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The trends within the metaverse that investors and entrepreneurs should know about

Today, in the real world, this next immersive version of the internet is the stuff of dreams, “a concept that has excited the bright minds of Silicon Valley for years,” according to Meta’s Nick Clegg.

However, the stepping stones to fully immersive virtual reality already exist, as anyone who has played Fortnite with their friends and performed the celebration dances IRL can attest. And those stepping stones create great opportunities as we build the metaverse today.

So what are the trends in this space that investors and entrepreneurs should know about? And will these future trends lead, like the OASIS, to being “the backdrop to all (our) happiest memories”?

What is it?

The Metaverse is the internet but in 3D, a digital world, either a replica of the real world (e.g. an operating room or a university campus) or a fully imaginary world for people to connect, explore and interact with .

It’s similar to the real world but with endless possibilities. You can attend events, meet new people, and even create your own experiences.

The future of the internet is indeed in the metaverse, as the market is expected to grow from $100.27 billion in 2022 to $1,527.55 billion in 2029, at a CAGR of 47.6%. It’s an ever-changing and evolving world that offers endless opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or just starting out, there’s something for everyone.

Where are we now?

It is often talked about as if it were some far off future scenario, but the truth is that it is already there in emerging forms. We still have some way to go to achieve Ready Player One infrastructure and adoption, but many elements including blockchain, NFTs, AR technology, VR headsets and many more pieces of the puzzle are already available.

The technological barriers to entry are also falling rapidly. High-end VR and MR headsets may be expensive and bulky these days, but prices are steadily falling and the form factor is increasingly becoming much smaller and more comfortable. And as more people experience the amazing immersive power of XR, they will want to get involved in the metaverse.

What Metaverse opportunities are there for investors and entrepreneurs now?

There are a number of exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors on the road to the fully immersive 3D web. A growing awareness of the Metaverse’s potential has led to companies such as Nike claiming that nearly 7 million people from around the world have visited Nikeland, its Metaverse store, and D&G attending a Metaverse Fashion Week. Charli XCX made an avatar likeness live appearance in the open virtual world game Roblox sponsored by Samsung.

As we see more possibilities for virtual worlds – from multiplayer games to virtual concerts to entire virtual worlds – more and more people will want to jump in and experience it for themselves.

Indeed, there are so many amazing opportunities that will happen in the metaverse, but from my perspective as a metaverse events innovator, here are the three most exciting ones to take advantage of right now.

virtual events

The Metaverse simply offers a more engaging, convenient, and efficient way to get things done. Why travel to a physical event when you can attend virtually?

Meet and interact with colleagues, friends and family around the world in VR. The Metaverse offers a world of possibilities that are simply not available in the physical world.

While the pandemic has left us longing for travel and face-to-face interaction after so many restrictions, it has also opened our eyes to the financial, environmental, and time issues that come with travel. A 12-hour polluting flight followed by a battle with jet lag and high bills has led many people to reduce — if not eliminate — their reliance on personal events.

But Zoom fatigue is also real, so where virtual events come into their own is the presence and closeness of being in the same room, albeit with an avatar of your choosing. Of course, today that avatar can have a brilliant likeness of your face, adding to the “like real” feeling. It may take some getting used to at first for some, but not for those playing Fortnite, Roblox, or even Call of Duty online with friends scattered across town, across the country, or around the world.

Many people we work with, including Molson Coors’ senior marketing team, believe this is the future. You can quickly bring everyone you need together in a virtual space without travel, expense, or jet lag. Whether it’s a trade show or retail marketing briefing, fashion show or trend presentation, virtual events offer an incredible opportunity to jump into the metaverse now.

digital twins

Meticulous and stunning Minecraft recreations of Big Ben are impressive hobby projects in the virtual world, but Metaverse digital twins are quickly gaining ground as mission-critical operations. BMW has virtual design studios and production lines to enable global 3D design teams to collaborate simultaneously across multiple software suites in a shared virtual space.

Forward-thinking universities in the US and Hong Kong are among the first to build digital twins of their campuses. These are not just upgraded versions of the somewhat tired, Google Streetview-like “virtual tour,” but can be lecture halls and labs that are visited physically and virtually, especially by foreign students. Where physical space is being progressively expanded by increasing student numbers on the one hand, or resources are limited on the other, such as human cadaver classes for medical students, digital twins expand the space and provide easily accessible resources.

Immersive Learning

Speaking of learning and development, the Metaverse offers experiential, embodied learning opportunities. Real scenarios and high pressure situations can be created where you can make mistakes in the virtual world without affecting the real world.

This could be experiential learning, for example refining complicated operations virtually before performing them in the real world.

It can be about conscious, intense practice, for example training the next generation of store managers to accelerate their careers. Intensive practice and feedback loops in the metaverse can result in happier customers in the real world.

And it can be about fostering a happier, healthier office environment through state-based learning. For example, you can run metaverse scenarios where you trigger the psychological stress of responding to workplace microaggressions and learn from them.

Separating the immense hype from the reality of the metaverse is crucial. It will transform the way we communicate and collaborate to thrive as a global community. It could not come at a more crucial time as our world needs sustainable and cost-effective solutions to enable the progress we need. Do we dare dream that the metaverse will help us create better memories of a better educated and qualified global community, capable of healing the environment and providing a more fulfilling life? Yes, we dare! Now investors and entrepreneurs have a chance to try it out.

Jaie Genadt is co-founder of FLOXa Metaverse platform where you can host events and create digital twins of your HQ or campus to bring people anywhere around the world together to foster collective power and progress.

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