The arrival of the metaverse is transforming experiences for both customers and employees across multiple industries, giving us a glimpse of how the future could look.
According to Gartner, by 2026 30% of companies worldwide will have meta-ready products and services. The convergence of new technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are enabling companies to not only simplify business processes and improve decision making, but revolutionise the ways customers can interact and experience products and services. While there is plenty of debate on the social and legal aspects of the metaverse, these new immersive worlds are turning virtual experiences into products and opening up new business opportunities.
Here we explore six key industries
Banks have been quick to hop on the metaverse trend towards data-driven interactive self-help and decisions to transform customer experience, business operations and increase efficiencies. This digital platform offers financial advice and manages investments with no human supervision. The removal of human oversight enables workers to prioritise customer relationships whilst automated tellers can carry out most transactions. Simultaneously, it caters to changing customer needs for self-service technology that has low-cost accessibility and is web-based.
Equally, the metaverse can help with modeling and simulating investment portfolios and returns based on risk profiles, interests, diversity of portfolios, and financial strength of investors – going beyond “Robo-advising”. As individual investors are in different portfolios, the metaverse can be leveraged to give us perspectives on a variety of investments across primary and secondary market instruments and allow us to interact with them before making decisions. Of course, analytics also enhance decision-making in these cases.
Next, upscale manufacturers and renovation providers are using technologies such as augmented reality and computer vision to provide a real-life view of designs and full-sensory presentations. Customers can now visualise products in their homes and identify furniture and fixtures that appeal to them. In the construction space, immersive experiences for design sessions with architects, construction teams, and customers are allowing for limitless creativity and participation when flipping properties and providing home improvements. In real-time, the client is presented with different finishing options and has the full scale to make the required adjustments – ultimately increasing efficiency and winning the client over.
- Real Estate
In real estate, the metaverse is capturing every square foot of the property and allowing the buyer to preview it regardless of their geographic location. Buyers can now interact with 3D designs of houses, hotels, restaurants and offices in a way they couldn’t before. These accurate and realistic experiences of the property are especially useful for prospects relocating to a different city or looking for apartments online. Although most rental sites have a 3D interaction with the house design, it can be rudimentary and not representative in some cases, however overall the metaverse in the property market is pushing the boundaries of technology and allowing one to truly envision living in a property.
Turning to the construction industry, the metaverse is boosting collaboration and enabling immersive development and design. With haptics, 3D technology, and virtualisation, customers and businesses can develop innovative designs, explore new product development and functionality from anywhere in the world. This co-development/design allows designers and suppliers to explore 3D representations of their designs and use data to make changes more easily. On the factory floor, businesses can benefit from virtual models of the plant, facility designs, and layouts. Virtual models of the plant help automate and optimise facilities through simulations without any actual physical changes and allow workers to explore the progress of the site without physically going there.
- Field Services Support/Training
One area that can look to leverage the metaverse is product and design instruction manuals. An immersive experience in learning to assemble furniture, use electronic goods and other mechanical products would be a good way of engaging customers, especially in DIY projects. Customers and employees could learn to troubleshoot and fix issues using immersive learning experiences. Field engineers can be trained in virtual worlds to get hands on experience in troubleshooting and providing services. Different use cases can be simulated to give them an accelerated and intense learning experience to handle a variety of issues, reducing dependency on trainers, documentation, and situations encountered. Similarly, onboarding and training of new employees, especially during peak seasons in retailing and other businesses, can be accelerated and delivered more effectively with the metaverse.
Ultimately, the metaverse is here to stay. With its endless possibilities, the onus is now on businesses across the globe to embrace it sooner rather than later. Technologies such as AR, VR and AI will not only allow companies to adapt to future changes but also remain competitive in today’s ever-evolving landscape. The metaverse has opened up the industry of the future, helping businesses to streamline operations, enable efficiencies and offer new experiences for customers and employees that were previously unimaginable.
About the Author
Ramya Kannan is Industry Leader – Manufacturing at UST. UST is a global digital transformation solutions provider. For more than 20 years, UST has worked side by side with the world’s best companies to make a real impact through transformation. Powered by technology, inspired by people and led by purpose, UST partners with their clients from design to operation. With deep domain expertise and a future-proof philosophy, UST embeds innovation and agility into their clients’ organizations.
Featured image: ©Mustafa Kaya