The Seven Most Important Technologies for the Future of the Metaverse
The metaverse is a relatively new and fluid domain, the precise nature of which can be debated at length. The current difficulty is in creating a complete and trustworthy inventory of technologies that will promote the growth of the metaverse during the next decade. It turned out that we were able to accomplish that very goal.
According to Marty Resnick, vice president, and chief analyst at Gartner, “we look at metaverses as not a specific group of technologies per se,” because they are comprised of various technologies. Instead, “We regard them as technological trends.
Among these themes are spatial computing, digital persons, virtual places, shared experiences, gaming, and tokenized assets, which Resnick argues comprise a wide variety of technologies that will foster the growth of the metaverse.
Forrester Research vice president and lead analyst J. P. Gownder describes similar technologies as “enablers of 3D development environments” capable of complex modeling. Therefore, he said, businesses will need people who are proficient in 3D modeling and are acquainted with the Unity and Unreal gaming engines.
Skills specific to the object being coded, such as Internet of Things expertise for digital duplicates, may also be necessary. Most businesses, Gownder pointed out, “won’t have these talents right now” and will therefore need to partner with third parties or hire new employees to fill the need.
Accenture’s senior managing director and global digital experience lead, Jason Warnke, remarked that the convergence of technologies such as gaming engines, digital twins, and extended reality is allowing for novel approaches to solving real-world challenges.
“Warnke speculated that a startup may lay the groundwork for its own metaverse in its early stages, long before it takes any action in the real world. “It could create a digital doppelganger of a factory that specifies its layout before any bricks are laid. They might have planned out their own NFT system beforehand, before even accepting cash or credit cards.”
According to Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) “The Corporate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Metaverse,” the following three types of technology constitute the metaverse:
- Web 3.0 and virtual assets;
- augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (VR/AR/XR/MR);
- metaverse worlds (M-worlds).
M-worlds are a type of immersive application that gives businesses, especially those catering to millennials, access to previously untapped demographics. M-worlds can be accessed on mobile devices, desktop computers, and augmented reality and virtual reality headgear.
Web3 is still in its infancy, but “is already powering a vibrant virtual asset economy that includes cryptocurrencies, NFTs [non-fungible tokens], and smart contracts,” as stated by the authors of the BCG guide. The consultancy business sees a future in which Web3 and conventional financial dealings coexist.
Specifically, “much of the value of the metaverse may ultimately lay not in consumer but in commercial applications,” as stated by the authors. Virtual environments can be used for a variety of purposes, such as conducting business, teaching, developing new products, and showcasing properties to potential buyers.
technology roadmap for the metaverse
Each of these innovations has the potential to change corporate applications and procedures by bringing 3D virtual environments to life.
The list of technologies that will drive the metaverse and its growth has been reduced to seven based on expert judgment and thorough investigation.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is pivotal in the creation of bots and chatbots and adds brains to computer vision in the physical world. However, only 10% of organizations see major AI benefits from their deployments, per BCG.
The computational power of AI might be used to design avatars for use in metaverses, improve the realism of digital humans, and program the dialogue of non-player characters in video games.
Internet of Things
The Blockchain Council has called the IoT “a crucial component of the metaverse’s underlying infrastructure.” For instance, “new prospects for the industrial domain, individual demands, and social requirements” can be unlocked when the metaverse and IoT are combined, as described by the council.
The council calls this combination of IoT and the metaverse a “user-centered IoT and metaverse experience” since it would allow virtual places to easily access and interact with the actual world. For example, Gownder argues that sensor data can be used for exploration and feedback in a factory where the digital twin of every machine is equipped with sensors.
By moving from 2D to 3D for more realistic experiences and digital displays that better synchronize with head movements, AR, VR, and MR technologies will revolutionize the way businesses see and use data, claims BCG.
Computer vision will assist users in comprehending their surroundings and locating relevant information as augmented reality glasses become more commonplace. Microsoft’s HoloLens, for instance, uses XR to let its users see and interact with 3D holographic pictures as if they were actually there.
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) list of technologies that will influence the metaverse, but Gownder disagrees “As of right now, it’s just science fiction… Look up an organization that is making use of BCI.”
Since BCI seeks to supplant conventional control screens and physical hardware, WEF concedes that it is “perhaps the most far-reaching vision for the metaverse.” The forum did, however, point out that BCI and XR together “position themselves as the next computing platforms in their own right.”
3D Modeling and Reconstruction
The ability to accurately rebuild 3D models of real-world things is crucial to the successful implementation of the metaverse. The technology has capabilities like 3D modeling that can lay out a process or product in three dimensions and serve as a prototype.
According to a forecast by SkyQuest Technology Consulting, the global market for 3D reconstruction technology will more than double over the next five years, reaching nearly $2 billion in 2028.
Spatial and Edge Computing
Edge computing can provide a fast response time to user movements that mirror reality and keep people engrossed in the metaverse, allowing spatial computing to merge AR, VR, and MR to interact with the actual environment.
As Gownder described it, “being able to place an avatar, cooperation, it’s all about the spatial dimension,” which is why spatial technologies like computer vision are so important to metaverses.
The current state of blockchain technology is not “super relative to employees or enterprise metaverses,” as Gownder put it. However, most of the focus has been on how this technology can be used to safeguard information stored in the digital metaverse. Decentralizing the metaverse with blockchain could help prevent bottlenecks and other points of failure.
What’s on the Horizon?
Avatars, powered by artificial intelligence and designed to look and act like humans, are what Deloitte calls “digital humans.” These avatars can hold a conversation with a human by understanding the customer’s intent behind their words and returning not only the requested information but also a nonverbal reaction.
Resnick, from Gartner, gave the example of a corporation that creates a virtual customer experience center where customers can meet virtually for business or social purposes. “When asked about the size of the metaverse, he speculated, “I can’t staff [it] 24 hours a day and I can’t deal with a significant number of people who may come into that chamber.
To represent my company, I can deploy digital individuals to take the role of the chatty AI or… non-player characters.” Companies may establish a presence, engage in two-way communication with clients, and earn credibility. Resnick said, “I want to see the face of the organization as opposed to billboards.” One of the many applications we encounter daily.
Companies, according to Gartner’s forecasts, would prioritize creating virtual communities and sharing digital experiences. In the next few years, “intraverse technologies” are where most money will be spent, according to Gartner.
“According to Resnick, “an intraverse is simply how we look at developing internal virtual environments for the use of staff communication, collaboration, onboarding, and training.” Basically, what we’re doing is setting up our very own online workplace.”
According to Gartner, by 2027, fully virtual workspaces will reshape the office experience and account for 30 percent of the growth in investment by organizations in metaverse technologies.