It’s rare for a single concept to touch so many aspects of modern life, but the metaverse has the potential to affect many realms, including computing, gaming, retail, marketing, finance, and healthcare. In this report, we break down the past, present, and future of this ethereal concept—and how virtual reality can push the boundaries of the real world.
The metaverse can be considered any mixed-reality realm that, while rooted in real life, lets participants collaborate and transact in immersive virtual spaces via augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) headsets and controllers.
Some companies see the metaverse as the evolution of the internet or smartphones, but instead of interacting with keyboards or touchscreens, users are immersed in interactive environments, making them captive and active participants in cyberspace.
The metaverse has the potential to disrupt everything from business travel and the future of work to gaming, health and fitness, entertainment, marketing, and education.
But despite the constant buzz surrounding the metaverse, it is still very early in its development. This means technology companies are racing to define their own metaverse business models.
KEY STAT: Some 60% of US adults either strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement “I don’t understand the purpose of the metaverse,” according to a January 2022 survey from Protocol and The Harris Poll. However, nearly as many agreed that the metaverse will soon become as popular as traditional social media platforms.
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