Brand presence and NFTs are two of the fastest growing trends in the metaverse
The metaverse, according to many of the world's leading technology companies, will almost certainly be made up of many 3D virtual worlds with working economies, long-term identities, and some degree of interoperability. It's still early days for the metaverse, and many fundamental questions remain. For example, how important will AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) be in the metaverse? What should the blockchain and NFTs' roles in the metaverse be? What are the metaverse's biggest risks, and how do we avoid them?
But first, what exactly is the metaverse?
Simply put, the metaverse is “an integrated network of 3D virtual worlds.” Users wear a virtual reality headset and move about the metaverse with the help of eye movements, feedback controllers, or voice commands. The headset envelops the user and simulates actual presence, produced by providing the physical sensation of being there.
One may look at popular multiplayer virtual reality games such as Rec Room or Horizon Worlds to see the metaverse in action. In these games, people utilize avatars to interact with one another and alter their world.
It's not just about gaming when you consider the possibilities. Musicians and entertainment companies are experimenting with live performances in the metaverse. With these platforms, sports organizations are following suit. Top sports clubs like Manchester City are constructing virtual stadiums so fans may watch games and buy virtual merchandise.
According to some experts, the metaverse's greatest potential may be in online learning and government services. The metaverse is still evolving, and new trends are frequently emerging. Newzoo conducted an in-depth analysis of the metaverse's current condition and future prospects in its second metaverse report.
The first trend that the report identified is that brands are arriving early. As it exists today, the metaverse is mostly a collection of established social multiplayer games like Fortnite and Roblox. There is also an expanding crypto industry and social network-style platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland.
Pouring money into the metaverse right now has little costs and low risks for mainstream companies, but there is a vast potential for a massive return on investment. Many experts believe it is critical for firms to attempt this since the potential reward is great.
If a firm owns digital real estate or has a working e-commerce system in place, it may become extremely valuable over time. It's essentially advertising space, but it's now interactive because of the presence of a computer game.
Mainstream companies, such as Prada and Balenciaga, view the metaverse as a win-win situation. Luxury brands are attempting to acquire new customers without lowering their high-profit margins on physical goods by creating virtual storefronts.
We should anticipate a shift from direct-to-consumer to direct-to-avatar as virtual worlds will be populated by 3D avatars wearing branded digital clothes. Consumers and their digital representations will be served by brands.
The digital apparel industry is on the verge of transforming the status quo, as many people are priced out when it comes to real-world luxury clothing. The Metaverse offers brands the chance to grow while lowering their environmental impact.
Another trend identified by Newzoo's report is that NFTs have a promising future in the metaverse. NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are digital assets that can be bought and sold online. In 2021 NFTs became wildly popular as static pieces of art, but the idea of verifiable digital ownership isn't even close to being thoroughly investigated.
The potential of NFTs in the metaverse is contingent on how far they develop beyond financial speculation vehicles. NFTs may be used in a wide range of sectors, including gaming platforms, meaningful applications in other industries such as music and sports, and turning art-focused NFT projects into billion-dollar brands. The concept of having a digital item that is genuinely rare and genuinely yours is appealing. Because an NFT can't be counterfeited, it's entirely unique.
The metaverse is still in its early stages. That implies there are a lot of issues to be addressed, ranging from content moderation and Intellectual Property rights to data privacy and the breadth of potential government intervention. Like any other new technology, the transition to the metaverse will take time. It is up to those developing it to do so in a responsible manner.