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Why the metaverse is important for businesses

02‏/05‏/2024

Callum Moates

The metaverse represents a transition from the traditional, two-dimensional internet to fully immersive, three-dimensional environments. This shift is underpinned by 3D internet technologies, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR), facilitating a more profound sense of presence and interaction that are closer to real-world experiences. Unlike static web pages, the environments within the metaverse are dynamic and an interconnected web of virtual worlds. These spaces are platforms for social interaction and host complex economic systems that integrate digital currencies and virtual transactions, mirroring the financial structures in the physical world.

 Interoperability within the metaverse is critical for seamlessly integrating diverse virtual spaces and platforms, enabling the exchange of data, assets, and identities across different ecosystems. This interoperability fosters enhanced collaboration and innovation for businesses by allowing employees to meet in a unified virtual space irrespective of their physical locations. It also facilitates the creation of expansive, cross-platform marketplaces, broadening customer outreach and engagement. As businesses harness these interconnected environments, they can leverage them to work better, manage processes, connect with customers, and train talent.

Enhancing customer engagement

Businesses leverage the metaverse to enhance customer engagement through immersive experiences, utilizing VR and AR technologies to create virtual showrooms and interactive demonstrations. Here is a deeper dive into how the metaverse helps businesses improve customer engagement. 

●  Virtual showrooms: These are immersive, digital spaces that replicate a physical showroom experience. Customers can explore products in a 3D environment from anywhere. They can interact with items, view them from different angles, and try them, enhancing engagement. A company providing AR and VR services, ByondXR, noticed that retailers that offered immersive shipping experiences marked a 400% increase in customer engagement. For example, a furniture store might use a virtual showroom to let customers arrange pieces in a customizable virtual room to see how products would look in real life. 

●  Product demonstrations: This involves using the metaverse’s 3D space to demonstrate a product's features and benefits in a detailed and interactive manner through stores or gamified experiences. Such demonstrations improve customer engagement by allowing them to experience the product virtually and understand its functionality in real-world scenarios. For instance, a car manufacturer might use VR to let potential buyers test-drive vehicles in various simulated environments. Another example is Nikeland in Roblox, a virtual experience created for users to interact with Nike-branded virtual products. 

●  Interactive marketing campaigns: The metaverse allows brands to balance engaging and interactive activations with promotional activities to attract and retain consumer interest. For instance, the Gucci Garden—an immersive space featuring a restaurant, exhibition, and store that launched on Roblox, attracted 19.9 million visitors, building the brand’s awareness among GenZ consumers. 

Swiss Prime Site’s (SPS) virtual replica of their Zurich office, The Prime Tower,  in Decentraland, is an excellent example of using the 3D internet space to drive customer engagement. Landvault collaborated with SPS to design this virtual space to foster engagement by enabling users to meet, network, and collaborate virtually in virtual offices, meeting rooms, and event spaces. The activation was crafted to be immersive and interactive, incorporating gamification elements and a rewards system where visitors could earn tokens, points, or wearables. Games and quests were embedded within the virtual office to encourage participation and repeat visits. The activation led to a significant dwell time among visitors, with an average of 20 minutes recorded per session over three months. The gamification and reward systems enhanced user interaction and achieved a 50% retention rate, indicating that half of the users returned to the experience after their initial visit.

Virtual collaboration

Besides improving customer experience, the metaverse has become a space to enhance employee productivity. In the aftermath of the global pandemic, remote work saw a massive uptick as businesses closed physical offices. As a result, virtual collaboration software and immersive technologies became an attractive alternative to physical interaction. According to an article by Forbes, global spending on AR and VR headsets, software, and services, including consumer purchases, rose in 2020 to $12 billion, up 50% from 2019. According to research by McKinsey & Company, people are keen to continue working in a hybrid environment after the pandemic, representing four to five times more remote work than before the health crisis. This shift in employee behavior allows users to leverage the metaverse’s 3D environment for virtual collaboration.

 Here are some ways businesses can use the metaverse for work: 

●  Virtual meetings: 3D internet technology provides a virtual space where remote teams can conduct meetings. This space simulates a real-life meeting environment, offering a sense of presence that traditional video conferencing lacks. Participants can interact more naturally and engagingly, facilitating better communication and decision-making. 

●  Team collaboration: Through the metaverse, teams can collaborate on projects as if they were in the same room. This technology enables sharing 3D models, real-time data visualization, and interactive workflows that improve project coordination and reduce turnaround times, enhancing productivity across dispersed teams. 

●  Training sessions: AR and VR platforms are particularly effective for immersive training sessions. They allow employees to practice skills in a controlled, virtual environment where scenarios can be simulated and repeated. This method is especially beneficial for complex or hazardous tasks, providing a safe space for learning without the risks associated with real-world training.

