READ MORE: The State Of The Metaverse (Forrester)
Even skeptics admit the metaverse is coming. Not soon, but soon enough to take the juggernaut seriously.
“Recognizing that some of the technologies in the early stages it seems like the market forces and market dynamics are aligned, such that the metaverse is coming,” says David Truog, VP and principal analyst at Forrester. “This is the time to start getting used to it, and practicing and experimenting and piloting.”
The analyst is co-author of a report published in March that concludes that the metaverse — despite the hype and investment — is “years from actualization.”
The research group also surveyed adults in the UK recently and found just 28% of them excited about the prospect of the 3D internet.
Bloomberg Intelligence estimates the metaverse market could be worth $800 billion by 2024 — though to get to this figure, they have classified a lot of existing technology as being part of the metaverse. (According to this logic, Bloomberg valued the size of the metaverse market in 2020 at $478 billion.)
Forrester, meanwhile, says the metaverse doesn’t actually exist yet, and won’t until users can move seamlessly from one virtual environment to another; much as users click a hyperlink to move from one website to another: “The metaverse will manifest over the next decade, in stages. The fully federated metaverse will contain standard protocols for the presence, persistence, and transfer of identity and assets.”
As Richard Kerris, Nvidia’s VP of Omniverse Platform Development, told Forrester: “The metaverse requires connective tissue for it to be a reality” — and that’s a long way off.
Another sceptic is tech journalist Eliot Beer. He joined a virtual press conference hosted by the IT company DXC in the metaverse, during which he had to don an avatar and was shown into a virtual boardroom for the presentation.
“DXC believes enterprise innovation is the ‘surprise route’ to metaverse adoption — and despite my skepticism, following my experience in its virtual world, this makes sense,” Beer reports at The Stack. “With open spaces, names above every avatar, and plenty of spaces to talk in private, there is a clear metaverse business use case for collaboration.
Forrester says organizations across many different sectors have been quietly trying out virtual environments, not necessarily to for demonstrable return on investment today but because it’s clear where things are going, even if it’s going to be some time before it’s fully actualized.
“I think CIOs need to consider as bringing this into their company as another collaboration tool, not as a replacement of traditional video conferencing, but as an complementary tool to bring new experiences to your employees, because there are some experiences that you cannot have with traditional video conferencing,” Nathalie Vancluysen, head of XR and a distinguished technologist at DXC, tells Beer.
She points to DXC’s recent EMEA sales event, which more than 1,000 people attended as an interactive virtual event — something that wouldn’t be possible with Zoom or Teams, where interaction would be severely limited. And virtual worlds also allow for much more spontaneity.
The metaverse may be a wild frontier, but here at NAB Amplify we’ve got you covered! Hand-selected from our archives, here are some of the essential insights you’ll need to expand your knowledge base and confidently explore the new horizons ahead:
- What Is the Metaverse and Why Should You Care?
- Avatar to Web3: An A-Z Compendium of the Metaverse
- The Metaverse is Coming To Get You. Is That a Bad Thing?
- Don’t Expect the Metaverse to Happen Overnight
- A Framework for the Metaverse from Hardware to Hollywood and Everything in Between
Says Vancluysen, “Teams and Zoom are scheduled meetings, you go from one meeting to another, we know upfront who we’re going to meet. But there’s no room for casual interactions and social collisions — in the virtual world, you can bump into a colleague that you haven’t seen for many years and just start a new conversation.”
There are many technical roadblocks ahead such as connection issues, amping audio quality, designing less clunky interfaces, making virtual world hopping seamless — but these are the sorts of things the tech industry is good at resolving, given time and a viable business use case.
But the question remains, will people actually use these tools?
Forrester says yes — eventually. And before we get there it’s time to experiment and help shape it.