a low-key version of the Metaverse.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Metaverse
Metaverse is a network of 3D digital worlds where users could connect, interact, and experience things the same as in the real world. The virtual world of the metaverse is developed & operated through various technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), NFTs, Cryptocurrencies, Internet, etc.
The metaverse can be used in different ways with different goals. The users can do and get involved in diverse activities, just like the real world. While the limitations are still to be explored, the long-term vision suggests, everything would be possible over the metaverse. Some of the top uses sought as of now are:
● Virtual Office & Learning
● Virtual Real Estate
● Virtual Tourism
● Virtual Events
● Blockchain Use Cases
● Immersive Communication/Interaction
Metaverse is an absolutely real concept. While a completely accessible and public version of the metaverse might not exist today, the growing prevalence suggests it can become completely functional in the upcoming years. Also, the investors are paying millions for different metaverse aspects, and many users have already begun creating & indulging in various metaverse events. However, nothing can certainly be predicted about the future of the metaverse.
Here are the top features or characteristics of the metaverse:
● Real-time 3D worlds
● Massively scalable
● Interoperable network
● 3D Metaverse Avatar creation & control
● Customizable designs
● And a lot more is to be explored!
A metaverse event is a virtual event format that is hosted using metaverse technology. Virtual metaverse events provide the users with a highly interactive and engaging experience, created over a virtual metaverse platform.
A metaverse event platform is an online service that enables the event organizers & users to create & access immersive 3D experiences hosted in the metaverse.
According to the future vision to have an immersive 3D Virtual Metaverse World, the users will be required to wear VR headsets & AR glasses. To experience the 3D virtual environment to the fullest, AR & VR metaverse equipment will be helpful. However, there is no such agreement to use the same to access the metaverse.
● Create & explore virtual worlds
● Organize engaging virtual events
● Interact & connect with people from across the world
● Create & control 3D avatars
● Invest in NFTs
● E-commerce activities
● Buy, sell, and rent virtual lands/ real-estate
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality creates an immersive 3D experience for users in the metaverse and helps them indulge in activities in the digital world using VR headsets & AR glasses. With the help of AR & VR, users can take a dive into the 360-degree digital world, where they can control their virtual avatar to move & explore amongst other users. Basically, the technology of AR & VR helps in creating a more engaging experience for users in the metaverse.
There are blockchain-based platforms in the metaverse, where people can buy and trade virtual assets in cryptocurrencies.