If you asked a group of 100 people what their opinions of the metaverse would be, you would get 100 different answers. Last year, Facebook shook the world when it renamed itself Meta, and since then, the company has invested billions of dollars to make the Metaverse the next big thing for human interaction.  

The metaverse is what many believe to be the next iteration of the internet: a single, shared, immersive, persistent, 3D virtual space where humans can experience life in ways they could not in the physical world (Tech Target). 

For many, this will be the next big cornerstone of the internet and is the next step in natural technological evolution. It offers possibilities and opportunities that go beyond what anyone could envision. However, many others believe it is merely a vision and an attempt for one man to take control of our virtual lives.  

The technologies that provide access to this virtual world such as VR Headsets and augmented reality glasses, are evolving quickly. However, other critical components of the metaverse such as adequate bandwidth or interoperability standards are still yet to materialise, and if they are to do so, it will be years away. 

Last week we asked our MOVE community about what they thought. Is the Metaverse a fad or a game-changer? The answer was very clear. In a poll, 71% of our community thought that it was a fad, while only 29% thought it was a game-changer. So, let’s delve deeper into this.  


Is the Metaverse a “fad”? 

Today the Metaverse is an overarching concept coined by Facebook when it changed its name to Meta in October 2021. Many companies use the term to refer to different types of enhanced online environments.  

Rather than a single shared virtual space, the Metaverse is shaping into a digital multiverse with various virtual spaces such as Microsoft’s Mesh or Meta Horizon Workrooms and even virtual dressing rooms and virtual operating rooms.  

In the Meta announcement, Zuckerberg said the company aims to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, including social platforms and creative tools, required to “bring the metaverse to life.” 

Shortly after the rebrand dropped, the founder of Facebook released a demo of the virtual reality universe he has created called Horizon Worlds. Users were able to navigate a VR space as an avatar while also being able to create additional worlds. It was disappointing to say the least. Not only were its graphics severely outdated, but the “virtual world” was completely empty. Many commented that the visuals were underwhelming, and they lacked the immersive experience so many were hoping for. 

At the time of its release, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the time had said, “The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the Metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.” 

It’s fair to say, this world did not live up to its promise. 

Furthermore, in the year that the metaverse has been around, very limited has been produced from the multi-billion-dollar investment. According to business today, Meta has only seen its overall costs rise by a fifth due to the virtual reality project. The Metaverse is a huge gamble for investors, so numbers like this will start to worry major players. 

It is no denying that there are a numerous investors are waiting to jump into this business. However, it is looking like it is taking more convincing to persuade people to hook up to a VR headset and meet up with friends and colleagues in virtual worlds. Additionally, not many potential consumers have said they would swap zoom meetings for virtual reality worlds.


Or is it a game-changer? 

Although there are still many technical barriers, many still believe that not only will the metaverse happen, but it will arrive in full force.  

The allure of a digital phenomenon has attracted many people to the metaverse. As we have seen from the pandemic many people can be productive when working from home and therefore, having access to virtual worlds can improve simulation, education, and collaboration.  

The value that can be added from the metaverse could be the biggest game-changer for digital transformation and human experience.  

Big companies like Microsoft are already investing in the next stages of the metaverse alongside other industry giants from retail, gaming and entertainment. It is estimated that the metaverse market may come close to US$1 Trillion. Therefore, it may be necessary for companies to navigate the metaverse to not only keep up with the digital transformation, but also to stay relevant and to grow.  

For businesses, it will enable a new way of training. You will be able to virtually travel to gain new experiences and upskill through gaming. Using an avatar life will enable workers to train in an environment that is safe and will reduce social anxiety. It creates a space where workers such as medical staff, engineers and other first responders can train and make errors with no consequence.

If the metaverse succeeds, it will be a huge digital web transformation. It is the kind of futuristic sci-fi technology that is thought of in films and novels.

Like any digital evolution, the Metaverse will take time until it reaches full adoption. Through embracing innovative change, the Metaverse will become a platform that will change the way we connect with each other and how we work. Technical developments such as Twitter, Netflix and even mobile phones were not expected to grow as much as they did, and they have positively disrupted the way we think about our digital lives.  

Many, like myself, are fascinated by what is to come next. The idea of exploring digital worlds to learn, collaborate, work and connect, may just be the next digital transformation that the technological world needs.