 VR platforms like Spatial exemplify how businesses can overcome geographical barriers, allowing teams to collaborate in virtual spaces that are as interactive as real offices. Workspaces within this 3D platform enhance collaboration through realistic avatars, dynamic sound, and interactive tools. The platform enables users to share documents, engage in real-time discussions, and work on projects collectively through avatars in a shared virtual environment. Individuals can also easily manipulate and edit content using hand gestures and voice commands. This capability enhances teamwork and significantly boosts the efficiency and effectiveness of remote meetings and creative sessions. Virtual collaboration tools are precious for complex projects requiring high levels of coordination across different locations, making the metaverse an indispensable tool for modern business operations.

Digital Twin technology

Another highly beneficial aspect of the 3D internet for enterprises is digital twin technology—which involves creating digital replicas of physical assets, processes, or systems. These virtual models are designed to simulate and predict the behavior of their real-world counterparts, allowing for deep insights into the lifecycle of the assets or processes they mirror. By integrating IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, machine learning, and data analytics, digital twins collect and process real-time data to update and change alongside their physical twins. For instance, a business could use the metaverse to create a digital twin of its end-to-end supply chain, right from the procurement of raw materials to last-mile delivery.

 For businesses venturing into the metaverse or those operating complex physical assets, digital twins offer transformative potential. They reduce costs by preventing downtime, optimizing operations, and enhancing decision-making and future planning through detailed analytics and simulation capabilities. As digital and physical worlds continue to converge, the strategic integration of digital twin technology will be a critical success factor for businesses aiming to innovate and maintain competitive advantages in a digitally-driven future.

 Here’s how digital twins in the metaverse help businesses: 

●  Predictive analytics: By leveraging real-time data and historical data analysis, digital twins can forecast potential failures and maintenance needs, optimize operations, reduce costs, and predict system behavior under various scenarios. For instance, McKinsey & Company found that a particular telecom and technology player reduced its capital and operating costs by 10% using digital twin technology. 

●  Simulations: Digital twins allow for the simulation of processes in a risk-free virtual environment, which helps test new theories, train machine learning models, or plan expansions without the financial risks associated with real-world testing. 

●  Real-time monitoring: Continuous data flows in digital twins allow businesses to monitor the twin's physical counterparts' status, conditions, and other factors. This real-time monitoring helps companies maintain operational efficiency, respond to changes swiftly, and manage systems remotely, ensuring that businesses promptly address any discrepancy between virtual and physical assets.

 A prime example of the effective use of digital twin technology is Siemens' approach to creating virtual replicas in manufacturing to optimize production processes, reduce downtime, and improve product quality. Siemens creates digital twins for businesses to virtually replicate their design, production, operations, servicing, and maintenance processes. They work closely with companies across industries to design 3D dynamic replicas of everything from aircrafts to complex systems in buildings. These virtual twins also enable them to test and optimize manufacturing processes in the virtual world, reducing prototyping, lowering environmental footprints, and ensuring maximum efficiency before real-world execution.

Training and skill development

In businesses across sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, professionals hired must have specialized expertise and practical experience. The emergence of the 3D internet is revolutionizing training and professional development, making it more effective and efficient. In healthcare, metaverse simulations of surgical procedures enhance precision, reportedly improving surgical accuracy by up to 230%, according to the Harvard Business Review. On the other hand, immersive virtual experiences of factory settings in the manufacturing sector have reduced training times and costs by about 50% per PwC. In the retail industry as well, giants like Walmart use the 3D internet for customer service training, which has led to a 10-15% increase in employee performance. This innovative approach provides a safe, cost-effective, and scalable training solution, especially in environments where real-life practice is impractical or risky.

 Here are some ways businesses use the metaverse for training and skill development: 

1. VR simulations and AR overlays: Businesses employ VR simulations to create immersive training environments that accurately mimic real-world scenarios. This method offers practical, risk-free learning experiences. AR technology is also instrumental in training as businesses can overlay essential information and diagrams over physical environments to help employees understand how to carry out tasks. For instance, Boeing adopted VR to train workers on a 50-step procedure involving the cargo door seal and managed to reduce the time it takes to train assembly line workers by 35%. 

2. Gamification: When businesses incorporate game elements into training programs, they can enhance employee engagement and motivation. Gamified learning can also result in higher skill-based knowledge retention than traditional methods. For instance, PixelMax is building games that combine physical training in an immersive, gamified environment for first responders like police, firefighters, and medical professionals to try different strategies and achieve different outcomes. 

3. Interactive training modules: The metaverse can also provide hands-on experience through interactive scenarios that adapt based on the user's decisions, promoting active learning and problem-solving skills. This methodology keeps learners engaged and encourages them to complete the training.

 Since 2017, Walmart has pioneered using VR for employee training through its "Walmart Academies." This innovative method simulates real-world challenges like the Black Friday rush and complex customer interactions, enhancing skill retention and boosting employee confidence. VR training proves more effective than traditional methods, fitting seamlessly into the 24-hour store schedule without disrupting daily operations. With notable improvements in employee test scores, Walmart is set to expand this cutting-edge training to over 1 million employees across 4,000 stores, establishing a new standard in workforce preparation and assessment.

02‏/05‏/2024

Callum Moates

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We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023

Landvault · Wam Group

All rights reserved

Company

We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved

Company

We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved

Company