When you hear the term “Metaverse,” you probably picture a Fortnite player interacting through a VR headset, or perhaps a group of teenagers clustered around their Stumble Guys app.
But the Metaverse isn’t just for consumer entertainment — there are numerous business benefits that will transform the way we work together as private 5G technology matures.
Additionally, the Metaverse is accelerating rapidly – last year the global Metaverse market size was $39 billion and it is projected to grow to $679 billion by 2030. There are numerous ways this will benefit the workplace, from improvements in remote working to improvements in accessibility and inclusion for employees with disabilities.
5G private network and innovations from Metaverse
In addition, the combination of private 5G networks and the new innovations that the Metaverse offers will open up opportunities for cost savings, revenue increases and competitive advantages across all sectors.
Equipment repairs in heavy industry
Heavy industries such as manufacturing and logistics rely on numerous complex, interconnected systems and technologies. Because these machines are subjected to continuous use and harsh conditions, ongoing maintenance and repairs are essential.
However, training new hires in the nuances of these repairs can be time- and resource-consuming. These challenges are exacerbated in situations where the technology is not physically located in the same region where employees are being trained.
Metaverse tools can overcome these hurdles and help organizations train staff efficiently and purposefully.
For example, by creating digital twins of an oil refinery, employees can visualize every aspect of the process and better understand how the different technologies are put together.
From there, AR and VR technology could be used to create customized avatars so staff could simulate interacting with and repairing these systems – regardless of where they are physically located.
Not only does this reduce the time and expense associated with traditional approaches, it also empowers staff to explore the technology and identify areas for potential improvement without compromising physical systems.
Remote support of field applications
Similarly, IT support and field engineers can use the Metaverse to remotely support field applications. Some organizations dove into the remote support waters with some basic maintenance tasks during the pandemic, when travel restrictions and health constraints prevented companies from sending staff to personally support the technology.
However, high-bandwidth, low-latency 5G will make this much more viable for businesses of all sizes and industries. Additionally, the nature of remote support will increasingly be technical in nature – for example, complicated repairs and troubleshooting that previously required in-person attention.
Not only does this result in savings in operational costs, but it also significantly reduces the risks associated with dispatching personnel to physically interact with potentially unstable or explosive technology.
Supporting NFTs in the financial industry
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have evolved from a blockchain buzzword to a mainstream concept. There are numerous examples in the B2C metaverse that underline the potential of NFT. An example of this is luxury fashion brands Burberry and Louis Vuitton, which launched NFT accessories to support their respective video games.
One potential impact of NFTs on the corporate metaverse is forex trading and real estate management. For example, NFT-based land registries could emerge as a more secure and cost-effective alternative to traditional land registries.
This could have a significant impact on people who own land but do not have title and are therefore prohibited from encumbering or selling it.
Another possibility is virtual exchanges, which could allow companies from multiple jurisdictions and exchanges to issue equity NFTs.
Most of this technology is theoretical, but underscores the possibilities
These and other examples are mostly theoretical at this point, but they underscore what might be possible as the technology matures. NFTs will continue to play an increasingly important role in both virtual and hybrid virtual/physical worlds, and I believe new economies of scale will emerge from this.
These and other enterprise metaverse use cases are only possible with the reliability, low latency, and security that private 5G networks offer. While there is much debate about how cloud computing is accelerating the metaverse, it is important for organizations to recognize that telecom capabilities play an equally fundamental role.
The unprecedented speed of 5G will help make many Metaverse opportunities a reality for businesses. Businesses today need to think seriously about how they deploy private 5G networks – or risk being left in the rear-view mirror of the corporate metaverse.
Selected photo credits: Photo by Z z; Pixel; Thanks very much!