The concept of metaverse was introduced in the 1992 sci-fi novel “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson. In the book, metaverse was described as the “sum” of virtual and augmented realities. People lived in it as avatars, using goggles and plugging into terminals to access different metaverse sites. Public terminal users were rendered as blurry black and white avatars, while paying users (premium, as we’d call them today), have corporeal, fully-colored avatars.
Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of a real-life metaverse isn’t far from that. He described metaverse as an “embodied internet”, which we go inside of and not just look at from a screen. Unsurprisingly, Zuckerberg’s big revelation garnered mixed reactions. Many people feared that switching into metaverse will turn the world into a sci-fi dystopian nightmare. But for tech companies, the transition may be more appealing, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment.
If you run a tech startup, here’s how metaverse can affect your future operations:
Metaverse Can Streamline Machinery and Equipment Maintenance
Let’s say you repair manufacturing machinery and equipment. Normally, when a client demands your services, you’d send a team to the site so that they can perform the tasks asked of them. But in the metaverse, you no longer need to dispatch anyone. Instead, you’d go to the site as an avatar, and explain to your clients how to repair or troubleshoot the machine or equipment that’s causing a problem.
This can boost your business opportunities as a result. Since the metaverse is only a virtual world, you can expand your geographical coverage. If you only serve factories around New York today, you can start serving factories all over the U.S. and even Mexico when you enter the metaverse in the future.
Even if you’re not physically present, your clients will find value in your virtual appearance. It’s not like a phone call, after all, which isn’t reliable when you need to coach someone in making repairs. Instead, you and your client’s avatars can meet, the second-best thing to an organic face-to-face interaction.
Metaverse Can Expand Your Target Audience
Since your avatar can go anywhere, that means you can also sell to anyone, anywhere. This means better public relations and marketing opportunities. A reputable tech PR company can help you reach audiences across the world. They’d have your company name shown on local digital newspapers and tech websites. You can launch ads in those channels as well, allowing potential customers from different parts of the world to benefit from your products or services.
Virtual Clothing Brands Will Emerge
Our avatars will require clothing, so expect virtual fashion brands to emerge. In fact, you can be one of the first companies to sell virtual clothes, assuming that you’re still forming a tech business idea. If you live in a high-tech nation where the population can afford the latest mobile devices, you’d have a promising market to target.
You Can Assume Your Real Identity Virtually
Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse avatar wore his signature black T-shirt. He called this a “continuity of identity and objects”. So if you’d rather serve your virtual customers, you can come to the metaverse as you are, but in avatar form. That way, you no longer need to worry about digital clothing and accessories.
VR Glasses May Evolve into Fashionable Eyeglasses
Venturing into the manufacturing of VR glasses may be a good way to prepare for the metaverse. In fact, right now, people have to wear VR glasses to access the metaverse. But in time, those bulky devices will evolve into fashionable eyewear, like the typical spectacles for the visually impaired. By then, we’d all be looking up instead of down to our smartphones. We might be able to browse our news feeds from those glasses, and even send messages to our friends. And maybe, later on, chips will replace the glasses. The idea of having a quantum computer inside our heads, like Watt Bakradi in Katharine McGee’s “The Thousandth Floor” book series, is becoming more and more possible as time passes.
Disruptive Ads Will Go Away
For now, the algorithm still keeps sending ads our way, no matter how much we dislike them. From an entrepreneur’s perspective, the consumers’ dislike for ads can be a disadvantage. But you can actually find an opportunity from that behavior. If you can’t please them with ads, use high-quality content. After all, that’s what all internet users are after.
The metaverse will stop advertisements from dominating the internet, allowing companies to focus on developing more relatable and engaging content. Hence, this is the time to find out what your customers would like to see. Maybe it’s educational content, basic how-to’s, or how your business contributes to society and earth-saving efforts.
Overall, your tech startup has a lot to benefit from the metaverse. Just study the market well, and you’d know what your next move should be.