Will the metaverse see rapid expansion like the early Internet did in the 1990s? Some estimates place the number of websites at less than 3,000 in 1994; by 1999, that number had risen to more than 3 million, making a presence “on the web” a necessity for many companies.
Rapid technology development, rising consumer expectations, and adapting business models all contributed to the explosion of the internet in the 1990s. This necessitated a significant change in IT operations, and in the last two decades, nearly all companies recognised the importance of having in-house software development, integration, data, analytics, customer experience, automation, and e-commerce skills in order to survive.
Which industries will need to adapt similarly to serve the metaverse? Which will need the use of technologies like AR/VR and NFTs? And for how long?
You probably already have teams working on or creating metaverse technology if you run a cloud, tech, or large-scale e-commerce or entertainment firm. However, even traditionally conservative sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, construction and education will need to plan ahead to ensure they are metaverse-ready.
So, it’s natural to wonder what kinds of technological advancements would best prepare firms to support the metaverse. Decisions will be made in light of the needs of the company. A wide variety of businesses in the IT, e-commerce, entertainment, and industrial sectors will need infrastructure, user devices, software, and an AI stack to produce the experiences and content necessary to sustain a metaverse. Others will require adaptable content, commerce, and data strategies as they create content or take part in one or more metaverses.’
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System and network scalability
Whenever an organisation designs a new metaverse platform or piece of technology, it must take into account the needs of its users in terms of speed, capacity, and safety. In order to accommodate a growing user base, metaverse services will need to increase their bandwidth capacities. For instance, a 4K virtual reality video requires a download speed of 500Mbps. Consideration of delay is especially important for industrial applications and others that may affect human safety.
How can organisations prepare for a scale like this? The edge already plays a role in processing and delivering high rates of personalised content in real-time at extremely low latency, so distributed platforms with highly scalable and secure edge computing technology will be a critical need for businesses looking to leverage metaverses, according to Ram Iyer, the chief strategist at Akamai.
Nadir Ali, CEO of Inpixon, agrees and adds, “Device-centric and edge computing capabilities not relying on on-prem or cloud servers will enable the development of novel metaverse applications. This is also true of the technology that allows for wireless networking. Many metaverse applications will also need a high-speed, secure wired and wireless network infrastructure with large bandwidth.
Technology advancements in augmented reality
Experiencing the metaverse is the same as having an augmented or virtual reality experience. However, any gadget that can take sensory inputs and outputs from the digital world is a possibility. Optical finger navigation, metaverse watches, and other wearable technology are only a few examples.
The development of new software, data processing, and machine learning techniques are essential for enhancing the sensory inputs of new devices, including sight, sound, and touch.
Anand Srivatsa, CEO of Tobii, explains that “the metaverse gives a chance to more thoroughly transcend our physical boundaries.” Technology, such as eye tracking, will be important in lowering the bandwidth and processing demands of creating really realistic and immersive virtual worlds. Users will be able to convey their focus and intentions more naturally within the virtual world with the use of eye tracking.
With AR/VR as its fundamental medium, much of the innovation we’re going to see in the metaverse will come from the field of computer vision,” says Ofir Zuk, cofounder and CEO of Datagen. The success of the project relies on a vast amount of photo-realistic, well-defined training data.
Metaverse application and content development, then, will need to look beyond today’s web and mobile experiences and into the realm of augmented reality and virtual reality.
Superior data operations and integration skills
If human-digital gadgets make the experience possible, and if infrastructure allows for metaverse-scale involvement, then the main novelty and point of differentiation will be how genuine the experience seems to consumers.
Organizations will first require robust data OPS capabilities, and synthetic data production will likely be required for machine learning models. To elaborate on his earlier statement, Zuk says, “Companies that want to create waves in the metaverse often start by developing a strong data pipeline—with synthetic data as the key resource driving the development life cycle.”
In this, Software AG’s chief evangelist Bart Schouw concurs. Leaders will start to see the advantages of the metaverse this year and beyond, but they need to start investing in real-time data intake and analytics immediately since they are critical to the metaverse’s success and accuracy.
Developers, data scientists, and user experience experts must use the incoming data to design a compelling digital environment.
It’s possible that long-term hybrid work programmes may prioritise virtual experiences designed to facilitate workplace cooperation above those designed for pure amusement. The next several years will see fast development in virtual conferences’ UX complexity and higher education metaverses’ metaverse functionality. Virtual office technology providers like Gather, Teamflow, Virbela, and others face stiff competition from the likes of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Zoom, and other industry heavyweights.
Some of the most technically difficult but potentially lucrative uses of metaverse technologies are in manufacturing, construction, smart city, and other industrial applications. Connecting virtual and physical systems in such a metaverse would need real-time data flowing from the Internet of Things, digital twins, and sophisticated machine learning algorithms.
While some businesses choose to put money into data operations, others may try their hands at cryptocurrencies or NFTs. The good news is that there will be lots of room for technologists to try out new ideas, innovate, and really provide something useful utilising Web 3.0 and metaverse tools.