Council Post: 16 Innovative Potential (And Current) Applications For The Metaverse

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The metaverse—a virtual space where individuals interact in and with a digital environment—is no longer a concept confined to science fiction or niche applications. With its unique ability to allow people to experience realistic simulations of places and experiences, the metaverse is poised to revolutionize both business processes and the ways individuals explore the world and interact with each other.

Below, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council explore current and potential practical applications for the metaverse. From immersive digital showrooms that enhance the retail experience to virtual meetings that redefine remote collaboration, the metaverse may soon unlock a wealth of possibilities for businesses and consumers.

1. Industrial Digital Twins

The industrial metaverse creates digital twins of real-world physical objects and infrastructure—from smart factories and power grids to individual car tires—which run as live simulations of their physical counterparts. These digital twins enable workers to detect incidents before they happen, power risk-free trial and error experiments, and facilitate real-time remote collaboration and training. – Max Thake, peaq

2. Virtual Storefronts

One practical application of the metaverse is virtual commerce, or “v-commerce.” Businesses can create immersive, 3D virtual storefronts, providing consumers with a unique and engaging shopping experience. Consumers can interact with products or services in a lifelike digital environment before purchasing, providing valuable data to retailers and potentially boosting customer satisfaction. – Marc Rutzen,

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3. Early-Stage Product Development

Simulating the design of a product or service at a very early stage is a cost-effective design approach. It allows the design team to quickly pivot and arrive at the right and relevant design decisions. Leveraging the metaverse for early-stage product development would be an effective, “low-hanging-fruit” use case for industries. – Srinivasulu Nasam, Bosch Global Software Technologies Pvt Ltd

4. Immersive Educational Experiences

The metaverse offers the potential to craft immersive educational encounters, enhancing student engagement with various subjects. It is particularly advantageous for topics that are challenging to visualize, such as anatomy or physics, by making them tangible in the virtual world. Additionally, it provides an ideal platform for role-playing scenarios, thus elevating the effectiveness of training exercises. – Aji Abraham, Armia Systems Inc.

5. Industrial Systems Training And Maintenance

In the industrial sector, the metaverse opens up possibilities for improving productivity. The visual representation of complex systems makes it easier to conduct hands-on training and to display and monitor key indicators. Settings can be programmed to alert operators when vital indicators are outside normal parameters, and the digital version allows for remote monitoring and control. – Christine Boles, Intel

6. Real-Time Remote Collaboration

One practical application of the metaverse is in remote work. Companies can create virtual offices where employees can collaborate in real-time, enhancing productivity and team bonding. This blends remote work flexibility with physical office camaraderie. – Andrew Blackman, EZ Cloud

7. Distance Learning

The metaverse is an immersive world that’s made for distance learning through interactive 3D models, remote video-like conferencing, and a one-to-one or one-to-many approach. Walking one person or a group through a complex system repair or even surgery remotely will decrease the time required to train, improve quality and make the process repeatable. – Sean Barker, cloudEQ

8. Connecting Consumers And Brands

The metaverse has a brand problem. Many think of Meta or virtual reality when they hear the term, but the reality is the theories that power the metaverse can be broader and create new ways to create connections not only between people, but also between consumers and brands. Being able to create an immersive experience that can augment everyday life has implications in the areas of product design, architecture, marketing and medicine, to name just a few. – Marc Maleh, Valtech

9. ‘Hands-On’ Career Education

One practical application for the metaverse is educational simulations within universities. This is an opportunity for students to gain “hands-on experience” without leaving the classroom, especially within hybrid or virtual learning environments. For example, young analysts could run through an M&A process and gain an understanding of all the different steps before ever working on their first deal. – Kison Patel, DealRoom

10. Travel Experiences For Those With Different Physical Capabilities

One practical application for the metaverse is to bring the experience of traveling to people who have different physical capabilities. As someone who has traveled a bit and is lucky enough to be physically capable, I have helped folks who are less able to navigate cities, airports and other sites—places where stairs, steep grades, and narrow doors and spaces make travel more difficult for people who use a wheelchair or walker. – John Bruggeman, CBTS

11. More Frequent And Accessible Political Events

The concept of the metaverse can be utilized in politics to enhance engagement, transparency and accessibility. Political campaigns and discussions can take place in virtual environments, allowing for wider participation and interactive experiences. Virtual town halls, debates and meetings can be conducted, reaching a larger audience. – Tom Roberto, Core Technology Solutions

12. Training Utilities Workers In Emergency Response

One practical application of the metaverse is training electrical operators for emergency response. Simulated environments within the metaverse can provide realistic scenarios to train operators in handling emergencies, enhancing their skills and decision-making abilities. This immersive training can improve response times, minimize risks and enhance overall safety in critical situations. – Dr Vivek Bhandari, Powerledger

13. Engaging And Environmentally Friendly Conferences And Events

The metaverse offers a practical application for virtual conferences and events. Attendees can create avatars and engage in immersive experiences, eliminating geographical barriers and reducing travel costs. The metaverse provides flexibility, scalability and enhanced engagement. It also offers valuable data insights and contributes to environmental sustainability. – Monika Mueller, Softensity Inc

14. Training For Astronauts And Space Engineers

In the space industry, virtual collaboration and training for astronauts and space engineers is a great application. By creating immersive, virtual environments, organizations can simulate space missions, spacecraft assembly and extravehicular activities. This allows teams to practice and refine their skills in a realistic yet safe environment, reducing costs and enhancing efficiency. – Shelli Brunswick, Space Foundation

15. Personalized Online Shopping

Whether we’re buying a piece of clothing or a couch, we want to try it first. If it’s a dress, what color will look best on me? If it’s a couch, how will it fit into the space? The metaverse helps customize each customer’s experience and make it virtual, but realistic. It can save retailers time and money on processing returns and managing a physical store. However, it should be considered as an investment before proceeding. – Nadya Knysh, a1qa

16. Cybersecurity Training

A simulated training experience that plays out real-life cybersecurity scenarios would offer realistic and immersive training, helping businesses to better deal with potential cyber threats. And the benefits would extend not only to the engineers building the firewalls and access controls, but also to employees, who are often the targets of these attacks. – AJ Abdallat, Beyond Limits


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