Tim Bieber is a VR executive and thought leader. As CEO of XR Immersive Tech he wants to make the Metaverse real through hyper-immersive VR.
A question that has been central to the Web3 discussion in recent years, and an increasingly important question, is: is the metavers?
To arrive at a general consensus on the answer, it’s worth examining influential words that can be used to summarize the metaverse and its core components:
Social: Players are interconnected and create communities that grow side by side. Users are also given the opportunity to interact and contribute to its development.
Immersive: People are using virtual reality headsets – this is currently the only way to fully handle the metaverse. Expectations come with the technology to make users feel really within the experiences of the metaverse.
Experiences: The basis of experiences comes in the form of games. Users around the world are intrigued and compelled to join this revolutionary phase of virtual reality.
As the CEO of an immersive entertainment platform, I know how we answer the question today may not be the full extent of what it will become. And this one is what makes the metaverse so exciting. The innovators who are part of this first wave of design and development are establishing a foundation from which the metaverse will grow and refine itself as more people and more companies join in.
Now, having carefully avoided answer the question directly, let’s focus on the parts of the question we can answers.
What is the purpose of the metaverse?
The metaverse, somewhat holistic, is a term used to describe a network of connected and social virtual reality experiences. This is made possible by combining the capabilities of head-mounted displays (HMD), such as those from Oculus and HTC. with virtual environments so that users can feel present and immersed in the experiences. (Disclosure: My company has an advisor on our board who is a member of HTC.)
In addition, the metaverse is filled with opportunities for creators, companies and individuals. Coinciding with the rise of decentralized markets, such as those supported by blockchain initiatives and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies, the metaverse’s potential is incredible when we consider how large and encompassing it could be. Whether we limit ourselves to decentralized ownership and collectibles, or expand to include the real world assets that will also be created as a result, the brave new world ahead presents opportunities as we connect physical and digital reality.
There is infinite potential for social interactivity and creativity in the metaverse. Of the many possibilities the metaverse offers, I think the social component is perhaps the most important in terms of community and connectivity between users and the experiences.
What is the purpose of the metaverse?
As noted earlier, the main purpose of the metaverse is to be a vast network of connected experiences. Now, to what point this connectivity is implemented is still in its infancy, but I see before us the scope of the metaverse environments that look and feel like physical reality.
How extensive will it be?
Gamers are already making more than a third of the world population. However, there is one important statistic I want to point out: gamers are one of the fastest growing demographics, even in 2015 the number of gamers was about 2 billion people, an increase of almost 1 billion people in just 7 years.
Likewise, consumer adoption of VR headsets has skyrocketed, even between last year and this year, with an estimated 6.1 million devices purchased in 2021 alone.
This is an encouraging prospect for developers and gamers alike. The metaverse may just be starting to form and pop up, but the potential it has is undeniable.
Where is it going?
Ultimately, I believe the entertainment industry will lead the way in ushering in the first wave of the metaverse, with the educational and training potential of software and hardware complementing the process. While I’m mainly focusing on the VR potential of the metaverse, I think we’ll probably see more augmented reality (AR) elements popping up in the future as well.
If we focus on the size of the VR market, which had a valuation of nearly $5 billion in 2021, we can extrapolate this year based on sales figures and into 2024, where that value will be. over $12 billion† The total addressable market (TAM) as defined by Citi and related to the metaverse and its economy can be between $8 trillion and $13 trillion dollars with more than 5 billion users by 2030.
Out-of-home VR is also experiencing impressive growth with technology integration and immersive features aimed at bridging the digital and physical divides. Video gaming and esports are seeing an increase in the integration of VR experiences, with a predicted $2.4 billion market value in 2024.
How can business leaders prepare?
When planning for the eventuality of the metaverse, it’s important to recognize the impact it will have on our lives, especially how it will change how we interact with each other and how businesses interact with their customers. The metaverse digital landscape and infrastructure is being designed for such a broad application that my best advice is to learn and adapt to it sooner or later. Don’t leave yourself behind. Hear from thought and industry leaders, who offer insight into where we’re going. And know that the metaverse will not appear overnight; however, it will grow to meet the needs and wants of a diverse user demographic. We can now make an effort to ensure that the future manifested is one that offers value, entertainment and much more.
We are moving towards a whole new frontier in terms of technology and its presence in human life. I believe the future will offer immersion and connectivity unlike anything we’ve seen in the history of our world. This is a daunting thought, but one that can be approached with optimism, dedication and positivity to bring society together.