The metaverse isn’t dead (in fact its future in enterprise is promising)

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    The Metaverse initially offered an exciting new concept that had previously only existed in science fiction: a virtual world where anyone could be anyone, anywhere.

    We can walk around with wearables and interact within areas that are overlaid and enhanced with digital graphics, 3D, and other interactive features. There will literally be no limits to what we can do.

    However, this idea never materialized, at least not quickly enough for impatient members of society, and the excitement for the Metaverse was almost immediately snuffed out by generative AI.

    “People tend to focus on one thing at a time,” said Gartner analyst Marty.・Resnick told VentureBeat. “The short-term metaverse seems to have been a little disappointing.”

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    For this reason, the Metaverse is not only obsolete, some say it is “dead.”

    But is this really the case? Experts say no. Its definition and use cases are simply being rethought beyond the concept of “everywhere, at once.”

    “Stop thinking about it in the context of virtual worlds like VR,” Resnick says. “Rather, it's about new interactions between the physical and digital worlds.”

    meanwhile meta — renamed to reflect lofty ambitions and confidence in the virtual world — may have been lost $47 billion With investments in the Metaverse, the Metaverse economy is actually expected to grow by: $400 billion by 2030 (up from $48 billion in 2022) and the technology is up to $5 trillion impact By the end of this decade.

    Some predict Apple Vision Pro – version 1.0 is expected as early as January — After a year dominated by generational AI, enthusiasm could be reinvigorated.

    In the future, experts say the Metaverse will more often become part of the physical world through augmented reality (AR) and augmented reality (XR), as opposed to pure VR, where users are immersed in a world with no real rules. I'm predicting.

    “The biggest opportunity for the Metaverse is in the physical world, not the digital world,” Resnick said.

    At the end of the day, it's not one or the other. Each will have their own place. “We will go to the virtual world for certain experiences, and the virtual world will come to the physical world for certain experiences,” Resnick predicted.

    For companies, the metaverse of the future can provide opportunities to enhance learning and development on the job. For example, users can interact through a virtual office and participate in collaborative digital onboarding.

    financial giant JP Morgan and Citie bank has already launched this type of virtual onboarding and internships.

    “The incoming class of employees can get to know each other, collaborate and connect very quickly,” Resnick explained.

    For example, in this immersive space, companies can discuss subjects like harassment and racism (or other “isms”) in ways that feel more real and less formal and scripted (such as in regular onboarding videos). ) can be presented. This is far more impactful and resonates more than traditional training and onboarding materials.

    “It feels more like an acquired experience than something that was passively learned or informed,” Deloitte CTO Bill Briggs told VentureBeat. “The retention and recall rates are just higher. Your brain stores it elsewhere.”

    The Metaverse also has great potential in industrial environments.

    Experts say people can interact with machines to design, build and optimize manufacturing systems. Sensors, AI, XR, VR, and digital twin technologies provide simulation and real-world augmentation in operations, warehousing, and logistics.

    For example, Briggs says: “How can companies improve their inventory flow?” How can they approach potential machine repairs?

    Spatial data and digital overlays allow employees to see information from numerous systems integrated with “real-time data, real-world controls,” he said. You can then fine-tune your production flow and run hundreds or even thousands of scenarios.

    “They can have the ability to pivot to the future of their product and industry,” Briggs said.

    Similarly, the Metaverse can augment human workers. For example, managers who can see what a particular employee is seeing through an interactive device can help provide triage. Alternatively, training can be conducted on virtual versions of equipment that are expensive, dangerous, and difficult to replicate.

    “The traditional idea of ​​the Metaverse was a departure from reality, where we used digital avatars to congregate, communicate, and have fun,” Briggs said. But the industrial metaverse is “seamlessly merging the physical and the digital.”

    He added: “Being able to shrink time and space is very interesting.”

    Challenge to technology, social acceptance

    Still, there are significant challenges that must be overcome before the Metaverse can reach its true potential.

    First of all, VR and spatial computing The technology just doesn't exist yet. Users need headwear and displays that look like “regular everyday glasses, not big cyberpunk glasses,” Resnick said.

    He noted that social buy-in is critical to Metaverse and will be enabled with the right hardware.

    “If people are embarrassed to wear it, it won't be acceptable,” Resnick says.

    Briggs agrees: “The idea of ​​walking around with a computer strapped to your face is not appealing at all.”

    Similarly, users want to interact with things that look and feel real. Therefore, graphics and overlays need to be responsive and relevant. Some experts say Universal Scene Description (USD) is moving toward standardization and democratization of tools for building virtual worlds, but is still in the early stages of adoption.

    This lack of digital content is a bigger challenge than issues of connectivity, devices, sensors, and greenfield and brownfield renovations, Briggs argued.

    The metaverse requires “photorealistic, physically-based renderings of products, equipment, facilities, and operational processes that don't exist in most companies and industries,” he said. “What the spatial computing element needs is a gap in how digital content is created.”

    Gen AI may have pushed the Metaverse off the world stage, at least temporarily, but the two will inevitably strengthen each other going forward.

    For example, gen AI helps create and enhance digital assets that include 3D components.

    “I don't think you can look at them separately,” Resnick says. “They work very well together and will continue to do so.”

    He pointed out that combining technologies, rather than using them alone, will facilitate the “next big thing.”

    Together, Gen AI and the Metaverse will enable “more hyper-personalized environments that anyone can create and experience.” It is truly a part of democratization. ”

    Reconsider the previous method (don't repeat it)

    There is no doubt that there is great ambition and imagination when it comes to the Metaverse, AI, and other evolving cutting-edge technologies.

    However, Briggs pointed out that it is important for organizations to move past the science fiction thinking and develop a clear strategy.

    “It's important to strike a delicate balance between harnessing enthusiasm and not spending a lot of money and time making it so vague that you can't see any tangible effects or results,” he says.

    Companies need to “connect aspirations to real and meaningful problem conditions and potential improvements.”

    By identifying use cases and outcomes, organizations can “radically rethink” processes and stimulate ingenuity and creativity. He stressed that the worst-case scenario is simply replicating the old way of doing things.

    In his words, “When you enable an inefficient process with technology, you are simply weaponizing inefficiency.”

    Ultimately, he noted that the Metaverse, genetic AI, and other technologies are moving in the direction of “evolution rather than revolution,” and that they are on a more predictable path than people think (even if even if significant progress has been made in individual fields).

    “All of the most exciting use cases are happening as these different technological advancements and forces collide,” Briggs said. “No single technology is the protagonist in any story. It’s up to all of us to keep that in mind, to keep thinking about the world and to not get stuck in the way we’ve always done things.” Masu.”

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