Awareness around the Metaverse has exploded over the past two years. A survey from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, with respondents ages 16 to 65, shows awareness grew by 131% between 2021 and 2022. This monumental change is a signal to enterprise companies that 2023 is their year to get ahead of the curve, develop innovative programs, test their efficacy, and launch new products and solutions.
Here, we’ll run through a few basic FAQs to help you and your company get started in the metaverse.
What is the metaverse, and how is it different from the internet?
The metaverse is a virtual world that combines elements of video games, social media, and immersive technology to create an always-on space. It is distinct from the internet in that it provides users with a more immersive and interactive experience.
For example, in Virbela, you can walk around campuses, speak and collaborate in real time with anyone else in the world, use chat boxes, teleport to other campus locations, use presentation boards and other work-related tools, and customize scenes with your company’s branding.
What are some examples of the metaverse?
Virbela is an example of a private enterprise-level metaverse, designed for large companies with global footprints. Companies launch private campuses and anyone they permit can enter, create an avatar, and participate in company activities, like typical work days or special events.
Others examples of the metaverse include Second Life, a multiverse platform that has been around since the beginning of the 21st century, Roblox, a gaming platform that allows users to create and share their own games, and Decentraland, a blockchain-based virtual world that allows users to buy and sell virtual real estate.
How do avatars work in the metaverse?
Avatars are the digital representations of users in the metaverse. They allow users to interact with each other and with virtual environments in a more natural and immersive way. In most metaverse platforms, users can create their own custom avatars, choosing from a variety of pre-designed models or creating their own using digital tools.
In Virbela, avatars are highly customizable, allowing users to change their appearance, clothing, and accessories. They can also emote, allowing users to express themselves and interact with others in a more nuanced way.
Virbela does not track user activity, because users are corporate clients and their staff who choose Virbela for its privacy. In other metaverse environments, platform admins may track avatar activity to gain insights and develop engagement strategies.
The development of avatars plays a key role in the metaverse. As the metaverse evolves, users can look forward to portable digital identities, greater emotional expressiveness, and more immersive engagement.
What are the challenges facing the metaverse?
Some of the challenges facing the metaverse include technological limitations as development emerges and matures, concerns around privacy and security, and reticence on the part of adopters who may be wary of financial investment during the early stages of XR development as a whole.
Virbela is able to circumvent these concerns by providing a high-value virtual space for companies without the huge investment that would be required to develop a metaverse from scratch. Our virtual worlds are customizable, configurable, and highly scalable.
How can major companies use the metaverse for business?
The metaverse offers major companies a range of potential business applications. For example, it could be used for human resources recruiting and onboarding, learning and development, events and conferences, trade shows, virtual product demonstrations, and customer engagement.
The majority of Virbela clients use the metaverse as an always-on workspace and alternative to the high operational expenses of commercial real estate and business travel.
How can major companies replace or complement their physical office space with metaverse offices?
As the metaverse becomes more advanced, many companies are exploring the idea of replacing or complement their physical office space with virtual offices. These virtual offices allow employees to work together in a fully immersive and interactive environment, regardless of their physical location.
To develop your company’s first metaverse, you can work with Virbela to create a virtual environment that meets your needs. While some companies choose to develop digital twins, at Virbela, we believe digital twins serve specific scenarios and most organizations benefit from the cost-effectiveness of scalable worlds that don’t require intense development at first. As your use progresses, it may make more sense to invest in more customized settings.
During the transition to a metaverse office, companies can develop training and education for staff with support from ViIrbela. We find most users quickly pick up the skills required to work comfortably and effectively, even if they are not digital natives or gamers.
Depending on your scenario, there may be sustainability benefits to virtual worlds, too. As climate disasters become more catastrophic, exploring your company’s ability to reduce its carbon footprint with virtual worlds can be an important action that backs up your sustainability values.
How quickly can enterprise and Fortune 500 companies get started in the metaverse?
Getting started in the metaverse depends on several factors, including your company's size, resources, and expertise in immersive technology. Virbela is designed for ease of use and we frequently see new users become power users in a matter of weeks. One session in Virbela is often enough to become comfortable with navigating the space, interacting with others, and using basic office-related tools. Our support team is available to assist as you onboard and through the life of your campus, too.
For more on the metaverse, follow Virbela on LinkedIn.